Volume 5 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Sara Lagi

Georg Jellinek, a Liberal Political Thinker against Despotic Rule (1885–1898)*

 

Georg Jellinek is commonly thought of as one of the most prominent representatives of German legal positivism. In this article I look at Georg Jellinek not only as a legal theorist, but also as a political thinker of liberal inspiration. In this sense, I seek to show some key continuities and connections between the fundamental aspects of his legal, positivistic theory and his political vision of liberal inspiration, and between his stay in Vienna and his move to Germany.

Keywords: legal positivism, liberalism, sovereignty, fundamental rights, limits of power.

Georg Jellinek as a Political Thinker: Introducing the Personage

Volume 5 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Martyn Rady

Nonnisi in sensu legum? Decree and Rendelet in Hungary (1790–1914)

 

The Hungarian “constitution” was never balanced, for its sovereigns possessed a supervisory jurisdiction that permitted them to legislate by decree, mainly by using patents and rescripts. Although the right to proceed by decree was seldom abused by Hungary’s Habsburg rulers, it permitted the monarch on occasion to impose reforms in defiance of the Diet. Attempts undertaken in the early 1790s to hem in the ruler’s power by making the written law both fixed and comprehensive were unsuccessful. After 1867, the right to legislate by decree was assumed by Hungary’s government, and ministerial decree or “rendelet” was used as a substitute for parliamentary legislation. Not only could rendelets be used to fill in gaps in parliamentary legislation, they could also be used to bypass parliament and even to countermand parliamentary acts, sometimes at the expense of individual rights. The tendency remains in Hungary for its governments to use discretionary administrative instruments as a substitute for parliamentary legislation.

Keywords: constitution, decree, patent, rendelet, legislation, Diet, Parliament

Volume 5 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Vlasta Švoger

Political Rights and Freedoms in the Croatian National Revival and the Croatian Political Movement of 1848–1849

Reestablishing Continuity

 

Based on an analysis of chief programmatic texts from the period of the Croatian National Revival and the Croatian Political Movement of 1848–1849, as well as articles published in Zagreb liberal newspapers, this paper illustrates how the Croatian intellectual elite advocated political rights and freedoms in the first half of the nineteenth century. Following the tradition of the Enlightenment, the elite interpreted them as natural rights. While the focus in the first decades of the nineteenth century was on the idea of enlightening the people and the right of the people to nurture their native language, in the 1840s other rights were also included. In the revolutionary year of 1848, the formulation of political rights and freedoms was most complete.

Keywords: political and civil rights and freedoms, Croatia, first half of the nineteenth century, Croatian National Revival, Croatian Political Movement of 1848–1849, Zagreb liberal newspapers

Volume 5 Issue 2 CONTENTS

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Gábor Almási

Faking the National Spirit: Spurious Historical Documents in the Service of the Hungarian National Movement in the Early Nineteenth Century

 

In 1828, two Latin historical documents were published in the German-language Viennese journal Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst. Both concerned the age of Prince Gabriel Bethlen. One was a supportive letter written by James I King of England addressed to Bethlen with references to the deep affinity between Hungary and Transylvania, promising financial help for Bethlen’s war against the Habsburgs. The other was a report on the meeting of the Viennese secret council, during which the decision was reached to resolve “the Hungarian-Transylvanian question” by killing the Hungarian-speaking adult population. My goal in this essay is to prove the spurious nature of these documents through a historical analysis and point out anachronistic elements that throw into question their authenticity. As is often the case with forged texts, these documents reveal more about their own age and the political-ideological agenda of the national movement of the early nineteenth century than of early seventeenth-century Transylvania. By examining how these documents ended up in the Austrian journal of Baron Joseph Hormayr, I offer an opportunity to reflect not only on the ways in which history was used for nationalist agendas, but also on the paradoxes of contemporary Austrian patriotism.

Keywords: nationalist historiography, patriotism, Joseph Hormayr, Gabriel Bethlen

In the summer of 1828, two Latin historical documents were published in the German language Viennese journal, Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst.1 These documents, as I will prove in this paper, were fakes. They were presented as historical sources of the age of Gabriel Bethlen (1580–1629), the great Transylvanian ruler of the early seventeenth century, who led three successful campaigns against the Habsburg emperor Ferdinand II and who was on the way to becoming a national hero in nineteenth-century Hungary. Thus, these sources allegedly pertained to the legacy of a highly controversial figure, especially within the broader narrative of the history of the Habsburg Monarchy, who had often been represented in Western propaganda and historical works as a barbaric enemy of the Habsburgs, a man without principles or faith.2 As is often the case with faked texts, these documents tell more about their own age, the era of national awakening in nineteenth-century Hungary, than of early seventeenth-century Transylvania. They offer glimpses into the history of cultural-linguistic nationalism in the Kingdom of Hungary and the ways in which history was used for nationalist agendas, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the paradoxes of contemporary Austrian patriotism. In this essay I first present the sources and point out the problems and anachronisms in them. I then investigate the context in which they were published in the Austrian journal edited by Baron Joseph Hormayr.

The Letter of James I to Gabriel Bethlen

The first document published concerning Gabriel Bethlen in the Archiv für Geschichte was a letter written in 1621 by James I and VI, King of England and Scotland. More precisely, it was a letter undersigned by Prince Buckingham, James’s favorite, in the name of the king and by a certain Larrey in the name of the parliament. If it were an authentic document, it would be the only known exchange between the king of England and the prince of Transylvania during the Thirty Years’ War.3 According to the introduction, James I was responding to Prince Bethlen’s letter, which had been brought to England by Dénes Kubosi, a diplomat of whom no other trace is found in the sources. The king was glad to see that Bethlen sought to further friendship between Transylvania and England, a friendship which was based as much on the splendor of the forefathers and military virtues of both glorious nations as on the elegance of their legal systems.4 No wonder, James I was all the more unhappy to hear about the erosion of ancient liberties in the Kingdom of Hungary since the Battle of Mohács, which should be taken as a reference to Habsburg rule (although the name of the Habsburgs is never mentioned in the letter). Hungary, he claimed, would have suffered the fate of Bohemia and been reduced to servitude had Gabriel Bethlen not saved it from demise and restored many of its liberties.5 And although England had made great financial and military sacrifices in Spanish and French affairs and above all in the Bohemian war, the king nevertheless offered 80,000 ducats in support of the Transylvanian army, which was to be paid secretly through the English legate in Constantinople. The reinstatement of the glorious Kingdom of Hungary allegedly was a matter of great importance to James I and his parliament, since it was in the interest of the whole of Europe that Hungary survive independently as the invincible bastion of Christianity and contribute to the European balance of powers as a bridle of “Germany,” repelling Austrian attempts to disrupt the European balance.6 This would all be better explained by the king’s diplomat, Dudley [Carleton], “secretary of the parliament,” who was staying in “Belgium” with the Bohemian King, but would soon be sent to meet with Bethlen.7

