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Reading, Writing, and Collecting: Cultural Dynamics and Italian Vernacular Bible Translations

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The contribution focuses on the dissemination of vernacular Bible translations in late medieval Italy. After a short description of the status quaestionis in the research of vernacular Bible in Italy, the contribution will illustrate which processes of cultural transmission and translation contributed to the diffusion of the biblical texts. The essay will also evaluate the role played by lay people in reading and writing activities connected to the biblical text and in the ‘domestication’ of biblical knowledge: the use of biblical manuscripts and early prints in domestic, private, and semi-private space. Far from being passive recipients, lay people were involved in every stage of the dissemination of the Holy Writ: as dedicatees of the translations, as scribes, as collectors, as distributors, and as readers.

Affiliations: 1: Rosalind Franklin Fellow, University of Groningen


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