Parole preziose: il messaggio antiariano di Teodolinda e la coperta di Evangelario del Tesoro del Duomo di Monza

Author: Marina Righetti

Precious Words: the Anti-Ariani Message of Theodelinda and the Gospels’ Book cover in the Duomo of Monza

This article provides a new interpretation of the cover of the Gospel’ Book cover now kept in the Treasury of Monza Cathedral. It is a well known piece of art, a real cornerstone in the history of medieval jewellery. It is normally stated that the cover is one of the gifts sent to Queen Theodelinda by Pope Gregory the Great in 603 on the occasion of the baptism of her son Adaloald. Already in 1988, however, Margaret Frazer had shown how the precious gold cover could not be identified with the theca persica cited as the custody of the Gospels in the list of the gifts sent by the pope. It is therefore argued here the hypothesis that the binding was commissioned directly by Theodelinda, on the basis of its material characteristics and its symbology, to be related to the policy against the Arian heresy pursued by the queen.