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RICOLD OF MONTE CROCE (1242-1320)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 316 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RICOLD OF MONTE CROCE (1242-1320), Italian Dominican missionary, was born at Monte Croce, near Florence. In 1267 he entered the Dominican house of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and in 1272 that of St Catherine in Pisa. He started for Acre with a papal commission to preach in 1286 or 1287: in 128& or .1289 he began to keep a record of his experiences in the Levant; this record he probably reduced to final book form in Bagdad. Entering Syria at Acre, he crossed Galilee to the Sea of Tiberias; thence returning to Acre he seems to have travelled down the coast to Jaffa, and so up to Jerusalem. After visiting the Jordan and the Dead Sea he quitted Palestine by the coast road, retracing his steps to Acre and passing on by Tripoli and Tortosa into Cilicia. From the Cilician port of Lajazzo he started on the great high road to Tabriz in north Persia. Crossing the Taurus he travelled on by Sivas of Cappadocia to Erzerum, the neighbourhood of Ararat and Tabriz. In and near Tabriz he preached for several months, after which he proceeded to Bagdad via Mosul and Tekrit. In Bagdad he stayed several years, studying the Koran and other works of Moslem theology, for controversial purposes, arguing with Nestorian Christians, and writing.. In 1301 Ricold again appeared in Florence: some, time after this he proposed to submit his Confutatio Alcorani to the pope, but did not. He died on the 31st of October 1320. As a traveller and observer his merits are conspicuous. His account of the Tatars and his sketch of Moslem religion and manners are especially noteworthy. In spite of strong prejudice, he shows remarkable breadth of view and appreciation of merit in systems the most hostile to his own. Of Ricold's Itinerary (Itinerarius [sic]) fifteen MSS. exist, of which the chief are: (1) Florence, Laurentian Library, Fineschi, 326; (2) Paris, National Library, Lat. 4955, fols. 46-55; (3) Wolfenbittel, Cod. Weissenb. 40, fols. 73 B.-94 B. (all of 14th century). Of his Epistles there is one MS., viz. Rome, Vatican, 3717, fols. 249 A.-267 A. The best edition of the Itinerary is by J. C. M. Laurent, in Peregrinatores Medii Aevi Quatuor, pp. x05 (101)-41 (Leipzig, 1864 and 1873). The Epistles have been edited by R. Rohricht in Archives de t'orient latin, vol. ii. part ii. (Documents) pp. 258-96 (Paris,' 1884). The Confutatio Alcorani, printed at Seville in 1500, at Venice in 1607, adds hardly anything to the sections of the Itinerary devoted to Moslem belief, &c. Ricold's Libellus contra Nationes Orientales and Contra errores Judaeorum have never been printed. See also C. Raymond Beazley, Dawn of Modern Geography, iii. 190-202, 218, 390-91, 547, 554, 564. RICOTTI-MAGNANI, CESARE (1822- ), Italian general and knight of the Annunziata, was born at Borgo Lavezzaro on the 3oth of June 1822. As artillery lieutenant he distinguished himself and was wounded at the siege of Peschiera in 1848, and in 1852 gained further distinction by his effortsto prevent the explosion of a burning powder magazine. After serving from 1856 to 1859. as director of the Artillery School; he became general of division in 1864, commanding the 9th division at the battle of San Martino. In the war of 1866 he stormed Borgoforte, to open a passage for Cialdini's army. Upon the death of General Govone' in 1872 he was appointed minister of war, and after the occupation of Rome bent all his efforts to army reform, in accordance with the lessons of the Franco-German War. • He shortened the period of military service; extended' conscription to all able-bodied men; created a permanent . army, a mobile militia and a reserve; commenced the renewal of armaments; and placed Italy in a position to put 1,800,000 men on 'a war footing: Ricotti fell from power with the Right in '876, but returned to office with Depretis in 1884, and amended his previous scheme of reform. Resigning in April 1887, he became a member of the senate in ago, but took little part. in public life until 1896, when, after the battle. of Adowa, he was entrusted by King Humbert with the formation of a cabinet. ' Having constructed his ministry, he made over the premiership. to the marquis di Rudini, retaining for himself the portfolio of war, and seeking to satisfy popular demands for the reduction of military expenditure by consolidating .the tactical structure of the army without weakening its fighting power. ' Rudini, 'however, 'finding that Ricotti's; ideas, which he himself shared, were not acceptable at court, obliged him to resign office. His prestige as creator of the modern Italian army remained unimpaired, and his views on army consolidation enjoyed a large measure of technical and public favour.
End of Article: RICOLD OF MONTE CROCE (1242-1320)
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