Papato e politica internazionale nel Seicento. Il nunzio Francesco Buonvisi alla corte di Leopoldo I d’Asburgo imperatore e re d’Ungheria

vol. 22
Giulio Merlani

GIULIO MERLANI, Papato e politica internazionale nel Seicento. Il nunzio Francesco Buonvisi alla corte di Leopoldo I d’Asburgo imperatore e re d’Ungheria (CVH I/22), Budapest–Roma 2023.

(Papacy and International Politics in the 17th Century Francesco Buonvisi, Nuncio at the Court of Emperor Leopold I and King of Hungary)

This Italian-language monograph focuses on the foreign policy activities of the Lucca-born papal diplomat Francesco Buonvisi until 1678, especially during the first part of his nunciature at the imperial and royal court. Buonvisi's office in Vienna is presented in the context of his earlier missions to Cologne (1670–1672) and Warsaw (1672–1675). It will be seen how his actions represented the expectations and strategy of the Holy See after 1648. In both Cologne and Warsaw, Buonvisi distinguished himself for his diplomatic skills and political acumen, which, together with his uncommon pragmatism, led him to the head of the prestigious nunciature of the imperial and royal court. On his appointment as nuncio in Vienna, Pope Clement X charged his nuncio with assisting the papal efforts to reconcile Habsburg–Bourbon and persuading the emperor to direct his forces eastwards against the Ottomans, preferably with the Poles. After the accession of Innocent XI, the earlier efforts of papal policy at the international level were crowned with recognition, Francesco Buonvisi proved to be a particularly valuable and effective player for the Holy See. This perspective is both confirmed and highlighted by the analysis of Buonvisi's diplomatic activity in the context of this monograph, which compares the work of the prelate of Lucca with that of his colleagues at other European courts. It was made possible primarily by a thorough study of the archival sources preserved in the Vatican Apostolic Archives.  The research is based on a comparative study of the diplomatic correspondence between the Papal Secretariat of State and the Viennese Nunciature with the documents of other Papal embassies, those of Madrid, Paris, Venice and Warsaw, and of the extraordinary nuncios sent to peace negotiations (Segreteria di Stato, Nunziatura di Germania, di Spagna, di Francia, di Venezia, di Polonia; Nunziatura delle Paci). These Vatican sources are enriched by the documents of the Archivio di Stato di Lucca, where the private archives of the Buonvisi family are kept. By examining largely unpublished historical sources, this volume provides a complete and more accurate picture of Francesco Buonvisi's figure in European diplomacy and the actual role of other nuncios in shaping Rome's grand political strategies. At the same time, through the prism of the nunciatures, it describes the aims and effects of the complex process of redefining the papacy in the second half of the seventeenth century, through the guidelines of the Secretariat of State. The Roman efforts that led to the liberation of almost all of Hungary from a century and a half of Ottoman rule in the 1680s and 1690s. Volume I/22 of the Vatican-Hungarian History series is the first monograph by the young author Giulio Merlani. He defended his doctoral thesis at La Sapienza in Rome in February 2020.