Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Kardinal Jean Jouffroy ((^) 1473): Leben Und Werk

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Kardinal Jean Jouffroy ((^) 1473): Leben Und Werk

Article excerpt

Kardinal Jean Jouffroy (^ 1473): Leben und Werk. By Claudia Martl. [Beitrage zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters, Band 18.] (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag. 1996. Pp. 397. DM 108.)

Jean Jouffroy's career reflects the competing aspirations that marked the ecclesiastical vocation in the fifteenth century. Born into a Burgundian mercantile family, he joined the Benedictine Order, studied canon law at the University of Pavia (where he also encountered the famed Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla), then during the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438-39) entered the familia of Francesco Condulmer, the influential nephew of Pope Eugenius IV From this point on, his advance in the ranks of the Church proceeded rapidly, culminating in his gaining the red hat in 1461.

Given neither to personal austerity nor to the cloistered life of prayer, he lived a highly public career, emerging as a skillful papal diplomat and wealthy church administrator, becoming Bishop of Arras (1453) and subsequently of Albi (1462), and then Abbot of Saint-Denis (1464). In many ways an ambitious and worldly careerist (even labeled as avaricious by Pope Pius II), whose legal training facilitated both his diplomatic activities and his abilities to function as a curial insider, he nonetheless was a highly cultured prelate who became an important practitioner of the new humanist oratory at the papal court and an influential patron of humanistic learning. He acquired an extensive classical and patristic library, including manuscripts of recent humanist translations of Chrysostom and other Church Fathers, and he commissioned Francesco Griffolini, the humanist from Arezzo, to provide Latin translations of Chrysostom's Homilies on I Corinthians and Homilies on John. Jouffroy's own writings (the author usefully provides in an appendix a complete chronological listing of titles, including manuscript data and relevant scholarly studies) include an oration in praise of St. …

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