Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Nuntiaturberichte Aus Deutschland Nebst Erganzenden Aktenstucken, Dritte Abteilung: 1572-1585, 8. Band: Nuntiatur Giovanni Dolfins (1575-1576)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Nuntiaturberichte Aus Deutschland Nebst Erganzenden Aktenstucken, Dritte Abteilung: 1572-1585, 8. Band: Nuntiatur Giovanni Dolfins (1575-1576)

Article excerpt

Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland nebst erdanzenden Aktenstuckee, Dritte Abteilung: 1572-1585, 8. Band: Nuntiatur Giovanni Dolfins (1575-- 1576) (im Auftrage des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom). Edited by Daniela Neri. (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. 1997. Pp. li, 795, DM 238.00.)

This collection comprises the complete correspondence between Giovanni Dolfin, Imperial nuncio in Vienna in 1571-1578, and the papal Secretary of State, Ptolomeo Gallio, during the last years of Emperor Maximilian II's reign (1575-76). Daniela Neri's book forms the eighth volume of a comprehensive edition of the German nunciature's correspondence in the reign of Gregory XIII (1572-1585). Like the preceding issues in this series, the present volume is furnished with an instructive description of the state of documentation and the specific editorial problems encountered. There is also a useful summary of the main subjects of the correspondence. The editor plausibly argues that recent papal administrative reforms account for the nearly complete archival survival of the material, but its occasionally poor physical quality is indicated by the numerous brackets in the texts denoting missing or illegible passages. The palaeographic problems involved are further illustrated by the specimen documents reproduced in the introduction.

Given the detailed biographical information included in the preceding volume, Neri sensibly limits her comments to basic information on Dolfin's Venetian aristocratic background, his friendship with St. Charles Borromeo, and his attendance at the final session of the Council of Trent, as well as his diplomatic missions to France and, more important, to Vienna (1569), thus outlining his credentials as negotiator in Counter-Reformation and Imperial affairs.

The material presented documents the delicate nature of Dolfin's mission. In Maximilian II, he encountered a shrewd and wayward ruler, whose reluctance to endorse a confrontational religious policy in the Austrian hereditary lands and Bohemia was only partly explained by his financial dependence on his Protestant subjects" support to check the Turkish threat. …

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