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Encyclopedia > Donation of Constantine
 A 13th C. fresco of Sylvester and Constantine, showing the purported Donation. Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome
A 13th C. fresco of Sylvester and Constantine, showing the purported Donation. Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome

The Donation of Constantine (Latin, Constitutum Donatio Constantini or Constitutum domini Constantini imperatoris) is a forged Roman imperial edict devised probably between 750 and 850. Its precise purpose is not entirely certain, but it was clearly a defense of papal interests, perhaps against the claims of either the Byzantine Empire, or the Frankish king Charlemagne, who had assumed the former imperial dignity in the West and with it the title "Emperor of the Romans". The earliest date is the most probable, and it is often said that the document could have been written during the papacy of Stephen II, around 752. The Donation is included among the texts of the False Decretals of Isidore. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x582, 437 KB) Licensing This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x582, 437 KB) Licensing This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. ... First courtyard with the guard tower. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Events Last Umayyad caliph Marwan II (744-750) overthrown by first Abbasid caliph, Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah Bold textItalic textLink title GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM GARY CANT SWIM... Events April 20 - Guntherus becomes Bishop of Cologne. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... A portrait of Charlemagne by Albrecht Dürer that was painted several centuries after Charlemagnes death. ... Stephen, elected pope in March of 752 to succeed Pope Zacharias, died of apoplexy three days later, before being consecrated. ... Events Pope Stephen II, pope for 3 days in March. ... Pseudo-Isidore is the generic name for the most extensive and influential forgery found in medieval canon law. ...


Purportedly issued by the fourth century Roman Emperor Constantine I, the Donation grants Pope Sylvester I and his successors, as inheritors of St Peter, the dominion over the city of Rome, Italy, and the entire Western Roman Empire, while Constantine would retain imperial authority in the Eastern Roman Empire from his new imperial capital of Constantinople. The text claims that the Donation was Constantine's reward to Sylvester for instructing him in the Christian faith, baptizing him and miraculously curing him of leprosy. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ... ... According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside-down, as shown in this painting by Caravaggio. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban... The Western Roman Empire is the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 286. ... Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered around its capital in Constantinople. ... In politics, a capital (also called capital city or political capital — although the latter phrase has a second meaning based on an alternative sense of capital) is the principal city or town associated with a countrys government. ... Map of Constantinople. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

It has been suggested that an early draft was made shortly after the middle of the eighth century in order to assist Pope Stephen II in his negotiations with Pepin the Short, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace. In 754, Pope Stephen II crossed the Alps to anoint Pepin king, thereby enabling the Carolingian family to supplant the old Merovingian royal line. In return for Stephen's support, Pepin apparently gave the Pope the lands in Italy which the Lombards had taken from the Byzantine Empire. These lands would become the Papal States and would be the basis of the Papacy's secular power for the next eleven centuries. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 449 pixel Image in higher resolution (900 × 505 pixel, file size: 201 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Workshop of Raphael, The Donation of Constantine (1520s) +/- File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 449 pixel Image in higher resolution (900 × 505 pixel, file size: 201 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Workshop of Raphael, The Donation of Constantine (1520s) +/- File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on... Raphael or Raffaello (April 6, 1483 – April 6, 1520) was an Italian master painter and architect of the Florentine school in High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings. ... The Donation of Constantine is a painting by assistants of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. ... The Raphael Rooms (also called the Raphael Stanze or, in Italian, Stanze di Raffaello) in the Palace of the Vatican are papal apartments with frescoes painted by the Italian artist Raphael and his workshop. ... Stephen II may mean: Pope Stephen II Stephen II of Hungary Stephen II of Croatia This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Pepin III (714 - September 24, 768) more often known as Pepin the Short (French, Pépin le Bref; German, Pippin der Kleine), was a King of the Franks (751 - 768). ... Coat of arms Map of the Papal States; the reddish area was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, the rest (grey) in 1870. ...


