The treasure of the Hospitallers’ Master Juan Fernández de Heredia (d. 1396), according to documents from the archives of the Holy Office in Rome

In November 2015, I made a visit to the archives of the Papal Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican (henceforth: ACDF, Archivio della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede). My aim was to study documents from the seventeenth century concerning the early modern history of the papal censorship of books.1 Surfing the ACDF’s digital catalogue, I stumbled upon a volume of miscellanea pertaining to the Order of the Hospital of St John, also known as the Order of Malta. Though the volume only contained material that obviously had nothing to do with my current study interests, the item still caught my eye.

To find documents dealing with the Order of St John in the ACDF is not unusual. The ACDF holds the records of the Holy Office (or rather: Congregatio Sanctae Romanae et Universalis Inquisitionis), which, from the middle of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, represented the executive board for all inquisitorial tribunals subjected to immediate papal control.2 For the most part, these Roman tribunals were scattered across central and northern Italy. However, there were also some non-Italian outposts where Roman inquisitors could operate on a regular basis, like in Cologne (Germany), Besançon (Franche-Comté), or on the very island of Malta, which was home to the headquarters of the Order of St John between 1530 and 1798.3 Of all the exclaves of the Roman Inquisition, the tribunal on Malta was the most stable and the most effective. It ran from 1574 to 1798, and it had more power compared to its Italian counterparts, due to the fact that the office holders, in addition to their status as inquisitors, were regularly nominated apostolic delegates. That meant that the inquisitors on Malta virtually functioned as apostolic nuncios and, therefore, as intermediaries in the communication between the Order’s headquarters and the Roman Papal Curia.4 Facilitated through the local inquisitor, these institutional bonds between Malta and the Holy Office account for the considerable amount of Melitensia in the holdings of the ACDF.

Thus, the subject of the volume did not surprise me: rather, it was the time period the volume covers. As a matter of fact, most of the documents in the ACDF concerning Malta or the Order of St John date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, during the height of the Roman Inquisition on Malta. In contrast, the files in the volume miscellanea are from a much earlier date, some of them dating back to the late fourteenth century. The bulk of these early documents belong to an assessment of the Order’s European estates undertaken during the pontificate of Gregory XI (1370–1378).5 Included in these documents are lists of the possessions (commanderies) of the Order with their respective revenues and personnel. There is another, small fascicle that features a handful of late fourteenth century copies of charters that had been originally issued by French bishops in favor of the Order. All this material absolutely deserves further study. Limitations are drawn here to bringing attention to just three documents chosen for publishing due to their outstanding rarity.

The documents in question address the death of one of the most famous and controversial protagonists in the history of the Hospitallers in the later Middle Ages: Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Master of the Order from 1377, until his death in 1396. Heredia was known for his diplomatic skills, his literary fervor, and, last but not least, his wealth, which he gathered in a manner not always in accordance with the rules of his Order. The documents below shed a new light precisely regarding his fortune, for they specify what kind of valuables the aged master possessed before he ended his days.

As far as I know, the circumstances of Heredia’s death are largely obscure. Giacomo Bosio (died 1627), generally the best-informed historian of the Order, only explains that Heredia died as an old man of about 90 years, at the Papal Curia in Avignon, in early March 1396. After Heredia’s death, according to Bosio, the body was transferred to the Order’s bailiwick of Caspe (in Aragón, near Saragossa) where the master had founded a chapel for his family in the Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor.6 Modern biographers, like Delaville or Cacho Blecua, are not much better informed than Bosio.7

Owing to my discovery of what could roughly be described as a list of bequests, some details can be added. First of all, we learn that Heredia possessed a considerable private treasure, consisting of chalices, cups, and goblets of gold and silver; rings, precious stones, gems, and relics; items for pharmaceutical use, as well as wine. Second, due to the fact that papal commissioners drew up these lists, it can be surmised that Pope Benedict XIII, on the basis of his “ius spolii” (namely, the “right of spoils,” which allowed the popes to collect the moveable goods of ecclesiastics who had deceased at the curia), had claimed the belongings of the dead master.8

Nevertheless, the evidence in these sources alone is not sufficient to attempt a deeper interpretation. Even some of the most basic questions remain unanswered. For instance, the three documents do not confirm whether Heredia’s treasure ever reached the vaults of the Camera Apostolica in Avignon, as they do not seem to represent copies from the original Libri introitus et exitus.“ Further problems arise with the “authorship” of the documents. The heading of Document 1 suggests that Iohannes Romei wrote it together with Leonardus de Volpastre (see the biographical remarks below). However, Document 3 hints that the author of Document 1 was Iulianus de Loba. Document 2 raises the question of how it is related to Document 1. The author of Document 1 also wrote two-thirds of Document 2, but the items listed were not appraised in the same manner. Another scribe, Thomas de Podio, wrote the rest of the text, as the heading states. However in this section, the items are listed with their approximate worth.

A deeper knowledge of the routine the Camera Apostolica applied in similar cases would be helpful for a sound understanding of these findings. Knowing that there are experts who are more skilled with placing the sources in their proper historical context, I decided to leave any further discussion to the community of scholars and to let the texts speak for themselves.

