laude represent a particularly significant and unique aspect of Italian medieval devotional literature. Tracing their origin from St. Francis of Assisi's
Laudes creaturarum, the
laude developed into a popular poetic form among religious groups. This book contains a collection of
laude composed in the area of central Italy. They are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to the patron saint of Arezzo, and to several other religious figures. All share the traditional hortatory fervor and effusion for divine love and protection. They also reveal the writers' considerable knowledge of hagiographical and historical traditions.