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Papal brief signed by Pietro Bembo, the secretary to Leo X : manuscript document, 1516 May 18.


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Leo X, Pope, 1475-1521.
Latin. In Latin.
Publication date:
  • Book
  • 1 page
Written in chancery cursive. Perhaps the most famous employee of the papal chancery was Lodovico Arrighi who in 1522 published engraved specimens of the script which have since become the canon, even giving rise to the misconseption that the script was Arrighi's invention. [Dealer description]
Open for research; material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.
Addressed to the papal nuncio at Venice, Pope Leo X requests that the papal nuncio intercede in arranging an exchange of prisoners to free Cristoforo de Frangipani who had been captured by the Venetians. One of the outstanding military figures of his time, Cristoforo de Frangipani was the son of Bernardino (1453-1529), Count of Segna (Senj) in Croatia. The document is signed by the papal secretary Pietro Bembo, cardinal and scholar, librarian of St. Mark's in Venice, and friend of Aldus Manutius. [Dealer description]
Purchased from Bernard Quaritch (catalog 1396, number 38), 2010. Accession 2010-178.
A brief was a papal letter which dispensed with some of the formalities previously insisted on. This brief follows the traditional form, with the Pope's name on the first line, in capital letters, and instead of the formal salutation in the third person used in bulls, the brief adopts a direct form of address, e.g., Dilecte fili— . The letter begins with a statement of the case and cause of writing and is followed by instructions. At the end the date is expressed by the day of the month and year, in this form: Datum Romae apud Sanctum Petrum, sub annulo Piscatoris die xviii Maii MDXVI, pont. nostri anno quarto.

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