abbot afterwards named
JOACHIM (c. 1145-1202), abbot of Floris, has a place of considerable prominence in the category of those mystics who, like St Hildegard or the abbess Elizabeth, on behalf of a sounder morality protested in prophetic denunciation against the many and gross abuses connected with the ecclesiasticism which prevailed in Europe towards the close of the 12th century. The few details of his life that can be given are neither very precise nor quite trustworthy ; but it appears that lie was born about 1145 at a village in the neighbourhood of Cosenza, and that when a youth. he had attended the Sicilian court ; afterwards he made a pilgrimage to Palestine, and, having (whether previously or subsequently to his return is not stated) become a monk, he ultimately attained to the dignity of abbot of the monastery of Corace in Calabria (onwards from 1178). Here his studies in prophecy and apocalyptic brought him into great repute, and successive popes - Lucius III., Urban III., and Clement 111. - manifested an interest in them. The last-named especially, in the first year of his pontificate (1188), urged Joachim to the completion of his commentary on the Apocalypse and also of his Concordia utriusque Teetamenti. Soon afterwards the abbot, accompanied by a friend named Rainerius, leaving Corace iii search of a more solitary life, set up among the lonely hills of Sylm near Cosenza a new establishment, named "Sancti Joannis in Flori," for which he drew up a new and stringent rule, afterwards sanctioned (in 1196) by Celestine III. From this cloister ultimately sprang a whole congregation, - the so-called " Ordo Florensis." The only work published during his lifetime was the Concordia, which had been duly submitted to the judgment of the Holy See ; and before his death (which occurred between September 1201 and June 1202) he left in writing a memorandum with reference to his other compositions, - the Expositio lie Apocalypsin, the Psalterinan decent chordarum, Contra Judmos, and Contra calltol. .fidei adversarios, - intimating his desire and intention that these should also be subject to the same censorship.
His study of apocalyptic prophecy had resulted in the construe. tion of an elaborate scheme of the past and future course of the divine kingdom which is as interesting as it is curious. Ile distinguished three stages or ages of the world corresponding to the three persons of the Trinity, the three conditions of married persons, clergy, and monks, the three periods of the Old Testament, the New Testament., and the final dispensation. The advent of the last of these periods, that of the Holy Spirit, the " spiritualis intelligentia," proceeding front the Old and New Testaments, lie regarded as imminent. It was to be the period of perfect freedom from the letter, of monastic contemplation, adoration, and jubilation, and of the widest possible diffusion of the gospel (even to the Jews) ; but it was to be preceded by fearful judgments, in which Antichrist should become manifest. He regarded the Church of Rome as having been typified by the kingdom .of Judah, while the Eastern Church corresponded to that of Israel. The way in which he worked out this analogy gave him scope for pointing out the manifold errors and corruptions into which lie believed the Church of the West to have fallen, yet in no spirit of hostility to That organization as such. His eschatology found great currency and much acceptance amongst the stricter members of the Franciscan order, - the " Zelatores" as they were called, - and gradually gave rise to a cognate literature more manifestly opposed to Rome and even to ecclesiasticism of any kind. Among this class of compositions the greatest historical importance belongs to the Liber introductorius i e Evangeliton cderimiii, now no longer extant, except in some excerpts. The work was censured as heretical by the university of Paris, and the order for its destruction was obtained from Alexander IV. in 1255 ; this, however, only stimulated the public interest in the books of Joachim himself, which now began to be circulated and read more widely than ever. That interest died a natural death, however, when the year 1260, which Joachim had fixed as the time of the end, had come and gone, leaving the old and evil world practically unchanged.
See Engelhardt, Kirehengesektehtliehe Abhandtungen, 1832 ; Neander, Gesell. (1. ehrial. 12eligion is. Kirche (English translation, vol. vii., 1352); Ilenan, "Joachim de Fiore et PEvangile kernel," iu the Revue des Deux kiondes for 1866 ; Preger, Gesch. (7. deutscheit Illystik, vol. i., 1875; and Moller's art. "Joachim von Florin," in IIerzog-I'litt's Ileal-Eneyle.., vol.