Pázmány, the Jesuit Prelate. His Appointment as Primate of Hungary, 1615–1616 (A Micropolitical Study)

vol. 13
Péter Tusor

PÉTER TUSOR, Pázmány, the Jesuit Prelate. His Appointment as Primate of Hungary, 1615–1616 (A Micropolitical Study) (CVH I/13), Budapest–Rome 2016. 460 p. + 6 suppl. (pictures, facsimiles, map)


The subject of the monograph is the appointment of Péter Pázmány as the primate of Hungary. It analyzes the causes, aims and interrelations of one of the most influential macro-political facts of the early modern Hungarian history with micro-political approach – a technique that was elaborated for the age by Wolfgang Reinhard – and reconstructs its twisting events with critical sense. The question has attracted increasing attraction of the Hungarian historiography for three centuries starting out from György Pray. Yet only partial or false answers were found. The volume encompasses political, diplomatic and church-historical dimensions; what is more, it enriches also the art history by a new result. The author confidently uses the results of the Latin and Italian philology and – as auxiliary sciences – secular and canon law history.


Separate chapters deal with the protracted negotiations of the Habsburg and the papal diplomacy, the way of Pázmány leading temporarily out of the Jesuit order, the surrounding tensions inside the order, the accuses, the Somascan novice-candidacy, etc. Both his supporters and a fair number of his enemies are unfolded in the volume. Furthermore, we get an answer to the question whether his appointment was really problematic from the point of view of canon law or not, whether he fathered a child or not, whether he was heated by ambition and so wanted to be the primate of Hungary at all; who interested mostly in filling this position with him, and finally who became the main beneficiary of his appointment. The causes and driving force of the unique career turnaround are revealed analyzing the inner relations of the Court of Rome and Prague and the European high politics on the eve of the break out of the Thirty Years’ War.

The reader can dive into the special depths of historical cognition from the perspective of four centuries due to the fortunate source facilities and the wide exploring work covering Italian, Austrian, Czech and Hungarian archives. In these depths the interested are led primarily by the Roman Habsburg diplomatic and ecclesiastical informers whose role remained unknown until now.


The usage of the monograph is helped by broad professional note apparatus, appendix of sources (pp. 339–390), chronology (pp. 391–400), the list of the used sources and books (pp. 401–416), index (pp. 419–426), English summary and table of contents (pp. 429–456 and 457–459).