They had been preceded by others under various signatures such as "Candor," "Father of Candor," "Anti-Sejanus," "Lucius," "Nemesis," which have all been attributed, some of them certainly in error, to one and the same hand.
But while the majority of the deputies, were nominally in favor of the bill, the parliamentary committee reported against it, and public opinion was so hostile that an anti-divorce petition received 3,500,000 signatures, including not only those of professing Catholics, but of free-thinkers and Jews, who regarded divorce as unsuitable to Italian conditions.
Thirty-three bishops are included in the most authentic list of signatures, among them three from Britain, - York, London and "Colonia Londinensium" (probably a corruption of Lindensium, or Lincoln, rather than of Legionensium or Caerleon-on-Usk).
Signatures to documents of the period are rare; seals served instead of signatures, because most of the nobles were unable to sign their names.
Arcana were often shown to be such by their physical properties, not only by such as heat, cold, &c., but by fortuitous resemblances to certain parts of the body; thus arose the famous doctrine of "signatures," or signs indicating the virtues and uses of natural objects, which was afterwards developed into great complexity.