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5. Martyrological Technology

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Chapter Summary

The bodies of martyrs were exposed to the most diverse forms of destructive force. The tortures that Antonio Gallonio described were sometimes inflicted by such ingenious mechanisms that the martyrs themselves seemed to fade into the background as he reconstructed the mechanisms of the apparatuses. The Italian edition of the treatise of martyrdom was like a martyrological machine theater. In it, Gallonio reconstructed the individual instruments of torture in a combination of words and images. The illustrations were an integral part of the multimedia instruction in martyrological knowledge. In his discussions of the various forms of torture, Gallonio went more deeply into the various technical aspects of the apparatuses. He was not interested in technology as such, but used it to frame Christian martyrdom as an alternative to the worldly glory associated with human inventions.

Keywords: Antonio Gallonio; Christian aristocracy; Christian martyrdom; martyrological technology; tortures



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    Law, Medicine and Engineering in the Cult of the Saints in Counter-Reformation Rome: The Hagiographical Works of Antonio Gallonio, 1556-1605 — Recommend this title to your library
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