Joachim of Fiore: A Study in Spiritual Perception and History

By Delno C. West; Sandra Zimdars-Swartz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
The Life of
Joachim of Fiore

THE two primary sources of knowledge about Joachim of Fiore's life are the biographies left to us by Joachim's secretary, Luke of Cosenza , Virtutum Beati Joachimi synopsis, and the anonymous Vita beati Joachimi abbatis. 1 A few autobiographical facts can be gleaned from Joachim's writings, primarily his testamentary letter, Epistola prologasis, written in 1200 to the abbots of his Order of St. John of Fiore. Other incidents are recorded in various chronicles, such as those by Fra Salimbene of Parma and Ralph of Coggeshall, and in apocryphal legends of the times.

In the seventeenth century, Jocobus Graecus Syllanous, a monk at Fiore, produced a narrative of Joachim's life. This narrative listed the supposed miracles of Joachim and may have relied on documents, no longer extant, which were compiled during the fourteenth century effort to canonize Joachim. Gregorius de Laude also produced a Vita in the seventeenth century which is nearly identical to that of Jocobus Graecus. Both Jocobus Graecus and Gregorius de Laude drew heavily from the Virtutum Beati Joachimi synopsis and the Vita beati Joachimi abbatis. Most modern biographical efforts are based on these narratives. As with most religious figures, early biographical sources are filled with common legends, anecdotes, and other stories promoting the saintliness of the character. Consequently, very little is known of the details of the Calabrian monk's life.

Joachim of Fiore was born at Celico in the diocese of Cosenza in the region of Calabria, Italy, about A.D. 1135. He died in 1202. His father was Mauro the Notary who held a bureaucratic office at the court of Roger II of Sicily. Joachim began his career by following in his father's service to the Sicilian court. Outside of one trip to Constantinople and the Holy Lands while in the king's service, Joachim lived out his life in southern

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Joachim of Fiore: A Study in Spiritual Perception and History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Abbeviations xv
  • Chapter I- The Life of Joachim of Fiore 1
  • Chapter II- The Basic Patterns and Interpretations of Joachim of Fiore 10
  • Chapter III- Joachim and the Latin Fathers 30
  • Chapter IV- The Trinity and History 41
  • Chapter V- The Five Great Works of Christ 78
  • Chapter VI- The Sustaining Influence of Joachim of Fiore 99
  • Joachim Studies- The Current State of Affairs 113
  • Selected Bibliography 122
  • Notes 127
  • Index 133
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