Rota (papal signature)

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Rota of Pope Alexander III, AD 1175

The rota is one of the symbols used by the Pope to authenticate documents, e. g., Papal bulls. It is a cross inscribed in two concentric circles. Pope Leo IX was the first pope to use it.

The four inner quadrants contain: "Petrus", "Paulus", the Pope's name, and the Pope's ordinal number. The Pope's autograph or motto is sometimes inscribed between the concentric circles.

A rota was also used by monarchs for the authentication of documents and diplomas.[1]

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  1. ^ For instance, it was used by William I of Sicily and William II of Sicily: Antonia Gransden, Legends, Traditions, and History in Medieval England, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1992, p. 184.

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