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6. Collecting Material about Saints

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Chapter Summary

The typological, achronological, repetitive nature of historia sacra determined how Antonio Gallonio gathered, arranged and presented hagiographical information. Saints and all things relating to them, such as texts, images and objects, were equivalent signs of divine mercy. Accordingly, Gallonio collected all the testimonies of sanctity that he could lay his hands on. This chapter reviews several aspects of collecting that scholars had in common in the early modern period, whether their collections were made up of artificialia, naturalia, devotional items or a mix of all of these. While secular scholars praised God by studying his creation in the form of natural phenomena or human artefacts, Gallonio honored God by studying his saints. He was a collector of sanctimonialia, elements of information that refer to saints, their characteristics, actions, or tangible legacy. In his writings he processed sanctimonialia into emblems that denoted divine grace.

Keywords: Antonio Gallonio; hagiography; martyrdom; saints; sanctity



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