Day 4 - Sunday 7th September, 2014


In the morning we will have a communion service followed by lecture by Prof. Stephens on Martin Bucer. In the afternoon we will travel to Volterra, a remarkable Medieval walled town with a 4th Century BC town gate. It has Roman sites and is one of the best places in Europe for Etruscan art. All site entrances and tours included in the price.


Volterra was one of the twelve principle cities of the Etruscan federation. During the second half of the sixth century BC until the first half of the fifth century BC the town around the acropolis had a wall of 1800 metres in circumference constructed.. Another wall of roughly 7300 metres was constructed in the fourth century, when the town achieved its greatest splendour.

In this period there was a rapid development of the economy based on the extraction of copper and silver. Good relations existed between Volterra and Rome and in 90 BC she achieved the status of a Roman city. Shortly afterwards Volterra became involved in the civil war between Marius and Silla, unfortunatley on the wrong side. She was defeated, sacked and deprived of Roman citizenship.

In the fifth century AD Volterra became a bishopric and its fortunes returned. In 1208 the Palazzo dei Priori was commenced and proceeded quickly, also with the construction of many private fortified towers such as those seen in San Gimignano today and the current town walls. In 1472 Volterra became subject to Florence under Lorenzo the Magnificent involving the destruction of most of the fortified towers.


The Duomo / Porta dell'Arco / Rosso Fiorentino, Deposizione della Croce Civic Museum

Martin Bucer

Martin Bucer (1491 –1551) was a reformer who lived and worked in the German city of Strasbourg, now in located in France. He was a powerful mediator between the fractions that arose in early Protestantism, namely between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli and their respective followers. He even sought unsuccessfully to unite German Protestants and Catholics in a national church. In 1549 Bucer was exiled and sought a new home. It was to England that he went where he was gladly received by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer asked Bucer's advice for a revision of the original 1549 Book of Common Prayer. His influence was considerable. He suggested a simplification with non-essential elements, genuflections and private masses for instance, to be designated as such. He also suggested a focus on the instruction and worship of ordinary people. The result was the revision of 1552 which with minor changes remains the Book of Common Prayer of today used in many Anglican parishes in England of often is the basis in translation in other Anglican provinces around the world.

The famous fourth century BC town gate at Volterra


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