NEW: EEHR n. 4/2021 Special Issue

DIPLOMATS AND DIPLOMACY IN THE EARLY MODERN POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH (XVII CENTURY) edited by Dorota Gregorowicz and Alessandro Boccolini

This Special Issue of Eastern European History Review deals with the history of diplomacy and its executors – diplomats (ambassadors, legates, nuncios, internuncios, agents and others) – in the seventeenth century’s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As a state conglomerate culturally and politically, closely connected to Western Europe, and for its specific institutional form of a “noble republic”, the Commonwealth has created, in the field of diplomatic practice, institutions, principles and ceremonies unique in the European context. The focus of the volume is the historiographic stream of the New Diplomatic History, without withdrawing from classic approaches that remain an important field of research.
Tracing the salient moments and facts of the complex history of the seventeenth century of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the volume – with the participation of authors from different parts of Europe and beyond – constitutes an international opportunity to reflect on issues and topics of old and new diplomatic history.

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DOROTA GREGOROWICZ  (UNIVERSITY OF SILESIA IN KATOWICE – POLAND)

TITLE: DIPLOMACY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, DIPLOMACY OF THE KING: THE PECULIARITY OF FOREIGN POLICY MAKING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY POLAND-LITHUANIA

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ABSTRACT: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth clearly stood out from the European institutional and legal systems of the early modern era. One of the elements of its “uniqueness” was the way of conducting foreign policy and, consequently, the organisation of diplomatic service.
The western European historiography does not address the peculiar structure of the Polish-Lithuanian diplomacy against early modern interstate relations. The only commonly noted characteristic of the diplomatic practice of the Commonwealth seems to be the lack of official permanent representations at European courts, as well as the reluctance to accept foreign embassies within the borders of the state. The Polish historiography does undertake the topic, but the existing works are dated and often overcame, requiring to be complemented.
The purpose of this article is to systematise and determine the specifics of the diplomatic activity of Poland-Lithuania from the institutional and juridical point of view, with particular attention paid to the nature of the ius legationis which operated in Rzeczpospolita state. Its two potential entities are confronted: the king and the Senate along with the sejm. The analysis is based primarily on the parliamentary constitutions, the supreme source of law for the Polish-Lithuanian state. Another goal of the presented study is to highlight the role of political practice in shaping foreign policy, which often stood in opposition to the formal legal structure of the Commonwealth. Finally, the article constitutes a discussion with the voices present in the historiography and an invitation for the scholars to furtherly launch the topic.

KEYWORDS: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Sovereignty; Diplomacy; Ius legationis; Foreign policy.


MARIUS SIRUTAVIČIUS (VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY – LITHUANIA) 

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TITLE: PARTNERSHIP IN A UNION WITH DIVERGING INTERESTS: COOPERATION BETWEEN THE KINGDOM OF POLAND AND GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA IN DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES AT THE TURN OF THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES.

ABSTRACT: The Union of Lublin established the principle of common foreign policy and diplomatic activities of Poland and Lithuania. Nevertheless, due to differing political interests of the Union partners in late sixteenth century it was not always realised. Often the political elites of both countries were not able to agree on the preferred direction of foreign policy; Lithuanian representatives did not show initiative to develop diplomatic relations in the Western direction, while Polish politicians ignored the interests of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania while solving the problems of relations with Muscovy. Therefore, the cooperation when organising diplomatic contacts with particular countries was not constant. States acted separately mostly during interregnum periods, but the coordination of actions was not always successful when a common ruler was in power, countries were relatively independent when engaging on a lower level – parallel diplomatic contact sphere. However, during the last decades of the Sixteenth century we can observe certain changes – increased cooperation of the political elites of both states in the diplomatic sphere, especially after the interregnum of 1587. Analysis of these changes is the main topic of this article. By basing the research on the practice of diplomatic communication with Muscovy, we will examine various organizational aspects of diplomatic relations (preparation of diplomatic missions, receptions of envoys, preparation of documents, etc.) in order to answer these questions: what
caused these changes? Were these changes caused by the integration following the Union and generational changes in Lithuanian elite? Were these changes caused by the increased Polish interest in the East?

