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Jacopone da Todi

JACOPONE da Todi (BENEDETTI, Jacopo). b. Todi, Italy, ca. 1236; d. Collazzone, 25 December 1306. The Franciscan poet Jacopo Benedetti was born to a noble family. He signed his name Jacobus Benedicti de Tuderto; chroniclers refer to him as either Jacobus Tudertinus or Jacobus de Benedictis. The name Jacopone (something on the lines of ‘Big Jim’) may refer to his physical stature—he was a tall man. More importantly, it was the common and, ironically, belittling name—unbefitting his nobility—that common people called him, and the name by which he refers to himself in his penitential poetry (eg. Lauda 55, ‘Que farai, fra Iacovone?’; see Peck, 1980). Jacopone probably studied civil and canon...

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