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16_Tatar- G. Martinuzzi



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O poveste a unuia dintre cei mai puternici oameni ai Principatului Transilvaniei
   European Journal of Science and Theology, June 2014, Vol.10, No.3, 161-169  _______________________________________________________________________ A CATHOLIC IN THE SERVICE OF THE TRANSYLVANIAN PROJECT BISHOP GEORGE MARTINUZZI (1541-1547)  Octavian Tăt ar * ‘  1 Decembrie 1918 ’ University of Alba Iulia, 5 Gabriel Bethlen Str., 510009, Alba Iulia, Romania (Received 25 September 2013, revised 4 March 2014)   Abstract Bishop Martinuzzi, a high state dignitary and faithful servant to King John Szapolyai, defended the integrity of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1541. Thereafter, with Hungary divided and the Habsburgs and Ottomans struggling for control in Central Europe, Martin uzzi‟ s political action underwent substantial change. It is traditionally claimed that he set out to build a state in Transylvania around which other territories would coalesce, with the aim of eventually reuniting Hungary. Yet he had no such plan at this time. The Ottoman Porte allowed Martinuzzi to govern Transylvania and adjacent territories under limited and strictly defined conditions, on behalf of the Sultan. Hence, Martinuzzi sought no more than to consolidate his position to the detriment of the dowager Queen Isabella. Habsburg authorities in Vienna held no effective control over the eastern regions of the former Hungarian Kingdom at the time, so that Martinuzzi had little reason to deal with them in the years immediately following 1541. He was aware of their weakness and also aware that Vienna saw him as an old and tenacious opponent of the House of Habsburg, so he never presented them with any major state-building  project. If the Habsburgs ever established contro l over Transylvania, Martinuzzi‟ s  political aims were strictly personal: to be accepted as Bishop of Oradea and treasurer of Transylvania. When Vienna and the Porte reached agreement over Hungary in the Truce of 1547, Martinuzzi felt endangered realizing that he was at least temporarily no longer  part of any Habsburg-Ottoman negotiations over Transylvania, Martinuzzi adopted an opportunistic, cautious and turncoat approach, pursuing personal interests rather than  brave statist tactics which would benefit the community.  Keywords:  Martinuzzi, Transylvanian project, Vienna, Ottoman Porte 1.   Introduction The Bishop of Oradea, Gheorghe Martinuzzi (1482-1551), was one of the most important political figures in the Kingdom of Hungary in the 1530s and 1540s. Born George Utjesenović and named for his father, a Croatian noble, he  preferred the name Martinuzzi out of admiration for his Venetian mother but also for pragmatic, careerist reasons. After taking monastic vows in 1504 he was * E-mail: octavian_tatar@yahoo.com    Tătar   /European Journal of Science and Theology 10  (2014), 3, 161-169 162 known as Frater George or the Friar [1]. In official correspondence, especially after he was appointed Bishop of Oradea (1534) by King John I Szapolyai, he would sign  Frater Georgius or  Frater Georgius episcopus Waradiensis  [2]. His  political career began in 1529 when he was appointed counsellor and treasurer to John I, whose service he had entered in 1527 [3]. From that point on, Martinuzzi would serve the Szapolyai dynasty faithfully for nearly two decades. The most important service Bishop Martinuzzi did to his king was to negotiate the Treaty of Oradea, signed in February 1538 [2, p. 65-85], an opportunity to reveal his outstanding diplomatic skills [4]. Until the summer of 1541, Martinuzzi's political activity reveals no „Transylvanian project‟  in the sense of autonomous state-building. Rather the  bishop devoted himself entirely to accomplishing John I ‟ s political objectives: to  promote friendly relations with the Ottoman Porte; to consolidate the king's authority and legitimacy amidst reopened conflict with Ferdinand I Habsburg following Szapolyai‟ s marriage to Isabella Jagiello, daughter of the Polish king, and the Transylvanian uprising led by Ştefan Mailat; and to ensure John Sigismund Szapolyai ‟s succession to the throne after his father John‟s death in July 1540. These three political aims were intended to keep