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Saint Omobono of Cremona and the English Merchant on Page and Stage

Paul J. Voss


For the English-speaking world, St. Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197), patron of businesspeople and entrepreneurs, has been an opaque, even anonymous, figure. For nearly eight hundred years, he has suffered from scholarly inattention and lack of popular devotion due to the rarity of documents regarding his life. Amazingly, no complete English translation of these documents exists (until now). This article provides some important biographical details from these early documents and then examines the early literary representation of the merchant character in Chaucer and Shakespeare. The Church recognized in 1199 that the commercial life could produce men and women of holiness. Shakespeare likewise understood that the rule of law needed to be governed by prudence and ethics in order to create a more human and humane world.

Paul J. Voss, "Saint Omobono of Cremona and the English Merchant on Page and Stage," Journal of Markets & Morality 21, no. 2 (Fall 2018): 331349.

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