It is relatively easy to prove that this letter, which is rich with anachronism, is spurious. As it was written in the name of both the parliament and the king, one can first check whether the English parliament was sitting on October 19, 1621, the purported date of the letter. In fact, it was not. Although it assembled in 1621, it was adjourned for the summer and autumn.8 There are several other factors that render the letter implausible. Although the majority of the political body in England supported greater involvement in the war on the part of the Protestant Palatinate and Bohemia (and the King of Bohemia Frederick I was the son-in-law of James I), the English king insisted on remaining neutral.9 This meant that England initially followed pro-Spanish politics and failed to support Calvinist allies, which included Transylvania. English efforts and money were spent mostly on peacemaking through English ambassadors. Curiously, the expenses offered for John Digby’s Viennese delegation were exactly 80,000 ducats, the money allegedly given to Bethlen.10

It is thus absurd to suppose that James I supported the Transylvanian prince, when he failed to support his own son-in-law, Frederick I. Apparently, the king of England was heavily influenced by Catholic propaganda, which depicted Gabriel Bethlen as a half-Muslim vassal of the Ottoman sultan.11 No money could be secretly paid to the Transylvanians in Constantinople either, as they still had no relationship with the English ambassador in 1621, who was ordered to avoid Bethlen’s men.12 Moreover, the letter’s lament for Bohemia as a country which had fallen into servitude is also anachronistic. Since the vengeful measures that were taken in response to the Bohemian revolt and the systematic pacification of Bohemia had just started (the execution of 27 noblemen happened in the summer of 1621), it would have been nonsensical to speak of “Bohemian servitude” at the time, whatever that term might have been intended to imply.

Characteristic of nineteenth-century thinking is also the way the letter interprets Bethlen’s politics, tacitly supposing that Bethlen’s goal was to “liberate” Hungary from Habsburg rule and unite the divided parts of the kingdom and win back its “freedom.”13 This reading could in no way be the official one in the seventeenth century. If the country needed to be freed from anyone, it was the Ottomans, not the Habsburgs. In the rhetoric of the seventeenth century Bethlen moved against the Habsburgs out of Protestant solidarity. James I could have praised Bethlen’s support of the Protestant Union (which he did not), but Hungary’s unification was not a matter of English concern.

The interpretation given to Bethlen’s rule is one of the earliest documents of a new historiographic tradition, in which the prince of Transylvania was a celebrated hero of the fight for Hungary’s independence from the Habsburg Empire. This interpretation was the result of the Hungarian national awakening, and it remained influential for more than a century, up until the 1980s. The most important attempt to overwrite a teleological reading of Bethlen’s battles against the Habsburgs was made in 1929 by Gyula Szekfű, whose outstanding monograph on the prince of Transylvania was heavily debated by contemporaries.14 One of his critics, István Kiss, responded to Szekfű in a book-size essay, which was recently republished.15 What truly upset Kiss was Szekfű’s interpretation of Bethlen’s foreign policy: “in our days, it is ridiculous to speak about the pain of the Hungarian mind, but I’ll tell you, even if you’ll laugh at me, that my Hungarian mind was in pain, and I was clenching my fist when reading those pages.”16 According to Kiss, Szekfű misrepresented Transylvania’s relationship with England, and he kept silent about the letter sent by James I to Bethlen, for instance. This letter, Kiss claimed in 1929 (nine years after the Treaty of Trianon was signed), still had an important message. It could strengthen the self-confidence of a humiliated nation.17 But Szekfű had a German heart in Kiss’ assessment, and he had an aversion to the idea that Hungary could play a role in the political balance of Europe and act as a curb on the power of the Habsburgs. He added that Szekfű might also have disliked the fact that the fraternity between the English and the Hungarian nations and the eminence of their constitutions had already been recognized at the beginning of the seventeenth century.18

This brings us to another significant point. The myth of the fraternity between the English and the Hungarian nations, based on similar military virtues and glorious histories (as claimed in the letter) and, more importantly, on similar legal systems goes back exactly to 1790, and certainly not to the early seventeenth century. In the year when Emperor Joseph II died and the national diet was finally newly convened, a short anonymous Latin pamphlet appeared on the parallels between the Hungarian and the English legal systems entitled Conspectus regiminis formae regnorum Angliae et Hungariae. It was published together with an anonymous analysis of the British constitution, Dissertatio statistica de potestate exsequente Regis Angliae.19 While the Conspectus, written by a Hungarian nobleman who had never been to England and did not read English, put emphasis on parallelism with the goal of emphasizing the power of the Hungarian parliament and the limits of royal power, which was a typical agenda of contemporary publications, the Dissertatio, prepared by an erudite schoolteacher originally from Bohemia, called attention to the uniqueness and the peculiarities of the British constitution.20 It was through a Hungarian translation of the Conspectus21 and a book in Hungarian by György Aranka (though published anonymously) that the idea of British-Hungarian fraternity became truly popular.22 This latter work lacked scholarly depth and only served the political and ideological goals of the Hungarian national awakening. Aranka, who was the organizer of a Hungarian language society in Transylvania, demanded that Hungary be treated as a separate political unit, independent of the rest of the Habsburg monarchy, with no foreigners employed in state administration and no foreign soldiers stationed in Hungary, but with a ruler who stayed in the country and spoke Hungarian, and whose power was granted by the Hungarian nobility. He claimed that the Hungarian language had been neglected, as the rulers of the country lived abroad and thus the nation used Latin, “the language which, next to the mother tongue, gives access to the sciences, but which is also the master of ignorance, leading one to blindness, once the national tongue is ignored.”23

The Report of a Transylvanian Agent on Austria’s Plans for Hungary’s ‘Pacification’

Neither is the second document, which appeared two months later (in September 1828) in the Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, without anachronism. This text was allegedly a report by a Transylvanian agent concerning a meeting of the imperial secret council, which happened “in the last days of last year, before the Transylvanian prince left his country.”24 As the source also mentions the name of Girolamo Caraffa, Marchese di Montenero, who took part in the 1623 campaign against Prince Bethlen but later left Austria, the meeting of the secret council, if it ever happened, must have taken place in last part of 1623 (or early 1624).

