Now I am going to finish my time-line, this time focusing just on the Visconti.
THE HERESY TRIALS OF THE VISCONTI
Here I am using three sources: first, at the beginning, Wikipedia. Then I go to Lea, History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, volume 3, for time-line entries. In the middle of it I put in selected passages from the Latin record of the charges Matteo Visconti and his sons were found guilty of in 1322. The selections I am quoting have to do specifically with Manfreda's connection with the Visconti rulers. I get them from Robert Michel, "Le procès de Matteo et de Galeazzo Visconti," in: Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire Vol. 29, 1909. pp. 269-327, an essay to which Ross graciously called my attention.
First, from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_Milan and links), for the period 1268-1317: After 1268, the della Torre family continues to hold power in Milan and refuses to let the archbishop appointed in 1462, Ottone Visconti, take his seat, until Ottone defeats them in battle in 1278. He rules until his death in 1295. He is succeeded as lord of Milan by his nephew Matteo Visconti. It is under him, of course, that Manfreda and Andrea are burned at the stake, and Guglielma's remains are burned. In 1302 the della Torre return to power briefly, with Matteo and his sons returning in 1311.
1316-1317 (Lea,vol. 3 p. 196-7). John XXII becomes Pope;
According to the charges against Matteo, however, Matteo "violently expelled four inquisitors from Milan four inquisitors of heretics called by the authority of the Lord Pope" (Newman p. 21f, translating Andre-Michel, Le Proces p. 196). I have not located this passage in the charges....his first thought was to unite Italy under his overlordship...Early in December he despatched Bernard Gui, the Inquisitor of Toulouse, and Bertrand, Franciscan Minister of Aquitaine, as nuncios to effect that purpose. Neither Guelfs nor Ghibellines were inclined to accept his views... Especially recalcitrant were the threee Ghibelline chiefs of Lombardy, Matteo Visconti, known as the Great, who ruled over the greater part of the region and still retained the title of Imperial Vicar bestowed on him by Henry VII, Cane della Scala, Lord of Verona, and Passerino of Mantua. They received his envoys with all due honor, but found excuses for evading his commands.
1317. (p. 197)
1318. (p. 197) John issuesIn March, 1317, John issued a bull in which he declared that all the imperial appointments had lapsed on the death of [Emperor] Henry, that until his successor had received the papal approval all the power of the empire vested in the Holy See, and that whoever presumed to exercise those powers without permission was guilty of treason to the Church.
May 1321. Matteo and his sons, having not appeared before the tribunal, are found guilty. An interdict is imposed on Milan and other cities under Visconti rule. Repeated Jan. 1322, in a papal bull, and in final form March 1322. Here is Lea's summary of the charges of which Matteo is found guilty. I highlight the most relevant part for us. (p. 200):a bull decreeing excommunication on Matteo, Cane [of Verona], Passerino [of Mantua], and all who refused obedience. This was speedily followed by formal motions and citations to trial on charges of heresy, Matteo and his sons being the chief objects of persecution,. It was not difficult to find materials for these, furnished by refugees from Milan at the papal court--Bonifacio di Farra, Lorenzo Gallini, and others.
I cite the whole list mainly because it was a matter of public record, repeated over and over again, and something any Visconti descendant would or should have been educated in, in case new charges were visited upon them. As will be clear from the Latin below, people were judged guilty by association.He had imposed taxes on the churches and collected them by violence; he had forcibly installed his creatures as superiors in monasteries and his concubines in nunneries; he had imprisoned ecclesiastics and tortured them--some had died in prison and others still lingered there; he had expelled prelates and seized their lands; he had prevented the transmission of money to the papal camera, even some collected for the Holy Land; he had accepted and opened letters between the pope and the legates; he had attacked and slain crusaders assembled in Milan for the Holy Land; he had disregarded excommunication, thus showing he had erred in the faith as to the sacraments and the power of the keys; he had prevented the interdict laid upon Milan from being observed; he had obstructed prelates from holding synods and visiting their dioceses, thus favoring heresies and scandals; his enormous crimes show that he is an offshoot of heresy, his ancestors having been suspect and some of them burned, and he has for officials and confidants heretics, such as Francesco Garbagnate, on whom crosses had been imposed; he has expelled the Inquisition from Florence [this should be "Milan," I think]; he interposed in favor of Maifreda who was burned; he is an invoker of demons, seeking from them advice and responses; he denies the resurrection of the flesh; he has endured papal excommunication for more than three years, and when cited for examination into his faith he refused to appear.
