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. XL. As the Franciscan order acknowledged, C ENT.

XIII. as its companions and associates, a set of men part II.



Bocasoti, Pongilup had been suspected of heresy by the Inquisitors *, and Beon account of the peculiar austerity of his life, which resembled guins. that of the Catharists, they made, even after his death, such an exact and scrupulous inquiry into his maxims and morals, that, many years after he was laid low in the grave, his impiety was detected and published to the world. Hence it was that, in the year 1300, his tomb was destroyed, his bones dug up, and burned by the order of BONIFACE VIII. and the multitude effectually cured of the enthusiastic veneration they had for his memory. The judicial acts of this remarkable event are recorded by MURATORI, in his Antiquil. Italic. medii ævi, tom. v. p. 93-147. and it appears evidently from them, that those learned men, who consider Pongilup as the founder of the order of the Fratricelli, are entirely mistaken. So far was he from being the founder of this sect, that he was dead before it was in being. The truth of the matter is, that this famous en. thusiast was a Carbarist, infected with Paulician or Manichean principles, and that he was a member of the sect entitled Bagnolists, from a town of that name in Provence, where they re. sided. Some modern writers, indeed, have seen so far into the truth, as to perceive that the Fratricelli were a separate branch of the rigid and austere Franciscans ; but they err in this, that they consider them as the same sect with the Beguards or Beguins, under a different denomination. Such is the opinion adopted by LIMBORCH, in his Hist. Inquisit. lib. i. cap. xix. p. 69. who appears to have been very little acquainted with the matters now under consideration ; by Baluzius, in his Miscellan. tom. i. p. 195. & Vit. Pontif. Avenionens. tom. i. p. 509. by BEAUSOBRE, in his Dissertation concerning the Adamites, subjoined to the History of the Wars of the Hussiles, p. 330, and by WADDING, in bis Annal. Minor. tom. v. p. 376. But notwithstanding the authorities of these learned men, it is certain, as we shall shew in its place, that there was a real difference between the Fraricelli and the Beguards, not indeed with respect to their opinions, but in their rule of discipline and their manner of life.

The principal cause of the errors that have obscured the History of ihe Fratricelli, is the ambiguity that there is in the de. noinination of their order. Fratricellus or Fraterculus, or Lirile Brother, was an Italian nick.name, or term of derision, that was applied in this century to all those who, without belong. ing to any of the religious orders, affected a monkish air in Vol. III.

their * These formidable censors were entitled, Inquisitors of Heretical Pravity,


CEN T. who observed the third rule that was prescribed , by St Francis, and were from thence commonly

called their cloathing, their carriage and their manner of living, and assumed a sanctimonious aspect of piety and devotion. See VilLANI Istorie Florentine, lib. viii. c. 84. p. 423.- IMOLA in Dansem, p. 1121. in MURATORI Antiq. Ital. tom. i. And as there were many vagabonds of this kind, that wandered about from place to place during this century, it happened that this general term of Fratricelli was applied to them all, though they differed much from one another in their opinions and in their methods of living. Thus the Catharists, the Waldenses, the Apostles, and many other sects who had invented new opinions in religion, were marked with this denomination by the multitude ; while the writers of foreign nations, unacquainted with this lu- . dicrous application of the word, were puzzled in their enquiries after the sect of the Fratricelli, who had given so much trouble to the Roman pontifs, nay, were led into the grossest mistakes, and imagined, at one time, that this order was that of the Catharists, at another, that it was the sect of the Waldenses, &c. But, in order to have distinct ideas of this matter, it must be considered, that the word Fraterculus, or Little brother, bore a quite different sense from the ludicrous one now mentioned, when it was applied to the austere part of the Franciscans, who maintained the necessity of observing in the strictest manner, the rule of their founder. Instead of being a nick-name, or a term of derision when applied to them, it was an honourable denomination, in which they delighted, and which they preferred infinitely before all other titles. Fratricelli, or Little brothers, is a word of the same signification with Friars-minors; and every one knows, that this latter appellation was adopted by the Franciscans, as an expression of their extraordinary humility and modesty. In assuming this title, therefore, these monks did not, properly speaking, assume a new name, but only translated the ancient name of their order into the Italian language ; for what the Latins called Fratres Minores, i. e. Friars-minors, that the Italians called Fratricelli. Of the many proofs we might draw from the best authors in favour of this account of the matter, we shall only allege one, from the Life of Thom. Acquinas, by GųI. LILLMUS DE THOco in Actis Sanctor. Martii, tom. i. cap. ii, sect. xxi.“ Destruxit (says that biographer) et tertium pestiferum pravitatis errorem St Thomas --- cujus sectatores simul et in ventores SE NOMINANT FRATERCULOS DE VITA PAUPERE, ut e. tiam sub hoc humilitatis sophistico nomine simplicium corda se ducant - .- Conira quern errorem pestiferum Johannes Papa X11, mirandam edidit Decretalem."

