(Italian Pataria), adherents of a popular movement in northern Italy during the second half of the 11th century.
The Patarine movement began in Asti, Varese, and Pavia with the expulsion of bishops appointed by the emperor. Its chief center was Milan, whose Pataria quarter (the city’s flea market) gave the movement its name. The Patarine movement assumed the form of a religious struggle, in which its leaders Arialdo and Landulph, supporters of the Cluniac reform, attacked marriage among the clergy and the practice of simony. In essence, however, it was an uprising by the urban poor against both the clergy and the feudal lords. Pope Victor II (1055–57) anathematized the movement’s leaders, but subsequently Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) supported the Patarines in order to use them in his struggle with the bishops, who were protégés of the emperor. Armed clashes between the Patarines and the feudal lords and clergy took place in Milan, Brescia, Parma, and Piacenza. The rebels were joined by vavasors, or petty feudal lords. The Patarine movement was crushed by the 1080’s. However, it contributed to the subsequent formation of communes in northern Italian cities in the late 11th and early 12th centuries.
V. I. RUTENBURG