According to the very first sentence of the text, the imperial council, which included members like Carlos de Harrach, Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, Cardinal František Dietrichstein, together with the Apostolic legate (Carlo Caraffa), the Spanish ambassador (Íñigo Vélez de Guevara, Count of Oñate), the Florentine ambassador (Giovanni Altoviti), and Prince Albrecht von Wallenstein, convened in order to discuss the strategy of the Habsburgs against Gabriel Bethlen: “during a serious consultation in neighboring Austria, the question of which firm and reliable method to use to pacify all the kingdoms and provinces subjected to the power of His Majesty was debated.”25

This opening passage arouses suspicion. If there had been such an important meeting of the imperial secret council, how could have the details of the discussion been disclosed? And why did a Transylvanian agent use Latin when writing to Gabriel Bethlen or write in a form that reminds one of the minutes recorded during such meetings? Were the document a report by one of Bethlen’s agents, it would be in Hungarian, the language used at Bethlen’s court, and it would have a proper form of address to the Transylvanian prince. And why did a secret agent speak of something that happened the previous year? Secret agents were expected to report immediately, especially when it concerned such crucial information. Moreover, its dating to the last days of the year (1623) also raises questions.26

If one looks at the report in detail, one’s suspicions become stronger. The discussion of the meeting of the secret council was initiated by the Spanish ambassador, who wondered how the councilors envisioned keeping Hungary and Transylvania obedient and loyal to the emperor.27 Curiously, the first (unknown) speaker was apparently a pro-Hungarian courtier, who used rhetoric reminiscent of nineteenth-century patriotic discourses. He claimed that Hungarians normally observed their laws and customs religiose and that rebellions arose only in response to violations of their privileges and liberties. He argued that Hungarians would be loyal to the House of Habsburg—“they would subject themselves to the Austrian House and remain loyal forever (in fide perennali perseverarent)”28—if their ancient liberties and privileges were respected. The Spanish ambassador then wondered about the military strength of the emperor. When he learned that the imperial army never numbered more than 34,000, he replied that the Spanish king was ready to provide a well-equipped army of 40,000 and sustain it at his own expense for the next forty years, i.e., forever. Thus, “that treacherous nation, which has disrespected His Majesty and the imperial authority so many times, would be rooted out entirely.”29 He was told that Hungarians were good soldiers and could also have recourse to the Ottomans, and their invasions were no reason enough to oppress the people.30 The Spanish ambassador replied that in that case one needed to bribe the Ottomans first, alienate them from the Hungarians by stirring up controversy, and then make peace with them. Thereafter, the emperor should follow the strategy established by the Spanish king, who governed through omnipotent viceroys and made sure that they were blamed for the oppression of the people.31 These governors should then use any tyrannical methods necessary; they “would afflict the criminals with invented punishments and harass them in unheard-of ways.”32 The consequent insurrections could then provide excellent opportunities to get rid of anti-monarchic elements. If the army of 40,000 men were to prove inadequate to the task, the Spanish king was ready to give an extra twenty thousand soldiers.

When the consultation came to a conclusion, Emperor Ferdinand II subscribed to the opinion of the Spanish ambassador concerning the importance of resolving the “Transylvanian-Hungarian problem” for good, and even went further. He entrusted the execution of the project to two military leaders, Prince Wallenstein and Girolamo Caraffa, and told them to invade Hungary as soon as they received the slightest news of seditions. They were to proceed to the town of Šintava (Hungarian Sempte, in present-day Slovakia) on the river of Váh (Vág, Waag) and slay everyone older than twelve who spoke Hungarian.33 The killing of Hungarian speakers was to continue until they either expelled the chief plotter or brought him alive to the emperor. If the war turned out to be long, desolated provinces had to be newly populated by foreigners. Finally, it was suggested that the same procedure be repeated in Bohemia and Silesia.

There are many absurd and anachronistic elements in this document. Like the letter purportedly sent by James I, this writing tends to represent Hungary and Transylvania as one and the same state, although during the Ottoman period they were separate political entities. The Kingdom of Hungary had a royal head, who was the Habsburg emperor, while Transylvania was a semi-independent Ottoman vassal state, despite the fact that the king of Hungary continued to lay claim to it.

More importantly, the radical solutions of the Transylvanian question suggested in the document seem entirely exaggerated. Even if in 1623 there were opponents to another peace treaty with Gabriel Bethlen, as was suggested in Carlo Caraffa’s final report of 1628, no one could seriously have imagined solving the conflict with Transylvania by exterminating the Hungarian population.34 For one thing, Hungarian speakers were no target of seventeenth-century politics in any manner. The Habsburgs might have been prejudiced against Hungarians or Transylvanians, but their concept of nation was legal/territorial and not ethno-linguistic/cultural, while the idea of slaughtering entire national groups was in contradiction with the early modern concepts of ruling and nation. Slaughtering a share of a king’s subjects according to their native tongue (Hungarian speakers older than twelve) was an absurd idea in the age of absolutism. It reflects nothing but the concerns (or fears) of ethno-linguistic nationalism of the turn of the eighteenth century, when the Hungarian gentry and many non-noble intellectuals were demanding the use of Hungarian instead of Latin as the official language of the country.35 Similarly, the notion of the repopulation of desolated Hungarian provinces with foreigners was the worry of the early nineteenth-century Hungarian learned men, who realized that the proportion of ethnic Hungarians within the Kingdom of Hungary was painfully low.36 The negative role played by the Spanish in the document might also be explained by the legend of Spain’s evilness and backwardness, developed mainly by rivals in colonization, which was also spreading in Hungary by the nineteenth century.37 But even if the Spanish ambassador ever had argued in support of an anti-Transylvanian campaign, he certainly could not have offered 40,000 Spanish soldiers. It would have been extremely hard for Spain to maintain an army even half that size. This was approximately the number of all the Spanish soldiers who were involved in the first three years of the Thirty Years’ War; it was far greater than any subsidiary army offered during these years; for example, the Spanish army that joined the emperor in the critical year of 1619 consisted of only 13,000–15,000 soldiers.38 The last statement of the document, according to which the same procedure should be repeated in Bohemia and Silesia, seems similarly a flight of fantasy.39

Fortunately, historians did not take this document seriously. As far as I know, hardly any contemporaries referred to it in their publications, and later historians seem to have forgotten about it.40 Some contemporaries, however, must have been deeply impressed. Lajos Kossuth, who was 26 year old in 1828, referred to the document in a personal letter as late as 1870.41

Dezső Dümmerth, a historian who considered both texts appropriate subjects of research in the 1960s, cared little about anachronism (although he must have noticed some), and did not really question their authenticity. For Dümmerth, these texts were early expressions of the anti-Hungarian trend of Habsburg politics, which oppressed Hungarian liberties and consciously settled foreigners among Hungarians.42 This historiographic thinking goes back to the early nineteenth century. These documents offer evidence not of anti-Hungarian Habsburg policies, but rather of the fears and frustrations that motivated the Hungarian nobility at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The frustration that Hungary was culturally, socially and economically backward; that it was politically dependent on Austria; that Hungarians were outnumbered in their country by non-Hungarians; the fear that the nobility would lose its privileged position in society; that the Hungarian language and Hungarian culture or Hungary itself would disappear—these were in fact serious worries of the time.43 Although these were worries of a certain stratum of society (the level of the Latin, influenced by legal terminology, used in these documents is expressive of their culture), we should not forget that fears and frustrations were driving political forces in other ancien régimes.

