Academic journal article
By Bireley, Ropert
The Catholic Historical Review , Vol. 88, No. 4
Grazer Nuntiatur, 3. Band: Nuntiatur des Girolamo Portia and Korrespondenz des Hans Kobenzl 1592-1595. Edited by Johann Rainer. [Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften: Publikationen des Historischen Institute beim Osterreichischen Kulturinstitut in Rom, II. Abteilung: Quellen, II. Reihe: Nuntiaturberichte.] (Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 2001. Pp. xlii, 435.1722.80 6S paperback.)
This third volume of nunciature reports for Graz impresses once again with the significance of its content and the thoroughness of its scholarship. It makes clear the importance of Rome for the Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation in south Germany and especially Inner Austria. No scholar of these movements can ignore the volumes. Earlier volumes appeared in 1973 covering the period from the establishment of the nunciature by Gregory XIII in 1580 to 1582 and in 1981 for the period from 1582 to 1587. All three volumes have been edited by Johann Rainer, who has devoted most of his scholarly career to the relationship between Rome, and the Church in Inner Austria and the court of Graz during this period. No volume will appear for the years 1588 to 1592. Portia's predecessor fled Graz for Gorz in 1586 because of the plague. The Graz post then remained vacant until 1592 because, Rainer surmises, of the opposition of Emperor Rudolf II to a permanent nunciature in Graz. As it was, Portia spent most of his first three years as nuncio traveling throughout south Germany and only settled in Graz in 1595, the year that Archduke Ferdinand, the future Emperor Ferdinand II, returned from his studies with the Jesuits in Ingolstadt, soon to assume his personal rule. Portia was to remain as permanent nuncio until 1606.
Scarcely any of Portia's own reports have survived. So of the 331 documents published here most are instructions and letters for Portia from the cardinal secretary of state for Clement VIII during these years, Cardinal Cinzio Aldobrandini-- Passeri, and the nearly weekly letters sent to Rome until his death on August 16, 1594, by Hans Kobenzl, a veteran imperial official who had come to know Aldobrandini in 1588/89,when both were in Poland in an effort to resolve the dispute over the succession there. …