is a papal bull
issued on June 18, 1452 by Pope Nicholas V
, that is credited by some
with "ushering in the West African
." It authorized Afonso V of Portugal to conquer
Saracens and pagan
and consign them to indefinite slavery. Pope
reiterated the bull in 1456 with Etsi
, renewed by Pope Sixtus
in 1481 and Pope Leo X
with Precelse denotionis
. The concept of the consignment
of exclusive spheres of influence to certain nation states was
extended to the Americas
in 1493 by
Pope Alexander VI
Issued one year before the Fall
in 1453, the bull may have been intended to
begin another crusade against the Ottoman
. Nicholas V's nephew, Loukas
, was Megas Doux
. Some historians
view these bulls together as extending the theological legacy of
Pope Urban II
to justify European colonization and
expansionism, accommodating "both the marketplace and the yearnings
of the Christian soul." Dum Diversas
"geographically unlimited" in its application, perhaps the most
important papal act relating to Portuguese colonization.
In 1537 pope Paul III explicitly condemned enslaving non-Christians
in Sublimus Dei
. In 1686 the Holy Office
limited the bull by decreeing that
Africans enslaved by unjust wars
, along with other bulls such as Romanus Pontifex
(1454), Ineffabilis et summi
Dudum pro parte
document the Portuguese ius
. Pope Alexander
VI, a native of Valencia, issued a
series of bulls limiting Portuguese power in favor of that of
Spain, most notably Dudem
- Love, David A. June 16, 2007. " The Color of Law On the Pope, Paternalism and
Purifying the Savages." ZNet.
- Davenport, Frances Gardiner, and Paullin, Charles Oscar. 1917.
European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States
and Its Dependencies to 1684. Carnegie Institution of
Washington. p. 12. A large excerpt of the bull, in Latin, can be
found in Davenport, p. 17, Doc. 1, note 37.
- Hayes, Diana. 1998. "Reflections on Slavery." in Curran,
Charles E. Change in Official Catholic Moral
- Hart, Jonathan Locke. 2003. Comparing Empires: European
colonialism from Portuguese expansion to the Spanish-American
War. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403961883. p. 18.
- Bourne, Edward Gaylord. 1903. The Philippine Islands,
1493-1803. The A.H. Clark company. p. 136.
- Eaglestone, C.R. 1878. The siege of Constantinople,
1453. p. 7.
- Sardar, Ziauddin, and Davies, Merryl Wyn. 2004. The
No-Nonsense Guide to Islam. Verso. ISBN 1859844545. p.
- Hood, Robert Earl. 1994. Begrimed and Black: Christian
Traditions on Blacks and Blackness. Fortress Press. ISBN
0800627679. p. 117.
- Grewe, Wilhelm Georg. 2000. The Epochs of International
Law. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3110153394. p. 230.
- Desai, Guarav Gajanan, and Nair, Supriya. 2005.
Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and
Criticism. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813535522. p.
- Mudimb̂ae, Valentin Yves, and Mudimbé, Vumbi Yoka. 1994.
The Idea of Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN
0253208726. p. 31.
- Hart, 2003, p. 19.