Papal Clerics in Thirteenth-Century Hungary: Papal Delegations and Local Careers

Gábor Barabás


The paper discusses a special organisation of the medieval Papal Curia: the personal chapel of the popes, primarily focusing on the activity of its members in Hungary, during the 13th century. The papal subdeacons and chaplains played a significant role in the operation of the Apostolic See, e.g. they functioned as legates in a growing number besides cardinals, and they participated in the work of the papal chancellery, chamber, and penitentiary as well. Nevertheless, papal clerics were also to be found outside the Apostolic Court, such as in Hungary, where they can be classified into two different factions: the first major group was formed by the members of the Papal Chapel, who only visited the certain regions of church with special mandates for various kinds of tasks. In most cases, they had to deal with diplomatic affairs, or with matters of ecclesiastical government and discipline. The second category, on the one hand, consisted a group of clerics with special status, they were the so-called papal subdeacons, while on the other hand, certain members of the Hungarian clergy received the title of (honorary) papal chaplain from the popes as a reward for their services.

Słowa kluczowe: Papacy, Medieval Hungary, Papal Chaplains, Papal Diplomacy, Papal Legate, Papal Judge-Delegate

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