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Die italienischen Reichslehen im Spiegel der Nuntiaturberichte in der Zeit um 1630

During the Thirty Years’ War, the affairs of the Italian imperial fiefdoms could not be at the centre of Imperial Court policy. The correspondence of the nuncios with the Roman Secretariat of State, however, shows that disputes over enfeoffments and other feudal-law problems were not important only in connection with the War of the Mantuan Succession, but that conflicts arose in various areas of northern Italy and kept the Imperial Court Council and imperial commissioners occupied. On the one hand, there were conflicting views concerning the feudal status of territories annexed by the Papal States. In addition, there were unclear legal conditions and disputes regarding many small dominions in the border regions of Savoy-Piedmont, Milan, Genoa and Tuscany, and not just because of the efforts of these principalities to incorporate imperial fiefdoms. There were also serious conflicts over generously granted imperial enfeoffments not in line with Spanish interests. The reports of the nuncios also name some of the fief holders who were taking legal action in Vienna. Additionally, they show that measures taken by the Imperial Court regarding the Italian imperial fiefdoms were considered with great suspicion in Rome and that the Curia in various cases conformed to the French position, which tended to ignore or expressly reject the idea that the imperial fiefdoms were under the control of the Emperor.



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