This week I thought I would expand upon a recent series of tweets on Twitter, as it relates to several of my interests, including copies/forgeries and the examination of physical evidence.
In November last year, Jean-Luc Deuffic tweeted about a forthcoming auction:
Before going further, it may be useful to introduce this idiosyncratic type of document, of which many were issued at Avignon in the 14th century during the Avignon Papacy.
“The bishops who signed these charters resided permanently at the court in Avignon, because their remote diocese existed only in name or contained only a handful of Christians and therefore yielded too little revenue to pay for their keep. Most of these dioceses were in the eastern Mediterranean, in southern Italy, on Corsica and Sardinia, and in outlying regions of the British Isles.”
- A standard opening clause, with the first four words typically in enlarged display script: “Universis sancte matris ecclesie filiis ad quos presentes littere pervenerint. Nos miseracione divina”
- A list of the (archbishops’ and) bishops’ names
- A standard clause to end the salutation: “... salutem in domino sempiternam.”
- Two standard clauses to introduce the main text, with decorated initials “S” and “C”: “Splendor paterne glorie ... Cupientes igitur ut ...”
- The name of the church/chapel/image/etc. to which the indulgence is attached
- A long passage listing about 35 feast-days on which penitents should attend church, recite Ave Marias, make offerings, etc.
- A clause with the place, date A.D., and year of the current papacy
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