Joseph Hormayr and the Dilemmas of Monarchic Patriotism

Seeing the anachronism and absurdities of these documents and their strong anti-Habsburg sentiment, one wonders, in fact, how they came to be published in a German language Austrian journal. To answer this question, we need to have a closer look at the Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, which was, to be sure, not simply one of the Austrian journals. It was a very special periodical, edited by the extravagant Innsbruck-born intellectual, Baron Joseph Hormayr. Although we do not know if Hormayr actively edited the issues in which these two sources were published (from the autumn of 1828, he lived in Munich as ministerial councilor to the foreign ministry of the Bavarian government),44 the publication of such sources nicely harmonized with his concept of the journal.

Joseph Hormayr (1781–1848) was a complicated but fascinating figure, still too little appreciated.45 Considered a child prodigy, at a mere twenty years of age he had already been given a position in Vienna in the foreign ministry and almost contemporaneously had gotten a position at the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, of which he soon became the director. His interests in politics and historical research, both in the service of his heterogeneous patriotic ideals, remained driving forces throughout his life. Most importantly, he took part in the organization and promotion of the Tyrolean Rebellion (1809) against Bavarian and French rule under Napoleon. Although this movement was partly inspired by the Viennese government, Hormayr’s participation in 1813 in another Tyrolean anti-Napoleon movement (the Alpenbund) led to his imprisonment for one year in Munkács and Spielberg (close to Brno), as it ran counter to the politics of Metternich, who became a lifelong enemy. In 1816, after a sojourn in Moravia, Hormayr was finally more or less rehabilitated. Although he was honored with the title of imperial historian, he could never get back his earlier standing or position. As the former, fallen director, he avoided any contact with the staff of the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsachiv, which made it almost impossible for him to pursue research.46 Although he could neither take a position as an archivist in other archives nor become a professor at a German university (which was one of his ideas), he could carry on (still in Brno) with his periodicals: alongside the Archiv für Geschichte, together with Baron Alajos Mednyánszky he also published Taschenbuch für die Vaterländische Geschichte. As a politically marginalized but intellectually reintegrated, central figure who remained under the severe oversight of the secret police, Hormayr’s general frustration turned increasingly against Vienna’s reactionary politics and Austria’s peripheral intellectual position within the German lands and Europe. This did not mean that his strong regional Tyrolean, Austrian, and monarchic patriotism waned. Since he never felt any tension between his different patriotic (and national) identities, but well understood their significance in modern times, his ideal was to energize the monarchy through patriotic movements. His journals served exactly this objective, offering historical material which could reinforce the various patriotisms within the Monarchy. As he continued stressing in the Archiv für Geschichte, he wanted “to foster the love of the homeland through knowledge of the homeland, to offer a focal point, a forum for the union of German, Hungarian and Czech literary products, which have been so foreign, almost unknown to one another.”47 His collaborators and friends were mostly high-standing Austrian, Hungarian and Bohemian noblemen with a broad interest in history, society and culture. As a leading figure of Viennese literary circles and editor of an international journal with a large number of Austrian, German, Hungarian, and Bohemian contacts, Hormayr occupied a privileged position from which to observe the divergent histories and societies of the Monarchy. What he saw was not very encouraging, and the government’s repressive cultural politics made things even worse. In fact, this was not politics for Hormayr, since it did not serve the common good; it was a state run by secret police and censorship, which had no idea how to channel patriotic feelings in the right direction. Despite his considerable efforts in the interest of a common monarchic identity (which was not dynastic principally but based on mutual recognition of the various historical-intellectual traditions), he sadly realized that the various nations, agitated against one another, thought more and more of separatism instead of a common future.48

Posterity has given little credit to Hormayr’s historical activity, whose principle mission as an archivist-historian was to use historical sources in order to lay the foundation of a collective (i.e. historical-cultural-artistic) identity in the Monarchy. At a younger age, even the falsification of history could have seemed appropriate to Hormayr as a means with which to further more noble, patriotic goals, as his faking of a Latin foundation diploma (using a later German chronic) of the monastery of Stams in Tyrol testifies.49 However, over the years he apparently became more critical and honest in historical research, and when the scandal about the Grünberg and Königinhof manuscripts broke out in Bohemia (probably the most successful attempts at faking the national past in the early nineteenth century), Hormayr took part in the criticism and published a critical review of Josef Dobrovský.50 Despite his often one-sided moralizing, patriotic portraits of Austrian statesmen in the popular series Österreichische Plutarch (1807–1814), Hormayr later developed a firm opinion concerning how history should be made: it should be a search for the truth only, and should not be driven by any preconceptions.51 For him, there was no such thing as Catholic or Lutheran historiography.52 In history, one needed to be impartial and objective. But was this possible, especially when it concerned the history of the Monarchy? Even his own patriotic Österreichische Plutarch was a far cry from impartial, Hormayr later realized, partly as a result of the criticism he received. In the 1820s and 1830s, he repeatedly complained that the Austrian regime interpreted any attempt at true history as a sign of liberalism or Jacobinism.53 For a history of the Monarchy, he claimed, one needed to understand the individual histories of its nations and be able to read works in their languages.54 But keeping together the diversities within the monarchy was hard. It was not only a political but also a historical problem: “this aggregation of ethnographically such different, even incompatible elements, the keeping together of the Slavic, Hungarian, Italian components through the German, which is numerically the least important, constitutes as much a problem for the regime as for history. Add to this the protracted civil and religious wars! Should more than another half-century or perhaps an entire century pass before it will be possible to write the history of this composite state (Statenverein), when it will be one and the same truth?”55 Moreover, regarding the most problematic aspects of monarchic history, like those mentioned in Comenius’ Martyrologium Bohemicum, in the books of the famous exile historian Pavel Stránský (1583–1657), or the histories of Gabriel Bethlen, the memoirs of the Hungarian rebel-ruler Francis II Rákóczi, or the history of the Protestant galley-slaves, there was also the problem of missing or dubious sources.56 No wonder Hormayr, the frustrated historian, the archivist without an archive, became fully dedicated to publishing any kind of historical sources.57 He passionately took the side of those “who with historical fidelity published any kind of document without the least trace of malice which appeared uncomfortable to the momentary worship of this or that favorite period or historical figure, to this or that trend.”58

I believe it is this radical openness that explains why Hormayr’s journal published the documents presented in this paper, whether with the editor’s active contribution or not.59 It seems that Hormayr and his Hungarian collaborators were taken in by these faked documents. If they had doubts, one does not find any sign of them. However, if they were deceived, they were not the only ones. News of the report on the meeting of the secret council was spreading among Hungarian learned men at least as of the 1810s, if not earlier.60 The only known manuscript copy comes from the historical sourcebook of István Horvát (1784–1846), a young enthusiast of historical research, who had allegedly copied the report from a Franciscan historian József Jakosich (1738–1804).61 The question of who faked these documents has not yet been answered.62 All we know at the moment is that he (they) was (were) historian(s) who probably had some legal background and was (were) active between 1790 and 1810. He (they) very probably had access to the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, and apparently had thorough knowledge of the era of Bethlen and the Thirty Years’ War.