KEYWORDS: Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Muscovy, diplomacy, Radziwiłłs.


PAWEŁ DUDA and HENRYK LITWIN (UNIVERSITY OF SILESIA IN KATOWICE/UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW – POLAND)

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TITLE: CORRESPONDENCE OF THE WARSAW NUNCIO ANTONIO SANTA CROCE WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS IN 1629: FREQUENCY, INTENSITY, CONTENT

ABSTRACT: This article is based on source material from the unique collection of correspondence of the Warsaw nuncio Antonio Santa Croce, stored in the Roman Archivio di Stato in the Archivio Santacroce ensemble under number 774 and containing 846 letters from the year 1629, addressed to the nuncio from various senders. The authors analyze the correspondence of the nuncio from the Roman Catholic bishops of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, consisting of 109 letters. 104 from the ordinary bishops and 5 from suffragan bishops. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the most regular and intensive correspondence was maintained with the nuncio by Archbishop of Gniezno Jan Wężyk and Bishop of Cracow Marcin Szyszkowski (presumably twice a month). Most of the other bishops approached the frequency of one letter per month, and this concerned the bishops of Vilnius, Cuiavia, Poznań, Płock, Samogitia, Łuck (Lutsk), Przemyśl and Chełm. The bishops present at the court, such as Bishop of Chełmno, Chancellor Jakub Zadzik or Bishop of Kamieniec Paweł Piasecki, made less frequent contact with the nuncio by letter. The bishops only sporadically addressed political issues in their letters and this was connected with the preparation for the sejm. Some hierarchs were interested in the Brest Union and referred to it in their letters. Most often, however, the bishops raised in their correspondence the issues of nominations for benefices, problems related to the discipline of the diocesan clergy and the issues of dispensations and facultates. The bishops’ contact with the nuncio therefore concerned in the vast majority of cases ecclesiastical matters and the secular functions of hierarchs, as senators of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, only occasionally marked their presence in correspondence with the papal ambassadors.

KEYWORDS: Papal diplomacy; Correspondence of nuncio; Roman Catholic bishops; Church Elites; Antonio Santa Croce.


MICHAŁ SALAMONIK (SÖDERTÖRN UNIVERSITY – SWEDEN)

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TITLE: NEWS AGENTS AND POSTMASTERS: BACKGROUND FIGURES OR ACTIVE DIPLOMATS?

ABSTRACT: The present study aims to examine the vital role of the postal and news infrastructure in the seventeenth-century Poland-Lithuania. The main scope of the article is to investigate what role postmasters and newsagents played in diplomatic structures by using the concept of the Black Chamber office. Emphasis is especially laid on diplomatic activities of postmasters and newsagents of Gdańsk, including their active networking, contacts with the Royal Family, the representative role of their residences as well as the intelligence activities. Finally, the article discusses the centralization of the royal power through the analysis of postal activities.

KEYWORDS: Diplomat; Postmaster; The Black Chamber; Network; Commissioner.


MIGUEL CONDE PAZOS (ALFONSO X UNIVERSITY – SPAIN)

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TITLE: SPANISH DIPLOMATS IN THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH DURING THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR

ABSTRACT: The outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War meant an increment of contacts between the Hispanic Monarchy and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the war, the Madrid court developed intense diplomatic activity in the area, adapted to the particularities of the Polish political system. In this article we analyse the qualities of the different Spanish envoys in the area, the main characteristics that conditioned their activity and the influence of the different courts that took part in the decisions. Later, we will focus on the case of Baron de Auchy and his last diplomatic mission in Warsaw (1645-1647); a journey that reflects the importance of personal ties in relationships, as well as the different strategies developed by Hispanic diplomacy to regain infl uence in a period of crisis.

