Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Documentary Sources of Maltese History, Part IV: Documents at the Vatican, No. 2: Archivio Segreto Vaticano: Cancelleria Apostolica and Camera Apostolica and Related Sources at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 416-1479

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Documentary Sources of Maltese History, Part IV: Documents at the Vatican, No. 2: Archivio Segreto Vaticano: Cancelleria Apostolica and Camera Apostolica and Related Sources at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 416-1479

Article excerpt

Documentary Sources of Maltese History, Part IV: Documents at the Vatican, No. 2: Archivio Segreto Vaticano: Cancelleria Apostolica and Camera Apostolica and Related Sources at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 416-1479. Edited by George Aquilina, O.F.M., and Stanley Fiorini. (Malta University Press. 2005. Pp. lxxviii, 327; plates 12. Paperback.)

The "Documentary Sources" series continues to make an invaluable contribution to Maltese history and, in this case, to the study of the Roman Church in general. This Vatican volume provides full texts, many published for the first time, with detailed annotations, indices, and bibliographies. The photographs of papal texts from the Archives of the Order of St. John (plates 2-9, 11) are not really connected with Malta. The long and apparently unpublished text of 1299 (pp. 53-83) concerns the Kingdom of Sicily as a whole rather than Malta, though it is relevant in so far as the island was part of that kingdom. Documents 1-18 are not unpublished and are excerpts from cartularies and chronicles in the Vatican Library and at Palermo, but they constitute a collection of scattered sources which will be most useful to Maltese medievalists. The use of the supplications registers is important. The relationship between the so-called Vatican and Avignonese Registers might have been explained, possibly with reference to Leonard Boyle, A Survey of the Vatican Archives and of its Medieval Holdings (Toronto, 1972), which is not mentioned. These Vatican documents should provoke a whole series of comments and considerations. For example, the letter of 1304 (no. 44) electing a Bishop of Malta was also sent eodem modo in recommendation to the Archdeacon and Chapter of the Maltese cathedral, to the Maltese clergy, to the Maltese people, and to the bishop's vassals in Malta, in the last two cases with a reference to the universitatem vestram. …

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