Indulgence [Germany], 1454

Fragment; 21 x 21.5 cm (16 x 17.7 cm)


Getty AAT genre
Contained in
Robert H. Taylor collection of manuscript leaves and documents.
  • Title from printed catalog.
  • Cursiva libraria; 31 long lines. Letter of indulgence under the authority of the Cypriot nobleman Paulinus Chappe [Zappe], procurator general and apostolic commissary of King John II de Lusignan of Cyprus (r. 1432-1458), for the defense of the Catholic faith against the Ottoman Turks. Pope Nicholas V (r. 1447-1455) had authorized the king in 1451 to issue such indulgences and thus raise money to defend Cyprus. The indulgence is dated 10 April 1454. The text is similar to that of the two Mainz indulgences (30 and 31 lines) printed by Johannes Gutenberg (ca. 1397-1468) in 1454 and 1455; GW 6555, 6556. See Gottfried Zedler, Die Mainzer Ablassbriefe der Jahre 1454 und 1455 (Mainz: Gutenberg Gesellschaft, 1913).
  • Text: “Universis christi fidelibus presentes litteras inspecturis. Nobilis vir paulinus Chapp[e conciliarius] ambasiator et procurator generalis Serenissimi Regis cipri in hac parte salutem. Notum facius quod sanctissimus in christo ... Datum anno domini millesimo cccc liiii decenia die mensis aprilis. Forma plenissime absolutionis et remissionis in vita ... peccatorum tuorum indulgentiam et remissionem in quantum claues sancte matris ecclesie se extendunt. I[n nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Amen] .” Below the last line of the indulgence text is a note in another hand, indicating cost: “S[olvit] alb[os] quindecim.” The albus or Weisspfennig was a German coin that circulated commonly in the Rheinland, especially the Cologne and Trier area. The indulgence was later cut into two pieces, with the loss of a strip of text, and mounted on a larger piece of parchment, which has one horizontal and three vertical folds. Early annotations on the dorse include brief liturgical extracts related to Passion Sunday, including Psalm 128.1-4, Psalm 142.9-10, and the words “Cantus” and “Alleluia, Crucifixus Christus, mortuus est.”
Robert H. Taylor, Class of 1930, purchased this item as part of a collection of 89 leaves from Rosenthal and donated it to the Princeton University Library in 1962 (accessioned as AM 21140).
Source acquisition
Gift; Robert H. Taylor, 1962.
Medieval & Renaissance manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, volume 2, page 380.
Robert H. Taylor collection of manuscript leaves and documents
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