Here now are some selections from the Latin text of the condemnation, those passages of relevance to us, with my assuredly not fully accurate translation. It is my attempt to make sense of what comes out of Google Translate, using the online dictionaries. Also, I am not totally sure I have the right spelling of some of the Latin words, as it is sometimes hard to distinguish, for example, a "c" from an "e," or a "v" from an "r."
That the soul goes directly to heaven or hell without resurrection of the body was a Waldensian belief, according to Gui (p. 54), who says of them,Deponit quod si non fuisset dimissum quando procedebatur contra Manfredam et heresim suam propter timorem Mathei qui dominabatur tunc Mediolani, multa fuissent tunc dicta et inventa contra fidem que non fuerunt revelata quia illi qui scierant timore
ipsius Mathei non fuerunt ausi revelare . (p. 318)
(Deposes that if it had not been released when issued against Manfreda and heresy, the fear of Matteo who then ruled Milan, many would have spoken and then found against the faith who were not revealed because they who had fear of Matteo did not dare to reveal it.)
. . . Deponit quod audivit quod Matheus rogavit pro quibusdam infamatis de heresi tempore processuum contra Manfredain hereticam combustam . . .
. . . Deponit quod Matheus tunc dominus Mediolani rogavit pro quodam Guidone Stanpherio, qui erat acusatus et suspectus de heresi Manfrede vel Guillelme, et suis precibus liberavit eum.
[f. 19] De resurrectione et providencia divina, videlicet quod non credit carnis resurrexionem, nec divinani providenciam circa actus humanos.
Deponit quod audivit ab ipso Matheo quod quando homo moritur anima ejus vadit quo ire débet et nunquam resurgit corpus ejus ad judicium. Et de fama super hoc. (319)
(Deposes that it was heard that Matteo requested for some people disgraced by heresy at the time of the trial against Manfreda burnt for heresy. . .
. . . Deposes that Matteo, then ruler of Milan, requested for Guido Stanpherio, who was accused and suspected of the heresy of Manfreda or Guillelma, that he be liberated at his request.
[f. 19] Of the resurrection and divine providence, that he does not believe in the resurrection, nor divine providence concerning human activity.
Deposes that from Matteo was heard that when a man dies, his soul goes where it goes and never resurrects with its body at judgment. And of glory above this.
We will see an allusion to the denial of purgatory in the next selection.They say and teach that when the soul leaves the body it goes immediately to paadise, if it is to be saved, or to hell if it is to be damned, and that there is no other place for souls after this life but paradise or hell.
In the above, it is is alleged specifically that Manfreda is related to the Visconti via Matteo's mother. Regarding Cortenova, you will recall, from my previous post, that Egidio, Count of Cortennova, turned over his castle to the heretics, with the result that the inquisitors razed it; then he seized another castle and installed his heretics there. This all happened before 1254. Andrea is Andrea Saramita, leader with Manfreda of the Guglielmites. "Marked with crosses" means: required to wear a large gold cross sewn into one's upper garment, front and back. However according to Lea they could get out of this requirement by paying a fine.Item, quod mater dicti Mathei fuit de cognatione Magfrede heretice combuste...
[f. 22 v] Item, quod Matheus rogavit pro liberatione Magfrede heretice, jam deprehense et tradende judicio seculari.
Item, quod, habuit sororem patris vel avi [nomine Garafola] nuptam corniti de Curtenova (1), receptatori et credenti hereticorum, cuius castrum fuit per Inquisitores funditus dissipatum . . .
