Carlo Ginzburg. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Translated by John and Anne C. Tedeschi. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins. The Cheese and the Worms: the Cosmos of a 16th-Century Miller by Carlo Ginzburg, translated by John Tedeschi and Anne Tedeschi. The Cheese and the Worms has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records of Domenico Scandella, a miller also known as.

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We should not let the long tradition of smearing practicing Catholics as the brainwashed servants of a threatening foreign power—in which sensationalist and hyperbolic depictions of the Roman Inquisition play a part—from identifying the Catholic Church of the late sixteenth century for what it was: Only in the present generation have historians like Robert Mandrou and Peter Burke seriously attempted to ascertain what was going on beneath nad surface.

Imponderabilia: The Cheese and the Worms: Social History with Interdisciplinary Methodology

Jun 12, Alex rated it it was amazing. From Mandeville, Menocchio extracted the view that there were good men in all religions: The Friuli was unique in Europe in having a representative body for the peasantry alongside the Parlamento of their betters. So frankly it was very inspiring to read such a groundbreaking model! The Cheese and the Worms is a study of the popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, a miller brought to trial during the Inquisition.

This is an insightful book for all of us who assume European peasants were illiterate, uneducated, non-thinking folk. The Reformation and the diffusion of printing had been necessary to permit this different culture to come to light. I liked it all right.

Menocchio had a “tendency to reduce religion to morality”, using this as justification for his blasphemy during his trial because he believed that the only sin was ginzbugg harm one’s neighbor and that to blaspheme caused no harm to anyone but the blasphemer.

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chewse He may not have actually read the books he says he did. A really fascinating book, and I’d guess that would still be true even if you’re not usually a big history reader.

Availability Text Usually ships business days after receipt of order. Sep 25, Celeste rated it really liked it Shelves: Menocchio was a ginzhurg peasant a rarity so it’s tempting to delineate his cosmogenic fancies to his booklearnin’.


After a few years he was released from prison, but he couldn’t stop talking, and ultimately the cardinal and pope put their red slippers down and insisted he be burned at the stake, pronto. His ideas are also reminiscent of those of the great anti-Trinitarian heretic Servetus, whom Calvin burned after Servetus had escaped the Inquisition.

This was done for reasons both moral the genuine desire for spiritual improvement and political the destruction of Protestantismand there is often much overlap between these categories. Thanks to the second, words were at his disposal to express the obscure, inarticulate vision of the world that fermented within him. Ginzburg’s concise study was a fine read for a number of reasons. Carlo Ginzburg synthesizes the transcripts seamlessly with the wealth of historical context while acknowledging the lost or concealed truth about peasant culture of this era.

Menocchio now claimed that the soul perished with the body and that the spirit was immortal. Menocchio are also odd, and they eventually got him burnt. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. The most grave of which is that he clearly had too much information for a concise paper, but far too little evidence for a satisfying monograph. He had originally attributed his ideas to “diabolical inspiration” and the influence of the devil before admitting that he had simply thought up the ideas himself.

The implication of this statement—and the cascade of vitriol that follows it—is that the peasantry are more susceptible to spiritual seduction than the elite, who are armed with their educations.

The Cheese and the Worms

The question is whether there was a real risk that they would be, and here the evidence is twofold. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records of Domenico Scandella, a miller also known as Menocchio, to show how one person responded to the confusing political and religious conditions of his time. Choose binding Paperback E-book. This was a shift in the metaphor from geographical to social.

Account Options Sign in. What do you imagine God to be? The translators have, however, added a gratuitous note in which they tell us that Menocchio had a fair trial. Jun 29, Nick rated it really liked it. He denied the sacraments, believed that one should love ones neighbor over God, he believed the entire world was not Ginzbury. Ginzburg talks a bit about this in the preface, and has some interesting and reasoned insights — he never claims Menocchio’s story is representative, th that it represents something we haven’t heard before.


Sure, he was uncommonly literate, and This book is so hyped in academic circles, that it was perhaps setting itself up as a disappointment before I even cracked it open.

The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller by Carlo Ginzburg

They included rejection of the Trinity, of the divinity of Christ, of the sacrifice of the Cross; denial of the immortality of the soul, of the existence of a local heaven or hell, of the virgin birth, of the sanctity of marriage. The historian in me just can’t quite handle the leaps Ginzburg makes from the available evidence, though, so I’m really unsure if I will hang on to it. Sure, he was uncommonly literate, and yes it was somewhat interesting to see how his reading manifested itself into his belief system thus justifying fears that when peasants get a hold of books they are going to come to their own conclusions regarding their contents, rather than those the clergy so dogmatically thrust upon them.

So, the gist of the story and it really does read like a story, which is kind of neat is Ginzburg following the trials by the inquisition no, not the one you didn’t expect, another one of a miller for being, well, batshit crazy about his theology.

We might extend this to the couple of centuries after the invention of printing: Trivia About The Cheese and th The book is a notable example of cultural historythe history of mentalities and microhistory. Now, if only I had more of an interest in Baroque Italian history. He came up against the Roman Inquisition multiple times, resulting in several imprisonments and eventually his execution.


We had Mijail Bajtin and Caro, the juxtaposition between popular culture and high-dominant culture. Quite frankly, the subject is not in my wheelhouse Quindi abbandonate il grembiule e mettetevi comodi. Few of us have the courage or quixotic folly to stare up at an inquisitor asking us to explain ourselves and respond: