Lósy, Lippay, Szelepchény. Microbiographical Studies from the Early Modern Age (With the Verbals of Enquiry Processes, 1625–1666)

Péter Tusor

Lósy, Lippay, Szelepchény. Microbiographical Studies from the Early Modern Age (With the Verbals of Enquiry Processes, 1625–1666), Budapest–Rome 2022. 368 p. + 4 supll. (3 pict., 1 map)

The volume continues the full-text publication of the canonical enquiry (processus informativus) records begun with Péter Pázmány (1616–1637) (CVH II/6), but now only includes the personnel material. This time, it contains personal material from the Vatican of three of Pázmány's successors: Imre Lósy (1637–1642), György Lippay (1642–1666) and György Szelepchény (1666–1685). The choice is justified by the decisive role played by the archbishops of Esztergom in the history of Hungarian church, society, society and culture during the early modern period. Starting from the paradigm of the publication of the Pázmány process, the study shows how make it possible to learn about the life of the high priest from early modern Hungary, based on the widest possible source material, historical documents from Hungary (Carpathian Basin), Vienna, and Italy (Vatican). In other words, the Vatican sources, the canonical investigation reports, provide special information for this purpose that cannot be found elsewhere. The present work does not illustrate all of this by way of comparative analyzes and examples, but rather by reviewing the entire life path biographically, or more precisely microbiographically, with a critical, especially source-critical demand.

According to the definition in the volume, a "microbiography" is a biography written in the form of a study, which deals with a historical figure whose life path - due to its historical role, significance and extant documentary material - can and should be worked on in a (large) monographic form in the future. At the same time, by counting and reviewing the already complete source material (in this case a total of 34 Hungarian, Austrian, Croatian, Bohemian and Italian archives),  as well as scientific literature (about 420 items), only the curriculum, and more important/interesting ecclesiastical, cultural, political data, aspects and problems will be clarified and the essential questions will be answered summarizing and in some places.

The important thesis of the research is that although the coat of arms of Lósy, György Lippay, and Szelepchény does not yet have the ducal crown symbolizing their secular primacy and feudal autonomy, it is present in their aspirations, demands, and actual ecclesiastical and political practice. Moreover, their real power and actual influence on national politics, based on the aspirations of Pázmány, was much greater than that of their successors for the next three centuries.