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The Obedience of a King of Portugal

The Obedience of a King of Portugal

Copyright Date: 1958
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 142
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  • Book Info
    The Obedience of a King of Portugal
    Book Description:

    Especially designed as an example of fine book making, this volume presents a facsimile reproduction and a translation of a fifteen-century publication. The original upon which this publication is based is in the James Ford Bell Collection in the University of Minnesota library. The text is that of the obedience oration of Vasco Fernandes de Lucena, delivered for John II of Portugal to Pope Innocent VIII in 1485. Scholars consider the work a magnificent example of the Latin oratorical prose of the period.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3702-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. I The Setting
    (pp. 3-18)

    The so-called Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy, during which the popes maintained an agreeable residence in Avignon in partial subservience to the kings of France, ended in 1377 when the Holy Father moved to Rome. A Frenchman, he died the following year and was succeeded by an Italian, who remained in Rome. Almost at once a French faction became active and elected a second Pope, who resided in Avignon. The Great Schism of the West had begun. It stemmed from local personalities and circumstances, and while not affecting the unity of dogma of the Church, it did add a new...

  2. III Translation
    (pp. 37-52)

    Oration Concerning Obedience Delivered to the Supreme Pontiff Innocent VIII by Vasco Fernandes, Doctor of Both Laws and Ambassador of the Most Illustrious King of Portugal.

    Frankly, I am not an ignorant man, yet how outstanding in knowledge and in accomplishments he should be, Most Blessed Father, Supreme Pontiff, shepherd of the flocks of Christ Jesus, most worthy successor of St. Peter, and vicar general of Our God, who, in the presence and full view of Your Blessedness and of these most worthy Fathers, is to speak, or to deliver an oration! Moreover, I am not unaware of how important...

  3. IV Commentary on the Text
    (pp. 53-78)

    In making the final draft of the oration, the experienced Vasco Fernandes was faced with a serious problem: the capture of his audience’s interest. Knowing that sixteen such discourses had already been addressed to His Holiness, the Portuguese realized that he had to draw on every conceivable oratorical device to catch and retain Innocent’s undivided attention.13

    Vasco Fernandes certainly had complete confidence in his ability to pronounce Latin and no fear of incurring the censure meted out to his predecessor, the Bishop of Worms, who on July 6, 1485, had rendered the obedience of the Count Palatine of the Rhine...

  4. V The Contribution to Knowledge
    (pp. 79-92)

    A study of the sources of the oration’s historical detail would be rather pointless, for the factual basis was undoubtedly provided by Vasco Fernandes de Lucena in his capacity as court chronicler, and also possibly by Ruy de Pina, who may have had access to royal documents before succeeding Vasco Fernandes as chronicler-major. A source study would thus quickly become a study of the genesis of the Portuguese royal chronicles themselves. Far more significant is the artistic use the orator makes of his sources. The factual expository style of Ruy de Pina’s chronicles, for example, contrasts sharply with the elegant...

    (pp. 93-100)