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Ricoldus de Monte Croce


Missionary and writer; b. Florence c. 1243; d. Florence, Oct. 31, 1320. He entered the Dominicans at S. Maria Novella, Florence, in 1267 and taught at Pisa, Prato, and Florence (127288). In 1288 he began his journey to the East, traveling to Acre, to Galilee, and as far as Baghdad. He worked for the reunion of the jacobites in Mosul, and of the nestorians in Baghdad, where he disputed also with the Muslims. While in the capital (1291) he received the news of the fall of Acre and saw booty from the captured city pass through the markets of Baghdad. The fall of Acre occasioned his Epistolae ad ecclesiam triumphantem, a series of letters of lamentation addressed to Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints, and to Nicholas of Hunnapes, the patriarch of Jerusalem, who had just been killed in the defense of Acre. While in the East he wrote also an Itinerarium, in which he left an account of his journeys and of his reflections on the various peoples and customs he had encountered. This work contains the first Western Christian account of the mandaean sect. The date of his return to Europe is uncertain, but he was back in Florence by Oct. 10, 1301. His Impugnatio Alcorani dates probably from the period 130111 and was widely used by later Catholic apologists against the errors of islam. It was published with slightly varying titles in a number of the late 15th-and early 16th-century editions. In 1315 Ricoldus was given the title of preacher general by his order. Five years later he died at S. Maria Novella.

Bibliography: Works. Epistolae V ad ecclesiam triumphantem, ed. r. rÖhricht in Archives de l'Orient latin 2 (1884) 258296; Confutatio Alcorani, Gr. tr. d. kydones in Patrologia Graeca 154:10351152; Itinerarium, ed. j. c. m. laurent in Peregrinatores medii aevi quatuor (Leipzig 1864). Literature. p. mandonnet, Revue biblique 2 (1893) 4461, 182202, 584607. u. monneret de villard, Il Libro della peregrinazione nelle parti d'oriente di frate Ricoldo da Montecroce (Rome 1948). j. quÉtif and s. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum (Paris 171923) 1.2:504506. h. c. puech, Revue d'histoire des religions 135 (1949) 250254. a. waltz, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 8:130304. Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 830 (193860), passim.

[p. m. starrs]

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