Lot 11
  • 11

Papal Bull Permitting the Return of Jews to the Papal States, Rome: 22 October 1586

8,000 - 12,000 USD
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  • ink, paper
4 leaves (8 ½ x 5 7/8 in.; 218 x 150 mm). Written in brown ink on parchment in Latin italic script, heading in humanist minuscule script. 27 lines. Autograph notarial subscriptions. Stained and soiled. Hole at central crease affecting a few letters on ff. 3-4, repaired. Small round hole through lower inner corner of blank margin for attachment of seal (seal not present), repaired.

Catalogue Note

An official copy of the papal bull, Christiana pietas, by which Pope Sixtus V permitted the return of the Jews to the Papal States, from which they had been banished in 1569 by his predecessor Pius V. The document permits Jews to settle in all the towns and territories, large and small, of the Papal States, and grants them full civic rights, as well as the right to establish their own schools, synagogues and cemeteries. They may practice medicine without any limitations, and take part in any aspect of commerce or industry. Taxes are reduced for the Jews of Rome and set at a level to promote immigration into papal territories. Jews are pardoned from all crimes except homicide, counterfeiting, rebellion and sacrilege, and the obligaton to attend Christian sermons is reduced to six times a year. Although Sixtus was motivated by his desire to place the finances of the papacy on a sound footing, primarily in order to support his massive building projects in Rome, his attitude toward the Jews was notably less harsh than that of most Renaissance popes. This text is not printed in M. Stern, Urkundliche Beiträge über die Stellung der Päpste zu den Juden.