Papal Troops in Hungary (1595–1597, 1601)

vol. 17
Kruppa Tamás

Pápai csapatok Magyarországon (1595–1597, 1601). The Correspondence of Gianfrancesco Aldobrandini edited by KRUPPA TAMÁS, Budapest–Rome 2020. (xxix + 290 p.)

Tamás Kruppa research fellow of Vilmos Fraknói Vatican Historical Research Group edited the book which presents precisely the pontifical army’s taken role in the Fifteen Years War. The volume contains 137 letters from Aldobrandini correspondence. The volume in question gave insight into the weekdays and circumstances of the papal army during the Hungarian campaign.
There  were  only  a  few  periods  in  the  history  of  Hungary  when  the  Western  countries, including the papacy, paid such attention to the Kingdom of Hungary and the Principality of Transylvania than that of during the Fifteen Years’ War. In terms of religion this war was considered a holy war; therefore, it was absolutely natural of the padre commune to participate and send a complete army to the Hungarian battle field on three occasions. The documents that are being published are the proof of this effort. Hopefully, by their help in the three campaigns led by Gianfrancesco Aldo-brandini, the captain of the papal troops, not only will an interesting episode be seen, but also the long-term strategic plan of the diplomacy of the Holy See, which aimed to realise the former plan, namely the cessation of the schism and the expulsion of the Ottomans from the Danube valley and the Balkan peninsula.
In  the  Appendix  those  muster-registers,  acquittance-rolls  and  casualty  lists  are  covered that adumbrate the composition of the papal army’s officers, introduce the commandership of the army in the early modern period and demonstrate the army’s structure. This army was completely homogeneous in terms of ethnicity, which was unique at the time. With certain exaggeration one can state that the army of the Papal State was paradoxically the forerunner of the future Western-European national armies.  

The  publication  endeavoured  to  take  the  general’s  sometimes  hardly  legible  and  comprehendible unique handwriting into consideration. It is of significant impor-tance, since a considerable part of the published documents consists of original letters written completely or partly by the general himself. 

Gulyás Kristóf