Missionary work in the New World and the Borgia Pope as mediator and peacemaker between Spain and Portugal

Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America

Rome (Italy) — 1493

Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America

Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America

Rome (Italy) — 1493

  1. This bull laid the foundations for the final settlement of territorial claims between Portugal and Spain

  2. The so-called Borgia Pope (1432–1503) successfully mediated the territorial dispute, avoiding a disastrous war

  3. The bull also stipulated that the inhabitants of the New World were to be missionized

Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America

Alternative Titles:
  • Bulas de Alejandro VI
  • Bulle Alexanders VI. Borgia
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The historical contract meant to resolve competition between both of the most powerful sea-faring nations of the 15th and 16th centuries: with the bull Inter caetera, Pope Alevander VI regulated the division of the newly discovered regions of the Atlantic Ocean and in America between Spain and Portugal. Spain pushed for a regulation of the division of territory from the highest authority: the Pope. Alexander VI, an influential power politician from the house of Borgia, issued several bulls and regulations as a result in the year 1493. Among these, the Bull Inter caetera occupies a special position, it was nevertheless disputed by the Portuguese King and was eventually revised and amended. This ground-breaking bull thus laid the foundations for the final settlement of territorial claims between the two sea powers in the famous Treaty of Tordesillas dated the 7th of June, 1494.

Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America

The historical contract meant to resolve competition between both of the most powerful sea-faring nations of the 15th and 16th centuries: with the bull Inter caetera, Pope Alexander VI regulated the division of the newly discovered regions of the Atlantic Ocean and in America between Spain and Portugal. Spain pushed for a regulation of the division of territory from the highest authority: the Pope. Alexander VI, an influential power politician from the house of Borgia, issued several bulls and regulations as a result in the year 1493. Among these, the Bull Inter caetera occupies a special position, it was nevertheless disputed by the Portuguese King and was eventually revised and amended. This ground-breaking bull thus laid the foundations for the final settlement of territorial claims between the two sea powers in the famous Treaty of Tordesillas dated the 7th of June, 1494.

Kings in Competition

The discoveries of Columbus during his first voyage across the Atlantic aroused new aspirations in both Spain as well as Portugal. This quickly produced claims of ownership over the newly discovered regions of America. The Portuguese King John II declared the regions that were discovered by Columbus to be Portuguese property. This could not be tolerated by the Spanish Kings and they pushed for an official settlement of these territorial claims from the highest authority: the pope.

A Pope as Diplomat

Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) came from the influential and powerful Borgia family. He himself is known as a relentless power politician and true prince of the church during the Renaissance. He intervened in the disputes between the Spanish and Portuguese sea powers – at the express request of the Spanish – in the year 1493. In the Bull Inter caetera, it stipulates that: “[…] we hereby bestow, grant, and transmit […] to you and your heirs and successors, the Kings of Castile and León, for all times, in the case that one of the islands mentioned were to be found by your dispatched men and captains, all found or to be found, all discovered or to be discovered, islands and continents together with all dominions, cities, stores, places, villages, and all the rights thereto.”

The Disputed Line of Demarcation

The Bull inter caetera from May of 1493 regulated the division of the newly discovered regions under the competing Spanish and Portuguese sea powers. The main body of the text is concerned with the determination of a line of demarcation approximately around 38° West, some 480 kilometers west of the Cape Verde Islands in a north-south direction going from pole to pole through the Atlantic Ocean. The regions to the west would belong to Spain, those to the East to Portugal. Having said this, Portugal was not in agreement, and they still pushed for an appropriation of the coast of Brazil. Thus it came to negotiations and a subsequent shift of the line of demarcation to the west, so that Brazil still belonged to Portugal east of the line.

A “Gift” of the Pope – with Conditions

The bull Inter caetera was revised with the regulations of the Aeterni regis from the year 1481 and was soon appended through the subsequent bull Dudum siquidem dated September 26, 1493. This last document summarized the numerous papal bulls of 1493 and their continuously modified rules. This finally lead to the negotiations for the famous Treaty of Tordesilla from June 7, 1494. The pope consequently gave the Spanish kings the right to the newly discovered lands and regions of America. Simultaneously, he also set conditions for the Spanish conquerors: the New World should be missionized by the Spaniards. With its unique historical records and regulations, the Bull Inter caetera offers a glimpse into this exciting chapter of world history, the discovery and partition of the New World!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Bulas de Alejandro VI
Bulle Alexanders VI. Borgia
Size / Format
7 documents / 68.0 x 48.0 cm
Date
1493
Language

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America“

Bulas de Alejandro VI
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Bull of Pope Alexander VI - Partitioning America – Archivo General (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo de Indias y de Protocolos (Sevilla, Spain) / Archivo Nacional de la Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
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Bulas de Alejandro VI

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1995
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
Linen Tube
Commentary
1 volume (328 pages) by Alfonso García Gallo de Diego
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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