KEYWORDS: Spanish diplomacy; Philip IV; Thirty Years’ War; House of Vasa; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


RYSZARD SKOWRON (UNIVERSITY OF SILESIA IN KATOWICE – POLAND)

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TITLE: THE ELECTORAL PALATINATE: KEY TO EUROPE. ART OF DIPLOMACY OF WŁADYSŁAW IV

ABSTRACT: Władysław IV at the time of taking the throne in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had already specified the main goals concerning foreign policy. The expiration of the truce with Sweden in 1635 offered the king new opportunities to negotiate with other European courts, to organize the armed forces and to convince the nobility to accept the idea of an offensive war against Sweden, fought on its own territory. The strategic goal of Władysław IV, which combined the interests of the dynasty and the Commonwealth, was his to return to the throne of Sweden. The realization of that goal required development of diplomatic and military strategies and tactics; preparation of a political plan which would allow the king to become involved in international politics; organization of a diplomatic network covering the most important European courts, both Catholic and Protestant; gaining allies in the war with the Swedes; and maximal implementation of the royal prerogatives concerning foreign policy. Władysław IV pursued his goal using two interrelated strategies: of peace and of war. The peace strategy – the basis for which were two linked projects: peace mediation and marriage with Elisabeth, the daughter of Frederick V and Elisabeth Stuart. The war strategy assumed that in 1635 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth would resume its war with Sweden. The king understood that the war conducted by the Commonwealth alone would not become an instrument for achieving the main goal. Therefore, he sought a joint and coordinated war of the Vasas and Habsburgs against Sweden.

KEYWORDS: Władysław IV Vasa; the Rhine Palatinate; Elizabeth Wittelsbach; Early Modern Diplomacy; The Thirty Years’ War.


ALEKSANDRA ZIOBER (UNIVERSITY OF WROCLAW – POLAND)

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TITLE: THE LAST YEARS OF THE REIGN OF JOHN CASIMIR VASA AND INTERREGNUM  AFTER HIS ABDICATION IN THE LIGHT OF REPORTS  OF FRANCIS SANDERSON AND ROBERT YARD

ABSTRACT: The last years of the reign of John Casimir, including the rokosz of Jerzy Lubomirski, the abdication of Vasa and the interregnum of 1668–1669, still arouses great interest among Polish and foreign historians. The internal situation of the Polish-Lithuanian state interested foreign courts, also this one in London. English envoys staying in Gdańsk, Francis Sanderson and Robert Yard meticulously informed about current events in the Commonwealth. Sanderson and Yard correspondence is an interesting source of information about internal events in Poland in the last years of the reign of John Casimir. It should be stated that most of the messages contained in accounts were accurate, sometimes minor mistakes may be encountered. Some of Sanderson’s comments and opinions, although appearing relatively rarely, confirm that English diplomats are well-versed in the intricacies of Polish politics, and on the other hand, prove that he has reliable sources of information and competent collaborators. In some reports, we can find detailed descriptions of some events and political moods in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which certainly proves their usefulness in historical research.

KEYWORDS: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; John Casimir Vasa; Diplomacy,: English reports; Interregnum.


ALESSANDRO BOCCOLINI (UNIVERSITY OF TUSCIA – ITALY)

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TITLE: DIPLOMACY AND PAPAL POLITICS DURING THE “UNFORTUNATE” REIGN OF MICHAŁ KORYBUT WIŚNIOWIECKI

ABSTRACT: After a complex interregnum, on 19 June 1669, Michał Korybut Wiśniowieski was elected the new king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Although the election was unanimous, a political rift  soon emerged with a party opposing the new ruler. The internal conflict favoured the Ottomans, who invaded Ukraine. The Infidels conquered the Kamieniec Podolski fortress and forced the Warsaw court to sign a shameful treaty in Buchach in October 1672. This tragic news soon reached Rome, alarming the Holy See, which had always followed with great interest the events of that distant kingdom, known to be the last bulwark of Christianity. The article intends to retrace the dramatic phases experienced by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the reign of Wiśniowiecki, in the light of the political and diplomatic actions carried out by Pope Clement X Altieri to support this Antemurale Christianitatis.