I hope future research will resolve the question of authorship, which may greatly enlarge our knowledge of the ways in which history was understood and written by early nineteenth-century men of letters. But whoever the author(s) of these documents was (were), we can be sure that his (their) act was inspired by national fervor and hatred for the Habsburgs. Like several of his (their) contemporaries, he (they) was (were) driven by a deep desire to save the nation from demise, to overcome “backwardness,” and to raise Hungarian people among the worthy nations of Europe, like the English, the French, and the German, the nations most frequently mentioned. Yes, there were times in history when Hungarians were European players, with whom even the English were ready to ally, even though the very existence of this Hungarian-speaking nation was often in peril, and not because of the Ottomans but because of the House of Austria, which relied in times of danger on the evil counsel and arms of the Spanish Habsburgs. No question the faker(s), like several of his (their) colleagues in Central Europe,63 worked in good faith for the common good of his (their) nation, which in the Hungarian case saw itself as warlike and heroic by nature and was in need of a past that fitted its purportedly virtuous character. If Joseph Hormayr published these documents, he did so in the belief that the history of the Monarchy was troubled by conflicts that needed to be faced and objectively comprehended. Otherwise, there was no hope for a common history. Seriously troubling was the rule of Ferdinand II (especially the years around the Battle of White Mountain), significant for Austrian national consciousness already in Maria Theresa’s times but increasingly understood by Bohemians and Hungarians in a markedly different way.

 

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1 Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, July 16 and 18, 1828, 453–54; September 29, 1828, 619–20.

2 On his image see Gábor Almási, “Bethlen és a törökösség kérdése a korabeli propagandában és politikában,” in Bethlen Gábor és Európa, ed. Gábor Kármán and Kees Teszelszky (Budapest: ELTE BTK Középkori és Kora Újkori Magyar Történeti Tanszék–Transylvania Emlékeiért Tudományos Egyesület, 2013), 311–66.

3 On Bethlen’s British relationships see recently Áron Zarnóczki, “Angol követjelentések Bethlen Gábor első hadjáratáról és a nikolsburgi békekötésről (1619–1622),” in Bethlen Gábor és Európa, 129–44.

4 “Appulit ad nos [...] litteras nuper 3. Juny amicissime scriptas, quae eo acceptiores Nobis erant, quo ex iis perspicere Nobis licuerit, quatenus serenitas tua et inclytum illud Hungarie Regnum et Transylvaniae supremus Ducatus nostram et illustris anglorum gentis amicitiam, ob arctum utriusque inclytae Gentis, et in avorum splendore, militari virtute et legum elegantia, et super caeteras prae eminentia nexum porro quoque conservare satagat [...].”Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, July 16 and 18, 1828, 453.

5 “Dolenter etenim tum ex relatione Legati tui verbotenus longius facta, tum ex rumoribus ac actis publicis Nobis intelligere fuit [...] ut adeo praepediendum sit illud, quod universum regnum deplorat, ne Hungaria aliquando in servitutem (ut deploranda nostra aetate Boemia) redacta e serie liberorum expungatur Regnorum, quod omnino pridem jam factum fuisset, nisi fortis Tua et praedecessorum tuorum manus nobilissimum Hungariae Regnum, alterum Europae ornamentum, ab interitu vindicasset illudque regeneratum quasi habitu aureae libertatis donasset.” Ibid., 454.

6 “Et nobis et universae Europae interest, ut nobilissimum Hungarie regnum parte ab una qua Christianitatis fortalitium inexpugnabile, porro quoque independens supersit, et parte ab altera qua frenum Germaniae, Austriadum fortiter repellat vires aequilibrium Europae plus vice simplici turbare nitentium.”

7 No English diplomat was ever sent to meet Bethlen.

8 See Simon Adams, “Foreign Policy and the Parliament of 1621 and 1624,” in Faction and Parliament: Essays on Early Stuart History, ed. Kevin Sharpe (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), 139–53; Brennan C. Pursell, “War or Peace? Jacobean Politics and the Parliament of 1621,” in Parliament, Politics and Elections, 1604–1648, ed. Chris R. Kyle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 149–77. Also see: accessed August 14, 2015, http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/survey/parliament-1621.

9 England’s neutral position at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War was heavily and widely debated in the country. The idea of composing the letter in the name of Buckingham, who would later support interventionist politics, may have served to resolve the doubts of contemporaries who could have found it strange that James I had written such a supportive letter to Bethlen. Nevertheless, in 1621 there was still no difference between the pro-Spanish politics of James and Buckingham, and even if there had been, Buckingham could not have afforded to follow a different line of politics than his master and ruler.

10 C. Pursell, “War or Peace?,” 159.

11 His hostile attitude to the prince of Transylvania might have later been somewhat smoothed by the English ambassador of Constantinople, Thomas Roe, but this happened only a couple of years later.

12 The relationship was established only a year later. The faker of the letter apparently knew Roe’s correspondence concerning Bethlen but disregarded chronology. Samuel Richardson, ed., The Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, in His Embassy to the Ottoman Porte, from the Year 1621 to 1628 (London: n.p., 1740). On Roe’s embassy and Transylvania see György Kurucz, “Sir Thomas Roe és az erdélyi–lengyel viszony Bethlen Gábor fejedelemsége idején,” in Magyarhontól az újvilágig: Emlékkönyv Urbán Aladár ötvenéves tanári jubileumára, ed. Gábor Erdődy and Róbert Hermann (Budapest: Argumentum, 2002), 55–63; Anikó Kellner, “A tökéletes követ – elmélet és gyakorlat a kora újkori politikai kultúra tükrében,” Korall 7 (2006): 86–115.

13 Cf. note 5. As an example of the nationalist interpretation of Bethlen’s rule see the academic speech of Bethlen’s greatest nineteenth-century researcher, Sándor Szilágyi, Adalékok Bethlen Gábor szövetkezéseinek történetéhez, Értekezések a történelmi tudományok köréből, II.8 (Budapest: Eggenberger-féle Akadémiai Könyvkereskedés, 1873).

14 Gyula Szekfű, Bethlen Gábor (Budapest: n.p., 1929). A bibliography of the debate is found in László Mihály Hernádi, “Bethlen-bibliográfia, 1613–1680,” in Bethlen Gábor állama és kora, ed. Kálmán Kovács (Budapest: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem Magyar Állam- és Jogtörténeti Tanszéke, 1980).

15 István Kiss (Rugonfalvi), Az átértékelt Bethlen Gábor: Válaszul Szekfű Gyulának (Debrecen: n.p., [1929], republished: Máriabesenyő: Attraktor, 2008).

