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Emotions in a Miracle of St Rose: An Italian Eighteenth-Century Notarial Source

A seminar by Dr Sarah Tiboni.

Date: Thursday 12 April 2018
Time: 12–1pm
Venue: Collaborative Learning Studio, Room 2.31, 2nd floor, Arts Building, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley (Perth) WA
Registration and enquiries: RSVP requested to emotions@uwa.edu.au. This is a free event. All welcome.

This seminar will reveal the results of the study of an unpublished Italian notarial source, known as the ‘Miracles of Fabriano’, that includes religious sentiments and emotional responses of worshippers who were granted miracles of St Rose of Viterbo in the period between 1738 and 1740. Notarial sources are generally regarded as very strict and purely administrative documents, but this case consists of depositions issued to a notary in which worshippers recall and explain the emotions of their miraculous experiences (desperation, hope, compassion, etc.). In earlier times, depositions were given in the vernacular and the notary translated them into Latin, the language used for official and legal acts. In the eighteenth century, depositions were registered in Italian, which had become the accepted language of administrative documents. For this reason, the text of depositions became more genuine and adhered more closely to the emotional responses of devotees. Apart from the emotional moods of people who were granted miracles of St Rose of Viterbo, it has also been possible to analyse the reactions of a little ‘emotional community’ that lived in Fabriano (family, the neighborhood, doctors, priests, the collector of relics in the city, etc.), along with the records of relics and devotional objects involved in the healing process (St Rose’s water, St Rose’s oil lamp, the cord of St Rose’s dress, etc.). The seminar will also consider this evidence.

Sarah Tiboni is an Honorary Associate in the Meanings Program of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Europe 1100–1800 at The University of Western Australia. The focus of this research is the study of the devotional emotions in the miracles. She graduated (MA) in Archival Studies from the University of Pisa in 2001, received a Diploma from the National Training School on editing historical documentary sources from Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medioevo in Rome in 2010, and completed her PhD in Archival Studies from the University of Siena in 2016. Sarah is also an archivist from Archival School of Florence State Archive and works as an archivist in Italian archives. Her main research interest is in the Italian historical and archival studies and on editing of documentary sources. She is also interested in abandoned childhood, ancient hospitals and Italian cultural heritage. Sarah is currently board member of the Centro Studi Santa Rosa da Viterbo (Viterbo, Italy), a non-profit organisation created to study the historical archives of St Rose from Viterbo and to valorise archival studies in general.

This seminar is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group, and Italian Studies within the School of Humanities at The University of Western Australia.

Image: Ex-voto, c.1678. Courtesy of the Monastery of St Rose of Viterbo (Viterbo, Italy).