Codicological remarks

The volume or, rather, the archival unit discussed here bears the shelfmark SO St. St. M 1-c. It consists of two distinct folders with separate and differing folder covers. Both folders contain unbound and unpaginated leaves and fascicles. The shelfmark tells us that the volume belongs to the holdings of the Holy Office (S.[anctum O.[fficium]), comprising part of a series of items there that the curial archivists of the nineteenth century considered “historical” or defunct: the so-called Stanza Storica (St. St.). The documents presented below are taken from the first folder, which, beyond the three documents published, contains copies of French charters and lists from the Gregorian inquiry on the Order’s estates that I have mentioned above.

The documents were placed at the top of the bundle. Document 1 consists of a single sheet of paper in a folio format (45 x 30 cm), folded in the middle. A modern archivist of the ACDF had obviously started investigations on the piece and found out that the watermark (a gladius) corresponds to Briquet no. 5135, whose earliest evidence comes from Perpignan in 1393.9 The script is a regular, gothic book hand. Document 2 has the same characteristics as Document 1 and was written by the same scribe, apart from the last third of the text. Document 3 is a tiny-sized, single-sheet, axially-folded letter. The envelope side displays traces of red sealing wax. All three documents are drafted without any solemnities (dates, signatures, notary signs), which implies that they were drawn up primarily for internal use.

Persons mentioned in the documents

Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna): Born in Illueca (Aragón) c. 1328. A doctor of canon law, he was ordained cardinal on 20 December 1375. In the conclave after the death of Pope Gregory XI in April 1378, de Luna voted for Urban VI. After first adhering to the elect, he finally joined the rebellious cardinals who elected Antipope Clement VII at Fondi on 20 September of the same year. De Luna became a resolute follower of the antipope, whom he accompanied to Avignon. As apostolic legate in the kingdom of Aragón (1378–1390), de Luna achieved the adherence of Aragón, Castile, Navarre, and Portugal to the Avignon obedience. In 1393, Clement VII sent him as a legate to France and other Western European countries. For the Order of St John, Cardinal de Luna served as one of four procurators at the curia in Avignon since Heredia had appointed him to this office on 14 March 1381.10 After Clement VII died on 16 September 1394, de Luna was elected his successor on 28 September. The hope that this pope would agree to end the schism “via cessionis” was soon dashed. Even after the council of Pisa deposed him on 5 June 1409, he claimed to be the only legitimate pope. Expelled from Avignon, de Luna gathered the remnants of his curia in Perpignan. Later, in 1416, he retired to the family castle of Peñíscola. Here, he heard that the council of Constance had again deposed him of his office on 26 July 1417. Yet, de Luna never gave up, as he considered himself to be the legitimate heir to the see of St Peter. Among the 19 anti-cardinals he created was Julián Lobera y Valtierra (see below). De Luna died in Peñíscola in 1422 or 1423.11

Filippo Brancaccio (Philipus de Brancatio): Filippo Brancaccio was born of a noble family of Naples. He joined the entourage of the Roman Pope Boniface IX (pope from 1389 to 1404), whom he served as a knight and diplomat. In the spring of 1396, Pope Boniface IX sent him on a diplomatic mission to Avignon in order to negotiate with Antipope Benedict XIII for a solution to end the Great Schism. Brancaccio arrived at Avignon on Maundy Thursday (20 March) and remained there until June 1396.12 As stated in Document 1, Benedict gave him a chalice (cupa) from Heredia’s treasure, perhaps as a compensation for travel expenses. Filippo was the brother of the Roman cardinal Rinaldo Brancaccio (died 1427), and the nephew of the Avignonese cardinal Niccolò Brancaccio (circa 1340–1412).13

Iohannes Romei (or Romani): Originally from Aragón. He is called “Romei” in Document 1, but “Romani” in Document 3. His profession was that of “mercator”. As “cubicularius”, he belonged to the household of Benedict XIII. In the “Chronica”of Martin de Alpartil, Romei is mentioned (like Iulianus de Loba) among the defenders of the apostolic palace during the siege in 1398. He died of the plague in Genoa in 1405 (before 18 October).14

Juan Fernández de Heredia (Iohannis Ferdinandus de Eredia): Of the men who governed the Order of St John in the fourteenth century, Heredia was, in many respects, the most splendid. He gained fame as a statesman in royal and papal service, as an army commander, and as a patron of humanism. He was born into the Aragonese landed nobility in Munébrega (near Calatayud) around 1310. In 1328 (others say 1326), he was already a knight of St John, and soon, he administered the commanderies (estates of the Order with seigneurial rights) of Villel (1329) and Alfambra (1334) in southern Aragón. Heredia became a friend of the heir to the throne, Pedro (IV), through his father, who enjoyed ties to the royal court. After Pedro ascended the throne, he appointed Heredia Castellan of Amposta (1346), that is, head of the Aragonese province of the Order of St John. As Castellan, Heredia distinguished himself as a patron of arts and letters. He supported students of the universities of Lerida and Montpellier, and, perhaps, Pedro de Luna, later Antipope Benedict XIII, was one of his protégés at that time.15 To the castellany of Amposta, Heredia could add the “fat” priories (provinces of the Order) of Castile (1354) and St Gilles (1356). At the same time, he engaged himself in the service of the Papacy, which Clement V (pope from 1305 to 1314) had transferred to Avignon. Innocent VI (pope from 1352 to 1362) entrusted Heredia with the defense of the Papal state. The Hospitaller became Captain-General at Avignon; later, he was governor of the Comtat Venaissin. After a period in the 1360s, during which his life was centered in Spain, Heredia returned to Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI (pope from 1370 to 1378). In Heredia, Pope Gregory IX gained a powerful ally for his grandiose schemes, which included the return of the Papacy to Rome, as well as a full-scale crusade to stop the Ottoman expansion. In return for his loyal service, Gregory appointed Heredia as Master of the Order of St John in 1377, breaching the Order’s statutes, which demanded an internal election. During a military campaign in Epirus in 1378, Heredia was taken prisoner by an Albanian chieftain and was only released one year later after the Order paid his ransom. The master then spent three years on the island of Rhodes, where the headquarters of the Order was housed from 1310 to 1522. Meanwhile, Western Christianity had been torn apart due to the Great Schism, which had occurred after the death of Gregory XI in 1378. Heredia, along with the entire Order of St John, adhered to the Avignon Papacy (the appointment of Riccardo Caracciolo as Antimaster by Roman Pope Urban VI only had negligible effect). In 1382, Heredia left Rhodes for Avignon, where he spent the last 14 years of his life.16

