Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Bogomils in Italy

In studying the Cathars in France it is interesting to read about their counterparts, the Bogomils, who came from Bulgaria and made some inroads in Italy. As the article points out, the Cathars and Bogomils were not technically heretics since they cannot really be considered as belonging to Christianity or any other monotheistic religion. They believed in more than one God. Nevertheless, they were outlawed since in the middle ages to teach error was considered a capital offense. Furthermore, the Bogomils' disdain of marriage was seen as being a threat to the stability of society. (WARNING:  Very Anti-Catholic) To quote:
The connection between the Bulgarian Bogomils and different movements in Italy can be further established by the spread of Bulgarian names in northern Italy. In 1047, there is a mention of a site named Bulgaro in the vicinity of Turin. In 1116, there was noble man in Turin – Bulgarello; in 1149, in the vicinity of Vercelli, there is a castle with the name Bulgaro; in 1231, there is a mention of another Italian noble – De Bulgaro.
It is believed that many Italians – Lombardy natives and residents of Milano have Bulgarian blood in their veins since the movement flourished the most in Northern Italy. Its center was the city of Milano, while the followers of the movement were called Patarenes. The derivation of the name is unclear though some sources claim patarini (also patarines or patarenes, from singular patarino), was a word chosen by their opponents, which means "ragpickers", from Milanese patee, the equivalent of the Italian stracci, "rags." Later the term "Patarene" came to mean a rebel against ecclesiastical authority or a heretic.

Milan's Patarenes became organized in 1057, when Deacon Arialdo da Varese began preaching against clerical concubinage and simony. At the time, Milan was controlled by the powerful archbishop Guido da Velate, who was known for his strong ties with high-ranking clergy, the nobles and the rich. Preaching against the clergy meant opposition of the hated da Velate rule, and very soon the deacon gathered a number of supporters and followers, some quite prominent such as brothers Landolfo and Erlembald Cotta, respectively a notary of Milan's cathedral and a knight. Patarenes bound themselves by an oath and boycotted the sermons of the official clergy, rejected their rituals, and drove the congregation from their services.

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