Inserted among the twelfth-century compilation known as the Decretum Gratiani, this document continued to be used by medieval popes to bolster their claims for territorial and secular power in Italy. It was widely accepted as authentic, although the Emperor Otto III denounced the document as a forgery. The poet Dante Alighieri lamented it as the root of papal worldliness in his Divine Comedy. However, by the mid 15th-century, with the revival of Classical scholarship and textual critique, the Church had begun to realize that the document could not possibly be genuine. The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla proved in 1440, in his treatise De falso credita et ementita Constantini donatione, that the Donation must be a fake by analyzing its language, and showing that while certain imperial-era formulas are used in the text, some of the Latin in the document could not have been written in the fourth century. Also, the purported date of the document is inconsistent with the content of the document itself as it refers both to the fourth consulate of Constantine (315) as well as the consulate of Gallicanus (317). More recently, scholars have further demonstrated that other elements, such as Sylvester's curing of Constantine, are legends which originated at a later time. Its recent editor[1] has affirmed that at the time of the composition of Valla's work, Constantine's alleged "donation" was no longer a matter of contemporary relevance in political theory and that, rather, it furnished the theme for a brilliant exercise in legal rhetoric. Contemporary opponents of papal powers in the Peninsula emphasized the primacy of civil law and civil jurisdiction, now firmly embodied once again in the Justinian Corpus Juris Civilis. In the very year of Valla's treatise, according to the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Cavalcanti, in diplomatic overtures made by Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan, toward Cosimo de' Medici in Florence, proposing an alliance in common defense against the Pope, as sovereign lord of the Marche, where Francesco Sforza was currently protected by papal sovereignty, Visconti used the words, "It so happens that even if Constantine consigned to Sylvester so many and such rich gifts— which is doubtful, because such a privilege can nowhere be found— he could only have granted them for his lifetime: the Empire takes precedence over any lordship." Civil law was the Emperor's prerogative, according to the Imperial vassal Visconti: "and for this reason you see why the Church is without civil law."[2] The Decretum Gratiani is a collection of canon law written around 1140 by Gratian. ... Otto III in a medieval manuscript Otto III (980 – January 23, 1002, Paterno, Italy) was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty. ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelinos fresco. ... Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationalism. ... Lorenzo Valla Lorenzo (or Laurentius) Valla (c. ... For alternative meanings, see number 1440. ... Niccolò Machiavelli, ca 1500, became the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to political science Political Science is the systematic study of the allocation and transfer of power in decision making. ... Justinian I depicted on a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy The Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law) also known as Codex Justinianus is a fundamental work in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Byzantine Emperor. ... Cavalcanti is an Italian surname, also common in Portugal and Brazil (the largest Brazilian family) where is used by people of ancient Italian origin. ... Filippo Maria Visconti Filippo Maria Visconti, (1392–1447), who became nominal ruler of Pavia in 1402, succeeded his assassinated brother Gian Maria Visconti as Duke of Milan. ... Jacopo Pontormo: Cosimo de Medici, 1518-1519 Cosimo di Giovanni de Medici (September 27, 1389 – August 1, 1464), was the first of the Medici political dynasty, rulers of Florence during most of the Italian Renaissance; also known as Cosimo the Elder (il Vecchio) and Cosimo Pater Patriae. ... // The Marche (plural, originally le marche de Ancona = the Marches of Ancona) are a region of Central Italy, bordering Emilia-Romagna north, Tuscany to the north-west, Umbria to west, Abruzzo and Latium to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. ... Portrait of Francesco Sforza, ca 1460, by Bonifazio Bembo: Sforza insisted on being shown in his worn dirty old campaigning hat. ...


Valla's refutation was taken up vehemently by scholars of the Protestant Reformation, such as Ulrich von Hutten and Martin Luther. For a detailed, account of textual forgery in the early Christian Church, see: Wheless, Joseph, 'Forgery In Christianity, (Moscow, Idaho, USA. 1930),reprint (1990).Aslo, McCabe, Joseph, 'A History Of The Popes',(Watts & Co,1939). The Reformation was a movement in the years of the 16th century to reform the Catholic Church in Western Europe. ... Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523) was an outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Church and adherent of the Lutheran Reformation. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ...

Contents

References

  • Lorenzo Valla, Treatise on the Donation of Constantine (1440). online edition

See also

Vicarius Filii Dei (Latin: Vicar or Representative of the Son of God) is a phrase used in the forged mediaeval Donation of Constantine to refer to Saint Peter. ... The List of Roman Consuls from the Death of Commodus // 193 Q. Pompeius Sosius Falco, C. Iulius Erucius Clarus Vibianus; M. Silius Messalla, L. Fabius Cilo Septiminus Catinius Acilianus Lepidus Fulcinianus 194 Imp. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Wolfram Setz, editor, Lorenzo Valla, De falso credita et ementita Constantini donatione, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica X (Weimar, 1976).
  2. ^ Riccardo Fubini, "Humanism and Truth: Valla Writes Against the Donation of Constantine" Journal of the History of Ideas 57.1, (January 1996, pp. 79-86) p. 80f.

The Monumenta Germaniae Historica (frequently abbreviated MGH in bibliographies and lists of sources) is a comprehensive series of carefully edited and published sources for the study of German history (broadly conceived) from the end of the Roman Empire to 1500. ...

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Donation of Constantine

  Results from FactBites:
 
Donation of Constantine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (420 words)
The Donation of Constantine (Latin, Constitutum Donatio Constantini or Constitutum domini Constantini imperatoris) is a forged Roman imperial edict devised probably between 750 and 850.
Purportedly issued by the Roman Emperor Constantine I, the Donation grants Pope Sylvester I and his successors, as inheritors of St Peter, the dominion over the city of Rome, Italy, and the entire Western Roman Empire, while Constantine would retain imperial authority in the Eastern Roman Empire from his new imperial capital of Constantinople.
Lorenzo Valla's Discourse on the Forgery of the Alleged Donation of Constantine
Constantine I (emperor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3425 words)
Constantine is best remembered in modern times for the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Council of Nicaea in 325, which fully legalized Christianity in the Empire for the first time; these actions are considered major factors in the spreading of the religion.
Constantine was born at Naissus (today's Niš, Serbia) in the province of Upper Moesia on 27 February 272 or 273, to Roman general, Constantius Chlorus, and his first wife Helena, an innkeeper's daughter who at the time was only sixteen years old.
Constantine managed to be at his deathbed in Eboracum (York) of Roman Britain, where the loyal general Chrocus, of Alamannic descent, and the troops loyal to his father's memory proclaimed him an Augustus ("Emperor").
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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