Pius Aeneas among the Taborites

The power that impelled Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini from his first insignificant clerkship at the Council of Basel to the height of papal dignity resided less in himself than in the cross-currents of fifteenth-century European politics through which he moved. The particular currents that Aeneas Sylvi...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Church history
Main Author: Kaminsky, Howard 1924-2014
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [1959]
In:Church history
Year: 1959, Volume: 28, Issue: 3, Pages: 281-309
Online Access: doi
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Summary:The power that impelled Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini from his first insignificant clerkship at the Council of Basel to the height of papal dignity resided less in himself than in the cross-currents of fifteenth-century European politics through which he moved. The particular currents that Aeneas Sylvius exploited were those emanating from German resistance to Rome, from the Hauspolitik of the Hapsburgs, from the entrenched Hussitism of Bohemia, and in general from the cultural differential between backward-Gothic Central Europe and the new life of Renaissance Italy. Amply endowed with energy and the kind of rich but not first-rate talent that never has to sacrifice effectiveness to an original vision of truth, Aeneas carefully made himself useful to the dignitaries of Basel, to the Council's pope, then to the Emperor Frederick III, and finally to the Roman papacy. His good style, facetious imagination, and worldliness helped him throughout his career, and when it became possible for him to look forward to high office in the church he experienced a mild spiritual conversion and took the necessary holy orders; as Bishop first of Trieste (1447), then of his own Siena (1449), he served both the Emperor and the Roman Pope; in 1456 his service to both parties was rewarded with the dignity of Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina, and in 1458, on the death of Calixtus III, he was elected to the papacy.
ISSN:0009-6407
Contains:Enthalten in: Church history
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.2307/3162159