Publication details

Negotiating Privileges at the Imperial Court : Emperor Sigismund’s Charters for Italian Recipients and their Financial Dimension



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Studia Historica Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Emperor Sigismund; Holy Roman Empire; Imperial Court; Imperial Chancery; Privileges; Italy; Mantua; Milan; Venice; Late Middle Ages
Description This paper focuses on the financial dimension of the privileges issued to Italian recipients by the Holy Roman King and Emperor Sigismund. After outlining the general economic aspects of the imperial chancery production in the Late Middle Ages, the author draws on sources from the rich Italian archives to analyse the circumstances of Sigismund’s important concessions for three prominent peninsular powers: the Margraviate of Mantua (1432), the Duchy of Milan (1426), and the Republic of Venice (1437). The main emphasis of the individual case studies is placed on the negotiations of fees and taxes for both the imperial chamber and chancery, the modalities of payment, and the strategies of creditors to recover their debts, or of debtors to avoid their obligations. This paper shows the granting of imperial privileges as a variable and flexible process, it highlights the importance of the chancellor’s personal agency, and, more generally, the lack of institutionalisation as an inherent feature of pre-modern bureaucracy.
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