Ronnie Ferguson

Torcello 1366: the vernacular lines embroidered on the banner of Santa Fosca

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Inscription; Confraternity; Venice; Venetian.

This is the first article dedicated to the philological study of the lines of vernacular writing embroidered in Gothic capitals on a single Medieval processional banner from the island of Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. Of outstanding historical, cultural and artistic interest, the banner, explicitly dated 1366, is the earliest surviving Italian processional standard to preserve vernacular inscriptions. The paper provides the first detailed linguistic analysis of the lines of writing on both sides of the banner, informing the reader of its precise date of manufacture and of the confraternity which commissioned it. The analysis establishes that all of the phonological, morphological and lexical features of the banner inscription conform to Old Venetian writing practice, with no evidence of specifically local influence.

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