Pope Sixtus V Papal Bull

Pope Sixtus V Papal Bull

Collection ID

MS.000859

Type

Manuscript

Date

October 22, 1586

Geography

Rome, (Italy)

Language

Latin and Italian

Medium

Ink on parchment

Dimensions

8.5 × 5.9 in. (21.8 × 15 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on view


This papal bull issued by Pope Sixtus V documents positive social progress between the Papal States and Italian Jewish communities in the 16th century. Sixtus V granted Jews full civic rights in this bull and empowered them to establish schools and build synagogues. The pope also reduced their taxes and pardoned various crimes. Considering the harsh treatment of Jews by numerous Renaissance popes, this bull represents a positive act in papal history. Pope Sixtus V even included sections in Italian—a more widely read language than Latin—to promote greater access to the bull’s information.

Created in 1586 in Rome, Italy.[1] Purchased at auction in 2015 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;[2] Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] There is currently no verified ownership history after its creation in 1586. Research is ongoing. [2] Important Judaica Auction, Sotheby’s New York, 22 December 2015, Lot 11.

Description

This papal bull issued by Pope Sixtus V documents positive social progress between the Papal States and Italian Jewish communities in the 16th century. Sixtus V granted Jews full civic rights in this bull and empowered them to establish schools and build synagogues. The pope also reduced their taxes and pardoned various crimes. Considering the harsh treatment of Jews by numerous Renaissance popes, this bull represents a positive act in papal history. Pope Sixtus V even included sections in Italian—a more widely read language than Latin—to promote greater access to the bull’s information.


Provenance

Created in 1586 in Rome, Italy.[1] Purchased at auction in 2015 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;[2] Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] There is currently no verified ownership history after its creation in 1586. Research is ongoing. [2] Important Judaica Auction, Sotheby’s New York, 22 December 2015, Lot 11.


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