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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Question Concerning Measure for Measure
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1570  Monday, 23 August 2004

[1]     From:   Lucia. A. Setari <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Aug 2004 13:30:51 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Sunday, 22 Aug 2004 11:59:53 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lucia. A. Setari <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Aug 2004 13:30:51 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure

Larry Weiss <
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 > learning that in 1562, St. Luke's very
bones were
placed in Padua, writes:

 >This is fascinating.  I wonder why, then, that St.
 >Anthony is the patron
 >saint of Padua.  All they have of him is one
 >desiccated tongue.

Well, I  live in Padua and I think I know something about that.

St Anthony is the patron of this town because when he died in Padua in
1231, he was extraordinarily loved by Paduan people and, because of some
complex historical circumstances I cannot waste your time to tell about,
soon became almost a symbol of the Independence of the Paduan Comune
against the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano.

I add that St Anthony's bones are (all) buried here in the big  basilica
dedicated to him, which Paduan people call  the Santo - that is "the
Saint", without mentioning his name, as if he were the only Saint in the
town (and in the world, perhaps).

As to the desiccated tongue, it is true that it (and a finger, too) has
been  kept within a golden shrine separated from the corpse which is in
a marble tomb under the altar.

Things like that seem to be rather strange and "barbarous" to us, but as
you know they were very common in Medieval Europe...

They kept Anthony's tongue (in truth, the whole mouth:

I see it rather like a dentures) and index finger out of his tomb so
that they could be seen, because Anthony had been a great preacher.  He
preached against the usurers mostly; for this he was extraordinarily
loved by Paduan people, even if he was from Lisbon and only lived here a
few months before his death.

They so loved him that when he died all the people went to see him and
their excitement was so strong that Summer night among the lighted
candles and the songs running throughout the town in the crowded streets
etc., that  many of them  began to tell of miracles happening when one
touched  Anthony's corpse.  So Anthony became famous as a thaumaturge
and (in conformity with the typical Medieval religious beliefs which Le
Goff has so wonderfully exposed in his books) people thought that it was
his very corpse the source of such thaumaturgic power.

Such belief is not yet completely vanished: if you come to Padua, every
day you can see many people stopping at his tomb and placing their hands
on its marble in order to have some grace by touching it.

As to poor St. Luke, his cult in Padua has been over-shadowed by that of
St. Anthony, who really   is the only saint in the mind of Paduan people
- to the point that (it is a shame, but it is the truth) most of them
had not even know of St. Luke's bones in St. Giustina church until in
1998 his tomb was re-opened and his bones, after some scientific
analysis, replaced in a new tomb (at the same place).

I add that his corpse has been here in Padua possibly since between 740
and 771, but  it was found out in St. Giustina's Cemetery in 1177, not
in 1562, when there was a second opening of the tomb and the bones
(which are without the head which is kept in St.Vitus Church in Prague,
it seems) were definitively placed in the new  big basilica of St.
Giustina where they are now.

Coming back to Shakespeare and the possible Italian town related to St.
Luke, I think it may be most hard to recognize it, because too many
Italian towns have churches devoted to St. Luke or St Luke as their
patron saint.

Pardon my prolixity,
Lucia. A. Setari

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Sunday, 22 Aug 2004 11:59:53 +0100
Subject: 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1559 Question Concerning Measure for Measure

Tom Krause writes ...

 >The Duke wants Angelo married to Mariana (that is, the anti-debasement
 >principles of Juan de Mariana) for the sake of the stability of the
coinage.

Are you at all related to the "credulous Krause" who appears in the
footnotes to Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman?  There is a certain
similarity in your thinking.

Peter Bridgman

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