Publication Date



medieval Franciscan history, Hugh of Digne


A challenging issue for medieval Franciscan history is how and why the Rule of St. Francis was modified so shortly after the founder's death in 1126. One of the earliest and most important expositions of the Rule was written sometime in the middle of the thirteenth century by the southern French Joachite-Franciscan and scholar, Hugh of Digne. It is remarkable that Hugh's writings have been little studied, since the friar was a central figure in the development of Franciscan Joachimism and served as an inspirator of the Spiritual movement. The Spirituals read his treatises with great respect and admiration. To them he was a zealot for poverty and a heroic figure who had attempted to reinforce the Rule of the founder by an extensive gloss during the first period of laxity among the Friars Minor. Thus, many times he is quoted by Olivi, Clareno, and Casale. In his own time, Hugh was a widely known scholar who coutned among his friends John of parma, Roberte Grossetest, and Adam Marsh.