Dum Diversas

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Dum Diversas [English: 'Until different'] is a papal bull issued on 18 June 1452 by Pope Nicholas V. It authorized Afonso V of Portugal to conquer Saracens and pagans and consign them to "perpetual servitude.[1][2] Pope Calixtus III reiterated the bull in 1456 with Inter Caetera (not to be confused with Alexander VI's), renewed by Pope Sixtus IV in 1481 and Pope Leo X in 1514 with Precelse denotionis. The concept of the consignment of exclusive spheres of influence to certain nation states was extended to the Americas in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI with Inter caetera.[3][4][5][6]

Background[edit]

Afonso V of Portugal

By the summer of 1452 Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II had completed the Rumelihisarı fortress on the western or European side of the Bosphorus. Located several miles north of Constantinople, it commanded the narrowest part of the Bosporus. Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI wrote to Pope Nicholas for help. Issued less that a year before the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the bull may have been intended to begin another crusade against the Ottoman Empire.[4] Nicholas V's nephew, Loukas Notaras, was Megas Doux of the Byzantine Empire.[7] It was not until Alfonso V of Portugal responded to a Papal call for aid against the Turks, that Pope Nicholas V agreed to support the Portuguese claims regarding territory in Africa.[8] Although some troops did arrive from the mercantile city states in the north of Italy, Pope Nicholas did not have the influence the Byzantines thought he had over the Western Kings and Princes. France and England were both weakened by the Hundred Years' War, and Spain was still engaged in conflict with Islamic strongholds in Iberia. Any Western contribution was not adequate to counterbalance Ottoman strength.

In mid-fifteenth century Portugal, the ideals of chivalric honor and crusading were seen as the path for ambition and success. During the reign of Afonso V, the Portuguese nobility enjoyed great influence and prestige, and for several decades the house of Bragança was the wealthiest and most influential force in the kingdom. In 1415 the wisdom and justice of an attack on Morocco had to be seriously weighed, but during the reign of Afonso V and for the century following, "such enterprises were accepted as self-justifying crusades for religion, chivalry, and honor."[9]

The raids and attacks of the Reconquista created captives on both sides, who were either ransomed or sold as slaves. The Portuguese crown extended this to North Africa. After the attack on Cueta, the king sought papal recognition of it as a crusade. Similarly, after the 1441 attack on Mauretania, the crown again sought after the fact, papal acknowledgement that this was part of a just conflict. Such a determination would then indicate that those captured could legitimately be sold as slaves.[10]

Content[edit]

The bull of 1452 was addressed to King Alfonso V and conceded Portugal's right to attack, conquer and subjugate Saracens and pagans.[11]

We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property [...] and to reduce their persons into perpetual servitude.[3]

Wilhelm Grewe finds Dum Diversas essentially "geographically unlimited" in its application, perhaps the most important papal act relating to Portuguese colonisation.[12] Although undefined, Richard Raiswell finds that it clearly refers to the recently discovered lands along the coast of West Africa.[11] Portuguese ventures were intended to compete with the Muslim trans-Sahara caravans, which held a monopoly on West African gold and ivory.[13]

Inter Caetera 1456[edit]

Pope Calixtus III reiterated the main points of Dum Diversas in his bull four years later, "Inter Caetera". Once again the Pope was attempting to raise support for a campaign against the advance of the Turks. Nuncios had been dispatched to all the countries of Europe to beseech the princes to join once more in an effort to check the danger of a Turkish invasion. However, the princes of Europe were slow in responding to the call of the pope, largely due to their own national rivalries. On 29 June 1456, Callixtus ordered the church bells to be rung at noon (see noon bell) as a call to prayer for the welfare of those defending Belgrave. Forces led by Janos Hunyady, Captain-General of Hungary, met the Turks and defeated them at Belgrade on 22 July 22, 1456.[14]

On March 13, 1456,[15] Callixtus issued the papal bull Inter Caetera (not to be confused with Inter Caetera of 1493). This bull reaffirmed the earlier bulls Dum Diversas and Romanus Pontifex, which recognized Portugal's rights to territories it had discovered along the West African coast, and the enslavement of infidels and non-Christians captured there.