KEYWORDS: Holy See; Diplomacy; Clement X Altieri; Early Modern Poland; Ottomans.


MARTA SZYMAŃSKA (UNIVERSITY OF SILESIA IN KATOWICE – POLAND)

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TITLE: THE CEREMONIAL OF RECEPTION OF ALBRYCHT STANISŁAW RADZIWIŁŁ  AND HIS STAY AT THE COURTS OF WESTERN EUROPE AS A ROYAL ENVOY  DURING THE JOURNEY OF PRINCE WŁADYSŁAW VASA 1624-1625

ABSTRACT: Despite numerous publications regarding the journey of Prince Władysław Vasa to Western Europe (Bohemia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Italy) in 1624-1625, the topic still awaits its fully elaborated monography. One of the issues requiring in-depth reflection is the broadly understood diplomatic dimension of young Vasa’s peregrination. The prince, travelling incognito, was officially a member of Albrycht S. Radziwiłł’s diplomatic entourage. This arrangement caused many problems concerning diplomatic and ceremonial procedures in the ambassador-prince-host court triangle. This article aims to present relations in said arrangement, especially those related to preponderance during entries, stay and ceremonies taking place at the courts visited by the embassy. The analysis will be conducted primarily from the perspective of the role and functions of the ambassador. Therefore, its important component will also be the description of the political dimension of the journey, which will show Albrecht S. Radziwiłł’s activities in this area, including relations and meetings with the rulers visited, as well as the political elite and ambassadors present at a given court.

KEYWORDS: Diplomatic ceremonial; Embassy; Stanisław Albrycht Radziwiłł; Władysław Vasa; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


MARIUSZ SAWICKI (UNIVERSITY OF OPOLE – POLAND)

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TITLE: THE CORONATION PARLIAMENT OF JOHN III SOBIESKI IN FRENCH-LANGUAGE REPORTS SENT TO LONDON

ABSTRACT: The coronation parliament in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was always an exceptional event not only for the newly elected monarch but also for diplomats from foreign courts who reported about its proceedings. In their reports, they tried to provide as much information as possible, not only political but also moral, social, and related to the ceremony. Of course, such material needs careful analysis, as the diplomats, often unfamiliar with the reality of the Polish-Lithuanian state, misrepresented the facts or presented them in a wrong context. The analysed manuscript accounts from the coronation parliament of John III Sobieski probably played the role of an additional source of information in London. In addition to the offi cial reports of diplomats, they broadened the recipients’ knowledge about the described event, generally informing the reader about events during the parliamentary sessions, but not only that. The information about events in Russia and Turkey as well as about matters of minor importance was also included in these documents. Despite doubts about objectivity of some of the analysed papers, they should be considered an important source of information about the coronation parliament in 1676. They supplemented the official documents, and their congruence with diplomatic reports may have allowed for deepening of the reader’s knowledge about the described events.

KEYWORDS: Sobieski; The coronation parliament; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; English diplomacy.


EWELINA SIKORA (CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY – HUNGARY/AUSTRIA)

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TITLE: FEASTING AND FASTING IN MOSCOW: PEACE NEGOTIATION BETWEEN  POLAND-LITHUANIA AND MUSCOVY IN 1678 AS SEEN  THROUGH EATING AND DRINKING CUSTOMS

ABSTRACT: In 1678, a grand embassy headed by voivode of Wołyń (Volhynia) Michał Jerzy Czartoryski and voivode of Połock (Polatsk) Kazimierz Jan Sapieha set out to negotiate with Feodor III. At that time, the relations between Poland-Lithuania and Muscovy were tense. The thirteen-year truce was about to end, talks dragged on, and friendship declarations were punctuated with threats.
By following the Polish-Lithuanian grand embassy of 1678 to Muscovy, as described in Legatio Polono-Lithuanica by Bernard Tanner, the article examines practices of diplomacy, paying attention to one particular aspect of embassies’ material surrounding, that is food and drink. The goal is not to simply join the feast of the protagonists but to explore a wide range of problems – including those that would otherwise go unnoticed while focusing solely on high politics – to sketch a more detailed image of Polish-Lithuanian diplomacy in the seventeenth century.

