This paper introduces Clement III (Wibert of Ravenna) in the context of the general phenomenon of the antipopes, a vast and fundamentally medieval subject. The theme can be approached in two substantially different ways: from the well-established, official position, which condemns the antipopes as schismatics and subverters of the divine order; or from the perspective of an observer who attempts to examine the phenomenon from the inside. This study opts for the latter vantage point, as do the three papers that it introduces. In them, the antipopes take shape as historical personages who believed in their own legitimacy as popes, who often had large followings, and who received their mark of infamy—that is, the title of antipope—because they were defeated by their opponents. With the first of the two methods (the official, well-established one), history is interpreted in reverse, giving events after-the-fact justifications. With the second analytical strategy, the interpreter instead views history in the historical present and tries to comprehend how events unfolded within the dynamics of the myriad possibilities, changes, and inversions of course that life presents. In this sense, the essays in this collection look not at «anti-popes» but rather at «other-popes» reflected in the mirrors of their adversaries—adversaries who won their respective struggles and were thus able to transmit their own visions of events as the sole vehicles of truth. In the same spirit, these essays consider not antipopes but rather individuals who, like the pipe in Magritte’s painting, come down to us not in their authentic dimension but rather through the filters of representation.

Popes through the Looking Glass, or «Ceci n’est pas un pape»

DI CARPEGNA GABRIELLI FALCONIERI, TOMMASO
2012-01-01

Abstract

This paper introduces Clement III (Wibert of Ravenna) in the context of the general phenomenon of the antipopes, a vast and fundamentally medieval subject. The theme can be approached in two substantially different ways: from the well-established, official position, which condemns the antipopes as schismatics and subverters of the divine order; or from the perspective of an observer who attempts to examine the phenomenon from the inside. This study opts for the latter vantage point, as do the three papers that it introduces. In them, the antipopes take shape as historical personages who believed in their own legitimacy as popes, who often had large followings, and who received their mark of infamy—that is, the title of antipope—because they were defeated by their opponents. With the first of the two methods (the official, well-established one), history is interpreted in reverse, giving events after-the-fact justifications. With the second analytical strategy, the interpreter instead views history in the historical present and tries to comprehend how events unfolded within the dynamics of the myriad possibilities, changes, and inversions of course that life presents. In this sense, the essays in this collection look not at «anti-popes» but rather at «other-popes» reflected in the mirrors of their adversaries—adversaries who won their respective struggles and were thus able to transmit their own visions of events as the sole vehicles of truth. In the same spirit, these essays consider not antipopes but rather individuals who, like the pipe in Magritte’s painting, come down to us not in their authentic dimension but rather through the filters of representation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2512501
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