GABRIELLA ERDÉLYI, The Register of a Convent Controversy (1517–1518). Pope Leo X, Cardinal Bakócz, the Augustinians and the Observant Franciscans in Contest (CVH II/1), Budapest–Rome 2006. [lxxxviii + 230 p.]
In this volume of the series Collectanea Vaticana Hungariae dedicated to publish sources and monographs based on documents kept in Italian archives we have on our hands a unique source from the Vatican Apostolic Library. In 1518, there was a dispute for the possession of a convent in Western Hungary between two mendicant orders. The case was investigated upon papal order, in the course of which dozens of witnesses were heard. As the patron of the convent, Thomas Bakócz cardinal-legate claimed, the convent stood in a very bad condition and provided no liturgical services due to the negligent and sinful life of the friars: they frequented taverns, where they behaved as violent drunkards, and kept lovers, whom they entertained in the convent. The meticulously recorded depositions of local inhabitants contain many interesting stories and open, therefore, a window upon the everyday life of a market town and its neighbourhood.
The Introduction (ix–lxxxvii) reflects upon the possible uses of the source and the interpretation of this convent controversy from multiple viewpoints. With respect to the general historiographical significance of the Latin source, the volume has been published entirely in English. Its utility is ensured by a Bibliography (pp. 201–208) and an Index (pp. 211–224) including a subject index.