Graduate Research in Medieval Studies


Location: Hesburgh Library, Special Collections Room

Presenters include: * Beatrice Priest, University of Cambridge / University of Notre Dame, on “Mary on Mount Purgatory: Young Mother or Virtuous Exemplar” * Emily Gandolfi, University of Notre Dame, on “Rolandino of Padua’s Chronicle of the Trevisian March”

"Mary on Dante’s Mount Purgatory: Young Mother or Virtuous Exemplar?" by Beatrice Priest Representations of Mary in the poetry, art, sermons, and other textual genres contemporary with Dante’s _Commedia_ focus heavily on her earthly role as mother and draw attention to the physical aspects of her maternity, especially her womb and breasts. In the _Commedia_, Mary makes her most consistently sustained appearance in Purgatory, the most 'earthly' of the three otherworldly realms, where she is represented on every terrace. We would therefore expect Mary to be represented here, not as queen of heaven as in the Empyrean, but as mother of Christ. However, Mary’s physical role as mother is minimized, and she appears, instead, as a virtuous exemplar. This paper explores the representation of Mary as an exemplar in _Purgatorio_ X–XXVI and through a comparison with the _Convivio_ postulates that Mary’s maternal fecundity is represented in an altogether different, subtle and innovative manner. "Rolandino of Padua’s Chronicle of the Trevisian March" by Emily Gandolfi Rolandino of Padua’s _Chronicle of the Trevisian March_ narrates the story of the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano, imperial agent of Frederick II in the Trevisian March. From 1226 until his capture and death in 1259, Ezzelino attempted to forcibly wrest political control from one independent commune after another, establishing himself or one of his allies as podestà and minimizing the roles of the formerly established ruling councils. As a notary in the Paduan commune and an active member of the council, Rolandino had a vested interest in composing a narrative that would juxtapose Ezzelino’s cruel and arbitrary tyranny with a consensus-based governing body. Using Rolandino’s chronicle as a case study, this paper will explore Rolandino’s presentation of the communal political system that Ezzelino was attempting to destroy and Rolandino was fighting to preserve. For more information, visit the "Italian Studies at Notre Dame website": Sponsored by the Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame