The Exhibition, The Gospels of the Peoples, organized by the Vatican Library in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Culture, in honor of the “Bi-Millennium of Christ” and on the occasion of the Great Jubilee Year 2000, proposes to retrace the history, both human and divince, of the spreading of Christianity, emphasizing the propagation of the books of the Gospels among peoples and cultures from Antiquity to the threshold of the modern Age.
Author : Giovanni Francesco Poggio (1447 – 1522)Title: De veris pastoris munere liber
Date : 1513Vatican Library
Description:The author – a prelate belonging to the pontifical household during the reign of Leo X – invites the Pontiff in his book to fight the Turk and suggests that the V. Lateran Council (1512 – 1517) might be the most convenient platform for pronouncing himself on the topic.
The representation of the Holy Trinity on the upper margin of the miniature makes plain that the Pope has the necessary authority for proceeding against the enemies
of Christianity. The allegory of Caritas standing on the Pope’s right side, i.e., the personification of divine love, assures him of her help. In the text itself, the author, in a manner of reasoning which strikes us today as quite curious, subdivides his concepts of caritas into the distinct notions of love for God and love for one’s neighbours, whereas he does not take into account the most important of Christian commandments, to love one’s enemies.
In its totality, the miniature turns out to be rather sugary, but this mirrors perfectly the contents of the book.
Author : anonymous
Title: Cerimonie seruate pro corona ferrea
Date: 1530 – 1534
When considered from a linguistic point of view, this manuscript proves to be quite puzzling. Text and miniatures – for example the one representing the coronation ceremony – do not coincide. Consequently, we cannot establish the identity of the author nor the reason why he wrote it. In addition, the folios which were removed or added at a later time, and the different qualities of parchment used, make an exact attribution of the handwritings all the more difficult.
The miniature displays the likeness of a king – probably Charles V, crowned King of Lombardy in 1530 – who resembles a representation of Charlemagne in one of Raphael’s Stanze but does not wear an iron crown.
From the diffusion of his name, from the Medici motto and from the coat-of-arms, we may, however, discover that this manuscript had been created for Pope Clement VII.
Author : The College of the Pontifical Chapel
Title: Constitutiones Capellae Pontificiae
Even the Pontifical Chapel, as College of the Curia and an autonomous corporation, had its own constitution. The manuscript Cap. Sist. 611 contains the oldest completely conserved statutes of the Chapel, which were ratified by Pope Paul III in a papal brief in 1545.
Apart from legal and organizational questions, the Constitutiones also dealt with the with musical usage. We find there not only the liturgical instructions for songs, but also the requisites expected of the singers and the oaths taken by its members.
The miniature, which covers the entire page, depicts Pope Paul III presenting the volume containing the Constitutiones to the magister capellae. The other persons portrayed in the miniature can also be identified as musicians and ecclesiastics of the time.