The Bull Inter Caetera (Calixtus III.). March 13, 1456.
Calixtus III., who succeeded Nicholas V. on April 8, 1455, was a Spaniard of fiery spirit and religious zeal, who exerted himself to the utmost to rouse the nations of Europe to a crusade against the Turk. For this purpose he despatched legates to many countries,1 and among them he sent Alvaro, bishop of Silves, an executor of the bull Romanus pontifex2 and a man of great authority in the Roman Court,3 as legate a latere to King Alfonso V. of Portugal. At the same time ( February-March, 1456) he granted that monarch a number of concessions,4 including the following bull, for which Prince Henry and Alfonso had petitioned.
Besides confirming the bull Romanus pontifex, this bull conferred upon the Portuguese military Order of Christ,5 of which Prince Henry was governor,6 the spiritualities in all the lands acquired and to be acquired "from Capes Bojador and Nam through the whole of Guinea and beyond its southern shore as far as to the Indians". Whether the phrase "usque ad Indos " referred to the subjects of Prester John or to the East Indians remains a point of controversy.7
Text: MS. An official copy of the bull, made on August 16, 1456, in the house of King Alfonso's master of requests, at the instance of the king's procurator, is in the National Archives in Lisbon, gav. 7a, maço 13, no. 7.
References. L. von Pastor, Geschichte der Päpste, I. ( 1901) 655 ff.; H. Vignaud , Histoire Critique, I. 205-206.____________________