- Natalia Nowakowska, Somerville College Oxford, UK
- Series : Catholic Christendom, 1300–1700
This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the career of Fryderyk Jagiellon (1468–1503) arguably the most powerful churchman in medieval or early modern Central Europe. Royal prince, bishop of Kraków, Polish primate, cardinal, regent and brother to the rulers of Hungary, Poland, Bohemia and Lithuania, Fryderyk was a leading dynastic politician, diplomat, ecclesiastic and cultural patron, and a pivotal figure in three Polish royal governments.
Whereas Polish historians have traditionally cast Fryderyk as a miscreant and national embarrassment, this study argues that he is in fact a figure of fundamental importance for our understanding of church and monarchy in the Renaissance, who can enhance our grasp of the period in a variety of ways. Jagiellon's career constitutes an ambitious state-building programme – executed in the three spheres of government, ecclesiastical governance and cultural patronage – which reveals the multi-dimensional ways in which Renaissance monarchies might exploit the local church to their own ends. This book also offers a rare English language insight into the development of the Reformation in central Europe, and an analysis of the reigns of Kazimierz IV (1447-92), Jan Olbracht (1492-1501), Aleksander (1501-6), Poland's evolving constitution, her foreign policy, Jagiellonian dynastic strategy and, above all, the tripartite relationship between church, Crown and state.
Contents: Series Editor's preface; Introduction; Towards renaissance monarchy?: The Jagiellonians and the Polish crown,1386–1492; 'Supremus consiliarius huius regni': Fryderyk Jagiellon's role in royal government; 'Reformanda reformare': Fryderyk Jagiellon and the Polish church; 'Imperiun sine fine': Fryderyk Jagiellon, image-making and propoganda; 'Cardinalis Cracoviensis': Fryderyk Jagiellon and the Papacy; 'Vita cardinalis': Fryderyk Jagiellon's legacy in Poland 1503–35; Dynastic bishops and cardinal-ministers: Fryderyk Jagiellon in European context; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Natalia Nowakowska is Tutor and Fellow in History at Somerville College, University of Oxford, UK.
Reviews: Prize: Winner of the Polish Studies Association's 'Jerzy and Aleksandra Kulczyccy Award for Best book in Polish Studies, 2007-08'
'Nowakowska's work is a long-desired contribution to our understanding of church and monarchy in the Renaissance from a perspective of late medieval and early modern Poland … [a] beautifully written and well structured book… This book is part of the welcome Ashgate series, Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700… In meeting the series' goal, Nowakowska's work is one of its most exemplary.' Renaissance Quarterly
‘This book is a welcome corrective and a fine addition to the literature on late-medieval and Renaissance church-state relations and on late-medieval Poland.’ The Catholic Historical Review
‘Presentation and layout in the volume are excellent. The chapters are a pleasure to read, both scholarly and lively. A map of central Europe, a family-tree of the Jagiellonian dynasty, a chronological table of the cardinal's life and times, several other tables, and six well chosen illustrations, guide and illuminate the reader. A full bibliography reveals the extensive literature in Polish and other languages. The Index is full and long entries are helpfully divided into sub-categories.’ Gregorianum
‘The monograph is well conceived and highly readable … an important book, stimulating further research in late medieval political and ecclesiastical history of Central European nations.’ Sixteenth Century Journal
‘Le large contexte historique bien souligné en introduction et la présentation de plusieurs éléments nouveaux font de cet ouvrage un travail d’importance exceptionelle.’ Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique
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