Archivio della Società romana di storia patria vol. 144.3 – Nicole Demarchi
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Il Dolor come cura contro la pestis inguinaria nella Vita Gregorii Magni di Paolo Diacono
The main objective of the following contribution is to examine the representation in the Vita Gregorii Magni by Paul the Deacon (720 c. – 799 c.) of the pestis inguinaria of 590 A.D. in Rome, highlighting its historical-religious characteristics with particular attention to the therapeutic function of pain, tears and compunction. In narrating the episode, the author dwells in particular on the oration with which Gregory the Great invites the Roman people – guilty of having unleashed the divine wrath – to accept pain as a path to true conversion and at the same time to abandon themselves to tears with a contrite heart in order to obtain divine forgiveness and thereby put an end to the scourge. More specifically, this paper will highlight how, within the Gregorian oration contained in the Vita Gregorii Magni, Paul the Deacon takes up the words and theological reflections of the pontiff himself, underlining, first, the close link between illness, moral conduct and sin and, second, the role of pain, tears and compunction as “medicines” able to cure the soul afflicted by sin and, indirectly, the disease.
Archivio della Società romana di storia patria, 144
maggio 2022, pp. 17