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ADRIAN OF UTRECHT AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUVAIN: THEOLOGY AND THE DISCUSSION OF MORAL PROBLEMS IN THE LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY Bv M. W. F. STONE Proh dolor quantum referí in quae témpora vel optimi cuiusque virtus incidat.1 Even though his place in posterity is secured by the incidental detail that he was the last non-Italian pope before John Paul II, and his twilight years and brief papacy have been the object of extensive scrutiny, it is somewhat surprising that the largest portions of the vita et opera of Hadrian VI, "Adriaan Florensz," "Adrianus Florentii," or "Adrian of Utrecht" (14591523 ) have been only occasional areas of scholarly interest.2 A neglected 1 Motto on the tomb of Hadrian VI in the church of Santa Maria dell'Anima in Rome. This paper is dedicated to Dr. Richard Cross, who many moons ago, in an act of typical generosity, presented the author with a copy of Adrian's Quaestiones quotlibeticae XII. I am also grateful to Jan Roegiers, Charles Lohr, and Guy Guldentops for their helpful comments . 2 Early examples of a tendency to focus exclusively on Adrian's last years can be found in his modern biographies by Johann F. Gaum, Leo X. und Adrian VL: Eine Unterredung über das Wiederaufleben der Rechte und Befugnisse der hohen Rómischkatholischen Geistlichkeil , und die Schicksaale der Päpstlichen Nuntiaturen in Deutschland (Ulm, 1787); A. DeIvigne , Le pape Adrien VI: Sa vie et ses écrits (Brussels, 1862); M. (Le Chanoine) Ciaessens, Le pape Adrien VI: Notice Biographique (Louvain, 1865); J. Wensing, Het leven van Adriaan VI (Utrecht, 1870); Heinrich Bauer, Hadrian VI.: Ein Lebensbild aus dem Zeitalter der Reformation, Heidelberg, 1876; and Constantin von Höfler, Papst Adrian VI. 1522-1523 (Vienna, 1880); see esp. book 5, 392-558, which provided the basis for Ludwig von Pastor's later account in Geschichte der Päpste seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters, Bd. 4-2 (Adrian VI. und Klemens VIL), 13th edition (Freiburg and Rome, 1956). Höfler's extensive narrative provides a detailed survey of almost every day of Adrian's short pontificate, his main interest being in Adrian's europolitical role in the period between 1515 and 1522, where the internal violence occasioned by the Reformation, and external uncertainty from the Turkish threat, were the two main factors in his life. This tendency can be said to be consonant with the approach of older chronicles such as that by G. Moringus, Vita Hadriani Sexii pontificis maximi (Louvain, 1536), included in the collection of documents and sources edited by C. Burmann(us), Hadrianus Sextus sive analecta histórica de Hadriano Sexto (Utrecht, 1727), and E. Danz, Analecta critica de Hadriano VI, Pontífice Romano (Jena, 1813). For other coverage of the basic facts of Adrian's life and career see Giuseppe Dall'Onda Pasolini, Adriano Vl: Saggio storico (Rome, 1913); J. Forget, "Adrien VI," DThC 1 (1902): 459-61; P. Richard, "Adrien VI," DHGE 1 (1912): 628-30; A. Duval, "Hadrien VI," Catholicisme 5 (1957): 477-78; J. Coppens, "Adriaan VI," Nationaal Biografisch Woordenboek, 15 vols. (Brussels, 1964- ), 3 (1968): 5-19; and J. Bijloos, Adrianus VI: De Nederlandse Paus (Haarlem, 1980). For limited English-language commentary see K. Blockx, "Adrian of Utrecht (1459-1523)," Louvain Studies 5 (1975): 280-84. When viewed 248TRADITIO aspect of his biography is the period he spent from 1476 to 1506 as a student and academic theologian at the University of Louvain.3 Moreover, little time has been devoted to an assessment of his contribution to the theological debates of his day, especially those pertaining to morals. It appears that, despite the existence of a robust and sophisticated corpus,4 Adrian's work has failed to excite the interest of intellectual historians, and rarely intrudes in the round as a whole, these works do not reflect many new trends in biographical research on Adrian since Höfler. 3 In castigating earlier generations of scholars for their omissions, one should make allowances for the fact that previous historians have largely conducted their biographical researches of Adrian under the heading of "the last German Pope," and so have permitted the events of his brief papacy to govern their concerns...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-5508
Print ISSN
0362-1529
Pages
pp. 247-287
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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