Saturday, March 24, 2012

A visit to the Vatican's secret archives

We'll resume Ovid on April 4th with Erysichthon's consuming problems. But also, hopefully, with a brief digression:
The Vatican Secret Archives (Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum), located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having primal incumbency until death, owns the archives until the next appointed Papal successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books,[1] and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained absolutely closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, of whom now more than a thousand examine its documents each year.[2]

At our next meeting, on Wed. April 4, we can look forward to hearing about the archives from Arline, who will be back from a trip to Rome.

She wrote to say:
The link on the blog to Roman fountains was most appropriate and good timing, as I am off to Rome next week, esp to see exhibit at Capitoline Museum, LUX in ARCANA, on historical sacred documents from 400 years of Vatican archives.
Meanwhile, we can pay a virtual visit to the Capitoline Museums and to the home site of Lux Arcana, the private papal archives through these links:

Capitoline Museums

Lux in Arcana

More about the documents

Update: Video from Arline of one of the many ancient Meleager sarcophagi.

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