When Bernhard Pez sent out his first encyclicals in 1709, France was Austria's opponent in a bitterly fought war and Bavaria was occupied by Austrian troops. Nonetheless, he found active correspondents in both countries. However, Pez's first printed book, and preferred gift to new contacts, required some explanation in these cases: it was a not precisely impartial account of the Franco-Bavarian invasion of the Tyrol in 1703.
The example shows that the juxtaposition between the claim to shared citizenship in an international Republic of Letters and the (proto-)national sense of identity of individual scholars was not entirely without its pitfalls. While shared scientific interests did, indeed, allow considerable possibilities of bridging or at least circumventing political, national and confessional differences, ignoring them entirely was, however, usually impossible. While the brothers Pez exchanged amicable letters with French or Protestant scholars and scrupulously omitted all sensitive topics, their nearly simultaneous communications with other partners often display harsh criticism of France and routinely refer to Protestants as "heretics" or "the heterodox".
Currents events are reflected in learned correspondence in many ways. Letters are a medium for news; in the early Modern period, one of the most important such media. Notices or descriptions abound of events such as battles, epidemics, the coronation of Charles VI. or the latest goings-on at the great European courts. Much of this news would otherwise have reached the recipients more slowly, less reliably or not at all. Some of it is even based on privileged access to information; the interconnections between erudition and the centres of political and ecclesiastical power are manifold.
Several correspondents of the brothers Pez exercised erudite or clerical professions at princely courts, such as Gentilotti or Garelli in Vienna, Eckhart in Hanover and subsequently in Würzburg, Sigler in Fulda and Würzburg. Others were themselves wielders of considerable power as prelates (e. g. Gottfried Bessel of Göttweig or the abbots of various imperial monasteries) or holders of high office at court (Sinzendorf). Connections with these circles can confer many advantages, from access to archives and libraries to the facilitation of travel and the perspective of the creation of new scientific institutions. The efforts of the brothers Pez to gain high-ranking protectors at the Imperial court, their involvement in the ultimately unsuccessful attempts to win Imperial support for a learned academy in Austria, perhaps even the expansion of their field of research to include Austrian and Habsburg history can be viewed (though not exclusively) as avenues for the brothers to emancipate themselves from the control of their primary superior, Abbot Dietmayr.