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The database Ut per litteras apostolicas (LITPA) represents an electronic version of the celebrated Registres et lettres des Papes du XIIIe siècle (32 vols.: Rome, 1883- ) and the Registres et lettres des Papes du XIVe siècle (48 vols.: Rome, 1899- ). Furthermore, it has been enriched with unpublished material (litterae communes of Gregory XI from 1371 to 1375 and the registers of petitions of Urbain V).

Ut per litteras apostolicas provides striking information on the most varied aspects of medieval society: church institutions, the clergy, the papal states, politics, the legal system, taxation, government and finance, secular society, the religious life, intellectual and artistic life, the economy, wars, law and order, the environment and natural disasters, and daily life.

Aims & Scope

Ut per litteras apostolicas provides online the complete collection of papal letters from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. But it is the possibility of searching such a resource with powerful software which makes this database so useful. As a result, a documentary source which has been underexploited, or even unexploited, can now be studied. The international community of medievalists will, for the first time, now be able to draw properly on this rich body of material.

This database of papal registers, Ut per litteras apostolicas, provides both more extensive and more intensive searching than has hitherto been possible from the conventional printed publications.

In particular, the user can undertake a search either on the entire database of all the pontificates or on one particular papacy or even a particular year of a papacy, and can refine the search according to various criteria – date, type of letter, place of issue, and so forth – within designated fields which draw their information from independent documentary sources.

It should be possible, for instance, to identify a bull according to its date of publication (both in the Latin original and its modern equivalent) or its reference number in the printed edition, to undertake a word- or name-search taking into account a large number of possible spelling variants (since the software automatically checks alternative spellings based on common variants found in medieval Latin), or to undertake a search by subject-matter (such as on religious life, or another of the subjects mentioned above).

LITPA: view of a record

LITPA: view of a record

key_features Key Features

  • The current documents present, beyond the analyses, the actual editions of numerous letters.
  • Any errors that have been identified in the analyses of the original publication have been corrected. The data presented is an improvement on what is found in the printed editions.
  • The present version of the database contains more than 250,000 documents, all categories included.


The current (4th edition of the) database consists of approximately 250.000 documents and covers the following pontificates:

Honorius III (1216-1227) Regesta Honorii papae III (1216-1227), éd. P. Pressutti, Roma, 1888-1895, 2 vols. 6288
Gregory IX (1227-1241) Les registres de Grégoire IX (1227-1241), éd. L. Auvray, Paris, 1890-1955, 4 vols. (BEFAR) 6183
Innocent IV (1243-1254) Les registres d’Innocent IV (1243-1254), éd. E. Berger, Paris, 1884-1921, 4 vols. (BEFAR) 8352
Alexander IV (1254-1261) Les Registres d’Alexandre IV (1254-1261), éd. Ch. Bourel de la Roncière, J. de Loye, P. de Cénival et A. Coulon, Paris, 1895-1959, 3 vols. (BEFAR) 3260
Urban IV (1261-1264) Les Registres d’Urbain IV (1261-1264), éd. J. Guiraud, Paris 1892-1958, 4 vols. (BEFAR) 508 + 3017
Clement IV (1265-1268) Les Registres de Clément IV (1265-1268), éd. E. Jordan, Paris, 1893-1945, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 1944
Gregory X (1272-1276)
John XXI (1276-1277)
Les Registres de Grégoire X (1272-1276) et de Jean XXI (1276-1277), Paris, 1892-1960, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 1090 + 165
Nicholas III (1277-1280) Les Registres de Nicolas III (1277-1280), éd. J. Guiraud et L. Cadier, Paris, 1898-1938, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 1090
Martin IV (1281-1285) Les Registres de Martin IV (1281-1283), éd. F. Olivier-Martin, Paris, 1901-1935, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 594
Honorius IV (1285-1287) Les Registres d’Honorius IV (1285-1287), éd. M. Prou, Paris, 1886-1888, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 975
Nicholas IV (1288-1292) Les Registres de Nicolas IV (1288-1292), éd. E. Langlois, Paris, 1887-1893, 2 vols. (BEFAR) 7654
Boniface VIII (1295-1303) Les Registres de Boniface VIII (1294-1303), éd. G. Digard, M. Faucon, A. Thomas et R. Fawtier, Paris, 1884-1939, 4 vols. (BEFAR) 5597
Benedict XI (1303-1304) Le Registre de Benoit XI (1303-1304), éd. Ch. Grandjean, Paris, 1883-1905, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 1327
Clement V (1305-1314) Regestum Clementis papae V…, O.S.B., Roma, 1885-1892, 10 vols. 10668
John XXII (1316-1334) Jean XXII (1316-1334), Lettres communes, éd. G. Mollat, Paris, 1904-1947,16 vols. (BEFAR) 64421
Jean XXII (1316-1334), Lettres secrètes et curiales relatives á la France, éd. A. Coulon et S. Clémencet, Paris, 1900-1972, 4 vols. (BEFAR) 5569
Benedict XII (1334-1342) Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres communes, éd. J.-M. Vidal, Paris 1902-1911, 3 vols. (BEFAR) 9536
Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales se rapportant a la France, éd. G. Daumet, Paris, 1899-1920, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 929
Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres closes et patentes intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. J.-M. Vidal, Paris, 1913-1950, 2 vols. (BEFAR) 3285
Clement VI (1342-1352) Clément VI (1342-1352), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales se rapportant á la France, éd. E. Déprez, G. Mollat et J. Glénisson, Paris, 1925-1961, 3 vols. (BEFAR) 5479
Clément VI (1342-1352), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. E. Déprez et G. Mollat, Paris, 1960-1961, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 2705
Innocent VI (1352-1362) Innocent VI (1352-1362), Lettres secrètes et curiales, éd. M.-H. Laurent et N. Gotteri, Paris, 1959-en cours de publication, 5 vols. (BEFAR) 2512
Urban V (1362-1370) Urbain V (1362-1370), Lettres communes, éd. M.-H. Laurent et alii, Paris, 1954-1989, 12 vols. (BEFAR) 27935
Urbain V (1362-1370), Lettres secrètes et curiales se rapportant á la France, Paris, 1902-1955, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 3286
Urbain V (1362-1370), Suppliques de 1362 á 1365 (années I á IV), éd. A.-M. Hayez, 1978-1989 (electronic version) 20477
Gregory XI (1370-1378) Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres secrètes et curiales relatives á la France, éd. L. Mirot, H. Jassemin et alii, Paris, 1935-1957, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 3952
Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres secrètes et curiales intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. G. Mollat, Paris, 1962-1965, 1 vol. (BEFAR) 4046
Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres communes, années I á V, éd. A.-M. Hayez, 1990-1998 (electronic version) 4171

partner_icon Partners

LITPA is realised in collaboration with the Centre Interuniversitaire d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Médiévales de Lyon (UMR 5648), the École française de Rome, the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (CNRS, Paris) and is led by the Centre de Recherche sur la Papauté d’Avignon.

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See also the Library of Latin Texts.

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© 2011, Functional Design: Centre Interuniversitaire d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Médiévales de Lyon, École française de Rome and Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (CNRS)
© 2011, Database: École française de Rome
© 2011, Database and Publication Rights: Brepols Publishers S.A.

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