When the doors of the Vatican Secret Archives were opened to outsiders in 1881, historians from the Baltic region were among the first researchers to tap into this immense wealth of historical information. The most comprehensive study of materials on medieval Livonia was carried out between 1926 and 1931 by Leonid Arbusow, Jr., whose work was continued by other historians. As of today, work is not complete, as unpublished and unknown sources still remain in the Archives and a number of known documents still need to be verified and catalogued. The article offers the first edition of a short inventory of the contents of a coffer that was left in Bruges at the house of Konrad Wilczkul, a merchant from Riga, around 1324 by the Archbishop of Riga Friedrich von Pernstein (Cam. Ap., Collect. 468, f. Ia). The biography and activities of von Pernstein (died in Avignon in 1341) have been the subject of many studies. Arbusow and the Italian scholar Tommaso Valenti also published in the 1920s and 1930s a series of inventories of his books and other valuables. Less is known about von Pernstein’s successor Engelbert von Dolen (held the position of archbishop from 1341 to 1347) who never left Avignon. The article takes a closer look at an inventory of his books, liturgical vestments and valuables from January 1353 (full version in Reg. Aven. 125, f. 208–260). Even though this inventory was published by Arbusow, many scholars know only its shorter version in which a number von Dolen’s manuscripts are not listed. A closer look at those manuscripts and other objects (which passed on to the papal curia after the archbishop’s death) reveals interesting details about von Dolen’s life and education. While his predecessor had indeed most likely studied at the University of Bologna, the identification of von Dolen with Engelbertus de Estonia, matriculated there in 1304, is not based on convincing arguments and the numerous canon law manuscripts in his library were likely unrelated to his university studies and were probably used by him in his work, as is the case with other book collections from Avignon. The article also offers considerations and hypotheses regarding the career, entourage, life conditions and activities of the archbishops of Riga in the papal court, the role of Bruges in the links between Livonia and Avignon and the modalities of those links, and closes with a brief reflection on the place of Livonia in the medieval world as the ‘last Christian province’. The current state and desiderata of the research on Livonica in the Vatican Archive are also covered.
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