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Letters of Pope Gregory

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781921394935
Author(s): MARTYN JOHN
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2013
Publisher: Macmillan Art Publishing
Dimensions: 251 x 20 x 177 (w x l x h)
Pages: 184

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During the time Gregory the Great served as Pope of the Catholic Church, from 590-604 AD, he sent more than 850 letters to contacts throughout the known world - often using travellers as letter-bearers. However it was a time of warfare in Italy, with invading bombards, and trade in slaves was lucrative - with agents quick to capture defenceless travellers. Official communication, like imperial or papal orders were sent via postal channels, by horsemen or fast boats, these too were often blocked by enemy armies. This book studies some forty Latin letters sent by Pope Gregory, copies of which are included in a manuscript held in the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. It can be compared with a manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and was, Professor Martyn argues, probably copied in a 10th century scriptorium in Fleury-sur-Loire, France. Many of the letters, reproduced in this book in Latin and English, deal with the Pope's attempts to sort out longstanding problems in Naples and Sicily and to save Rome from the Lombards.
This unique Melbourne manuscript, with its colourful initials and rubrication of the titles comprises a series of folios removed in the 17th century and used by musicians in Worcester Cathedral to protect their musical scores. Rebound in the 20th century and put up for sale in London, the manuscript was purchased by the Classics Department of the University of Melbourne in the 1970s.

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