8vo., contemporary full vellum, ff. [1 blank, 63ff (writing on recto only of last leaf), + 45 blank]. Undated [probably c. 1615]. Very minor bumping to head and heel, minimal worming to rear hinge, not affecting text block, otherwise a clean copy, with ink still well-defined. A manuscript of immense historic significance for the history of the Catholic Church in Europe at the time of the Counter-Reformation, it relates the story of Giulia de Marco (1574/75-?), a self-proclaimed living saint from the southern Italian province of Molise who by claim of her divine revelations beguiled the citizens of Naples, a conceit that led to public uproar and much controversy and intrigue among all classes of society, lay and clergy, popolo and elite, in Naples and in Rome. She purported to have received visions from God, who told her that he had forgiven her sins and gave her assurance that she would be saved. For reasons along these lines God gave her freedom of conscience, told her that the seats in Paradise needed filling, and for the purpose of filling them permitted her to have carnal relations with whomever and how many persons she wished. The case of Suor Giulia was, in the words of historian Anne Jacobson Schutte, “by far the most complex instance of pretense of holiness in Naples . . . the bizarre amalgam of spirituality and sexual libertinism.” For about ten years, a kind of sexual cult thrived around Suor Giulia, to whom both men and women of the Neapolitan nobility appealed for sexual fulfillment and advice on the conception of heirs, a cult whose activities seem to have included none other than the organization of orgies, her followers engaging in what has been described as carnal charity, effectively communal sex. This is one of few copies made of the manuscript believed to have been written by the Theatine Valerio Pagano, one of the main primary sources for the denunciation of Suor Giulia, her confessor Aniello Arciero and one of her more ardent devotees, the lawyer Giuseppe de Vicariis, in July 1614; and her abjuration which resulted in a life imprisonment in Rome. The text is ordered under the following subheadings: 1) “Summario di alcune eresie seguite in diversi tempi che serviva per Proemio di quelle di suor Giulia”; 2) “Da qui omincia l’Istoria di suor Giulia del D. Aniello, e del Vicariis”; and 3) “Confessione ed Abiuraz.ne di Suor Giulia di Marco”. Five other copies exist in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. For further information, see Amabile, Luigi, Il S. Officio dell’Inquisizione in Napoli (Citta’ di Castello, 1892), vol. II, pp. 22-33; Croce, Benedetto, Aneddoti di varia letteratura (Bari, 1953), pp. 134-35; Vanti, M., Storia dei ministri degli infermi (Roma, 1943), vol. I, pp. 163-68; Schutte, Anne J., Aspiring Saints: Pretense of Holiness, Inquisition, and Gender in the Republic of Venice (Baltimore, 2001); Sallmann, Jean-Michel, Naples et ses saints a l’age baroque: 1540-1750 (Paris, 1994); Marino, John M., Becoming Neapolitan: Citizen Culture in Baroque Naples (Baltimore, 2011). Text in Italian.
PAGANO, Valerio (attrib.), Storia di Suor Giulia di Marco, E della falsa Dottrina insegnata da lei dal Padre Aniello Acieri e da Giuseppe de Vicariis, con il Reassunto del Processo contra di essi e colla loro abiurazione Seguita in Roma nel mese di luglio 1615. Con il summario di alcune altre eresie che serviva per Proemio di quelle di Suor Giulia [MANUSCRIPT]., [ms.], 1615
KISLUK-GROSHEIDE, Danielle; KROHN, Deborah L.; LEBEN, Ulrich (eds.)., Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art., The Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture; The Metroplitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2013