1. In “male genealogy” it was not uncommon for a ruler to invoke Constantine or David and assume the title of a New Constantine or New David. Did it surprise you to hear this language used in the case of Matilda?
2. Why was Matilda such a paragon of virtue? Was her prowess on the battlefield striking to you?
3. How did the monks of Polirone commemorate Matilda upon her death? Did the extent of their commemoration seem warranted?
4. The author makes a case for Matilda’s sanctity that includes the verification of her remains, a miracle, and a cult that grew up in her memory. Indeed, Polirone’s monastic identity is virtually conflated with that of Matilda. Mull and discuss.
5. Lucrezia Pico della Mirandola (great name, no?) models her behavior and patronage after those of Matilda. What are some examples of monuments that share this prototype: imitation relationship?
6. If Polirone was revered as a “relic” of Matilda’s visual reign, then rebuilding the church would be a sacrilege. Does that strike you as a justification for merely renovating the church?
7. How does Luchino’s account rewrite history?
8. What role does memory play in this narrative?