Dolcino

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Dol`ci´no


n.1.(Mus.) A small bassoon, formerly much used.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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In the second part of this paper, I will explore two textual loci in the Commedia--the encounter with the Jovial Friars in Inferno 23 and the discussion of fra Dolcino in Inferno 28--to illustrate how a knowledge of the importance of preaching both in Dante's thought and his historical period might contribute to a better understanding of these passages.
In Inferno 28, the poet carefully articulates a condemnation of fra Dolcino, the leader of a renegade religious sect called the Apostolics, while studiously avoiding a condemnation of his preaching or even his controversial doctrinal claims.
"Or di a fra Dolcin dunque che s'armi tu che forse vedra' il sole in breve, s'ello non vuol qui tosto seguitarmi, si di vivanda, che stretta di neve non rechi la vittoria al Noarese, ch'altrimenti acquistar non saria leve." (Inf 28.55-60) ("You, who perhaps will shortly see the sun, warn fra Dolcino to provide himself-- unless he'd like to join me here quite soon-- with stocks of victuals, lest the siege of snow hand the Novarese the victory not otherwise easy to attain.") In 1300, in Parma, fra Dolcino assumed leadership of an independent sect of Christian religious called the Apostolics.
Pierce demonstrates that far from being feared predators upon the peasantry of Valsesia, Fra Dolcino and the Apostolics were welcomed as genuine followers of the apostolic life, fleeing inquisitorial persecution, by a peasantry determined to resist the escalating pressures of ecclesiastical and secular lords.