Miltitz, Karl von

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Curial diplomat; b. Rabenaul, near Dresden, 1490;d. by drowning in the Main, Nov. 20, 1529. Karl was the posthumous son of Sigismund von Miltitz, a lesser noble of Meissen; he was educated at Cologne and Mainz and was sent to Rome in 1541, where, through the influence of his uncle, the Dominican Nicholas von Schönberg, he was made a papal notary and titular chamberlain. In September of 1518 he was selected to carry the Golden Rose to Frederick The Wise, Elector of Saxony. The move was calculated to frustrate the imperial election of the Hapsburg Charles of Spain and to persuade the elector to consent to the extradition of Martin Luther. It was not the intention of leo x that Miltitz should inaugurate a policy of mediation during his conference with Luther at Altenberg in January of 1519; nevertheless Miltitz, believing that a settlement of the Lutheran affair would aid Rome's plans in the imperial election, suggested a trial for Luther before the archbishop of Trier. Neither Luther nor his supporters trusted the emissary who had, without the knowledge of Cajetan, his superior, proposed a hearing that would also involve Johann tetzel. The death of Maximilian on January 10 postponed the Lutheran affair, and Miltitz, as papal agent and with French support, attempted to persuade Frederick to obtain the two votes needed for his election. The promise of a cardinal's hat for whomever he chose was one of Miltitz's inducements. Miltitz met with Luther at Liebenwenda (October 1519) and Lichtenberg (October 1520) but achieved no results. He resided in Germany and held benefices as a chapter member of cathedrals in Mainz and Meissen until his death.

Bibliography: f. lau, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 19571963) 4:954. Éamann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, 15 v. (Paris 19031950) 10.2:17651767. e. iserloh, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 1957) 7:422. k. schottenloher, Bibliographie zur deutschen Geschicte im Zeitlater der Glaubensspaltung, 151785 (Leipzig 193340, Stuttgart 1956) 2:57. p. kalkoff, Die Miltitziade (Leipzig 1911).

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Miltitz, Karl von

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