Julián Lobera y Valtierra (Iulianus de Loba): His year of birth is unknown. Like Heredia, Lobera originated from Munébrega, Aragón. He married Isabel de Heredia, clearly a relative (perhaps even a daughter) of the Hospitallers’ master. After the premature death of his wife, Lobera entered the ecclesiastical order. He studied canon law at Lérida, and then became a cleric in the service of the future Bishop of Tarazona, Fernando Pérez Calvillo. Around 1395, Lobera followed Calvillo to Avignon in order to join the curia of their compatriot Benedict XIII. One finds Lobera among the defenders of the apostolic palace during the attack on the papal headquarters, which the troops of the French marshal Boucicaut launched in the late summer of 1396. By 1409, Lobera had become “receptor pecuniarum camere apostolice” (see Martín de Alpartil, p. 191) and on 27 November 1422, de Luna named Lobera cardinal. From the beginning of his arrival in Avignon, Lobera belonged to the inner circle of the antipope, whom later he followed to the fortress of Peñíscola. Lobera remained loyal to the end, and fostered the election of a new antipope after de Luna’s death. Lobera died in 1435.17

Leonardus de Volpastre: Volpastre, like the aforementioned Iohannes Romei, was a banker (“campsor”) in papal Avignon. Together with Romei, Volpastre executed the evaluation of the part of Heredia’s treasure catalogued in Document 1. His name, with the title “campsor Avin.”, appears also in an account in the “Introitus et exitus camerae apostolicae”, dated 29 December 1397, Avignon.18.

Thomas de Podio: Like Iohannes Romei and Leonardus de Volpastre, de Podio was a “mercator” and “campsor” in Avignon. Sources mention him between 1364 and 1397.19 He made an appraisal of a part of Heredia’s treasure catalogued in Document 2.


Secondary sources and works of reference

Bosio II Giacomo Bosio, Dell’Istoria della sacra religione et illustrissima militia di S. Giovanni Gierosolimitano, Parte Seconda di nuovo ristampata e […] ampliata et illustrata, Roma: Facciotti, 1629.
Brinckmeier Glossarium Diplomaticum, ed. Eduard Brinckmeier, 2 Vol., Wolfenbüttel: Brinckmeier, Hamburg [et al.]: Perthes, 1850–1855.
Briquet Charles M. Briquet, Les Filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dés leurs apparition vers jusqu’en 1600, 4 Vol., Paris [et al.]: Picard, 1907.
Cacho Blecua Juan Manuel Cacho Blecua, El gran maestre Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Zaragoza: Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada de Aragón, 1997 (Mariano de Pano y Ruata, Vol. XII).
DBE Diccionario Biográfico Español, ed. Real Academia de la Historia, 50 Vol., Madrid: Real Academia, 2009–2013.
Delaville Joseph Delaville le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers à Rhodes (1310-1421). Introduction by Anthony Luttrell, London: Variorum Reprints, 1974 (first published: Paris 1913).
Herquet Karl Herquet, Juan Ferrandez de Heredia. Grossmeister des Johanniterordens (1377–1396), Mühlhausen 1878.
Levillain The Papacy. An Encyclopedia, ed. Philippe Levillain, 3 Vol., New York / London: Routledge, 2002.
Martín de Alpartil Martin de Alpartils Chronica actitatorum temporibus Benedicti XIII., ed. Franz Ehrle, Paderborn: Schöningh, 1906 (Quellen und Forschungen aus dem Gebiete der Geschichte, XII).
Miranda The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, ed. Salvador Miranda.
Schäfer Karl Heinrich Schäfer, Die Ausgaben der Apostolischen Kammer unter den Päpsten Urban V. und Gregor XI. (1362–1378), Paderborn: Schöningh, 1937 (Vatikanische Quellen zur Geschichte der Päpstlichen Hof- und Finanzverwaltung 1316–1378, VI).
Sella Glossario Latino Italiano. Stato della Chiesa, Veneto, Abruzzi, ed. Pietro Sella, Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1944.
Sire Henry J. A. Sire, The Knights of Malta, New Haven [et al.]: Yale University Press, 1996.
Spufford Peter Spufford (with the assistance of Wendy Wilkinson and Sarah Tolley), Handbook of Medieval Exchange, London: Royal Historical Society, 1986.
Weiß Stefan Weiß, Die Versorgung des päpstlichen Hofes in Avignon mit Lebensmitteln (1316–1378). Studien zur Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte eines mittelalterlichen Hofes, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002.