[f° 23] Item, quod in suo dominio astrinxit sibi et conciliarios secretarios habuit et habet et promovit suspectos et notatos de heresi, scilicet comitem Otolinum de Curtenova, consobrinum suum, qui negabat purgatorium dicens quod clerici finxerant hoc pro lucro; item, Franciscum de Garbanhate qui fuit de secta dicte Magfrede et propter hoc crucesignatus; item, Scotum de Sancto Geminiano, de favore hereticorum notatum; item, Franciscum de Parma qui in officiis suis inquisitores multipliciter gravavit et nuper Papie fuit per inquisitorem omni officio publico privatus et condempnatus quia (se) manifeste officio inquisitionis se opposuerat: item, Otonem et Goffredum de Castana, hereticorum filios vel nepotes; item, Andream, hereticum combustum, Albertonum de Novate, Otolinum de Garbanhate, Felesinum Tarentanum, Francisquinum de Malcasata (?), omnes crucesignatos . . .
[f 23 v°] Item, dicit se credere et audivisse. quod magister Antonius Parmensis qui est conciliarius et medicus dicti Mathei est magnus hereticus . . .
[fu24] Item, quod pluries et in pluribus locis impedivit officium inquisitionis heretice pravitatis per se vel per ministros seu officiales . . .
[1. Cortenova, Lombardie, prov. de Come] (322)
(Item, that Matteo's mother was of the family of Magfreda, [female] heretic burnt ...
[f. V 22] Item, that Matteo asked for the liberation of the [female] heretic Magfreda, now arrested and handed over to the secular court.
Item, that he had a sister of his father or grandfather [named Garafola] married to the Count of Curtenova (1), received and believed heretics, whose castle was completely destroyed by inquisitors. . .
[23° f] Item, that in his domain he had counselors and secretaries and successfully promoted those suspected and noted of heresy, namely, Count Otolinum Curtenova, his cousin, who denied purgatory, that the clergy have imagined, saying it for gain, and again, Francis Garbanhate who was of the said sect of Manfreda and because of this marked with crosses, and again, Scotum of St. Geminianus noted to favor heretics, again Francis of Parma, who in office multiply aggrieved the inquisitors and recently the Papie [the Papacy?] was by the inquisitors condemned from holding any public office, which it is clearly the duty of inquisitors to oppose; item, Otho and Goffredum de Castana, children or grandchildren of heretics; item, Andrea, heretic who was burned, Albertonum de Novate, Otolinum Garbanhate, Felesinum Tarentanum, Francisquinum da da Malcasata (?), all marked with crosses. . .
[f ° v 23] Item, it is believed and heard that Master Antonio Parmensis, who is a councilor and doctor, said that Matteo is a great heretic. . .
[fu24] Also, that in many times, and in many places, he has impeded with heretical wickedness the duty of the inquistitors, by himself or through his officers or officials. . .
[1. Cortenova, Lombardy, Prov. Come] (322))
There is also this in the charges, about Galeazzo, Matteo's oldest son and heir:
This would make Galeazzo more guilty of heresy than Matteo, who merely hinders its prosecution. The other brothers are mostly charged with interfering with the inquisitors and other church officials in their appointed duties.[f° 11 v°] XX. — Quod fuit de secta Manfrede, heretice, et sjeìus condemnatorum per inquisitores.
. . . Deponit quod audivit a quodam fratre Pezolo, converso ordinis Heremitarum, qui fuerat hostiarius dicte heretice, quod Galeazeus frequenter ibat cum aliis ad domum dicte Manfrede, qui damnati fuerunt propter illum errorem, ipso fratre Pezolo, hostiario. vidente. Quidam alius deponit se audivisse quando detectus fuit error predictus dicte Manfrede quod Galeazeus fuisset cruce signatus nisi quia Matheus pater ejus fecit cum ire ad pedes inquisitoris cum corrigia ad collum, ut parceretur ei.
(That he was of the sect Manfreda, the [female] heretic, and was condemned by the inquisitors.
