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The history of preachers and their significance has yet to be written, Augustine Thompson remarked several decades ago. This remains true. Even in the case of a much-studied city such as Florence, where there were scores of preachers and where preaching itself was a stellar event, the history of preaching is still to be written. Moreover, the role of preaching in explaining many aspects of culture and society remains undervalued, with scholarly attention focused, by and large, on only two figures: Bernardino of Siena for the 1420s and Savonarola for the 1490s, through Giovanni Dominici, Giovanni de Capistrano, and Antoninus Pierozzi have begun receiving attention in recent years. This present essay stems from a larger study of cultures of belief in fifteenth-century Florence and contributes to an emerging prosopography of preaching in that city. I draw attention to a Dominican friar and bishop, Bartolomeo Lapacci Rimbertini (1402-66), in order to position him in the preaching landscape of Florence and to explore the implications of his possible involvement in the transcription of the surviving texts of his sermons so as to present an image of himself as he wished readers, present and future, to see him. The choice of sermons, too, may have a bearing on the way in which theology was integrated into the culture of the day and is the note on which I conclude.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Book Chapter

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