Antun Vrančić

Antun Vrančić or Antonio Veranzio (29 May 1504 – 15 June 1573[2]) was a Croatian[1] prelate, writer, diplomat and Archbishop of Esztergom in the 16th century. Antun Vrančić was from Dalmatian town of Šibenik (modern Croatia), then part of the Republic of Venice.[3] Vrančić is also known under his Latinized name Antonius Verantius, while Hungarian documents since the 19th century[4] refer to him as Verancsics Antal.[5][6]

His Excellency

Antun Vrančić
Archbishop of Esztergom
Primate of Hungary
Antun Vrancic by Martin Rota.jpg
Engraving of Vrančić by Martin Rota
ArchdioceseArchdiocese of Esztergom
Installed17 October 1569
Term ended15 June 1573
PredecessorMiklós Oláh
Consecration3 August 1554
Created cardinal5 June 1573
by Pope Gregory XIII
Personal details
BornMay 29, 1504
DiedJune 15, 1573 (1573-06-16) (aged 69)
Eperjes, Kingdom of Hungary
(today Prešov, Slovakia)
BuriedSaint Nicolas' Church, Trnava (Slovakia)
OccupationWriter, diplomat and Archbishop of Esztergom
Previous post(s)
Motto"Ex alto omnia"
Coat of armsAntun Vrančić's coat of arms


Early yearsEdit

Vrančić was born and raised in Šibenik, city in Dalmatia in the former Republic of Venice.[3] Most historians accept a hypothesis that the Vrančić family was one of the Bosnian noble families that had moved to Šibenik in the era of Ottoman military incursions.[7] Vrančić's uncle Ivan Statilić and his other relative, Croatian viceroy Petar Berislavić, took care of his education.[2] His maternal uncle, János Statileo, Bishop of Transylvania also supported him in Trogir, Šibenik, from 1514 in Hungary and in Padua, where he earned the degree of magister in 1526. After later studies at Vienna and Kraków, Vrančić entered diplomatic service, aged only 26.[3]

Diplomat and prelateEdit

Zápolya's serviceEdit

In 1530 John Zápolya appointed him as the provost of the Buda cathedral and as a royal secretary. Between 1530-1539 he was also the deputy[8] of the King and after his death he remained with his widow, Isabella Jagiellon.[9] In 1541 he moved with her to Transylvania, but he mostly traveled fulfilling diplomatic services because of his disagreement with cardinal Juraj Utješinović's policy of claiming the Hungarian throne for Isabella's and Zápolya's infant son (instead of conceding it to Ferdinand I as per Treaty of Nagyvárad). Utješinović, appointed by Zápolya as a guardian of his son, John Sigismund Zápolya, fought against Ferdinand and allied himself with the Ottoman Empire.

Habsburg serviceEdit

In 1549 Vrančić entered Ferdinand's service. In parallel to his diplomatic duties, he held important positions in Catholic Church (the chief dean of Szabolcs County, abbot of Pornó Abbey). In 1553 he was appointed as a bishop of Pécs and sent to Constantinople to conduct negotiations with sultan Suleyman I on Ferdinand's behalf. That mission was previously declined by many other diplomats as an earlier negotiator was imprisoned by the Ottomans. Vrančić spent four years in Asia minor and finally concluded a peace treaty. After his return he was appointed bishop of Eger (17 July 1560 – 25 September 1570). After the Battle of Szigetvár in 1566, as one of Maximilian's ambassadors, Antun was sent to Turkey to negotiate peace again; he arrived in Constantinople on 26 August 1567.[10] After five months of negotiations with Sokollu Mehmed Pasha and Selim II, agreement was reached by 17 February, and the Treaty of Adrianople was signed on 21 February 1568, ending the war between the Holy Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire.[10] In appreciation of his diplomatic work, the king named him archbishop of Esztergom (17 October 1569 – 15 June 1573).

During his stay in Istanbul, together with Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, Vrančić discovered Res Gestae Divi Augusti (Eng. The Deeds of the Divine Augustus), a Roman monument in Ankara. His travels throughout the Transylvania, Balkan and Asia minor resulted in his writing extensive travel accounts.

In 1573 he urged Maximilian II to be conciliatory toward rebellious serfs during Croatian–Slovene Peasant Revolt. He remained very critical towards the Croatian magnates, stressing their responsibility in the revolt and claiming that the Croatian nobles oppress their serfs in ways equal to the Turkish yoke.[11] This attitude was in stark contrast with the cardinal Juraj Drašković ban of Croatia.