16 Ibid., 132.

17 “Egyes mondatai még ma is alkalmasak arra, hogy letiport, kétségbeesett nemzetünk önbizalmát és történeti hivatásának hitét megerősítse.” “The letter was all the more actual since the first signs of understanding, respect and love toward Hungary came newly from England,” Kiss wrote in 1929, nine years after the humiliating Treaty of Trianon. Ibid., 134.

18 Orsolya Fürj, “Magyarpárti lobbi a brit parlamentben a két világháború között,” in Juvenilia IV: Debreceni bölcsész diákkörösök antológiája, ed. László Pete (Debrecen: Debreceni Egyetemi Kiadó, 2011), 77–86.

19 The book was published anonymously without date, place, or publisher.

20 On the author of the Conspectus see János Kósa, “Török Lajos irodalmi munkásságához,” Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények 56 (1948): 45–49; on the author of the Dissertatio see Géza Závodszky, “Zinner János, az angol alkotmány első hazai ismertetője,” Magyar Könyvszemle 103 (1987): 10–18.

21 The translation appeared in Ferenc Kazinczy’s Orpheus with the title “Anglia és Magyar Ország Igazgatások’ Formájának Elő-Adása.” Reproduced in Első folyóirataink: Orpheus, ed. Attila Debreczeni (Debrecen: Kossuth Egyetemi Kiadó, 2001), 120–24. A month later, Gergely Berzeviczy referred to the likeness of the political systems of England and Hungary and suggested in a pamphlet to invite British dukes on the throne of Hungary. G. Berzeviczy, “De dominio Austriae in Hungaria, Budae 1790. mense Aprili,” in A magyar jakobinusok iratai, 3 vols., ed. Kálmán Benda (Budapest 1952–1957), 1:94–105.

22 [György Aranka], Anglus és magyar igazgatásnak egyben-vetése (Kolozsvár: n.p., 1790). The German translation was entitled Vergleichung zwischen Engellands und Ungarns Regierungsform: Oder: Ein Wort an diejenigen, von welchen die Ungarn für unruhige Köpfe gehalten werden. Aus dem Ungarischen übersetzt und vermehrt [von Sámuel Strógh]. (N.p.: n.p., 1791). For Sándor Szacsvay’s criticism of Aranka see Magyar Kurir 4 (1790): 469.

23 Anglus és magyar igazgatásnak egyben-vetése, 37.

24 “Superioribus diebus elapsi Anni, priusquam Transylvaniae Princeps pedem regno suo efferret.” Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, September 29, 1828, 619.

25 The quotation above continues: “vicinae Austriae seria consultatione deliberatum est, qua nempe Methodo firma et certa, Pacificatio in omnibus Regnis et provinciis, imperio S. C. Majestatis subjectis, constitui possit?” Ibid.

26 Bethlen never attacked Emperor Ferdinand II at the end of a year, but always in late summer or autumn. Nevertheless, we have some reason to suspect that some kind of meeting did indeed take place and that the person who forged the document relied on the minutes of this meeting. This is what the papal legate Carlo Caraffa’s final report also suggests. In the autumn of 1623, Bethlen crossed and occupied a great part of northern Hungary. He then pillaged Moravian lands and villages and kept the army of Girolamo Caraffa, sent in the defense of Austria, under a long-lasting siege. Finally, having realized that there was not much more to gain, he victoriously withdrew and initiated peace negotiations. The Ottoman subsidiary army, which accompanied him, collected great numbers of captives, but many of them were freed by the soldiers of pro-Habsburg Hungarian aristocrats with Bethlen’s consent (who had earlier pleaded in vain with the pasha of Buda to free the captives). For details of this relatively understudied event see Ferdinand Tadra, “Beiträge zur Geschichte des Feldzuges Bethlen Gabors gegen Kaiser Ferdinand II. im Jahre 1623: Nebst Original-Briefen Albrechts von Waldstein,” Archiv für österreichische Geschichte 55 (1877): 403–64; Kemény János önéletírása, 1657–1658, ed. Éva V. Windisch (Budapest: Szépirodalmi Könyvkiadó, 1986), part D; László Szalay, Galantai gróf Eszterházy Miklós, Magyarország nádora, 3 vols. (Pest: Lauffer and Stolp, 1863–1870), 2:86–87; Christian D’Elvert, “Auszüge aus dem (im k. k. Haus-, Hof- und Staats-Archiv befindlichen) Buche sub N. 108 lit. t. u. V: Underschidliche Schriften und Zeitungen des Röm. Reichs und des Erzhauses Oesterreich Zustand und Verlauf betreffent von 1620 bis 1627,” in Beiträge zur Geschichte der böhmischen Länder, insbesondere Mährens im 17. Jh. Band III. (Schriften der historisch-statistischen Section der k. k. Mähr. Schles. Gesellschaft des Ackerbaues, der Natur- und Landeskunde 22) (Brno: Carl Winiker, 1875), 127.

27 “Quibusnam modis et mediis [...] Regnum Hungariae ac Principatus Transylvaniae in devotione et fide suae Maiestatis Sacratissimae detineri possint?” Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, September 29, 1828, 619. The way this question is posed reflects nineteenth-century thinking. The two states, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Principality of Transylvania, could not be regarded in the same way. One was ruled by the emperor, and in the major part remained loyal to the Habsburgs (especially after the diet of 1622). The other was an inimical state. See Géza Pálffy, “Crisis in the Habsburg Monarchy and Hungary, 1619–1622: Hungarian Estates and Gábor Bethlen,” Hungarian Historical Review 2 (2013): 733–60; idem, “Egy elfelejtett kiegyezés a 17. századi magyar történelemben: Az 1622. évi koronázódiéta Sopronban,” in Egy új együttműködés kezdete: Az 1622. évi soproni koronázó országgyűlés, ed. Péter Dominkovits and Csaba Katona (Budapest–Sopron: MTA Történettudományi Intézet–MNL Soproni Levéltár, 2015), 17–59.

28 “Si libertate pristina et immunitatibus, quibus ab initio regni sui sine interruptione gavisi sunt, iterum ornarentur, et in pristinum vigorem constituerentur, fore facillime, quod sine ulla difficultate, Domui Austriacae se denuo subjicerent, et in fide perennali perseverarent.” Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, September 29, 1828, 619. Note that “perennali” was a characteristic legal term in Hungarian property law, used for instance in István Werbőczy’s highly popular law book, the Tripartitum.

29 “Perfida haec gens, quae toties Majestatem et autoritatem Caesaream violavit, radicitus evelletur.” Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, September 29, 1828, 620.

30 The expression “istas invasiones” gives the impression that Bethlen attacked the emperor more than three times, as happened in reality. Once again, no distinction is made between Transylvanians and Hungarians. Ibid.

31 Obviously the text is referring to Spanish colonization. In the original, governors are mentioned, not viceroys: “constituantur Barbaris istis Gubernatores”. Ibid.

32 “Poenis excogitatis delinquentes afficiant, et inauditis modis exagitent.” Ibid. (Note again the neo-Latin term delinquentes, which was used in criminal law.)

