Oliva 38
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[38. ON THE CONFIRMATIONS OF AN ARCHBISHOP]

[38.1] William,293 by the grace of God archbishop of the holy church of Ravenna, to the beloved sons, Joseph,294 prior of S. Victor295 and to the brothers serving Christ there, both present and future, in perpetuity.

[38.2] Ecclesiastical solicitude should more diligently consider a goal of religion and honesty, and should admit with fraternal charity petitions proceeding from the root of justice, lest through prolongation of time some right could slip away or perish. For a sacrifice of praise is offered to the Highest, it is carried out in direct steps by the path of charity, when the ministers of Christ and the administrators of the ministry of God privilege religious persons, who are limbs of Christ and of the Church, and defend their rights and possessions from the assaults of the wicked.

[38.3] Considering thus the fervor of your devotion, the honesty of your habits, the fragrance of your good reputation, and the example of salutory deeds which you furnish to all those desirous of leading a pious and honest life, we receive the church of St. Victor, in which you are bound in divine service, under St. Apollinaris' and our protection.

[38.4] Decreeing, that whatever spiritual and temporal rights you have possessed or do now possess by our metropolitan right in the archdiocese of the holy church of Ravenna or may attain canonically in the future through a gift of others, shall remain confirmed to you and to your successors for all time, protected by the strength of our authority. So that all these rights may receive greater strength, we bring them forth to be named in precise words.

[38.5] Thus we confirm and authorize to you the canonry of St. John on the Mount296 with all its appurtenances, the chapel of St. Eutropius297 with all its appurtenances. We grant and give to you the tithes and first-fruits of your parish, the offerings of the living and the free burial of the dead, yet reserving the right of those churches from which bodies are moved.

[38.6] We also desire that you shall possess free from anyone's opposition all your lands, vineyards, olive-groves, fisheries, marshlands, peasant-holdings, meadows, woods and wetlands with all their usufructs.

[38.7] We grant you tithes from your new holdings everywhere, and you shall not be forced to render tithes or first-fruits to anyone from the fields or vineyards which you cultivate from your own resources. It shall be lawful for you to receive clerics wishing to enter your religion, despite any contradiction.298

[38.8] But if anyone, let it no be so!, led by some levity or lack of foresight, should flee from your cloister, we order that no abbot, cleric or layman should dare to harbor him.

[38.9] Finally, we ordain that it shall be not lawful for anyone to disturb your churches in any way, or to remove or diminish their possessions, or to harass them with disgraceful vexations.

[38.10] If indeed any ecclesiastical or secular person presumes to rashly contravene this page of our decree, and after being warned once and then a second time, he does not render due satisfaction, let the devil place him to his left side; when he is judged, let him be condemned, and let the devil testify against this sinner.299 Let a usurer scrutinize all his capital, so that others may plunder his labours; let him have no helper300 in this world, nor in the next, but let him be tortured with the traitor Judas in eternal torments.301

[38.11] But may all those who strive for the sake of divine piety to conserve the tenor of our privilege and the rights of the aforesaid brethren and of the churches, in which <said brethren> serve the Highest, <may all those who do so> geminate like the lily, may they live with joy and exaltation in the passing of this present life, may they flourish in eternity before the Lord, and may they merit to be gathered to the crowds of the saints in the examination of the final judgment. Amen.


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293 William, archbishop of Ravenna (1190-1201). See above, Oliva 10.8, 18.28, 18.32.

294 Joseph, prior of SS. Iohannis in Monte et Victoris (1198-1201). See Quinque tabule salutationum 1.14, which names Joseph's predecessor Rodulphus (1192-1197).

295 Bolognese house of canons regular, Ecclesia SS. Iohannis in Monte et Victoris (IP 5.262-4). See an 1133 privilege, printed in Sarti-Fattorini 2.249, 253. For a privilege (with a preamble!) granted by the commune of Bologna to the canons, see SAVIOLI ed. no. 249, pp. 87-88.

296 It is uncertain when the two houses were joined.

297 I have not identified this chapel. Eutropius was bishop of Orange (463-494), with a feast day of 27 May. See M. HEINZELMANN art. in Lexikon des Mittelalters.

298 Cf. BRIGITTE MEDUNA Studien zum Formular der päptstlichen Justizbriefe von Alexander III. bis Innocenz III. (1159-1216): die non obstantibus-Formel SB Wien Phil.-hist. Kl. 536 (Vienna 1989).

299 Psal. 108.6-7 (Iuxta LXX).

300 Psal. 108.11-12 (Iuxta LXX). This line also appears in the negative sanction of the 1059 papal election decree of Nicholas II (Gratian Decretum D.23 c.1).

301 Isai. 33.14.


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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999