Donation of Constantine

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Related to Constantine's donation: Constitutum Constantini

Donation of Constantine

n.
A document fabricated probably during the 8th century, in which the emperor Constantine I purportedly grants to the Papacy temporal dominion over Italy and other western regions. Used throughout much of the Middle Ages as evidence in justifying Papal claims in secular affairs, it was demonstrated to be false in the 15th century.
References in periodicals archive ?
Possible further support for this hypothesis comes from 1) the ostentatious linking of a nominal lion with a "roarer" (Ruggiero) which perhaps recalls Ariosto's earlier exegesis of the papal name ("scelto il fiero nome / perche tu ruggi"); 2) the fact that Leone is the son of an emperor named after the original Costantino (both because of the earlier allusion to Constantine's donation in close proximity to Leo's name and because the memory of Constantine always evokes problems of papal authority); and, more tenuously, 3) a series of locutions using the crucial adjective "fiero," one of which conflates the two Dantean passages echoed in canto 17 -- "fiero dolore" (45.
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