Pius II — 'El Pìu Expeditivo Pontifice'

Selected Studies on Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464)


This book contains eleven essays on Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464), humanist, author, courtier, inveterate traveller, conciliarist and then papalist, priest, bishop and finally pope under the name Pius II (1458-1464), urban architect of Pienza, grand patron of the arts, and would-be Crusader.

Contributors include: Giuseppe Chironi, Thomas M. Izbicki, Zweder von Martels, Claudia Märtl, Margaret Meserve, Rolando Montecalvo, Keith Sidwell, Marcello Simonetta, and Benedikt Konrad Vollmann.
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Biographical Note

Zweder von Martels, Ph.D. (1989) teaches Neolatin at the University of Groningen. He has written on humanist travel, renaissance alchemy and Neolatin literature and culture. He is the editor of Augerius Gislenius Busbequius. Legationis Turcicae epistolae quatuor (1994) and has published two collections of essays: Alchemy Revisited (1990) and (with Victor Schmidt) Antiquity Renewed (2003)

Arjo Vanderjagt, Ph.D. (1981) is Professor of the History of Ideas and of Medieval Studies at the University of Groningen. He has published on the anthropology of the Church Fathers, the thought of Anselm of Canterbury, the political ideology of the fifteenth-century dukes of Burgundy, and on Northern Humanism. He is co-editor of Rodolphus Agricola Phrisius (1988), Wessel Gansfort and Northern Humanism (1993), Northern Humanism in European Context, 1469-1625 (1999), and of Princes and Princely Culture (2003).

Review Quotes

"...this collection identifies many rich sources yet to be plumbed, while several individual essays model useful methodologies for such investigation. As such, this volume is important to a far larger audience than scholars of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini."
Emily O’Brien, Renaissance Quarterly.

Table of contents


1. Enkyklios paideia in the Work of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, Benedikt Konrad Vollmann
2. From Samarkand to Scythia: Reinventions of Asia in Renaissance Geography and Political Thought, Margaret Meserve
3. Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini as a Historiographer: Asia, Benedikt Konrad Vollmann
4. The New Landesgeschichte: Aeneas Silvius on Austria and Bohemia, Rolando Montecalvo
5. Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini’s De curialium miseriis and Peter of Blois, Keith Sidwell
6. Alltag an der Kurie: Papst Pius II. (1458-1464) im Spiegel Zeitgenössischer Berichte, Claudia Märtl
7. Pius II and Francesco Sforza: The History of Two Allies, Marcello Simonetta
8. Pius II and the Formation of the Ecclesiastical Institutions of Pienza, Giuseppe Chironi
9. ‘Reject Aeneas!’ Pius II on the Errors of his Youth, Thomas M. Izbicki
10. ‘More Matter and Less Art’: Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini and the Delicate Balance between Eloquent Words and Deeds, Zweder von Martels
11. The Fruit of Love: Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini about his Illegitimate Child, Zweder von Martels



Scholars interested in the intellectual history and the history of ideas of the Renaissance, literary history and philology, humanism and rhetoric, the history of ecclesiastical institutions and court culture, descriptive geography, and personal ethics.


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