Photographer's Note

Museum of the Charlatan - Cerreto di Spoleto (PG)
In an era of hunger, wars, epidemics, the protagonists of history, not only locally, were the famous vagabonds from Cerreto, better known by the term "charlatans", storytellers and swindlers, famous for their marked faculty and ability to persuade. Many specialized in begging for hospital and assistance institutions. Starting from the fifteenth century, the original begging activity often degenerated into behaviors that had little to do with charitable activities, resulting in the sale of indulgences, for profit, and exorcism against plague and disease. Monsignor Teseo Pini, at the end of the 15th century, wrote of them that they had learned the falsity, the art of deception, the cunning and dexterity of the language from the devil "their father and teacher". In the Middle Ages, the Cerretans enjoyed considerable economic prosperity and, Monsignor Teseo Pini is always mentioned, "they became famous for the contracts they took with pious works and hospitals, for which they managed begging, with skilful cunning and simulations, so as to assimilate the epithet of cerretano with that of charlatan and swindler ". According to Alberti "they talk all over Italy simulating holiness in different ways, and under different colors to throw money" to the point that Cerretani had become synonymous with people without a profession and begging wanderers who, under the pretext of superstition, under the mantle of fortune-tellers , necromancers, astrologers, herbalists and empirical apothecaries, attempted to extort money and rewards. A profession that obviously did not bring good fame to the inhabitants of the castle. In the dictionary of the Crusca of 1612 they were described as "Those who peddle ointments or other medicines in the squares, pull out their teeth or play hand games that today are more commonly called Ciarlatani, ... from Cerreto, a town in Umbria from which in ancient times such people came, who with various pretenses were making money ". The association of this term with the inhabitants of Cerreto di Spoleto is attested in Italian since the early years of the sixteenth century and has known such success that it has migrated throughout Europe.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17688 W: 130 N: 37152] (202580)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2020-09-16
  • Exposition: 30 secondes
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2020-09-21 9:41
Viewed: 0
Points: 38
  • None
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17688 W: 130 N: 37152] (202580)
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