The Legation of Angelo Pecchinoli at the Court of the King of Hungary (1488–1490). Written and edited by Antonín Kalous (CVH II/8), Budapest-Rome, 2021 (pp. LXXIX + 307)
The present volume brings an edition of documents related to the legation of papal nuncio Angelo Pecchinoli, who travelled to the Hungarian royal court in 1488. He stayed at the court of Matthias Corvinus until the king’s death and followed closely the struggle for the throne of Hungary until the coronation of the new king, Wladislas II, in September 1490.
The edition brings to light various types of sources: first and most importantly, the reports of Angelo Pecchinoli, which were sent from the royal court to Pope Innocent VIII in Rome; second, two sets of instructions that were given to the nuncio by the Curia; third, the mandates with faculties for the nuncio, which clearly defined the legal standards of the legation; four, the documents of the Apostolic Chamber, which clearly explain the financial terms of the legation. Apart from these four types further papal correspondence with the nuncio as well as with the mighty of the region is included. There exist many other charters published by the nuncio in local archives, but collecting and editing them in their entirety will take much more time and efforts.
Even though there were many reports that were lost and not preserved, the current dossier may be extremely useful to a historian. Firstly, the reports are extremely relevant sources which elucidate the events in Central Europe in the late 1480s in relation to the papal policy towards the region; and secondly, all the sources illustrate very clearly the functioning of the late medieval papal legations in a particular instance. Angelo Pecchinoli was defending the ecclesiastical liberty in the region using (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) the authority of the Apostolic See.
The volume contains also an introductory study, which analyses all these aspects of the edited sources and sets them in general context of the times and of the papal government in late-medieval Europe.