Dynast und Kirche. Studien zum Verhältnis von Kirche und Staat im späteren Mittelalter und in der Neuzeitby Alfred A. Strnad (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 85, Number 1, January 1999
- pp. 73-74
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- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS73 beyond Valencia and the mendicants and so makes a valuable contribution to our consideration of these issues. James William Brodman University ofCentralArkansas Dynast und Kirche. Studien zum Verhältnis von Kirche und Staat im späteren Mittelalter und in der Neuzeit. By Alfred A. Strnad. Edited by Josef Gelmi und Helmut Gritsch in collaboration with Caroline Baldemair. [Innsbrucker Historische Studien,Vols. 18/19·] (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag. 1997. Pp. xxxii, 688. ÖS 650.00.) This is a collection of twenty-three studies, six of which were hitherto unpublished , by the Ordinarius for modern history at the University of Innsbruck, the chair established originally in 1887 for Ludwig Pastor, the well-known historian of the popes. The anthology was edited by his students on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. It reflects the honoree's distinguished career as a historical researcher. Having obtained his doctorate under Alphons Lhotsky, the Nestor ofAustrian medievalists, he then worked in the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, that nursery of painstaking diplomatics, as assistant to its director, Leo Santifaller. In 1964 he transferred to the department for historical studies at the Austrian Cultural Institute in Rome,where he remained for thirteen years before he took up his present appointment in 1976. Much of his time there was spent in the Vatican Archives, particularly for his study of the earlier career of the humanist Enea Silvio de' Piccolomini, the later Pius II, and the Piccolomini family,who were closely involved in Austria. While most of this collection deals with the later Middle Ages, some articles spill over into the early modern, particularly the Counter-Reformation, period. The last one takes us even to the end of World War I. One of the purposes the editors had in mind in pubUshing these studies was to fill a perceived gap in the historiography of the late medieval Habsburgs, especially their ecclesiastical policy. Whereas this work may not fulfill the desideratum completely, it certainly lays the groundwork for such a book. With the possible exception of the first study, the essays reflect a good old-fashioned German approach to the writing of history ,namely, a conscientious and minute search for, and examination of,relevant sources, including what to us may seem trivial biographical data of semiobscure personalities. But in a surprising manner Strnad is able to use these details to shed light on broader issues. Sometimes he finds it even necessary to correct his old mentor, Lhotsky. The only truly interpretative study is the first one, his unpublished "The Holy Roman Empire in the Late Middle Ages: Insights into Imperial Concepts." In it we have a sweeping but acute interpretation of the notion of the medieval Empire and the part that the Habsburgs played in it from the death of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II to the Imperial reformulation at the time of the Habsburg Emperor Charles V Using the overarching idea of a universal Empire 74BOOK REVIEWS that would bring about peace and justice as found in Dante's De Monarchia, Strnad gives us an outline, albeit subjective at times, of the character and policy of the various German kings or emperors. His account clearly shows that his sympathies lie with the Habsburg dukes in their rivalries with the Imperial rulers of the Luxemburg line. It does not prevent him from disapproving the vacillations and indecisiveness of the Habsburg Frederick III. This survey sets the tone for much that is to follow in the subsequent articles, many ofwhich are concerned with the attempt of the Austrian territorial rulers to seize control over the church within their lands, a struggle that involved them, inter alia, with the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, the see of Passau, and the Luxemburg Emperor Charles IV, not to speak of their own intra-family quarrels. For example, in his second study, also unpublished, the author traces the history of the diocese of Seckau in the province of Styria, which was started ostensibly as a suffragan see of the metropolitan of Salzburg in 1 164, but became a point offriction between the archbishop and the territorial ruler over the appointment of the bishop. Somewhat similarly the see of Passau became a pawn in the power...