Currencies and measures20

d. denarius
fl. florenus
fl. cr. florenus currens (or “camerae”)
franc. francus
gr. grossus
marc. marcha
ob. obolus
sc. scutus
ß solidus
unc. uncia

Editorial abbreviations

add. added by the scribe
canc. cancelled
corr. ex. corrected from
illeg. illegible
marg. on the margin
sq. follows

Principles of transcription

  • Abbreviations have been expanded without further comment. Where I am not sure about the correct interpretation of abbreviations, I use brackets: […].
  • For currencies and measures, I use standardized abbreviations. See the list above.
  • Capitalization and punctuation have been normalized (for example, I capitalized all Roman numerals).
  • In the manuscripts, the graphs “t“ and “c“ are indistinguishable. I normalized the spelling.
  • The scribe(s) used neither the digraphs “ae/oe“ nor “e-caudata“, but only ”e“. In the transcription, the original spelling is retained.
  • “I/i“ and “J/j“ have been transcribed uniformly as “I/i“.

Doc. 1: (Avignon, c. March 1396): Appraisal of the vessels and jewelry of the deceased Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Master of the Order of St John


//fol. 1r//

Extimationes facte de vaxella et iocalibus auri et argenti sequentibus, que fuerunt bone memorie domini fratris Iohannis Ferdinandi de Eredia,21 magistri Rodi, per Iohannem Romei22 mercatorem Avinionensem et Leonardum de Volpastre23 mercatorem et canbsorem24 dicte civitatis.

 Et primo quedam cupa auri cum suo coopertorio ponderis trium marc. et VI unc. ad rationem XLVI franc. et XII gr. pro marc., cum uno saphiro, quam habet in summitate, valoris duorum franc., summant:

[marg. ista cupa fuit data domino Philipo de Brancatio25 militi nuntio intrusi26]

___ CLXXVII franc. et octo gr.

Item quoddam gobellum27 auri sine coopertorio, quod est argenti deaurati ponderis duarum marc. trium unc. ad rationem LII franc. pro marc. summat:

___ Centum viginti tres franc. et octo gr.

Item coopertorium dicti gobelli argenti deaurati ponderis quatuor unc. cum dimidia ad rationem Ve franc. et XI gr. pro marc. valet:

___ III franc. III gr. XXIII d. et ob.

Item duo flasconii argenti deaurati operati a solel28 cum suis corrigiis in tela sirica rubei coloris ponderis XV marc. duarum unc. XVIII° d. ad rationem VI franc. et XII gr. pro marcha valent:

___ Centum quatuor franc. Ve gr. I ß I d. et ob.

Item unum gobellum cum sua aquaria29 argenti deaurati cum singulis rosis albis in summitatibus ponderis septem marc. duarum unc. XV d. ad rationem VI franc. et trium gr. pro marc. valet:

___ Quadraginta quatuor franc. I ß X d. et ob.

Item una cupa cum sua aquaria argenti deaurati puntonate30 et operate cum rosis ponderis V marc. duarum unc. XVIII d. ad rationem sex franc. et sex gr. pro marc. valent:

___ Triginta tres franc. et XII gr.

Item alia cupa cum sua aquaria puntonate et operate a ramages31 habentes singula birrea32  blava ponderis trium marc. sex unc. ad rationem sex franc. et sex gr. pro marc. valet:

___ Viginti quatuor franc XII d.

Item una patena argenti deaurati, ubi est ymago Domine Nostre, ponderis unius marc. septem unc. VI d. ad rationem VI franc. et VI gr. valet:

___ Duodecim franc. et III gr.

Item crux argenti deaurati cum LXIIIIor perlis, quatuor balaxis33 et duabus saphiris cum suo pede ponderis octo marc. unius unc. et XXI d. Perle, balaxi et saphiri, pro quibus de dicto pondere deducuntur uncia et XXI d., fuerunt extimate ad LXX franc. Marcha dictorum VIII° marc. restantium fuit extimata ad VI franc. et VI gr., que cum dictis LXX franc. summa capiunt:

___ Centum viginti unius franc. et trium gr.

Summa pagine DCXLIIIIor franc. mi[nus] ob.

//fol. 1v//

Item una caxeta argenti deaurati cum aliquibus ezmaltis34 ponderis trium marcharum IIIIor unc. ad rationem VI franc.VI gr. valet:

___ Viginti duos franc. VI gr.

Item alia caxiuncula argenti deaurati tota ezmaltata ponderis trium marc. trium unc. ad rationem VI franc. et VI gr. valet:                

___ Viginti I franc. novem gr.

Item unus anulus auri cum uno lapide pulcro balaxi extimatus ad:

___ Ducentos quinquaginta franc.

Item alius anulus auri cum scopatio35 extimatus ad:

___ Viginti franc.

Item unus alius anulus auri cum saphiro et cathena argenti ad:

___ Quinquaginta franc.

Item unus magnus cameus cum quatuor pernis extimati ad:

___ Septem franc.

Item unum tiriaquarium36 argenti ezmaltatum exitmatum ad:

___ Duos franc.

Item quedam crux auri ponderis sex unc. X d. cum perlis ad rationem LX franc. pro marc. valet:             

___ Quadraginta septem franc. II gr. II d.

Item quatuor denarii auri sancte Elene extimati ad:      

___ Quinque franc.

Item L alii denarii auri, quorum unus est longe maior aliis, ponderis unius marc. septem unc. et IIIIor d. ad rationem LVI franc. pro marc. valent:

___ Centum et sex37 franc. duos gr. XII d.

Item quedam alia crux parva auri cum quibusdam parvulinis lapidibus viridibus et rubeis. Item alia crux auri cum perlis. Et sunt ambe ponderis unius unc. IX d. fuerunt extimate ad:

___ Undecim franc.

Item una bustia argenti deaurati, in qua est mandibula sancti Laurentii ponderis sex unc. XV d. ad rationem sex franc. pro marc. valet:

___ Quinque franc. I d.

Item duo lapides asini38 cum suis cathenis argenti extimati ad:

___ Duos franc.

Item ampulla christali munita de auro et lapidibus margaritis39 et alia ampulla munita de argento extimate ad:

___ Octo franc.

Item unus lapis iaspidis40 munitus de argento cum suo cordono de sirico rubeo munitus de argento deaurato pro fluxu sanguinis extimatus ad:

___ Duos franc.

Item crux parva auri seu reliquiarium, in qua est crux parva de pelvis, in quo Christus lavit pedes discipulorum, cum perlis extimata ad:

___ Novem franc.

Item duo cofreti41 parvi de velluro blavo garniti de argento extimati ad:

___ Viginti franc.

Summa pagine:

___ DXXXII franc. IIIIor gr. I ß III d.

//fol. 2r//

Summa maior omnium extimationum vaxelle et iocalium supradictorum:

___ Mille centum septuaginta sex franc. IIIIor gr. I ß II d. cum ob.

Ultra predicta fuerunt recepta per buticularium42 domini nostri pape XXIIIIor vasa vini de sancto Egidio et de Frontinyato43 extimatum quodlibet vas cum fusti44 ad XIII fl. cr. Item VI bote45 vini albi et due de clareto46, qualibet extimata ad novem fl., qui summam capiunt trecentorum octuaginta quatuor fl. cr., qui valent ad franchos reducti:

___ Trecentos septem franc. et tres gr.               

Sic quod summant in universo recepta per dominum nostrum papam47 de executione predicta:            

___ Mille Vc48 XXXIX franc. VII gr. I ß II d. et ob

//fol. 2v vac.//

Doc. 2 (Avignon, c. March 1396): Appraisal of the vessels and jewelry of the deceased Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Master of the Order of St John (part II)


//fol. 1r//

In uno cofreto mediano49 ferrato sunt duo alii cofreti parvi cooperti de velluro blavo et basati50 seu muniti de argento, in primo quorum sunt que secuntur:

Primo una ampula de christallo garnita de argento et perlis.

Item alia ampulla de christallo munita de argento.

Item una caxieta de argento deaurato ezmaltata, in qua sunt sequencia:

Primo unus anulus de auro cum uno balaxio satis magno et pulcro.

Item unus anulus cum saphiro ita grossus sicut ovum pulle, cum una catena argenti.

Item unus anulus, in quo est unus lapis51 grossus scopatii.

Item duo anuli auri cum singulis saphiris.

Item duo alii anuli cum saphiris.

Item tres anuli auri cum tribus zmaragdis.

Item duo anuli auri cum duobus lapdibus.

Item duo alii anuli auri modici valoris.

Item viginti et unus anuli argenti cum diversis lapidibus modici valoris.

Item unum reliquiarium auri parvum cum ligno Domini, in quo sunt decem margarite et52 al[ie] perle grosse.

Item53 aliud reliquiarium argenti ezmaltatum ad modum Bruxelete54 cum armis domini Roberti de Iulii55.

Item unus lapis munitus de argento cum cordono de sirico viridi.

Item unum reliquiarium auri ad portandum bulletas56 munitum de VIII° peciis de christallo.

Item unus camellus grossus.

Item alii IIIIor camelli, qui similiter omnes se tenent.

Item unus alius camellus munitus de argento.

Item una crux parva auri, in qua sunt reliquie cum lapidibus parvulinis viridibus et rubeis.

Item unum tiriaquarium parvum munitum de argento.

Item unus lapis asini garnitus cum una cathena argenti.

Item una costa sancti.

Item quatuor oboli periti de sancta Elena.

Item duo ossa munita de argento in uno marsupio.

//fol. 1v//

Item XLIX denarii auri equales et unus alius maior in una caxiuncula.

Item unum cloquear57 parvum auri.

Item duo cloquearia argenti deaurata et garnita cum caudis de corallo rubeo.

Item unum aliud cloquear argenteum deauratum percusatum58 .

Item59 unum aliud cloquear argenti fractum.60

Item unum aliud cloquear argenti munitum cum cauda coralli.

Item unum aliud cloquear de lapide munito de argento deaurato.

Item in uno cordono sunt tres cruces parve argenti.

Item alia crux parva de argento deaurata.

Item unum reliquiarium garnitum de argento et christallo.

Item unum cloquear parvum de cameo munitum de argento sine cauda.

Item duo ossa garnita de argento cum una cathena argenti et alie reliquie.

Item unus lapis, in quo est crucifixus.

Item unus dens serpentis.

In alio cofreto secundo sunt que secuntur:

Primo una caxeta argenti ezmaltata, in qua est unum61 os sancti.

+ Item unum reliquiarium argenti deauratum, in quo est una mandibula sancti Laurentii garnita de argento et unum os sancti munitum de argento.

Item duo62 pecie de unicorni.

+ Item una crux argentea deaurata de perlis munita et cum duobus angelis, in qua est de ligno Domini.

Item una crux auri parva, in qua est de ligno crucis.