King Afonso had requested that ecclesiastical jurisdiction over lands located in the vicinity of the southern shore of Guinea be vested with the Order of Christ, the successor organization to the Knights Templars in Portugal. (His son, Infante Henry, was the Grand Master.) The conquest of these lands "... which the said infante withdrew with mailed hands from the hand of the Saracen...", had been funded by the resources of the Order.[16]

Some historians view these bulls together as extending the theological legacy of Pope Urban II's Crusades to justify European colonization and expansionism,[4] accommodating "both the marketplace and the yearnings of the Christian soul."[17] A combination of pragmatism, fear of the Turks, and lobbying by vested interests meant that the crusade was associated with discovery well into the sixteenth century.[18]

In 1537 pope Paul III condemned "unjust" enslavement of non-Christians in Sublimus Dei [19] but he sanctioned slavery in Rome in 1545, the enslavement of Henry VIII in 1547 and the purchase of Muslim slaves in 1548.[20] In 1686 the Holy Office limited the bull by decreeing that Africans enslaved by unjust wars should be freed.[3]

Dum Diversas, along with other bulls such as Romanus Pontifex (1455), Ineffabilis et summi (1497), Dudum pro parte (1516), and Aequum reputamus (1534) document the Portuguese ius patronatus.[21][22] Pope Alexander VI, a native of Valencia, issued a series of bulls limiting Portuguese power in favor of that of Spain, most notably Dudum siquidem (1493).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dum Diversas (English Translation)", Unam Sanctam Catholicam, February 27, 2011. Retrieved on 20 July 2013.
  2. ^ Davenport, Frances Gardiner, and Paullin, Charles Oscar. 1917. European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1684. Carnegie Institution of Washington. p. 12. A large excerpt of the bull, in Latin, can be found in Davenport, p. 17, Doc. 1, note 37.
  3. ^ a b c Hayes, Diana. 1998. "Reflections on Slavery." in Curran, Charles E. Change in Official Catholic Moral Teaching.
  4. ^ a b c Sardar, Ziauddin, and Davies, Merryl Wyn. 2004. The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam. Verso. ISBN 1-85984-454-5. p. 94.
  5. ^ Hart, Jonathan Locke. 2003. Comparing Empires: European colonialism from Portuguese expansion to the Spanish-American War. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6188-3. p. 18.
  6. ^ Bourne, Edward Gaylord. 1903. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803. The A.H. Clark company. p. 136.
  7. ^ Eaglestone, C.R. 1878. The siege of Constantinople, 1453. p. 7.
  8. ^ Ehler, Sidney Z. and Morrall, John B., Church and State Through the Centuries: A Collection of Historic Documents with Commentaries, Biblo & Tannen, 1967, ISBN 9780819601896
  9. ^ Payne, Samuel G., A History of Spain and Portugal, Vol.1, Chapt. 10, p.6
  10. ^ Metcalf, Alida c., Go-betweens and the Colonization of Brazil: 1500–1600, University of Texas Press, 2005, ISBN 9780292712768
  11. ^ a b Raiswell, Richard. "Nicholas V, Papal Bulls of", The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery, Junius P. Rodriguez ed., ABC-CLIO, 1997, ISBN 9780874368857
  12. ^ Grewe, Wilhelm Georg. 2000. The Epochs of International Law. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-015339-4. p. 230.
  13. ^ Phipps, William E., Amazing Grace in John Newton, Mercer University Press, 2004, ISBN 9780865548688
  14. ^ MacCaffrey, James. "Pope Callistus III." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 24 Jul. 2014
  15. ^ Davenport p.27.
  16. ^ European treaties bearing on the history of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648, ed. Frances Gardiner Davenport, (Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1917), p. 31
  17. ^ Hood, Robert Earl. 1994. Begrimed and Black: Christian Traditions on Blacks and Blackness. Fortress Press. ISBN 0-8006-2767-9. p. 117.
  18. ^ Housley, Norman. Religious Warfare in Europe 1400-1536, p. 187, Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 9780198208112
  19. ^ http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul03/p3subli.htm
  20. ^ "The Catholic Church and Slavery", J. F Maxwell, 1975, Barry-Rose Publishers
  21. ^ Desai, Guarav Gajanan, and Nair, Supriya. 2005. Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3552-2. p. 52.
  22. ^ Mudimb̂ae, Valentin Yves, and Mudimbé, Vumbi Yoka. 1994. The Idea of Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-20872-6. p. 31.