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The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg. On Menochio’s Death. - Essay Example

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Summary

Menocchio was an extraordinary miller who thrived during the era of Reformation in Italy. He lived in the village of Montereale situated in the rural town of Friuli in Venice. He also regarded himself as holding occupations as a "carpenter, sawyer, mason and other things."…

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The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg. On Menochio’s Death.

Menocchio was an extraordinary miller who thrived during the era of Reformation in Italy. He lived in the village of Montereale situated in the rural town of Friuli in Venice. He also regarded himself as holding occupations as a "carpenter, sawyer, mason and other things."1 What made this miller extraordinary were his unique ideas which a typical man, uneducated and of lowly status as he was, does not usually possess. He claimed that he has an "artful mind" that wanted to seek out higher things that he did not know.2 His extraordinary ideas were the fusion of the ideology derived from his great passion for reading books, especially those that were highly prohibited during his time.
The wide circulation of different types of publications and the Roman Catholic Reformation had become catalysts in the formulation of Mennocchio's belief. The invention of the printing press, which was a significant historical event in Mennocchio's time had facilitated the publishing of new books and their distribution to the society. This in turn, led to the influx of books and other publications, which reached even the common man like Menocchio.
This new knowledge became a threat to Mennocchio's life as his new ideology went beyond what the society could and was willing to accept, especially the religious authorities. ...
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