Fact Check: Leonardo Da Vinci's Mother Was NOT Of Bulgarian Descent Nor A Follower Of The Bogomil Religious Sect

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Leonardo Da Vinci's Mother Was NOT Of Bulgarian Descent Nor A Follower Of The Bogomil Religious Sect Mystery Origin

Was Leonardo Da Vinci's mother Bulgarian and a follower of the Bogomil religious sect, as confirmed by Da Vinci's reference to the Gospel of Nicodemus, a so-called Bogomil gospel? No, this is not true. The origin of Da Vinci's mother Caterina is unproven, with some research showing she may have been a Caucasian slave or possibly an orphan named Caterina di Meo Lippi, with no proven Bulgarian ancestry or connections to the Bogomil sect.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video, currently unavailable but archived here, published on December 23, 2023, with a caption, translated into English from Bulgarian by Lead Stories staff, that reads:

The Mother of Leonardo Da Vinci is Bulgarian - Caterina

The author @amore.2024 writes, as also translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff:

In 1080, Bulgaria fell under Byzantine rule and the entire Bulgarian aristocratic court went to Italy. The Royal Samuil clan moved from Bulgaria to central Italy, that's why they are called Bulgari, although the Italians claim that this clan has nothing to do with Bulgaria. Leonardo Da Vinci's mother was a practicing Bogomil follower. This is confirmed by Leonardo Da Vinci himself, although not directly, but by his reference to the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Bogomil gospel.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-27 224137.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Dec 27 20:41:41 2023 UTC)

Unfounded assertions (archived here and here) about Leonardo Da Vinci's mother being Bulgarian and the follower of a religious sect that arose in Bulgaria in the middle of the 10th century circulated on Bulgarian social media and websites, (archived here, here, and here) following an internet lecture (archived here) by Professor Damyan Hristov, published on May 27, 2018.

The identity of Caterina remains shrouded in mystery, with recent research (archived here) suggesting that she may have been a Caucasian slave or possibly an orphan (archived here) named Caterina di Meo Lippi (archived here), however, there is no historical evidence to link Da Vinci's mother to Bulgarian ancestry or the Bogomil sect. Some evidence suggests (archived here) that she was a Circassian princess, daughter of Prince Yakob, who ruled one of the kingdoms in the Caucasus Mountains and was captured, most likely by the Tartars, and sold into slavery to the Venetians.

Bogomilism, derived from a 10th-century Christian neo-Gnostic dualist sect from the First Bulgarian Empire, emphasized inner and outer worlds, rejected traditional religious symbols and structures, and considered the human body a temple. No historical proof exists that Leonardo Da Vinci's mother was linked to this faith.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to link Bogomilism to The Gospel of Nicodemus, also known as the Acts of Pilate, an apocryphal gospel claimed to have been derived from an original Hebrew work written by Nicodemus, who appears in the Gospel of John as an associate of Jesus. There is no record of Leonardo Da Vinci specifically referencing this text.

Leonardo Da Vinci (archived here) was a polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect.

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