33 In an obscure Latin, the document also adds that they had to cut off moustaches or hair. Ibid.

34 In his final report, Cardinal Caraffa remembered that many people encouraged Emperor Ferdinand II to invade Hungary (and Transylvania) at this point and not to accept a new peace treaty with Bethlen: “Là onde era da molti biasimata cotal transattione e tante volte rinovata pace col facinoroso e superbo nemico Betlem Gabor, la quale meritamente dovea essere sospetta, per haver egli tante volte rotta la data fede, e tutti giudicavano, esser cosa molto espediente al ben commune il reprimere lo sfrenato traditore e vendicare la tante volte calpestata fede, et in particolare all’hora, quando gl’istessi Turchi offesi detestavano l’insolente suo machinare, e si dolevano essere stati da infame condottiero e senza fede traditi, venduti e consignati in potere de’ Christiani. All’hora a punto Cesare haveva alli confini un’ essercito, e non ci era nell’Imperio inimico, che li facesse resistenza. Il che supposto, ben chè fusse vero, che il rifiutare la pace sarebbe riuscito in utile di Cesare, tuttavia l’estrema necessità del danaro, la carestia del vivere per l’accrescimento della moneta, la poco soda pace con li Turchi, il sospetto per l’offesa poco prima da loro ricevuta, i nuovi movimenti della Fiandra e dell’inferiore Sassonia, ritardarono Cesare a non mettere in opera li consigli datili contro Betlem, benchè per altro fussero ottimi, et indussero l’una e l’altra parte a darsi caparra di nuova pace.” Carlo Caraffa, “Relatione dello stato dell’Imperio e della Germania fatta dopo il ritorno della sua nuntiatura appresso l’imperatore, 1628,” ed. Joseph Godehard Müller, Archiv für österreichische Geschichte 23 (1860): 179. Most recently on Caraffa see Antal Molnár, “Carlo Caraffa bécsi nuncius az 1622. évi soproni országgyűlésen,” in Egy új együttműködés kezdete, 125–231.

35 On the language movement see Latin at the Crossroads of Identity: The Evolution of Linguistic Nationalism in the Kingdom of Hungary, ed. Gábor Almási and Lav Šubarić (Leiden: Brill, 2015); for an annotated bibliography see Gábor Almási, “Latin and the language question in Hungary (1700–1844): A survey of Hungarian secondary literature,” Das Achtzehnte Jahrhundert und Österreich 26 (2013): 211–319 and 28 (2015): 237–86.

36 It is now generally thought that Hungarians represented c. 40 percent of the population, but the government since Joseph II calculated with (and propagated) even lower proportions. See the forthcoming anthology on the language movement, edited by Gábor Almási and Lav Šubarić.

37 Ádám Anderle, A magyar–spanyol kapcsolatok ezer éve (Szeged: Szegedi Egyetemi Kiadó, 2005), 65–66; R. G. Carcel, La Leyenda Negra: Historia y Opinión (Madrid: Alianza, 1992–1998).

38 Anton Gindely, Geschichte des Dreissigjährigen Krieges: Geschichte des böhmischen Aufstandes von 1618, 3 vols. (Prague: Tempsky, 1869–1878), 2:68–74, 368–80; Peter Brightwell, “The Spanish Origins of the Thirty Years’ War,” European Studies Review 9 (1979): 409–31; Tibor Monostori, “A Magyar Királyság helye az Ausztriai Ház országai között az európai spanyol hegemónia korában (1558–1648),” Századok 143 (2009): 1027. Moreover, the ambassador, Count of Oñate, reportedly became more cautious with financial issues during the last years of his Viennese stay. (I thank Ulrich Nagel for this information, whose book on Oñate will soon be published by Aschendorff in Münster.)

39 The administrative procedure of the council gives similar reason for suspicion. Once the council had been dismissed, there would have been no place for the Spanish ambassador to intervene again, and no decisions could have been made in the plural “statuerunt,” as all further decisions depended solely on the emperor.

40 The second document is quoted by Johann Mailáth, Geschichte der Magyaren (Vienna: Tendler, 1831), 5:161–63. Apparently, the publication of the Archiv also took Majláth (a collaborator of writings by Joseph Hormayr, the Archiv’s editor) by surprise. It is difficult to understand why he quoted the report of the secret council among the notes that concerned Emmerich Thököli but did not mention it in the previous volume of his history, which concerned Gabriel Bethlen among other figures of history, where he, in fact, referred to King James’s letter (ibid, 4:219). Another exception comes from Joseph Trausch, Chronicon Fuchsio-Lupino-Oltardinum sive Annales Hungarici et Transsilvanici (Coronae: Gött, 1847), 1:303–06. At the same time, the supposed letter sent by James I was also mentioned by another of Hormayr’s Hungarian collaborators, Baron Alajos Mednyánszky, who was the author of a noteworthy biography of Gábor Bethlen, Taschenbuch für die vaterländische Geschichte 4 (1823): 453–516, at 485; it was later also translated into Hungarian by Szalay, Galantai gróf Eszterházy Miklós, 2:5–7. As for afterlife of the report on the secret council, I know of only one semi-historical work quoting it: Magyar Holocaust: Dokumentumok a magyarok megsemmisítéséről (1917–1967), ed. Kálmán Magyar (Kaposvár 1999), 2:21–22 (I thank Péter Tusor for calling my attention to this book).

41 “Wallenstein, who killed his closest heir with a poisoned radish, was the person chosen to carry out that diabolic plan set up by a council of the Cabinet, after which an order was issued, signed personally by Ferdinand II. It was discovered in the Secret Archive and published by Hormayr.” (Legközelebbi örökösét egy megmérgezett retekkel ölte meg Wallenstein, azon pokoli terv egyik választott végrehajtója, melyet Magyarországnak cseh lábra helyezése iránt Bécsben egy Cabinet tanács megállapított, határozatokba foglalt, II. Ferdinánd saját kezűleg aláírt, Hormayr a titkos levéltárban felfedezett és nyilvánosságra hozott.”) Letter to Antal Bavart of 4 March 1870, quoted by Dezső Dümmerth, “Történetkutatás és nyelvkérdés a magyar–Habsburg viszony tükrében: Kollár Ádám működése,” Filológiai Közlöny 12 (1966): 392.

42 “The text reflects two distinctive anti-Hungarian aspirations of Habsburg politics; one was forcefully to annul old and acknowledged liberties, the other was to settle foreigners in the place of the Hungarian population within the borders of the Hungarian state. This all reveals the purposeful tendency of annihilating the Hungarians.” (“A szövegből a Habsburg-politikának két jellegzetes magyarellenes törekvése tűnik elő. Az első a régi szabadságjogoknak önmaguk által is elismert, erőszakos megsemmisítése, a második pedig a magyar állam keretei között a magyar lakosság helyébe idegeneknek letelepítése. Mindez a magyarság léte ellen irányuló, céltudatos tendenciákra mutat.”) Dümmerth, “Történetkutatás és nyelvkérdés,” 393.

