Melchior von Meckau

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Melchior von Meckau as Bishop of Brixen
Cardinal coat of arms of Melchior of Meckau and the dioceses of Brixen (left) and Meißen at the Dompropstei in Meißen

Melchior von Meckau (also Meggau) (* around 1440; † March 3, 1509 in Rome ) was provost in Meissen , Prince-Bishop of Brixen (1488 to 1509) and cardinal .


Melchior von Meckau came from a family of ministers residing in the diocese of Meißen . His father Melchior († 1443) was the master of Kohren .


It seems that he was a priest in the diocese of Naumburg , because he appears in Rome between 1463 and 1486 under the name of a "clericus Nuemburgensis" as the holder of various administrative offices. Before 1460 he spent his student years in Leipzig and Bologna .

He acquired the cathedral custody of Naumburg (before 1470), a cathedral canonical (1471) and the Dompropstei in Meißen (1482), the Dompropstei of Magdeburg (1479) as well as the provosts at the collegiate monasteries Zeitz (1477) and Wurzen .

In 1476 and 1478 he made the ad limina visits to Rome on behalf of and as deputy of the Brixen Prince-Bishop Georg Golser . In 1482 Georg Golser appointed him his coadjutor and Archduke Maximilian , who later became emperor, named him his advisor. In 1488 Melchior von Meckau took over the entire management of the diocese of Bressanone from Prince-Bishop Georg Golser , he became Golser's direct successor and the new Prince-Bishop in 1488. Georg Golser also donated him to his episcopal ordination on July 15, 1488. In the following year, von Meckau held a diocesan synod . In 1496 he appointed the Brixen canon Christoph von Schroffenstein as his coadjutor, who succeeded him as prince-bishop in 1509.

Melchior von Meckau gained importance as a supporter of Maximilian I and as a patron of the arts in his diocese. He is considered the first humanist on the Brixen bishop's chair. He supported Maximilian I again and again by advancing large sums of money, which he was able to do through mining in the diocese of Brixen, and he had been Jakob Fugger's main financier and silent partner since 1496 . He also provided soldiers, for example in the Engadine War of 1498 and 1499. As a thank you, Maximilian obtained Melchior von Meckau from Pope Alexander VI. the cardinal dignity. He was raised to cardinal priest on May 31, 1503 in pectore , which was announced on June 2 of the same year. On June 12, 1503 he was assigned the titular church of San Nicola in Carcere and in 1507 moved to the titular church of Santo Stefano al Monte Celio .

Today's parish church was built in Brixen during his tenure; the artists Valentin Schauer and Master Christoph probably made a bust of St. Agnes based on sketches by the Mayor of Brixen, Hans Klocker . It is also known that von Meckau gave the Bruneck beguinage a new rule.

Melchior von Meckau died in Rome in 1509 and was buried in the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli on the Capitol .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Götz Freiherr von Pölnitz : Jakob Fugger. Emperor, Church and Capital in the Upper German Renaissance . Mohr, Siebeck. Tübingen. 1949. pp. 79f
predecessor Office successor
Georg Golser Bishop of Brixen
Christoph von Schroffenstein