//fol. 2r//

Item reliquie involute in cendato63 rubeo.

Item unus lapis asini cum una cathena argenti.

Item una pecia de unicorni in una parte garnita de argento cum cathena.

Item una crux auri parva, in qua sunt reliquie et XII perle et quinque lapides parvi.

Item unus anulus de lopa64 garnitus de argento deaurato cum cordono de sirico.

Item una crux parva de argento deaurato cum cauda65 longa argenti, in qua sunt IIIIor perle cum quadam longa de argento.

Item in una bursa de corio unum magnum os.

Item unum manobrium66, quod videtur de osse.

Item unus lapis rubeus anuli garnitus de argento aurato.

Item in uno panno lineo67 sunt alique reliquie et lapides.

Item in alio panno lineo sunt alique lapides diversorum colorum.

Item due pecie de christallo ad modum manubriorum.

Item due pecie ligni aloes, una magna et alia parva.

Item una scollacio calamite68.

Item due nuces Indie69.

Item una busta, in qua sunt alique mic[u]le Cipri70 pro pafumiis [sic!].

Item due ampulle de balsamo cruda [sic!] et una de cotto.

+ Item quatuor scutelle71 magne de porcelano.


Extimationes72 facte per Thomam de Podio73 de iocalibus sequentibus:

Primo una crux argenti deaurata cum suo pede74 ponderis VIII° marc. duarum unc. ezmaltata et cum LXVIII° perlis, que valent XL franc., et tribus balaxis ponderis quasi XVIII quaratorum valent[ibus] XXVII franc., et duobus saphiris valent[ibus] XXIIIIor franc. Debent deduci pro perlis et lapidibus due unc., restant VIII° marc. In qu[a] sunt VI gastoni75 auri, in quibus sunt balaxi et saphiri, ponderis quasi unius unc. et quar[te] valoris VII franc., sic quod valent marc. VII VI unc. et III quartis ad rationem VIII fl. pro marc. LXII fl. IX gr., qui sunt L franc. III gr., sic quod valet crux in universo:

___ CXLVIII° franc. III gr.

Item cupa auri cum uno saphiro in sumitate coopertorii ponderis trium marc. VI unc. ad rationem LIIIIor francorum pro marcha valet:

___ CCVIII76 franc. et VIII gr. cum V franc. saphiri

Item gobellum auri sine coopertorio, quod est argenti ponderis II marc. trium unc. ad rationem LII francorum pro marc.:

___ CXXIII franc. VIII gr.

Item coopertorium argenti ponderis IIIIor unc. XIII d.:

___ III franc. IX gr. et XII d.

//fol. 2v//

Extimationes facte per Thomam de Podio de iocalibus sequentibus:

Primo unus anulus auri cum uno lapide vocato scopacius77 extimatus ad:

___ XXIIIIor franc.

Item unus anulus auri cum una cathena argenti pendente, in quo est unus grossus lapis saphiri extimatus ad:

___ LX franc.

Item unus anulus auri cum uno pulcro balaxo extimatus ad:

___ CCCL franc78

Item una crux auri79 garnita cum perlis LXI et cum suo pede auri habente duos angelos ponderis VI unc. cum dimidia deductis IX d. pro perlis, que valent XX franc., remanent VI unc. III d. ad rationem LVIII fl. cum dimidio [pro] marcha auri valent:

___ XXXVI franc. IIII gr.

Item unus cameus magnus munitus in auro cum una texta80 extimatus ad:

___ VIII franc.

Item alius cameus parvus extimatus ad:

___ III franc.

Item unus alius cameus cum uno angelo et duabus perlis parvis extimatus ad:

___ V franc.

Item una praxma81 cum una ymagine et VI perlis82 munita in auro:

___ VI franc.

Item unus agnus Dei auri:

___ II franc.

Item una bustia seu t[i]riaquarium argenti ezmaltati cum duobus boronibus83 munitis de perlis ponderis II unc. cum cordono:

___ I franc. IX gr.

Item IIIIor denarii auri sancte Elene ponderis XIII d. valent ad rationem XXII carath[orum] cum dimidio valent:

___ IIII or franc.

Item caxia argenti ad modum cofreti ezmaltata ponderis III marc. et III unc. ad rationem VIII° fl. pro84 marc.:

___ XXI franc. IX gr.

Item alia caxeta argenti deaurati cum XI ezmaltis ponderis trium marc. quatuor unc. ad rationem VIII fl.:

___ XXII franc. VI gr.

Item unum parvum reliquiarium auri cum decem perlis reddens crucem ferream85:

___ XX franc.

Item alia crux parva auri cum XII86 zmar[ag]dis parvis et IIII.or granatis:

___ III franc.

Item quinquaginta denarii87 auri, quorum unus est multo maior aliis et alius minor, ponderis unius marc. VII unc. IIIIor d. valoris88 XXII carath.89 ad rationem LXXI fl. cum dimidio [pro] marc., valent CXXXV fl. et XII s.:

___ CVIII franc. et VI gr.

Item una pecia iaspidis munita de argento cum cordono viridi:

___ tres franc.

Item anpulla maior de christallo garnita de auro et de perlis XXXI:

___ XII franc.

Item anpulla parva de christallo garnita de argento:

___ XII gr.

Item unum frustrum lapidis quadrati cum una cathena argenti ponderis duarum unc. mi[nus] III d.:

___ I franc.

Item alius lapis asini cum una cathena argenti et cum armis sancti Iohannis:

