Nicholas Cusanus as Prince-Bishop of Brixen (1450-64)

 Nicholas Cusanus as Prince-Bishop of Brixen (1450-64): Historians and a Conflict of Church and State

By Brian A. Pavlac

Historical Reflections / Reflexions Historiques Vol.21 No.1 (1995)

Introduction: The impressive accomplishments of Nicolaus Cusanus (also called Nicolaus Treverensis, Nicolaus Cancer, Nikolaus von Kues and Nicholas of Cusa) make him one of the most important personalities of the fifteenth century.  Scholars have long been drawn to his successfrrl clerical career, which Cusanus combined with noteworthy achievements as a humanist scholar and philosopher. Yet the historical evaluation of his reign (1450-64) as prince-bishop of Brixen, or Bressanone, remains controversial. Since Cusanus remains an example of the contention between church and state, this article provides a comprehensive survey of the main points of the Brixen controversy and hopes to sensitize historians to the complexities of the scholarly disagreements about Cusanus in Tyrol.

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We thank the editors of Historical Reflections / Reflexions Historiques for their permission to republish this article.