John of Moravia between the Czech Lands and the Patriarchate of Aquileia (ca. 1345–1394)


Author: Ondřej Schmidt
In this book, Ondřej Schmidt offers a critical biography of John of Moravia, illegitimate son of the Moravian Margrave John Henry from the Luxembourg dynasty. Earlier research has confused John with another son of the Margrave, but here, the author argues that John actually became provost of Vyšehrad (1368–1380), bishop of Litomyšl (1380–1387), and eventually patriarch of Aquileia (1387–1394). The study provides a detailed account of John’s life and his assassination in the wider context of princely bastards’ careers, the Luxembourg dynasty, and Czech and Italian history. Schmidt also explores the development of the “second life” of John of Moravia in the historical memory of the following centuries.

First published in Czech by Vyšehrad Publishers Ltd as Jan z Moravy. Zapomenutý Lucemburk na aquilejském stolci, Prague, 2016

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Ondřej Schmidt, is a research fellow and Ph.D. candidate at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. He has published articles on the Luxembourg dynasty and its Italian politics.
"Ondřej Schmidt's biography is impressively successful. Painstakingly documented, methodically structured, skilfully written, and competently translated, Schmidt's John of Moravia makes for a pleasant and instructive reading for a medievalist". Marian Coman, in The Medieval Review, June 2021.

"The book is a significant contribution about a member of the House of Luxembourg’s final generation by a young author. In general, I regard the book as seminal for two reasons: first, it puts a definitive end to ambiguities about this member of the Luxembourg lineage and clearly identifies John of Moravia in relation to John Sobeslav; second, it relates a thus far little known story about his life in the Patriarchate of Aquileia". [...] The book is an excellent biography of a personage who left a trace not only in Czech but also in Italian lore. In view of this, it can be recommended to all those interested in the House of Luxembourg, the political history of unsettled central Europe, and even the Apennine Peninsula in the second half of the fourteenth century". Tomás Velicka, in Speculum, 96/2 (April 2021).
List of Illustrations
Genealogical Tree

1 Introductory Remarks
 1 The Background: the Luxembourg Dynasty in the Empire, the Czech Lands and Italy
 2 From John Sobieslaw to John of Moravia
 3 A Few Words about Sources

2 Illegitimate Children in the Late Middle Ages
 1 The Status of Bastard Children in Late Medieval Society
 2 The Royal Bastards of the Bohemian Luxembourgs and Their Careers

3 The Bastard
 1 Youth and Early Ecclesiastical Career
 2 The Vyšehrad Provostry

4 Bishop
 1 The Litomyšl Episcopate
 2 The Occupancy of the Olomouc Bishopric

5 Patriarch
 1 The Patriarchate of Aquileia in the Middle Ages
 2 Appointment and Preparations for New Office
 3 Arrival in the Patriarchate and the New Government of Udine
 4 The Assassination of Federico di Savorgnano
 5 The Controversy over the Bishopric of Concordia
 6 Francesco Novello da Carrara and the Anti-Visconti League
 7 New Conflicts and New Truces
 8 The Death of Augustine of Litomyšl and the Escalation of Tension
 9 A Fragile Peace
 10 “… fuit interfectus dominus patriarcha …”

6 Historical Memory
 1 Damnatio memoriae versus patriarcha sanctae memoriae
 2 John of Moravia in the Written Tradition

7 Final Reflections
Excursus 1: John of Moravia and John Sobieslaw
Excursus 2: Capitula contra patriarcham Johannem de Moravia
 1 Edition
Excursus 3: The Itinerary and Residences of John of Moravia
 Archival Sources
 Editions of Sources, Inventories & Catalogues
 Renaissance, Baroque & Enlightenment Historiography
 Secondary Literature
 Online Resource