KEYWORDS: Food and drink; Practice of Diplomacy; Bernard Tanner; Polish-Lithuanian relations with Muscovy.


GAETANO PLATANIA (ISTITUTO DI STUDI ROMANI – ITALY)

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TITLE: MICHAŁ RADZIWIŁŁ’S OBEDIENCE EMBASSY IN THE ROME OF POPE INNOCENT XI ODESCALCHI BETWEEN DIPLOMACY AND CEREMONIAL

ABSTRACT: In 1680 Michał Radziwiłł arrived in Rome to kneel at Innocent XI Odescalchi. Sent by Jan III Sobieski to pay homage to the pontiff and thus renew the obedience of the Rzeczpospolita to the Holy See, in reality, the king had commissioned him to plead the cause of an anti-Turkish crusade given an imminent attack by the Infidels on the Christianity. A sui generis character, Michał Radzwiłł would, however, have stood out for his extravagant requests, in stark contrast to the Roman ceremonial, and for his inability to conduct the diplomatic negotiations for which he had been sent. The article intends to retrace all the phases of the Polish Prince’s stay in Rome: from his incognito arrival in
the Eternal City to the long and maniacal preparation of the expensive Cavalcata d’Obbedienza, up to the failed negotiations with the pope and the Roman Curia. Moments analyzed through the use of printed and manuscript sources preserved in Roman archives and libraries. In particular, the printed Relazione of the Solemn Entrance to the city by Radziwiłł, and the Diary of the consistorial lawyer Carlo Cartari, who le us long and detailed descriptions of the entire Roman stay of this fanfarone Polish prince.

KEYWORDS: Michał Radziwiłł; Innocent XI Odescalchi; Rome; Ceremonial; Carlo Cartari.


ULADZMIR PADALINSKI (BELARUSIAN STATE UNIVERSITY – BELARUS)

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TITLE: DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY AS THE BASIS OF POLITICAL ADVANCEMENT  AND MATERIAL REWARD IN THE SIXTEENTH-CENTURY  GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA: THE CASE OF MIKHAYLA HARABURDA

ABSTRACT: In the second half of the sixteenth century, there was a sharp struggle for geopolitical hegemony in Eastern Europe. In order to protect its interests, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had to pursue an active foreign policy, especially during the Livonian War. So diplomacy opened up wide opportunities for public service. Th e paper shows how diplomatic activity infl uenced the political career and material status of the nobility. Th e study is based on the case of Mikhayla Haraburda, who implemented the priorities of the Grand Duchy’s foreign policy in practice for almost thirty years. From 1559 to 1586 he participated in 12 diplomatic missions to the Muscovite state and the Crimean Khanate. He rose through all the stages of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania diplomatic service: a messenger (1559, 1560, and 1561), a secretary of the grand legations (1563/1564, 1566, 1581/1582, and 1582), envoy (1571/1572, 1573, 1579, and 1580), and fi nally a grand envoy (1586). In the 1570s and 1580s, Haraburda was the most experienced diplomat of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. His career was related with the Grand Duchy Chancellery, where he served as a scribe (1559–1566) and a chief clerk (1566–1585). In 1585, he was appointed the castellan of Minsk and became the senator of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Moreover, due to his activity, Haraburda received from the rulers numerous landed estates. As a result, he earned a high position within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania noble society. It may be stated that it was Mikhayla Haraburda’s diplomatic activity that ensured his signifi cant political career and land grants.

KEYWORDS: Diplomacy; Grand Duchy of Lithuania; Public service; Political career; Material status.


