The pope, the Hunyadis and the wallachians: The curious case of Pius II Cover Image

The pope, the Hunyadis and the wallachians: The curious case of Pius II
The pope, the Hunyadis and the wallachians: The curious case of Pius II

Author(s): Alexandru Simon
Subject(s): Cultural history, Diplomatic history, Military history, Political history, 15th Century
Published by: Editura Mega Print SRL
Keywords: Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini); John Hunyadi; Matthias Corvinus; Vlad III the Impaller (Dracula); Mehmed II; crusading; humanism; state-building; identity; corruption;

Summary/Abstract: One of the political letters, deemed worthy to be cited and copied by Pope Pius II (olim Enea Silvio Piccolomini) in his Commentaries, was the message allegedly sent by Vlad III the Impaller(Dracula), voivode of Wallachia, to Sultan Mehmed II on November 7, 1462. The missive was the textual embryo of Book XI, chapter 12 (Iohannis Dragule immanis atque nefanda crudelitas, eiusque in regem Hungarie deprehensa perfidia, et tandem captivitas), covering over a fifth of the chapter. The Dragula chapter was placed between the depiction (in chapter 11) of the Viennese conspiracy against Albert VI of Habsburg, the rival brother of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg (April 1462), and the emphatic presentation (in chapter 13) of the royal anti-Ottoman request sent by Stephen Tomašević, the new king of Bosnia, to Pius II (roughly a year earlier, in the late summer of 1461, a date the pope failed nevertheless to mention, though he extensively quoted both the oration of Tomašević's envoys and the subsequent papal response). The case of John Dragula explicitly linked chapters 11 and 13. Frequently overlooked, the chapters bordering the infamous deeds of the voivode of Wallachia formed its logical political context, founded on Matthias Corvinus. The son of John Hunyadi, who had executed John Dragula's father, Vlad II Dracul (just Dragula according to the pope), was (as recorded also by Pius II): (1) the overlord (i.e. suzerain) of John Dragula, (2) the archrival of Frederick III, and (3) the challenged suzerain of Stephen Tomašević. Prior to the Dragula issue of 1462, Pius II had loyally served Frederick as his secretary and envoy (from late 1442 until he was elected pope in August 1458) and had sent a crown for Stephen Tomašević's royal coronation on Christmas Day 1461 (against the opposition of Matthias, whose Bosnian rights Pius II claimed however, in his Commentaries, to have defended). Starting with the case of John Dragula, the most famous Wallachian in Enea's/ Pius' writings, the study focuses on the actual case at hand: that of humanist/ pope and his designs for an continent and a faith in turmoil.

  • Issue Year: 2/2020
  • Issue No: 30
  • Page Range: 59-108
  • Page Count: 50
  • Language: English