. . . Deposes that was heard from a brother Pezolo, converted to the order of the Hermits, who had been a doorkeeper of the said heretics, that Galeazzo frequently went with others to the house of the so-called Manfrede, who have been condemned because of their error, the brother Pezolo himself, doorkeeper, witness. Another deposes that it was heard when the error was detected of the so-called Manfrede, that Galeazzo would have been marked with a cross except that Matteo, his father, went to the feet of an inquisitor with a strap at his neck, to spare him.)
Now I'll resume my time-line.
1322. Lea (p. 198f): "A peace party speedily formed itself in Milan and the question was openly asked whether the whole region should be sacrificed for the sake of one man...It is, perhaps, worthy of mention that Francesco Gabagante, the old Guglielmite, association with whom was one of the proofs of heresy against Matteo, was one of the efficient agents in procuring his downfall, for Matteo had estranged him by refusing him the captaincy of the Milanese militia." Matteo resigns in favor of his son Galeazzo and dies in June, age 72, buried in unconsecrated ground..
1323. (pp. 199-201) The sons of Matteo refuse to concede; Galeazzo's forces defeat the Papal forces. The cities of Lombardy remain under interdict.
1324. (p., 201) John XXII issues a new bull condemning Matteo and his five sons, repeating the inquisitorial sentence but with "the omission of the of the most serious charge of all--that of demon-worship--and the defence of Maifreda is replaced by a statement that Matteo had interfered to save Galeazzo, who was now stated to have been a Guglielmite". (However it seems to me that this was already included in the condemnation of 1322.)
1330s. Interdict lifted. (p. 202).
1337: Luchino, anxious to have a Christian burial for his father, applies to Benedict XII to reopen the process. (p. 202)
1341. Benedict XII declares "the whole proceedings null and void, for irregularity and injustice" (p. 202). However Matteo and his deceased sons remain buried in unconsecrated ground even then, pending more appeals (p. 203),
1363. Innocent VI summons Bernabo Visconti for trial as a heretic; he is condemned by Urban V on March 3, and has a crusade preached against him. Peace made in 1364. (p. 202f)
1373. (p. 203) Bernabo is again summoned to stand trial for heresy. Lea observes that the same was done in many other cases, for political purposes, so no actual suspicion of heresy should be presumed. I cite it only to show that the Visconti would have retained a lively interest in circumstances under which they might at any time be so charged.
All of this was a matter of very public record. I would imagine that people descended from this family would have been made aware of this record, for their own protection, perhaps not only of the Church's perspective but of the victims' perspective as well.
Access to this list of charges against the Visconti would not have conveyed the information that Manfreda was to take the place of the Pope at the Holy See at the time of Guglielma's resurrection. That would have had to come from the trial transcript that was found in Pavia in the 17th century, which Barbara Newman speculates Matteo got from the inquisitors who came in 1317.
Conversely, there is no mention of the Visconti in the extant transcript of the 1300 trial, not even the relationship of cousin that is stated in the charges against Matteo. It would seem that such references either didn't occur in the trial transcript or were left out of the copy found in the 17th century. If the former, this might have been part of a deal, for Matteo to burn Manfreda in exchange for him and his immediate family not being mentioned. If the latter, then the copy found in the 17th century might have been edited by the Visconti to delete incriminating testimony.
Besides the 1317 inquisitors, another possible source of the trial transcript might be via the Archbishopric. The Cistercian abbey that venerated Guglielma asked the Inquisition for an account of the charges, according to Lea (vol 3 p. 99): I gather that this is before the actual trial.
The Archbishop did nothing, of course. But he at least got a copy of the charges, which might have included the part about becoming Pope. Also, he might also have asked for a transcript once the trial was done, given the high social standing of those involved and the abbey's interest. From there, it would have been easy to transfer the document to the Visconti once they regained control of the archbishopric in 1339, in the person of Giovanni Visconti (yes, one of the sons of Matteo who had been condemned in 1322; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_ ... rchbishop)).Then the Guglielmites applied to the Abbot of Chiaravalle and to one of his monks, Marchisio di Veddano, himself suspected of Guglielmitism. These asked to have a copy of the bull, and one was duly made by a notary and given to them, which they took to the Archbishop of Milan at Cassano, and asked him to place the investigation of the matter in their hands.