Paolo Evangelisti

Politica e credibilità personale. Un diplomatico francescano tra Tabriz e la Borgogna (1450 circa - 1479)

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Through the reconstruction of the political and diplomatic activity of an Observant Franciscan, credibility- and personal reputation-building processes are identified as instruments of his political action. The action and alliances formed by Ludovico da Bologna take place on a scenario which is extremely rich and broad, since it stretches from Burgundy to the anti-Ottoman Caucasian and Transcaucasian dominions. Some basic features of the identity worked out by the Observantine are considered inherent in Franciscanism as an Order which provided an "élite" made of "paupers Christi" able to act with ductility, skill and competence in all geopolitical arenas in the High Middle Ages. The credibility aimed at by Ludovico falls within the framework of a textuality - from Albertanus of Brescia (13th century), through Duns Scotus, to Matthew of Agrigento (15th century) - centred on the "Curam habe de bono nomine" proposed in an often-studied passage of "Liber Iesu Filii Sirach" (Sir 41,15). There is a whole specifically Franciscan textuality stating that the assertion of the credibility of an individual or a whole civil community is not only a pre-requisite for political action but - and this is even more noteworthy - for the legitimation itself, hence strength, of politics. In Ludovico's works it is therefore possible to appreciate one of the applications of a fundamental discourse code developed on the basis of the rhetoric and political language elaborated throughout the High Middle Ages.

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