Our knowledge of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary has grown thanks to the researches of the Camara Apostolica, the most significant economic papal office. Valuable documents of two and a half centuries have recently been revealed.
Thanks to the researches and the fact that as the determining power of the Middle Ages, the papacy had several connections with European states, including the Kingdom of Hungary, we have a more accurate picture about the lives of church communities, their compositions, income and economic power. „The documents are priceless and useful for all the researchers of the Middle Ages” – said Péter Tusor historian, the leader of the research group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
According to the bishop of the Vatican Secret Archives, the collection consists of about 1500 items and makes it possible to examine the economic potential of the Hungarian ecclesiastical institutions at the end of the Middle Ages, to learn more about the Hungarian ecclesiastical dignitaries and about the relationship between the Hungarian church and the Italian banking houses. The results of the research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is a 2-volume collection of sources, a summary on some 1000 pages. With these 2, the number of volumes published as a result of the researches on the Vatican archives increased to 15.
According to Péter Tusor, there is a strong interest towards the age represented in the collections published now. The last hundred years of the period processed was determined by the fights of the Kingdom of Hungary against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. In these struggles, the papacy had a significant role, too. Numerous documents in the first volume are about the diplomatic steps regarding the organization of the defense against the Turks, as Tusor said, „the Renaissance papacy gave all the support to the Hunyadis and Jagellonians that it could”. From the documents it also turns out that the popes felt that Italy, and Rome itself was also in danger but the European political and military conditions did not allow such a unified action as it was during the time of the Crusades.