Constructing a Carmelite past and present on Mount Carmel: Giambattista di Sant’Alessio and the “Compendio Istorico … del Carmelo” (1780)

Zur Shalev (University of Haifa)

Zur Shalev (Princeton, history, 2004) teaches early modern European history at the University of Haifa. He specializes in cultural and intellectual history, with particular interest in the tradition of learned travel to the Levant in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since 2016 Shalev co-edits the Mediterranean Historical Review. He is co-founder and past director of the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History.

The paper highlights the activities and writings of Giambattista di Sant’Alessio, an Italian Carmelite who between 1765 and 1774 engaged in the planning and construction of a new monastery for the Discalced Carmelite community on Mount Carmel, Haifa. Giambattista’s published work, the Compendio Istorico dello stato antico e moderno del Carmelo … (1780, and a shorter Latin translation earlier in 1772), provides a history of the Carmelites from its early beginnings, which, according to tradition, went back to the prophet Elijah. The book is a rich source for the study of sacred antiquarianism in action. I discuss Giambattista’s documentation practices, and his imaginative matching of ruins and relics to Carmelite traditions. Overall I aim to demonstrate the liveliness of biblical and sacred antiquarianism in the late 18th century.

“Vestigia antiqua cavernae Sti. Eliae…” Giambattista di Sant’Alessio. Compendium historicum de statu antiquo et moderno sancti montis Carmeli. Augsburg: J. A. Labhart, 1772, p. 65.


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Haude Morvan (7 mai 2024). Constructing a Carmelite past and present on Mount Carmel: Giambattista di Sant’Alessio and the “Compendio Istorico … del Carmelo” (1780). Dans l'œil des antiquaires. Consulté le 22 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/11nhx


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