___ I franc.

Item argentum, quod erat in tribus ossis, positum in uno marsupio:

___ VI gr.

Item tria alia ossa garnita de auro90 ponderis quasi unius unc. et VIII d. et in uno eorum sunt due perle:

___ VIII franc.

Item unum alium os garnitum de argento:

___ [not assessed]

Item unus alius lapis asini cum cathena argenti:

___ VI gr.

Item una crux parva auri:

___ II franc.

Item alia crux auri cum XII perlis et IIIIor saphiris:

___ VIII91 franc.

Item una buxula argenti deaurati, in qua est mandibula sancti Laurentii, ponderis VI unc. XIIII d. ad rationem VIII fl. pro marc.:

___ V franc. IIII gr.

Item unus cofretus munitus de argento et coopertus cum velluro blavo:

___ XII franc.

Doc. 3: Letter from Iulianus de Loba to Iohannes Romei announcing a corrigendum to the calculation made in doc. 1.

//fol. 1r [address]//

domino nostro domino Iohanni Romani

//fol. 1v [letter]//

Reverende domine m[e]i.

In memoriale, quod vobis misi super extima iocalium est error in illo: Item de L denariis auri, de quorum pondere non fuit facta computatio nisi de VII unc. et IIIIor d. dumtaxat. Sic quod remanet computanda marcha, que sum[m]a capit LVI franc., quos addere deberis summe dicti [sic!], item que erat L franc. II gr. XII d. Deinde deberis eos multiplicare in summa universalis, que erit Mille Quingentis XXXIX franc. VII gr. I ß. Placeat emendare.

Totus vester, Iulianus de Loba92




Suggested citation: Jyri Hasecker: The treasure of the Hospitallers’ Master Juan Fernández de Heredia (d. 1396), according to documents from the archives of the Holy Office in Rome, in: Mittelalter. Interdisziplinäre Forschung und Rezeptionsgeschichte, 26. Februar 2016,

Dieser Artikel wurde redaktionell betreut von Karoline Döring.

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Dr. Jyri Hasecker
Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet
Katholisch-theologische Fakultaet
Seminar fuer Mittlere und Neuere Kirchengeschichte
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D-48149 Muenster (Westf.)
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Jyri Hasecker

