Medieval papal bulla
Filed in: Archaeology
A complete Medieval cast lead papal bulla of Pope Martin IV (1281-1285 AD).
The object is sub-circular in plan. It has small openings at the top and bottom to allow the thread to be inserted into the internal recess. The obverse bears the conventional raised busts of Saints Peter and Paul both within drop-shaped pelleted borders. On the left, St Paul's beard is portrayed as being long, straight and pointed, while his hair is straight and swept back. On the right, Peter looks left with his more rounded hair and beard both formed of pellets. Between the two faces there is a crozier and above are the inscriptions: 'SPA SPE' (abbreviations for St Paul and St Peter). The reverse face has the raised legend: MAR/TINVS/PP.IIII (omega above the 'P's)' in three lines, within a pelleted border: 'PP' = 'Pastor Pastorum', translated as 'shepherd of the shepherds'.
This bulla has a pale with some small areas of corrosion. The lower side is flattened.
Height: 34.62mm; width: 37.78mm; thickness: 6.35mm. Weight: 45.86g.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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