On 25 September 1573, he crowned Rudolf II as a king of Hungary and Croatia in Pressburg.


He died in Eperjes, Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Prešov, Slovakia), just days after having learned that the Pope appointed him cardinal.[2] Following his own wish, Vrančić was buried in Saint Nicholas church in Nagyszombat, Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Trnava, Slovakia).[2]


Antun Vrančić was in touch with German philosopher, theologian and reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560); and with Nikola Šubić Zrinski (1508–1566), Croatian ban, poet, statesman and soldier.[citation needed] In Viaggio in Dalmazia ("Journey to Dalmatia", 1774), Alberto Fortis noted that Vrančić's descendants still kept a letter to Vrančić from Dutch philosopher, humanist and writer Erasmus (1465–1536), but no other evidence of correspondence between the two exists today, and modern scholars find it unlikely.[12]


Vrančić's grave in St. Nicholas Basilica, Trnava, Slovakia

After Antun's death, his nephew Faust, who was a well known humanist, linguist and lexicographer of the Renaissance, took over writings from his estate.[3] Two years later, in 1575, he wrote Life of Antun Vrančić, a biography of his uncle, but did not manage to have it published.[13]

Croatian poet Brne Karnarutić dedicated his version of Pyramus and Thisbe to Antun Vrančić in 1586. Antun Vrančić High School in Vrančić's native Šibenik has been named after him since 1991, while a street in the old town centre also bears his name. Many other towns in Croatia have a street named after Vrančić. Croatian Post issued a stamp depicting Vrančić in 2004 honoring the 500th anniversary of his birth.[14]


  • De situ Transylvaniae, Moldaviae et Transalpinae
  • Vita Petri Berislavi
  • De rebus gestis Ioannis, regis Hungariae
  • De itinere et legatione sua Constantinopolitana cum fratre Michaele dialogus
  • Iter Buda Hadrianopolium


  • Manfred Stoy: Vrančić, Antun. In: Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte Südosteuropas. Band 4. München 1981, S. 442–444
  • Lučin, Branislav (December 2004). "Erazmo i Hrvati XV. i XVI. stoljeća" [Erasmus and Croats in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries] (PDF). Prilozi za istraživanje hrvatske filozofske baštine (in Croatian). Zagreb: Institute of Philosophy. 30 (1–2 (59–60)): 5–29. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  • The Classification of the Letters of Antun Vrančić (abstract)
  • Klasifikacija pisama Antuna Vrančića (in Croatian)


  1. ^ a b Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1984). The Papacy and the Levant, 1204–1571: The Sixteenth Century. Vol. IV. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society. p. 921. ISBN 0-87169-162-0.
  2. ^ a b c d "Na današnji dan: Umro Antun Vrančić" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-17.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Cvitan, Grozdana (May 19, 2005). "Kako sam služio ugarskog kralja". Zarez (in Croatian) (132). Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  4. ^ [1] László Szalay, Gusztáv Wenzel: Magyar történelmi emlékek, Verancsics Antal összes munkái, 1858 (The Works of Antal Verancsics)
  5. ^ Google Books Andrew L. Simon: Made in Hungary: Hungarian contributions to universal culture
  6. ^ The Hungarian Quarterly, Vol. XLII * No. 162 *, Summer 2001 Archived 2011-07-12 at the Wayback Machine László Sipka: Innovators and Innovations
  7. ^ Morić, Živana (June 12, 2004). "Europski obzori hrvatskoga humanista" (PDF). Vjesnik (in Croatian). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  8. ^ "Verancsics – Magyar Katolikus Lexikon".
  9. ^ here
  10. ^ a b Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1984). The Papacy and the Levant, 1204–1571: The Sixteenth Century. Vol. IV. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society. pp. 921–922. ISBN 0-87169-162-0.
  11. ^ Bogo Grafenauer, Boj za staro pravdo na Slovenskem (Ljubljana, 1973), 147-48.
  12. ^ Lučin 2004, p. 11–12.
  13. ^ Lisac, Josip (December 22, 2001). "Svestranik iz Šibenika" (PDF). Vjesnik (in Croatian). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  14. ^ "Postage stamp overview: FAMOUS CROATS, Faust Vrančić". Croatian Post. Retrieved 2019-07-23.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Pécs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Eger
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Esztergom
Title next held by
István Fejérkövy