Not this very Decretai of John XXII. against the Fratricelli, whicha Thoco calls Admirable, is, to mention no other testi


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called Tertiaries (); so likewise the order of the C È N T. Fratricelli, who were desirous of being considered,

as baie monies, a sufficient and satisfactory proof of what I have affirmed in relation to that sect. In this Decretal, which is to be seen in the Extravagantia Joh. XXII. Corporis Juris Canon. tom, ï. p. 1112. edit. Bæhmeriane, the pontit expresses him. self thus : Nonnulli profanæ multitudinis viri, qui vulgariter Fratricelli seu Fratres de paupere vita, Bizochi, sive Beguinè nuncupantur in partibus Italiæ, in insula Siciliæ . --- publici, mendicare solent." The pontif afterwards divides the Frairicelli into monks and Tertiaries, or, which amounts to the same thing, as we shall shew in its place) into Fratricelli and Beguins. With respect to the Fratricelli, properly so called, he expresses himself thus : “ Plurimi regulam seu ordinem Fratrum Minorum --- Se profiteri ad literam conservare confingunt, prætendentes se a sanctæ memoriæ Coelestino Papa Quinto, prædecessore nostro, hujus status, seu vitæ privilegium habuisse. Quod tamen, et sit ostenderent, non valeret, cum Bonifacius Papa Octavus ex certis causis rationabilibus omnio ab ipso Coelestino concessa ---- viribus penitus evacuaverit." Here the pontif describes clearly those Fratricelli, who, separating themselves from the Franciscans with a view to observe more strictly the rule of St Francis, were erected into a distinct order by Pope CELESTIN V. And in the following passages he characterises, with the same perspicuity, the Bizocbi and Boguins, who intitled themselves of The third order of the penitents of St Francis : * Nonnulli ex ipsis asserentes se esse de tertio ordine beati Francisi poenitentium vocato, prædictum statum et ritum eorum sub velamine talis nominis satagunt palliare."

[9] Besides two very austere rules drawn up by St FRANCIS, the one for the Friars-minors, and the other for the Poor Sisters, called Clarissis, from St CLARA their founder; this famous chief drew up a third, whose demands were less rigorous, for such as, without abandoning their worldly affairs, or resigning their possessions, were, nevertheless, disposed to enter, with certain restrictions, into the Franciscan order, and desirous of enjoying the privileges that were annexed to it. This rule prescribed fasting, continence, hours of devotion and prayer, mean and dirty apparel, gravity of manners, and things of that nature ; but neither prohibited contracting marriage, accumulating wealth, filling civil employments, nor attending to worldly affairs. All. the Franciscan historians have given accounts of this third rule, more especially WADDING, Annal. Min. tom. i. p. 7.--' HELYOT, Hist. des Ordres, tom. vii. p. 214. They, that professed this third rule, were called Friars of the penance of Cbrist, and sometimes also, on account of the meanness of their garments, Brethren of the sack, but they were more generally known by the denomination of Tertiaries. The greatest Q2


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CE N T.as the only genuine followers of St FRANCIS, had Peru a great number of Tertiaries attached to their

cause. These Tertiaries, or half-monks, were called, in Italy, Bizochi and Bocasoti ; in France, Beguines; and in Germany, Beguards, or Beghards, which last was the denomination by which they were commonly known in almost all places [r].

