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apostolic brothers, adherents of a peasant-plebeian heresy in northern Italy. The Apostolici sect was founded in the region of Parma in about 1260 by Segarelli; from 1300 it was led by Dolcino. The Apostolici preached the necessity of a life of poverty and the renunciation of property, alluding to the teaching of the Apostles (hence the name) and castigating the Catholic clergy. They were also against secular feudalists, the urban wealthy, and the feudal state. They played a very large role in the peasant uprising of Dolcino (1304–07); after suppression of the revolt, they were subjected to cruel persecution. However, the Apostolici continued their preaching in northern Italy, southern France, Spain, and Germany.
N. A. BORTNIK