COLLANA FIGURAE

The Cathedral of Modena and

the Abbey of Nonantola

speak to us by means of their figures.

A universal language, always alive,

made even clearer and more topical

by these handy booklets.

 

The founder of the Abbey of Nonantola was the only Lombard saint of noble birth. During his life, he occupied several roles and gained a great deal of experience, which helped him in ruling his monastic community. He was born to a royal family at Cividale del Friuli, the famous Roman town of Forum Iulii, seat of an important market, which he administered in the role of faithful duke on behalf of king Aistulf, who married his sister Giseltrude.

How did it happen that duke Anselm came to Nonantola, as witnessed by the first four panels of the left jamb of the Abbey portal?

He gave up the duchy of Friuli, became a Benedictine monk and founded a monastery and a hostel at Fanano, in the Modena Apennines. Due to strategic reasons, Aistulf donated to his brother-in-law the territory of Nonantola, which was located along the border with the Byzantine Exarchate. Therefore, in 752 A.D. Anselm moved to locum nonantulæ, in the vast Po Plain, with his monks. At that time, the area was mainly covered by thick forests and swamps but Anselm founded an abbey and monastery, which soon flourished and became famous. The monks began the reclamation of uncultivated land, transforming it into thriving farmland.

 

The following books are part of the same series:

THE SPEAKING CATHEDRAL
GEMINIANO IN HIS OWN HOME
THE DIVINE BESTIARY
THE EASTER MISTERY
THE PROPHETS

CREATED, FALLEN, SAVED

HISTORY AND JUDGEMENT

 

 

 

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