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Kirchengeschichte

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  1. The author is a researcher (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the DFG-funded research project “Roemische Inquisition und Indexkongregation in der Neuzeit, 1542–1965”, directed by Professor Hubert Wolf, Muenster, Germany. – I’m grateful to Dr Daniel Ponziani, custodian of the ACDF, who kindly supported me during my stay. Also, I’m indebted to Christina Wheeler, Berlin, for helping me with the English text. []
  2. For a short description of the holdings of the ACDF, see Francis X. Blouin, Vatican Archives. An Inventory and Guide to Historical Do­cuments of the Holy See. Supplement 1: The Archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Including the Archives of the former Congregation of the Holy Office and the Archives of the former Congregation for Forbidden Books, Ann Arbor: Bentley Historical Library, 2003. []
  3. A recent overview of the history of the Holy Office is given by Christopher F. Black, The Italian Inquisition, New Haven [et al.]: Yale University Press, 2009. []
  4. On the history of the inquisition on Malta, see Alexander Bonnici, Medieval and Roman Inquisition in Malta, Rabat: Religjon u Hajja, 1998, and Frans Ciappara, Society and the Inquisition in Early Modern Malta, Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group, 2001. []
  5. See Anne Marie Legras, L’enquête dans le prieuré de France (L’enquête pontificale de 1373 sur l’Ordre des hospitaliers de saint Jean de Jérusalem, Vol. I), Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1987. []
  6. Bosio II, p. 151. Herquet, p. 85, follows his account. []
  7. Cf. Delaville, pp. 237f, and, most recently, Cacho Blecua, pp. 59–62. Anthony Luttrell, Juan Fernández de Heredia, Castellan of Amposta (1346-1377), Master of the Knights of St. John at Rhodes (1377-1396) (unpublished PhD thesis, Oxford 1959), was not available to me. []
  8. See Daniel Williman, The Right of Spoil of the Popes of Avignon (1316–1415), Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988 (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. LXXVIII/6). []
  9. []
  10. Herquet, p. 71. []
  11. See Miranda (accessed on 17 November 2015), and Johann Peter Kirsch, Pedro de Luna, in The Catholic Encyclopedia IX (1910), pp. 431–433: (accessed on 17 November 2015); Hélène Millet, “Benedict XIII”, in Levillain I, pp. 162–165. []
  12. Franz Ehrle, Neue Materialien zur Geschichte Peters von Luna (Benedicts XIII.), in Archiv für Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters VI (1892), pp. 139–301, p. 163, 168, 191. []
  13. Like Pedro de Luna, this cardinal Niccolò was one of the procurators of the Hospitalles at the curia during the mastership of Heredia: Herquet, p. 77, 82. []
  14. See Martín de Alpartil, p. 58, 135, 140f. []
  15. Sire, p. 42. []
  16. See the biographical sketches in: Sire, pp. 41–49; DBE XIX (2009), pp. 164­–167 by Carlos Barquero Goñi; The Crusades. An Encyclopedia, ed. Alan V. Murray, 4 Vol., Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2006, Vol. II, pp. 426f. by Luis Garcia-Guijarro Ramos. For the literary activities of the master, see Anthony Luttrell, Greek Histories Translated and Compiled for Juan Fernández de Heredia, Master of Rhodes, 1377–1396, in Speculum XXXV/3 (1960), pp. 401–407, and Cacho Blecua, pp. 69–205. []
  17. See Miranda (accessed on 11 November 2015), and DBE 30 (2009), pp. 236–237 by Miguel Ángel Motis Dolader. []
  18. Eugène Müntz, Les épées d’honneur distribuées par les papes pendant les XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles (I) in Revue de l’art chrétien N. S. 7 (1889), pp. 408–411, p. 410. []
  19. Arnold Esch, Bankiers der Kirche im grossen Schisma, in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken 46 (1966), pp. 277–394, p. 363f.; Schäfer, p. 125. []
  20. For the money of the Avignon Papacy, see Spufford, pp. 122–128, 165, 139, 149, 169; Weiß, pp. 57–64. []
  21. See above. []
  22. See above. []
  23. See above. []
  24. canbsorem: money-changer, see []
  25. See above. []
  26. intrusus: that is the Roman Pope Boniface IX. (pope from 1389 to 1404). []
  27. gobellum: goblet, see []
  28. a solel: meaning unknown. []
  29. aquaria: ewer, cf. French “aiguière”, see Boris Paraschkewow, Wörter und Namen gleicher Herkunft und Struktur. Lexikon etymologischer Dubletten im Deutschen, Berlin [et al.]: De Gruyter, 2004, p. 19.; Schäfer, p. 844. []
  30. puntonate: perhaps “engraved”, cf. Italian “punzonatura”. []
  31. a ramages: with a floral pattern. []
  32. birrea: perhaps “beryl”? []
  33. balaxis: balas ruby, see; Schäfer, p. 845. []
  34. ezmaltis: enamel, see []
  35. scopatio: exact meaning unknown, the topaz probably is meant; a further evidence for the term is found in Alfredo Zazo, Il Castello di Benevento 1321–1860, Napoli: Procaccini, 2000, p. 23. []
  36. tiriaquarium: exact meaning unknown. []
  37. sq. canc. Quinquaginta; cf. below Document 3. []
  38. The “lapis asini(nus)” was described and illustrated by Ulisse Aldovrandi, Musaeum metallicum […], Bologna: Ferronius, 1648, p. 795. []
  39. margaritis: pearls, cf. Greek “margarités”. []
  40. lapis iaspidis: jasper. []
  41. cofreti: boxes, see []
  42. buticularium: cup-bearer, see []
  43. de frontinyato: wine from Frontignan (lat. Frontinianum). []
  44. fusti: barrel, cf. Ital. “fusto”. []
  45. bote: barrel, see And Weiß, p. 72. []
  46. de clareto: spiced wine, see []
  47. papam: Benedict XIII, see the biographical remarks above. []
  48. sq. canc. CCCC; cf. below Document 3. []
  49. mediano: medium-sized, see []
  50. basati: perhaps vasati? []
  51. lapis add. supra lineam. []
  52. et deest. []
  53. marg. defficit. []
  54. Brussels? []
  55. fr. Robert de Juilly (d. 29 July 1377): predecessor of fr. Juan Fernández de Heredia as Master of the Order of St John (1374–1377); the date of his death is according to Herquet, p. 66; for detailed information on Juilly’s life including a description of his coat of arms see Legras (cit. in note 5), p. 75–78. []
  56. bulletas: dockets, see Brinckmeier I, p. 432, s.v. Bulleta. []
  57. cloquear: spoon, see []
  58. percusatum: perhaps “perforated”, see []
  59. marg. deficit. []
  60. sq. canc. et sine manubrio. []
  61. sq. canc. Ossum. []
  62. corr. ex tres. []
  63. cendato: a kind of silk, see []
  64. lopa: iron, see Sella, p. 320, s.v. lopa. []
  65. sq. canc. pede. []
  66. manobrium: handle, grip, see Sella, p. 349, s.v. manubrium. []
  67. sq. canc. munito de sirico. []
  68. scollacio calamite: meaning unknown. []
  69. nuces Indie: coconut or nutmeg. []
  70. micule Cipri: perhaps the ambrette seeds (Abelmoschus moschatus), used for the production of the famous “polvere di Cipro”, see Gino Testi, Dizionario di alchimia e di chimica antiquaria. A cura di Stefano Andreani, Roma: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1980, p. 142, s.v. Polvere di Cipro. []
  71. scutelle: plates, see []
  72. The following seemingly by a different hand. []
  73. See above. []
  74. corr. ex ponde. []
  75. gastonii: bed or socket for a gem, see []
  76. illeg. []
  77. sq. canc. magno. []
  78. sq. add. iiii. []
  79. corr. ex argenti deaurati. []
  80. cum una texta: add. infra lineam; texta: head, see []
  81. praxma: prasius, ital. prasio. []
  82. sq. canc. extimati. []
  83. meaning unknown. []
  84. pro: deest. []
  85. crucem ferream: the Maltese cross? []
  86. corr. ex una. []
  87. sq. canc. quo. []
  88. corr. ex ad valore(m). []
  89. sq. canc. cu(m) d(imid)io. []
  90. sq. canc. t(r)i. []
  91. corr. ex IX. []
  92. See above. []

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Jyri Hasecker (26. Februar 2016). The treasure of the Hospitallers’ Master Juan Fernández de Heredia (d. 1396), according to documents from the archives of the Holy Office in Rome. Mittelalter. Abgerufen am 20. Juli 2024 von

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