The Cheese And The Worms : The Cosmos Of A Sixteenth Century Miller

1525 WordsMar 30, 20177 Pages
The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller (1976) written by Carlo Ginzburg was centered on Domenico Scandella, well known as Menocchio, a sixteenth-century miller from the village in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy. He was the defendant of Catholic heresy trial that occurred in 1584-1585 and again in 1599. Menocchio had many dangerous ideologies of the church, which reject an abundance of theological concepts and practices of its time. He was a literate peasant, who collided two worlds, the oral culture of peasants and the literate culture of aristocracy. During his first interrogation, Menocchio often poured out his beliefs carelessly and the inquisitor seemed to have been astonished by what they had heard…show more content…
Ginzburg demonstrates that it was not the book itself, yet, the traditions of oral culture combined with burgeoning literary culture that produced Menocchio’s beliefs. This continuously led us back to a culture that is very different from the one expressed on the printed page. Alex Keller had suggested that Menocchio did indeed read books, however it gave him strengthen his own thoughts and developed more on his own. Keller claims that those ideas had been part of an oral lore that has been handed down from generation to generation. For example, in a few towns over, a miller named Pighino had similar ideologies as Menocchio. Both of these individuals have stated that, an evil spirit or a devil put these things into their heads and has tempted them in their dreams. In addition, they both had the belief that every man is obliged to remain under their own religion. Keller presented that Menocchio’s literacy alone does not explain the origin and development of his ideas, but these two individuals beliefs has proven that it could be a possibility that their ideologies of the church was not found in literature but could be passed down to them during their youth years from the mouth of people that could be long dead by now. Although, it could have came from his mind or from literature, it only furthered his own theory. Menocchio may not have understood what he was reading very well due to limited literacy and not being able to read the dialect his book were
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