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Renaissance Craftsmen and Humanistic Scholars

Circulation of Knowledge between Portugal and Germany


Edited By Thomas Horst, Marília dos Santos Lopes and Henrique Leitão

The study of the relations between Portugal and the German-speaking countries in the 15th and 16th centuries is an intriguing topic that has attracted the interest of scholars for some decades. In recent years evidence accumulated has shown that there was still much to be known and even some large areas were still unexplored. In order to better grasp the nature of what was a complex historical phenomenon, an interdisciplinary approach to the topic turned out to be necessary by deepening the understanding of what is usually termed the circulation of knowledge. The present book shows how knowledge travels with people, with artifacts, along commercial lines, and is created and transformed by the intervention of individuals from various educational and social strata.

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Friedrich III. und Alfons V., Enea Silvio Piccolomini und João Fernandes da Silveira. Briefliche Kommunikation zwischen Portugal und dem Reich in den 1450er-Jahren (Achim Thomas Hack)


Achim Thomas Hack

Friedrich III. und Alfons V., Enea Silvio Piccolomini und João Fernandes da Silveira. Briefliche Kommunikation zwischen Portugal und dem Reich in den 1450er-Jahren

Abstract: This essay reflects on the contacts between Portugal and the German Empire around the mid 15th century, especially on epistolary communications. The most important evidence is the correspondence pursued by humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini, which is extant in a fragmentary and unique manuscript in the Austrian National Library (ÖNB cvp 3389). It includes two 1453 letters from Piccolomini to João Fernandes da Silveira; unfortunately, no corresponding letters in return have been transmitted. Both parties of the correspondence attest a deep friendship between them; they met in person several times, both before and after 1453 (during the nuptial arrangements 1450 in Naples, in the context of Emperor Frederick III’s coronation, apparently also during Piccolomini’s pontificate). In addition, the manuscript also contains a letter written by Alfonso V, King of Portugal, and Frederick III’s reply, which evidently was written by Enea Silvio Piccolomini. They discuss, amongst other things, the Emperor’s Portuguese consort and the state of their marriage; the tone used in these letters is clearly more harsh on both sides. It is telling that none of Eleonore’s letters to Portugal are extant.

Lissabon und Wiener Neustadt mögen immer gleich weit voneinander entfernt gelegen haben – die Luftlinie zwischen den beiden Städten beträgt exakt 2.277 Kilometer1 –, Portugal und das Reich kamen sich bisweilen näher...

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