the Hungarian kingdom united under Szapolyai rule, with Ottoman support. Martinuzzi never suggested any other policy; he endorsed the idea of a „ full and legitimate Hungarian royalty‟ . Perhaps this is what led many historians, especially Hungarian scholars, to assert for more than a century and a half that Martinuzzi fought all his life for the unity and integrity of the Hungarian Kingdom [5-8]. The fundamental question is whether this also holds true for the period  between 1541, when the Ottomans took Buda, and 1547, when the Habsburg-Ottoman truce was signed. Was Martinuzzi during these years the same faithful defender of the Kingdom of Hungary‟s unity as he was in the time of John I Szapolyai? Did he, as has often been argued, fight for the reunification Hungary after 1541 [9]? In this reading he is an outstanding political figure who could not accept the autonomy of Transylvania. Was he truly a great patriot, serving a noble idea, who contrived a policy to rebuild Hungarian unity starting with the coalescence of certain territories around Transylvania? Working from the actual state of affairs in Transylvania, did Martinuzzi create functional and state-like institutions in the tradition of the old kingdom? Does recent research, and especially the state of documentary sources, allow now a more nuanced interpretation of the scale and scop e of the bishop‟ s political work in Transylvania? The first and most obvious limit to Martinuzzi's action was the state of mind among the political and cultural elite of the Hungarian Kingdom after the Ottomans occupied lower Hungary and established the beylerbeylik of Buda. These events undoubtedly shocked the collective consciousness, though not so much as an „ encounter  ‟  with the Ottomans (since such things had happened  before and perhaps in a more dramatic manner) but because for the first time an Ottoman garrison and administration had settled in the capital of the kingdom, obviously intending to remain. However, as Ágnes R. Várkonyi argues with    A Catholic in the service of a Transylvanian project 163 ample documentary proof, the idea of the unitary Hungarian state did not cease to exist [10, 11]. Martinuzzi however was not among the most famous Hungarian scholars and political figures of the time. He had neither the political vision of a Zrínyi, Frangepán or Wer   bőczy, nor Nicolaus Olahus‟  humanist ideas, however utopian, to reconstruct the Hungarian state. Martinuzzi's education was not cosmopolitan, humanist or European; he was trained in Hungary for an administrative and church career. He left no political or historiographical oeuvre to express his thinking about events in his lifetime and our only sources, his diplomatic correspondence, reveal a pragmatic man of action with an outstanding political instinct rather than a long-term project  builder [12]. From all that is said here it follows that in 1541, Martinuzzi was caught up in events rather than directing them, but this does not mean that he did not come out well. The question is which political ideas Martinuzzi had in mind as he acted? Did he have a state-building project in 1541? 2. Martinuzzi and the Habsburg and Ottoman projects on Transylvania (1541-1547) Martinuzzi faced a particular challenge in early September 1541. The year  before Sultan Süleymân I had recognised the child king John Sigismund as legitimate heir to the throne of Hungary following Martinuzzi‟ s political coup. Following the successful campaign in Hungary, the Sultan now demanded that the child be presented before him. The queen dowager Isabella and the heir to the throne went to the sultan's camp near Buda, accompanied by a delegation of high Hungarian dignitaries including Martinuzzi and Peter Petrovics  –   the guardians of the infant king. The members of the delegation were basically held hostage in the Ottoman camp for an entire week before some, including Martinuzzi, were released. We should note that this was when the Sultan decided the status of the Hungarian Kingdom, in terms of both territory and governance. First of all, the plan adopted by the Sultan envisioned an Ottoman administration of Lower Hungary with the beylerbeylik of    Buda, so that the Hungarian royal court had to leave their residence. By order of the Sultan, Queen Isabella, the infant king John Sigismund and their servants moved to the