Libri idiotarum  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Libri idiotarum" ("books of the ignorant, or "books of the illiterate") is an expression attributed Pope Gregory I. The expression refers to visual representations and is first recorded in a letter of Gregory to Serenus of Marseille in which he writes: "For pictorial representation is made use of in Churches for this reason; that such as are ignorant of letters may at least read by looking at the walls what they cannot read in books."[1]

The expression is also found in Molanus's De picturis et imaginibus sacris:

"Quod in libris prohibetur, prohibendum etiam esse in picturis, quae sunt idiotarum libri.” (“What is forbidden in books should even be forbidden in paintings, which are the books of the illiterate”).

The expression has also been attributed to Saint Augustine.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Libri idiotarum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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