Bene Valete.
Evolution and typology of the monograms of the popes and other issuer of deeds since 1049

[Otfried Krafft]



In his deeds, Pope Leo IX. introduced in 1049 a monogram, which replaced the former closing salutation “Bene valete” and thus did not refer to the name or title of the issuer as his personal or institutional properties, as in case of the royal charters. Because of that, the design of the monogram was independent from personnel changes or changes in the titulary. Therefore, it could become one of the most graphic signs on medieval charters. At the same time its shape experienced significant changes, and the various forms of this character can often be associated with certain scribes. Despite its changing function the Benevalete remains in monogrammatical depiction an integral part of the ceremonial deeds until the disappearance of these kind of charters.

In the present study these monograms are examined for the period up to ca. 1200 in terms of their individual characteristics and the overall development of all existing forms. It comparatively takes into account also examples in episcopal deeds, falsifications or deeds issued by antipopes. In the appendix a few hundred Benevalete-Monograms are assembled as a picture-catalog.

2010, 336 pages, hardcover, index, 17 x 24 cm;
ISBN: 978-3-938533-26-0

Additional information

Weight 0.85 kg

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