Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Pociūtė, Dainora
Title: Abraomas Kulvietis Italijoje ir Lietuvoje
Other Title: Abraomas Kulvietis in Italy and Lithuania
Is part of: Darbai ir dienos, 2005, nr. 44, p. 247-276
Date: 2005
Abstract: Although the early biographies and reconstructions of the activity of Abraomas Kulvietis (about 1510–1545), the pioneer of Lithuanian Reformation, were written in the 16th century (i.e. Oratio funebris by Ioannes Hopius, published in Königsberg in 1547, and the biographical outline of Ioannes Wigandus, written in 1582–1587), there still remain many unconfirmed facts in Kulvietis’ biography. Oratio funebris by I.Hopius mentions the trip to Italy and the law studies at the University of Siena as an important event of Kulvietis’ intellectual biography. Nevertheless, no documents on A.Kulvietis’ studies at the University of Siena as well as on the date and range of his studies were known to the representatives of the Lithuanian reformation istoriography. The facts about Kulvietis’ return from Italy in 1539 and the founding of the first private protestant college in Vilnius in 1539–1540 were universally accepted as real. The article presents a document on the doctorate of A.Kulvietis at the University of Siena. It is an entry about Kulvietis’ doctorate in the 16th doctorate record book of the University of Siena which is preserved in the Archivio Arcivescovile di Siena (Archibishopric Archive of Siena). The document on Kulvietis’ doctorate certifies the fact that he defended a thesis for a doctor degree “in utroque iuris” on November 28–29, 1540. This document is new to the Lithuanian historiography and allows us to confirm that (1) A.Kulvietis was a doctor in law; (2) he returned to Lithuania only in the winter of 1540–1541; (3) the first Lithuanian protestant college could have been founded only in the spring of 1541 and functioned approximately for only one year, till April–May of 1542 when A.Kulvietis was decreed a heretic by Sigismund I. For the first time in the known documents, the name of A.Kulvietis is presented in the form of Abramus Culvensis Gynvilonis. This fact confirms the origin of A.Kulvietis from Ginvila, a fact established by the Lithuanian historian Konstantinas Jablonskis. Kulvietis spent more than two years in Italy. The article discusses the situation of the early Italian Protestantism at the time when Kulvietis studied there. A.Kulvietis was the first to make a network of Lithuanian–Italian protestant contacts, which was an extremely important aspect of the history of protestantism of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 16th and the beginning of 17th centuries. In the period of Kulvietis’ studies in Siena (1538–1540), the Italian cryptoprotestantism entered a phase of rapid development, the consequence of which was the Inquisitorial restitution in 1542. During Kulvietis’ stay in Siena, two outstanding representatives of the Italian Protestantism Aonio Paleario and Bernardino Ochino lived and taught there. It seems likely that Kulvietis could have personally known Ochino and other important Italian protestant pioneers. Kulvietis’ Italian period was decisive in his protestant biography. Just after the return to the homeland, Kulvietis went to the court of Sigismund I, the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and received the patronage of his Italian wife Bona Sforza despite the public protestant manifests of Kulvietis. Bona Sforza was a cousin of the famous Vittoria Colonna, a friend and patroness of Ochino in Italy. Sforzas’s admiration of Ochino’s religious works after his refuge in Switzerland is testified in the historical documents. On the basis of these and other historical testimonies, the article suggests a presumption that the queen had an inclination to philoprotestantism. The last part of the article discusses the first Lithuanian confession of faith (Confessio fidei, 1543) written by Kulvietis after his excommunication and escape to Prussia, which was dedicated to Queen Bona Sforza. Some direct parallels of Kulvietis’ text with the famous public letter of Ochino to the Council of the City of Siena (Epistola ai Signori di Balìa della città di Siena), written at the end of 1542 (published in November 1543), presuppose that the Lithuanian pioneer of the Reformation knew about the letter of the Italian exile just after its address to Siena. The common aspects of the form and religious ideas in these two confessions of faith are also discussed.
Appears in Collections:Darbai ir dienos / Deeds and Days 2005, nr. 44

Files in This Item:
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Oct 13, 2019


checked on Oct 13, 2019

Google ScholarTM


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.