A Sip from the "Well of Grace"
Medieval Texts from the Apostolic Penitentiary
The first book to include full texts and photographs from the Apostolic Penitentiary, A Sip from the "Well of Grace" is groundbreaking in its analysis of one of the most important papal offices of the Middle Ages. The Penitentiary alone was responsible for granting absolutions, dispensations, licences, and special declarations in various matters such as marriage, illegitimacy, murder and violence, confession, and clerical ordination. With access to archival records long sealed by the Vatican, Kirsi Salonen and Ludwig Schmugge offer historians many new insights for interpreting an important structure of medieval life.
The book begins with an introduction to the functions of the Apostolic Penitentiary and considers its role among the various papal offices. Also examined are the various circumstances for which Christians turned to its authority. Procedures for cases as well as the canon law regulations behind the cases are discussed, along with an overview of various documents that were produced during the handling of a case in the Penitentiary.
The second part of the book introduces several case studies. Each case is illustrated with the help of original documents preserved both in the Vatican Secret Archives and in numerous local archives in Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia. The original Latin documents are fully edited and accompanied by English translation. Each document is also available in the form of a digital photo, which allows readers to learn concretely what the documents and writing looked like and to exercise palaeographic skills.
A Sip from the "Well of Grace" will be an important addition to any collection on the social and religious history of the later Middle Ages. It is the seventh volume in the ongoing Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Canon Law series.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Kirsi Salonen is associate professor of medieval history at the University of Tampere in Finland. Ludwig Schmugge, a professor of medieval history, is president of the scientific committee of the German Historical Institute in Rome.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"Ludwig Schmugge is without doubt the scholar who knows this material most intimately. . . . For this book, he has teamed up with Kirsi Salonen. . . . Together they have produced a pearl of a book, which serves as a handbook for researchers in the Penitentiary archives and as a textbook for teaching the materials. It is a model for such books. . . . We should be grateful to Ludwig Schmugge and Kirsi Salonen for sharing their many years of experience with these sources in such a splendid way. Generations of scholars will now use this book as a gateway to the Penitentiary material."—Anders Winroth, Medieval Review
"Salonen and Schmugge have given us a clear and useful introduction to the work of the penitentiary and the utility of its documents and registers to historians of medieval Europe."—Thomas Izbicki, Speculum
"Kirsi Salonen and Ludwig Schmugge, both having long research experience of the Penitentiary records, have written an introduction to the late medieval sources produced by the Penitentiary. The result is a clear, concise and lucid—occasionally even humorous— book."—Mia Korpiola, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"The two authors of this short book are among the leading researchers working on this material. . . . It should deservedly become a necessary and enduring first point of contact for anyone wishing to work on the office of the papal penitentiary and the documents that office compiled for itself or issued to be scattered across medieval Catholic Europe."—R. N. Swanson, Sixteenth Century Journal
Each copy of the book includes a CD featuring photographs of the following original documents:
Johannes Vitalis: Dispensation in the Penitentiary Register
Other Titles by Kirsi Salonen
Other Titles by Ludwig Schmugge
Other Titles from Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Canon Law
Other Titles in LAW / General
Other Titles in Law