TETIANA GRYGORIEVA  (NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF KYIV-MOHYLA ACADEMY – UKRAINE)

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TITLE: THE “DECISIVE EMBASSY” OF PRINCE KRZYSZTOF ZBARASKI TO CONSTANTINOPLE (1622-1623) AND EUROPEAN DIPLOMACY AMIDST THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR

ABSTRACT: The embassy of prince KrzysZtof Zbaraski (1622–1633) is traditionally considered purely in the context of bilateral relations between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire for several reasons. First, the main goal of this embassy was to gain an imperial ‘ahdname after the first substantial military conflict between the parties in the previous year. Second, because in such terms this embassy is pictured in the two major sources documenting this mission. These are the official report by Zbaraski and the epic poem by his secretary Samuel Twardowski “Przeważna legacja” (“The Decisive Embassy”) (1633).  Yet, prince’s diplomatic performance was closely observed by European residents and ad hoc ambassadors in Constantinople. Their dispatches give a perspective completely different from the one expressed in the official report of the prince. Specifically, they discussed whether the treaty between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire should include the paragraph regarding obligation of the Polish king to keep peace with the Transylvanian prince Bethlen Gábor. It was reported that this condition could impact Bethlen Gábor’s decision-making about resuming war with the Emperor Ferdinand II Habsburg after the Peace of Nikolsburg (1621). This article contextualises the embassy of the Prince Zbaraski within European political landscape amidst Thirty Years’ War and contrasts the results of the embassy to the tasks outlined in the ambassadorial instruction.

KEYWORDS: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Ottoman Empire; Transylvania; Diplomacy; Thirty Years’ War.


PETER P. BAJER (MONASH UNIVERSITY – AUSTRALIA) 

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TITLE: PIAE ET FORTITER: THE CAREER OF JERZY (GEORGE) BENNETT,  THE SCOTTISH AGENT OF THE RADZIWIŁŁ FAMILY

ABSTRACT: Among the many Scots who migrated to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the seventeenth century were numerous merchants, craftsmen, military men, members of the clergy and diplomats. A number of them rose to prominence and were admitted to noble estate and high office. Some became members of the royal court or confidantes of the wealthiest and most powerful Polish aristocrats. This paper examines the career of Jerzy (George) Bennett who became an agent and close confidant of Duke Bogusław Radziwiłł, one of the wealthiest and most influential magnates of the Commonwealth. Although, strictly speaking, Bennett was not a diplomat like his more famous compatriots: Sir Patrick Gordon (1610–21), James VI and I’s agent to Poland and Prussia, or his nephew Francis Gordon (1625–c.1642), envoy and merchant factor to Poland-Lithuania and Gdańsk, nevertheless, his diplomatic skills played a significant role in representing his patron. The correspondence between the Duke and Bennett, including letters and reports preserved in the archives of Vilnius and Warsaw, demonstrate that Bennett represented Radziwiłł’s interests not just in Kiejdany (Kėdainiai), where the Duke appointed him a starosta (territorial administrator), but also in Birże, Kaunas, Vilnius, Warsaw and Königsberg. His experience and skills gave him a distinct advantage as a suitable agent to represent Radziwiłł in everything, from small business matters to complex financial transactions. Acting in his name, Bennett was to be the embodiment of the Duke’s authority over his subjects. The collaboration with the Duke helped Bennett to increase his wealth, improve his social standing and, ultimately, become a member of the Polish nobility.

KEYWORDS: Scots; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; the Radziwiłłs; Factors; Agents.


ALEKSANDRA SKRZYPIETZ (UNIVERSITY OF SILESIA IN KATOWICE – POLAND)

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TITLE: BETWEEN ROYAL INSTRUCTIONS AND AMBASSADOR’S AMBITION.  MELCHIOR DE POLIGNAC’S COOPERATION WITH POLISH MAGNATES

