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Baldwin Wallace University

About this collection

Vulgate Bible.

Cambrai [France]: Abbey of Cambrai, 1300s.

Vellum pages bound in pigskin over oak boards.

 

The Vulgate is a late 4th century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the Vetus Latina (old Latin translations). By the 13th century this revision had come to be called the versio vulgata, that is, the "commonly used translation". In the 16th century it became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church.

 

The Diocese of Cambrai was originally erected in the 6th century. In the Middle Ages, Cambrai was ruled by its Bishop, rather like the Pope rules Vatican City. The Church was so wealthy from its land holdings that the town citizens paid no taxes - but they had no say in governing the city, so there was friction between townsfolk and clergy. At the time this Bible was created, the bishopric was a protectorate of the Burgundian dukes.

 

Cambrai's 11th century cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1148.  Its replacement, now called the "Old" Cathedral, completed construction of its choir in 1251 and was consecrated as a whole in 1472. The current cathedral in Cambrai was completed in 1703.

 
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