La morte di Giorgio Martinuzzi Utyeszenics nel racconto del milanese Francesco degli Streppati

Abstract: The Death of George Martinuzzi Utyeszenics as Reported by the Milanese Francesco degli Streppati. The present paper deals with the account of the murder of George Martinuzzi Utyeszenics (Brother George) in the manuscript Morte di Frate Giorgio, con alcune altre cose in Transsilvania et Ungaria successe negli anni 1551-1552, preserved at the National Library of Vienna. György Martinuzzi was born in 1482 in the castle of Kamičac, in Croatia. After a monastic experience, he went into the service of John Szapolyai, the king of Hungary, who at that time fought against the other king of Hungary, Ferdinand of Habsburg. György Martinuzzi began his career at the court of King John: he was appointed great treasurer of the reign, and took the place of Imre Czibak in the management of the important bishopric of Várad/Oradea as well. After King John’s death and the transfer of the royal court to Transylvania (1541), Martinuzzi was also appointed lieutenant (voivode), supreme judge, guardian of the son of King John, commander-in-chief of the Transylvanian army; hence, he concentrated all the power in his hands. He was atrociously murdered on December 17, 1551 by the killers that Giovanni Battista Castaldo had hired obeying King Ferdinand’s orders. The author of the manuscript, identified with the cavalryman Francesco degli Streppati from Milan, who, in the years 1551-1553, took part in the Transylvanian campaign against the Ottomans as General Castaldo’s secretary, refers to the events between the battle of Mohács (1526) to those which took place after George Martinuzzi’s death. The work of Francesco degli Streppati can be considered a primary source for subsequent historical works on the history of Transylvania in the sixteenth century.

Keywords: George Martinuzzi Utyeszenics, Brother George, Giovanni Battista Castaldo, Francesco degli Streppati, Transylvania

Riassunto: Il dalmata Giorgio Martinuzzi Utyeszenics (meglio conosciuto nella storia e nella storiografia come Frate Giorgio) fu vescovo di Várad/ Oradea, secondo altre fonti,forse anche primate d’Ungheria, nonché cardinale, sommo tesoriere, giudice supremo, comandante militare, luogotenente regio, in Ungheria e in Transilvania. Ricoprì vari incarichi ecclesiastici, amministrativi, militari. Fu un personaggio veramente geniale, oltreché ambizioso, astuto e potente; fu pure uno statista molto capace e autorevole. Il 17 dicembre 1551, fu barbaramente trucidato dai sicari del generale Giovanni Battista Castaldo per conto del re dei Romani Ferdinando I d’Asburgo. Il presente lavoro è incentrato sul racconto della morte di Martinuzzi, descritta nell’opera del milanese Francesco degli Streppati, uno dei segretari del generale Castaldo. L’opera dello Streppati, conservata nell’originale versione italiana nella Biblioteca Nazionale di Vienna, può essere considerata una fonte primaria per le successive storie della Transilvania apparse nel XVI-imo secolo.

Parole-chiave: Giorgio Martinuzzi Utyeszenics, frate Giorgio, Giovanni Battista Castaldo, Francesco degli Streppati, Transilvania