ABSTRACT: Melchior de Polignac was a French ambassador in Poland whose task was to carry out a few political aims, including the most important one – starting cooperation with the royal couple, especially with Marie Casimire de la Grange d’Arquien, in order to prepare the election for one of her sons. Louis XIV wanted to see one of John III Sobieski’s sons on the throne, assuming that this would maintain good relations between Poland and France without spending money on a costly election fight. Initially, the ambassador pursued a lively cooperation with the court and he enjoyed the queen’s trust, but towards the end of John III’s life, he began cooperating with the magnates who convinced him that none of the princes would win the throne. From then on, Polignac started efforts for the election of a French prince. Louis XIV gave in to his arguments and put forward the candidature of Francis Louis, Prince de Conti, but he announced that he would not get financially involved in the election fight, he would not pay any gratifications until his cousin was enthroned. Polignac did not pass this information to his followers and tried to encourage them to take action by promising the payments. This was ongoing until the election when the bifurcated sympathies and strong support given to the Saxon, Frederick Augustus, triggered concerns of French supporters whether the payments would take place; at that moment, fantasies that Polignac used to feed his party were exposed. As a consequence, the party fell apart and Prince de Conti’s chances were lost. The aim of this article is not only to present the activities of Melchior the Polignac in Poland, but also to draw attention to the fact that the magnates did not betray the French candidate, but fell victim to the false assurances of the ambassador who took advantage of both the king’s trust as well as the French supporters in Poland.

KEYWORDS: Ambassador; France; Poland; Election; Money.


CLAUDIA CURCURUTO (JOHANNES GUTENBERG UNIVERSITY MAINZ – GERMANY)

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TITLE: FRANCESCO BUONVISI AND OPIZIO PALLAVICINI: CORRESPONDENCE AND ACTIVITIES OF TWO APOSTOLIC NUNCIOS IN THE SERVICE OF POPE INNOCENT XI ODESCALCHI (1676–1689)

ABSTRACT: Based on the correspondence of two apostolic nunciatures this investigation aims at exploring the relationship between two papal diplomats who were in office under Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi (1676–1689). The Roman Curia and the apostolic nunciatures are both considered as a centre for processing information and a place for the exchange of information with communication being a central, governmental tool of the Church. Focusing especially on the apostolic nunciature at the imperial court and the Nunziatura di Varsavia in the second half of the seventeenth century or rather on two great papal diplomats in this century namely, Cardinal Francesco Buonvisi (1675–1689) and Cardinal Opizio Pallavicini (1680–1688), it becomes evident that the apostolic nuncios are the most important mediators and indispensable agents between Rome and the local level. To examine the roles of the two papal diplomats as actors themselves undoubtedly offers a way to a better understanding of the strategies of communication, dynamics and the interplay between the nunciatures and the Roman Curia, the Pope and resp. to other actors of this period and represents a specific feature of papal diplomacy.

KEYWORDS: Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi; Francesco Buonvisi; Opizio Pallavicini; Apostolic Nunciature; Correspondence.


BÉLA VILMOS MIHALIK (INSTITUTE OF HISTORY, RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES,  EÖTVÖS LORÁND RESEARCH NETWORK -HUNGARY)

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TITLE: THE KING’S COUSIN, THE EMPEROR’S BISHOP. CHRISTIAN AUGUST OF SAXE-ZEITZ  AS MEDIATOR BETWEEN POLAND AND THE HOLY SEE

ABSTRACT: Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz played a decisive role in the election of his cousin, Augustus II to King of Poland, when he converted Augustus to Catholicism in 1697. Christian August, also a convert, gained the sympathy of the Holy See in the early 1690s, and became Bishop of Győr in Hungary in 1696. After the conversion and the turbulent election of his cousin, the bishop tried to mediate toward the Holy See and helped to consolidate the rule of Augustus II. In return a hope was growing, that Christian August will be elevated to cardinalate with the support of his cousin and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. Although Augustus II earlier nominated Johann Philipp von Lamberg, the Bishop of Passau as Polish candidate, the aging Pope Innocent XII admitted also that the cardinalate of Christian August would be “the coronation of his pontificate”. The paper examines the intermediary activity of Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz and his failed nomination to cardinalate.

KEYWORDS: Diplomacy; Holy See; Poland; Conversion; Election.