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This article has been published in: Ocula 23, Flowers of the soul: The symbolism of flowers in the religious imagination

author: Magdalena Maria Kubas (Dipartimento di filosofia e scienze dell'educazione, Università di Torino.)

Maria and the flowers: lauda and litany in the thirteenth century

language: italian

publication date: July 2020

abstract: In the present paper we analyze two early Marian litanies and a number of laudas dating back to the period of the Origini. We will focus on texts dated between the 13th and the early 14th century. At this initial stage, the spiritual poetry written in the vernacular languages of northern and central Italy presents a strong link with certain Marian prayers, such as both Letaniae Beatae Mariae Virginis and Litany of Loreto. We will analyze then a group of laudas: Rayna possentissima and two texts by Bonvesin da la Riva, to complete with a close reading of a group of Marian laudas from the Laudario di Cortona. Flowers as Marian symbols are enriched in details between the first litanies and the laudas. As the lauda is primarily an oral genre, Marian antonomasias have a prosodic function – they constitute metric units that are easy to be memorized. This helped the spreading of that poetry as a form of vernacular prayer in a period in which the official language of the Church was Latin, known by few and unfamiliar to the masses of the faithful.

keywords: lauda, litanie, fiori, semantica mariana, rosa, viola, giglio, lauda, litany, flowers, marian semantics, rose, viola, lily

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DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-34

citation information: Magdalena Maria Kubas, Maria e i fiori, lauda e litania nel Duecento, "Ocula", vol.21, July 2020. DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-34



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