Texts by Aldo Martini, Alessandro Pratesi, Martino Giusti
1984 / 228 PAGES
Of the various types of seals, the category of so-called “bolle d’oro”, gold bulls, of which there are no more than two hundred, deserves attention; eighty-one belong to the Vatican Secret Archives and are splendidly reproduced and catalogued in this book.
Treasures ignored by many and inaccessible to most, since ancient times, seals have been the means par excellence to authenticate public documents, propaganda tools for the idea of power and, depending on the material they were made of and the symbols contained in the representations and writings, conveyors of the author's concept of sovereignty. The work The Gold Seals of the Vatican Secret Archives by Aldo Martini allows us to venture into and learn about this mysterious world, through the language of images and information that serves as a guide. It was the sovereigns in particular who, over the centuries, wanted to stamp with a golden bull not only diplomas issued for political purposes, to this or that church, but also documents addressed to the Holy See; so it is no surprise that the Vatican Archives today boast the most conspicuous number of gold seals. Also enhancing the work is a study of the Vatican Secret Archives by Monsignor Martino Giusti.