Otilia Ştefania Damian
“Dell’acquisto et conservatione dell’anime”
Antonio Possevino e la strategia di ricattolicizzazione della Transilvania
Abstract The paper is dedicated to the mission in Transylvania of Antonio Possevino, an important Jesuit who travelled throughout Europe for purposes of evangelization. In the spring of 1583 he arrives in Transylvania, already known to him through readings, where he acknowledges the realities of the Principality and establishes contacts with some political and religious authorities. In this context he writes a history of Transylvania, based on the best sources of the time, that he intends to publish (unsuccessfully, as it will be printed only in 1913, and then in 1931). With this work of great erudition and, still, with a strong practical sense, half way between a travel memoir and a historicalgeographical treatise, Possevino intendeds to make known to the Western world, and first of all to the ecclesiastical authorities, but also to a wider public, the conditions of the Principality and its potential in the propagation of Catholicism towards Orient. Some variations of the text produced by the author himself, but also the censorship of the work, both presented in the paper, provide interesting results about his mission in Transylvania.