UNIQUE Medieval Bishop's'Monastic Priory or Abbey' Seal Matrix. Copper alloy, 12.07 grams, 34.19 mm. Circa. 13th century A.D. The majority of a very large monastic priory or Abbey seal, a vessica shaped seal of the Secular Clergy. The Bishop is shown in centre dressed in a gown, with the Bishop's inscription around the edge, [J]OHANNES / BELLOC[ ]. The top end of the seal was purposely broken in antiquity after the seal was no longer needed [such as the death of the Bishop], so it could not be used ever again, such was the importance of the documents that it once sealed. Ref; Benet's Artefacts p 493, M16-0259-60 the type books from £1,100.00. Extremely rare and important un-researched piece of English religeous history in Very Fine condition. SOLD
Interesting information on early Medieval Bishops: The early Christian Church condemned war on principle, but over the centuries it modified its view to accommodate its own needs and ambitions, so by the medieval period it was not considered remarkable for bishops and other clergy to go into battle. Indeed with the fabulous wealth of the Catholic Church they were well able to do so if they wished, both in crusades and more domestic disputes. In theory bishops were prohibited from spilling Christian blood, and some got round this by using a mace or other weapon that did not exactly cut, although they were of course still lethal. However others disregarded such niceties and there is plenty of evidence for them using blades like anyone else.
This item is accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.