The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis) - Vol. 1

The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis) - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis) - Vol. 1

The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis) - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The bishopric of Rome, favored by circumstance in many ways over the bishoprics of other cities, is fortunate also in this, that it possesses records dating almost from the age of its venerable foundation. The equally ancient sees of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria have no memorials earlier than the catalogues of bishops which were set down by the historian Eusebius in the fourth century. Constantinople can trace its episcopal line no further back than the seventh century. On the other hand, Rome, for a variety of reasons which are still matters of controversy, was regarded as a peculiarly faithful custodian of apostolic tradition; the sequence of its bishops from Peter, the apostle, was cited even as early as the second century as guarantee of its claim to transmit the pure doctrine unalloyed. The episcopal lists of the second century were repeated and continued in succeeding centuries, the later records being expanded and enlarged, until in the sixth or seventh century the Liber Pontificalis, the first historical narrative or series of papal biographies, was compiled by a member of the papal court. Later yet every pope had his official annalist, who carried on the Liber Pontificalis, adding a new biography at the death of the pontiff. The chronicle was often bare and perfunctory, was now and then omitted altogether for long periods at a time, but was not finally abandoned until the age of Martin V in the fifteenth century

Throughout the Middle Ages and until comparatively modern times the Liber Pontificalis was accepted as not only the oldest but as also the most authentic existing history of the papacy. Extracts from it were incorporated into church liturgies. It was quoted as an authority by countless historians and ecclesiastical . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.