royal estates at Lipova [13]. Secondly, the Sultan imposed a regime of „ semi-conquest ‟  on the regions  beyond the Tisa, granting them to John Sigismund under the name of  sancak  . As such, although the Sultan recognised John Sigismund as John I's legitimate heir, in September 1541 he neither transferred nor recognised Szapolyai rule over these eastern territories except in the much inferior capacity of direct sub-ordination as  sancakbey . At the Diet of Târgu- Mureş on 26 th  January 1542 Martinuzzi invoked an imperial diploma of the Porte, stating that the Sultan had granted John Sigismund the  sancak of Transylvania as well as “regions and  parts of Hungary by the river Tisa” (  Regio et Pars Regni Hungariae, ultra Thÿciam et Regnum Transÿlvanicum collata sunt filio Regis Joannis)  [14].    Tătar   /European Journal of Science and Theology 10  (2014), 3, 161-169 164 Thirdly, the Sultan took two important decisions about the governance of the territories under John Sigismund‟s nominal authority: he granted Peter    Petrovics the rank of „captain of Lower Hungary‟  giving him Tim işoara and its dependencies as  sancak ( quod Castrum Themessvár cum suis pertinenciis Petro  Petrowith Sua Majestas ad possidendum Szancsaksággol (igy) dedit  )   [14, p. 78]; Cristina Feneşan cites an Ottoman document of 1545 to the effect that the Sultan gave Peter Petrovics the investiture diploma (berât) and the flag, at the moment of his investiture on 4 th  September 1541 [15]. He also entrusted Martinuzzi with the country‟s government during John Sigismund‟s minority, with raising tribute for the Porte and with the personal administration of several important domains ([…] quoadusque filius Regius adoleverit, Frater Georgius posideat has duas  Regiones videlicet: Hungariam et Transÿlvaniam . […] Quod sua Maiestas Varadinum, Fogoras, Cassoviam cum omnibus suis pertinentiis Fratri Georgio contulit  . […]  Item Transylvania et portio regni Hungariae Filii Regii ad Censum S. Michaelis annuatim cogantur decem milia florenorum in Aureis Caesareae  Majestati, in manusque Fratris Georgii assignare […]).   [14, p. 77-78]. Though we do not know what Süleymân I and Martinuzzi discussed in camp, we may assume that the Sultan‟s decisions about the eastern parts of the kingdom in September 1541 were an immediate, personal measure to solve a current situation. This was not a long-term project of the Porte, the „ultimate solution‟ to the „ Hungarian inheritance‟. We do not know the Sultan‟s exact reasons for including Martinuzzi in the scheme. The bishop had been loyal to John I, the Sultan‟s vassal, and honourably fulfilled his role o f locumtenens regius   after John‟s death. These considerations weighed in the Sultan's decision to assign him certain temporary responsibilities in administering Transylvanian and adjacent territories [16]. At the same time the Sultan knew of his other actions, especially his role in the Treaty of Oradea in 1538, and was suitably wary. Martinuzzi received a limited mandate in which the ultimate decision  belonged to the Sultan; formally, he governed the  sancak of Transylvania. Ferdinand I Habsburg's emissaries to the Sultan's camp emphasized in an extensive report of early September 1541 that the Sultan was unwilling to negotiate the issue of Hungary's governance in any way or with anybody. Moreover, concluded the Habsburg envoys, the Sultan was determined to entrust Hungary to John I Szapolyai's son and to no one else ( Wir haben etlich mal in der angeenden handlung zuvernemen begert, ob der Kaiser des Kunig Hanssen  sun das kunigreich oder succession lassen welle ) .  The name of Bishop Martinuzzi is missing altogether and no mention is made of the eastern parts of the Hungarian Kingdom over which the Sultan ruled or was to rule during his stay in Hungary [1,    p. 15]. A second political project in which Martinuzzi was involved took shape in latter 1541 and also involved Transylvania, as the result of negotiations between Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand I Habsburg [17]. Once again, the context of the negotiations was Ottoman rule over Hungary, especially the Sultan's decisions in this respect. First contacts took place several weeks after the Ottoman occupation of Buda, and were carried out by Ferdinand I Habsburg's
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