Arnold of Brescia

Arnold Of Brescia

Arnold of Brescia

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Arnold of Brescia (c. 1090 – 1155), also known as Arnaldus (), was a monk from Italy who called on the Church to renounce ownership of property and participated in the failed Commune of Rome. Eventually arrested, he was hanged by the Church, burned posthumously, and then had his ashes thrown into the Tiber River. Though as a religious reformer no less than a political leader Arnold failed, his teachings on apostolic poverty continued potent after his death, among "Arnoldists" and more widely among Waldensians and the Spiritual Franciscans, though no written word of his has survived the official condemnation.Arnold's life depends for its sources on Otto of Freising and a chapter in John of Salisbury's Historia Pontificalis. Protestants rank him among the precursors of the Reformation.Rosalind B. Brooke. The Coming of the Friars (1974) sets Arnold in the broader intellectual history that culminated in the thirteenth-century institutions of the mendicant friars.


Born in Brescia, Arnold became an Augustinian canon and then prior of a monastery in Brescia. He became very critical of the temporal powers of Catholic Church that involved it in a land struggle in Brescia against the count-bishop of Brescia. He called on the Church to renounce ownership of the property and return it to the city government, so as not to be tainted by possession, one aspect of a renunciation of...
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