Biblia Latina (Commentaries)



31st July 1481


Shoults Itc 1481 B v. 3


Venice: Johannes Herbort de Seligenstadt, et al.


Indulgences offered remission of the penalty for sins, which otherwise had to be endured in Purgatory. While a legitimate part of the Church’s infrastructure, an ‘indulgence industry’ developed, with many abusing the system by selling off indulgences to raise funds for expensive projects like the Crusades or building cathedrals. Indeed, Archbishop Albert of Mainz (1490-1545) instructed his indulgence peddlers to travel as wide as possible, and gave advice on how to make the indulgence – often a piece of parchment festooned with seals – to look attractive. In the gutter of this Commentary on the Bible is the remaining fragment of an indulgence, printed by William Caxton in Westminster sometime after 9 August 1480. Used as a sewing guard, it is a supreme example of recycling.


cab 2 lyrafragment.bmp


Nicolai de Lyra, “Biblia Latina (Commentaries),” | OUR Heritage, accessed September 26, 2023,