Back to the overview

Codex documentorum sacratissimarum indulgentiarum Neerlandicarum. Papal indulgences 1300-1600

Compiled by Paul Fredericq

This publication reveals how the trade in papal indulgences, the so-called sacratissima indulgentia actually worked in practice as well as the reactions to this trade from local and regional authorities and from faithful Christians themselves. The underlying thought behind the edition was to establish how far the trade in indulgences influenced the rise of Protestantism in the Netherlands.

The collected source material consists firstly of the papal bulls that formed the basis for the trade in indulgences. However, the majority of the sources included are in fact local or regional documents. Alongside excerpts from accounts that provide an insight into the sale of indulgences, the edition also features reactions to the trade, derived from literary works, egodocuments, and by-laws and decisions of the authorities in the Netherlands.

The Holy Year 1300 was selected as the starting point; it was during this jubilee year that Pope Bonifatius VIII implemented a Bull granting indulgences to mark the occasion. The termination date is 1600 when the trade in indulgences no longer played any significant role in most of the Netherlands.