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On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
Print version ISSN 1021-545X


NOTARI, Tamás. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2015, vol.21, n.2, pp.325-340. ISSN 2411-7870.

Enea Silvio Piccolomini, in his work entitled De Europa written in 1458, tells an interesting story defined as a legend in terms of genre about a duke called Ingo, who lived during the reign of Charlemagne. This narrative claims that in 790 dux gentis Ingo held a feast for the inhabitants of his province where food was served in golden and silver bowls to the peasants allowed to appear before him, while to the dignitaries standing further away from him received their food in bowls made of clay. The researchers' attention is deservedly raised by the question why this parabolic story with biblical tone was included in Enea Silvio's work; and if it had been borrowed, from whom? The answer seems to be very simple: it derives from the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum drafted regarding the lawsuit instituted Methodius. In the case narrated in the Conversio Ingo sent a charter, or rather a parchment without any writing or letters on it (carta sine litteris), which provided his legate with sufficient authenticity to demand obedience from the people. In this study - after having compared the two narratives and outlined the place of De Europa in Enea Silvio Piccolomini's oeuvre as well as the circumstances of the drafting and tendencies of the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum, the author attempts to answer the following questions: To what extent can duke Ingo, mentioned by Enea Silvio and not questioned in the literature for long centuries, be considered a real historical person? Does the Conversio refer to Ingo as a duke, and if it does, what is his existence as a duke and introduction in the literature as a duke owing to? What could the meaning of carta sine litteris referred to in Conversio have been, and why did Enea Silvio not take this item over although he could have put it forward as a further proof of Ingo's dignity? To what literary prefigurations can the description of the feast held by Ingo be traced back to, and what role did it play in the Conversio? And, regarding the borrowing of the Ingo story by Enea Silvio, what possible intermediary writing and author can be reckoned with?

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