Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Livro Preto: Cartulario Da Se De Coimbra. Edicao Critica, Texto Integral

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Livro Preto: Cartulario Da Se De Coimbra. Edicao Critica, Texto Integral

Article excerpt

Livro preto: Cartulario da SO de Coimbra. Edipo critica, texto integral. General editors Manuel Augusto Rodrigues and C6nego Avelino de Jesus da Costa. (Coimbra: Arquivo da Universidade de Coimbra. 1999. Pp. ccl, 1505.)

Coimbra was reconquered from the Muslim cosmos in 715, lost again in 987, definitively recovered by Castle in 1064, and for a time served as capital of Portugal. Now the cartulary of its cathedral is elaborately presented in a meticulous but elephantine volume. (Do not attempt to lift this book if you suffer from back problems.) Sponsored by nine institutions, including the University of Coimbra, the Portuguese National Assembly, and state television, and authored by sixteen collaborating scholars, the volume boasts an historical introduction in 127 pages; various appendices; "subsidiaries" (codicology, philology); maps plain, colored, and foldout; a bibliography of 166 pages; many illustrations; a rearrangement of the abstracts by chronology; tables; graphs; a thirty-page calendar; and several exhaustive indices.

The heart of the volume is 663 Latin charters transcribed in some 900 large, glossy pages; supportive materials add some 1,700 pages. Each charter is prefaced by a brief abstract in Portuguese. The Latin, of course, holds medieval surprises. The early centuries are represented understandably by only three documents, the 900's by twenty-four documents, the 1000's by some two hundred, and the 1100's by double that. …

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