Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller
Professor Matthew McCabe
October 3, 2013
In the beginning of The Cheese and the Worms, the readers are introduced to a miller named Domenico Scandella, who the narrator refers to as Menocchio. It was uncertain where Menocchio retained his knowledge, but it is obvious that he picked up learning how to read somewhere. No one knows for sure, but it is assumed that there was a school built near Menocchio’s village. It may have been possible for Menocchio to attend this school and have the opportunity to learn to read books, like the bible. Menocchio was a miller, was married and had eleven children. He also was the mayor of his village. In that time period, most people did not know how to read, especially someone will a job like Menocchio’s.
Menocchio was known to be very open with his thoughts. He would tell anyone about his thoughts and feels about the God and the church. Even though Menocchio went to confession, received communion and possibly had his eleven kids were baptized in it, Menocchio did not buy what the church said. In fact, he believed that Mary was not a virgin and that the pope did not have any power. One witness said, “He has a bad reputation; he has evil ideas like those of the sect of Luther.”1 For that time era, those ideas were bold. The church had a lot of power like a government, and everything was based around it. No one disobeyed the church and those who did were punished. Eventually Menocchio got himself into a little trouble with the Roman Catholic Church, who started questioning him on what he was repeating to people in Inquisition. When asked where and how he created these thoughts, Menocchio said they influenced by the devil. The church did not know that Menocchio could read, and thought that his thoughts were crazy and absurd. One of the things Menocchio said at the beginning of his trail was; “I have said that, in my...
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