The Exhibition

On August 1st, 517, bent over his desk, in a silence that we imagine was sullied by the proximity of the waters of the Adige, the cleric Ursicino was finishing up writing a book for the Verona Cathedral.

In doing so, with a gesture that few people practiced in those times, he put his signature and date on it. Then, that book with the lives of Martin, bishop of Tours, and of Paul, monk in the Thebaid, wound up on the shelf: book among the books, unique among many other unique pieces.

What is extraordinary then, in the history of this "ordinary" book? Simple: the vast majority of books written more than a thousand and five hundred years ago in the West have disappeared for centuries: fires, flooding, censorship, bombings, malicious subtractions, raids and thefts have done their indifferent work of destruction. Ursicino's book, together with the others which were deposited next to it… on the contrary, no. The headquarters in which they are still preserved, from which they never moved, saved them from each of those agents of destruction and brought them to us.

These splinters of our common (albeit remote) past are somehow time travelers, survivors, more unique than rare (this is indeed the case to say), ready to make their voices heard from millenary distances, to tell so exciting, rather than documenting in a neutral tone, the story that generated them.
Each of those books, indeed, has its own story to tell of that century, the VI (the 501 and the 600 are the "official" extremes, which saw the definitive end of the Roman "state" and the creative effort to invent an alternative in the middle of an unprecedented "clash of civilizations". In those hundred years the history of the two Germanic seasons of Italy is made: the short history of the Goths and that of the Longobards, newly born but destined for a longer duration. The history of the ephemeral military reconquest of Italy by the Byzantines under Justinian: the eastern and Christian version of the empire that belonged to Rome. The story that weaves the not yet faded memory of the classics, of Roman law, exhumed right there in the decades when it would have been overwhelmed by the tribal rights of the barbarians, and of the Fathers of the Church. The history of the tensions that shake the Christian faith (now the main framework of the Western public and political discourse), besieged by heresies, schisms and paganisms, old and new.

To commemorate and celebrate the thousand and five hundred years of Ursicino's book, the Capitular Library has decided to unseal these surviving millennials, expose them and allow their stories to reach new listeners. Why? Well, because these stories tell from a unique angle how the world we live in is and what it can, under certain conditions, become.

An opportunity not to be missed to know the past directly from the "voice" of the objects that have passed through it, to understand the present that they have helped to build and imagine one or more of the possible futures that await us.


16 february - 16 may


tue - fri ............ 9,30 - 12,30 am
sat ............ 4 - 6 pm
sun ............ 10 am - 1 pm
SAT & SUN guided tours every 45 mins

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