They part of the religious orders in the church of Rome imitated this institution of St Francis, as soon as they perceived the va. rious advantages that were deducible from it. And hence, at this day, these orders continue to have their Tertiaries.

[r] The Tertiaries that were connected with the order of the Fratricelli, arose about the year 1296, in the marquisate of Ancona and the neighbouring countries, and were called Bizochi, as we learn from the edict issued out against them, in the year 1297, by Boniface Vill. and published by Du Boulay, in his Histor. Acad. Paris. tom. iii. p. 541. They are mentioned under the same title by John XXII. in the bull already cited, Add to all these authorities, that of the learned Du Fresne, who, in his Glossar. Latinit. mediæ, tom. i. p. 1188, observes, that this denomination is derived from Bizochus, which signi, fies in French une Besace, i. e. a sack or wallet, such as beggars in general, and these holy beggars in particular, were used to carry about with them. The term Bocasotus or Vocasotus, as Du Boulay writes it (in his Histor. Acad. Paris. tom. iii. p. 510.) has no doubt the same origin, and bears the same signification. It is used by JORDAN, in his Chronicle, from whence we shall cite a remarkable passage in the following note. The de. nominations of Beghards and Beguins, that were given to the Tertiaries in France and in Italy, are very frequently to be met with in the Ecclesiastical History of the Middle Age. The accounts, however, which both ancient and modern writers generally give of these famous names, are so uncertain, and so different from each other, that we need not be surprised to find the history of the Beghards and Beguins involved in greater per." plexity and darkness, than any other part of the Ecclesiastical Annals of the Age now mentioned. It is therefore my present design to remove this perplexity, and to dispel this darkness, as far as that can be done in the short spaee to which I am confined, and to disclose the true origin of these famous des nominations.

The words Beghard or Beggehard, Begutta, Beghinus, and Beghina, which only differ in their termination, have all one and the same sense. The German and Belgic nations wrote Beshardand Begutte,which terminations are exiremely common in the language of the ancient Germans. But the French substi'tuted the Latin termination in the place of the German, and



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They differed from the Fratricelli, not in their C EN T. opinions and doctrine, but only in their manner

of po changed Beghard into Begbinus and Begbina ; so that those who in Holland and Germany were called Beghard and Beguite, were denominated in France, Beghini and Begbinæ. Nay, even in Germany and Holland, the Latin termination was gradually introduced instead of the German, particularly in the feminine term Begutta, of which change we might allege several probable reasons, were this the proper place for disquisitions of that nature. There are many different opinions concerning the origin and signification of these terms, which it would be too tedious to mention, and still more so to refute. Besides, I have done this in a large work now almost finished, concerning the Beghards and Beghins, wherein I have traced out with the utmost pains and labour, in records, the greatest part of which have never seen the light, the history of all the different sects to whom these names have been given, and have at the same time detected the errors into which many learned men have fallen in treating this part of the history of the church I. At present, therefore, setting aside many opinions and conjectures, I shall confine myself to a brief inquiry into the true origin and signification of these words. They are undoubtedly derived from the old German word beggen, beggeren, which signifies to seek any thing with importuni. ty, zeal and earnestness. In joining to this word the syllable hard, which is the termination of many German words, we have the term Beggebard, which is applicable to a person who asks any thing with ardour and importunity. And as none are so remarkable for asking in this manner as common beggars, who subsist upon the liberality of the public, therefore, in the ancient German language, they were called Beghard, from which the English word beggar is manifestly derived. Begutta signifies a female beggar. --When Christianity was introduced into Gere many, the word beggen, or beggeren, was used in a religious sense, and expressed the act of devout and fervent prayer to the Supreme Being. Accordingly we find in the Gothic translation of the Four Gospels attributed to UPHILAS, the word beggen, employed to express the duty of earnest and fervent prayer. Hence, when any person distinguished himself from others by the frequency and fervour of his devotional services, he was called a Beghard, i. e. a devout man; and the denomination of Begutia was given, in the same sense, to women of uncom- ' mon piety. And as they who distinguished themselves from others by the frequency of their prayers, assumed by that

means The work here hinted at has not yet appeared; though we hope that those who are intrusted with the papers of the learned author, will present such a valuable production from being lost to the republic of letters.

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