Letteratura e umiltà femminile: il ritratto di santa Elisabetta d'Ungheria (secoli XIII-XVI)

Chiara Maria Carpentieri

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The study aims to analyse the development of the literary and hagiographic portrait of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, taking as a starting point a group of sources dating between the 13th and the 16th centuries and kept in the Ambrosiana Library of Milan. After the canonization of the princess – who perfectly embodied the Christian ideals of poverty and service to the last – texts related to her cult were circulated widely. Those works usually handed down the image of a contemplative woman, no stranger to mystical raptures and dedicated to helping the sick, but they acquired very different characteristics over the centuries and according to the different European countries. For example, the biographical sources - constituted by documentation of the canonization process - placed particular emphasis on the activalis component of the saint’s personality. This feature remained intact even when the Elizabethan vita became part of the Dominican abbreviationes for preaching (eg., Jacopo da Varazze’s Legenda Aurea, in the Latin and vulgarized versions). At the end of the 13th century, the wrong belief of Elizabeth formally belonging to the Third Order became very strong: the legend then passed in the Franciscan-inspired texts and was enriched with a new series of miracles. However, in the same period the Elizabethan portrait was substantially redefined in the Italian territory: on the basis of the native model of mystical and visionary sainthood, two new wonders and thirteen Revelationes were awarded to the woman. Nonetheless, as a group of five important 16th-century Ambrosiana texts testifies (collections of sermons, chronicles, etc.), the hagiographic model of a saint in which the activalis and spiritualis states harmoniously coexisted finally emerged.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Literature and female humility: the portrait of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (13th-16th centuries)
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteL'umiltà e le rose. Storia di una Compagnia femminile a Torino tra età moderna e contemporanea
Numero di pagine17
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Ambrosiana Library
  • Biblioteca Ambrosiana
  • Santa Elisabetta d'Ungheria
  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary


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