43 Cf. Ferenc Bíró, A nemzethalál árnya a XVIII. századvég és a XIX. századelő magyar irodalmában (Pécs: Pro Pannonia, 2012).

44 The document on the secret council was published by György Gyurkovits, who ascribes the publication of the letter by Jacob to Hormayr. See Gy. Gyurkovits, “B. Hormayr Jósef’ Archiv für Geographie, Historie, Staats-und Kriegskunst czímű bécsi folyóírásában előforduló, és vagy Magyarországot ’s nemzetet érdeklő, vagy magyar tudósok által írt értekezések,” Tudománytár no. 10 (1836): 225. Cf. Dümmerth, “Történetkutatás és nyelvkérdés,” 394.

45 For Hormayr see Franz L. Fillafer, “Jenseits des Historismus: Gelehrte Verfahren, politische Tendenzen und konfessionelle Muster in der Geschichtsschreibung des österreichischen Vormärz,” in Geschichtsforschung in Deutschland und Österreich im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Christine Otter and Klaus Ries (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner 2014), 79–119; Walter Landi, “Joseph von Hormayr zu Hortenburg (1781–1848): Romantische Historiographie im Zeitalter der Restauration zwischen patriotischer Loyalität und liberalen Unruhen,” in Eliten in Tirol zwischen Ancien Régime und Vormärz, ed. Marco Bellabarba et al. (Innsbruck: Studienverlag, 2010), 385–407; Pál S. Varga, “Hormayrs Archiv und das Programm der Nationalliteratur,” in On the Road – Zwischen Kulturen unterwegs, ed. Zénó Bernád Ágoston, Márta Csire, and Andrea Seidler (Vienna: LIT, 2009), 215–25; Idem, A nemzeti költészet csarnokai: A nemzeti irodalom fogalmi rendszerei a 19. századi magyar irodalomtörténeti gondolkodásban (Budapest: Balassi, 2005), 159–230; Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr zu Hortenburg, Politisch-historische Schriften, Briefe und Akten, ed. Helmut Reinalter and Dušan Uhliř (Frankfurt/M.: Lang, 2003); Barbara Gant, “Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr zu Hortenburg: Eine (politische) Biographie” (PhD diss., University of Innsbruck, 2003); Vzájemná korespondence J. Dobrovského a J. v. Hormayra, ed. Miloslav Krbec and Zdeněk Šimeček, Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis, Facultas pedagogica, Philologica III, Český jazyk a literatura 5 (1985): 103–273; Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr und die vaterländische Romantik in Österreich: Auswahl aus dem Werk, ed. and introd. Kurt Adel (Vienna: Bergland, 1969); Lajos Vajk, Hormayr és Böttiger: Levelek a bécsi szellemi élet történetéhez (Budapest: Danubia, 1942); Josef Karl Mayr, “Hormayrs Verhaftung 1813,” Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte 13 (1941/42): 330–60; Maria Prins, Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr: Van apostel der Oostenrijksnationale gedachte tot pionier der Duitse eenheid (Assen: Van Gorcum 1938); Alexandra Siegel von Siegville, “Das Problem der Oesterreichischen Nation beim Freiherrn Josef von Hormayr” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 1937); André Robert, L’idée nationale autrichienne et les guerres de Napoléon: L’apostolat du baron de Hormayr et le salon de Caroline Pichler (Paris: F. Alcan, 1933); Gyula Kunczer, Hormayr és az egykorú magyar irodalom (Pécs: Dunántúl Egyetemi Nyomdája, 1929).

46 Mayr claims he could in theory have had access to materials with Metternich’s permission. Mayr, “Hormayrs Verhaftung 1813,” 351.

47 “Vaterlandsliebe durch Vaterlandskunde zu fördern, – den früherhin so scharf gesonderten, ja mit einander beynahe unbekannte Leistungen der deutschen, der ungarischen und böhmischen Literatur einen Vereinigungs- und Mittelpunct darzubiethen.” Hormayr’s final editorial remarks in the Archiv für Geschichte of 4 December 1828, which was selling increasingly badly (it had only around 60 subscribers when he left Vienna), and now came to an end. Republished in Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr zu Hortenburg, Politisch-historische Schriften, 151. Cf. Varga, “Hormayrs Archiv,” 215–16. On the number of subscribers see Karl Glossy, “Hormayr und Karoline Pichler,” Jahrbuch der Grillparzer-Gesellschaft 12 (1902): 232 [reprinted in Karl Glossy, Kleinere Schriften: Zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstage (Vienna: Carl Fromme, 1918), 195–215.]

48 See his letter to Hugo Franz Salm of 1829: “Man muß es im Auslande selbst gesehen und erfahren haben [...] wie jetzt Oesterreich, als der Todfeind jedes Talents, jeder, selbst der unschuldigsten Entwicklung jedes Fortschreitens und jeder Verfassung, als Begünstiger jedes grossen und kleinen Despotism, als immer fix und fertiger Erfinder und Warner von Conspirationen und Complotten verachtet und verhaßt ist. [...] Man hätte langsam, aber immer fortschreiten sollen, wie Maria Theresia und nicht seit 1816 alles Heil einzig allein in lauter Rückschritten suchen, in inquisitorischen und Unterdrückungs-Maas Regeln, die bei diesen vortrefflichen und äusserst langmüthigen Völkern gar nicht nöthig sind. Man sollte nicht glauben; man könne Finanzen, Armee- und Nationalbildung ungestraft verfallen lassen und brauche blos Censur und geheime Polizei! Damit sey Alles gut und Alles gethan. − Auf diese Weise bringt man es noch dahin, daß Ungarn und Böhmen einsehen, die Vereinigung mit Oesterreich sey ihr Unglück, sie hätten dadurch ihre Verfassung, ihre Sprachen und Sitten, ihre Nationalität und ihre schönsten Provinzen verloren, Ungarn an die Türken, Böhmen aber Schlesien und beide Lausitzen an Preussen. − Beide Reiche würden viel weiter seyn, wenn sie für sich allein stünden! − Man hat die Nationen so lange widereinander gehezt, daß aus diesem Unkrautsaamen ein Separatism aufgegangen ist, dessen Folgen die nächsten 25–50 Jahre zeigen werden.” Joseph Freiherr von Hormayr zu Hortenburg, Politisch-historische Schriften, 362–63. On Hormayr’s historical-patriotic thought see also Lucjan Puchalski, Imaginärer Name Österreich: Der literarische Österreichbegriff an der Wende vom 18. zum 19. Jahrhundert (Vienna: Böhlau 2000), 73–81; Varga, A nemzeti költészet csarnokai, 159–230.

49 Friedrich Bock, “Fälschungen des Freiherrn von Hormayr,” Neues Archiv für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 47 (1927): 225–43.

50 Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, no. 15 (1824): 260. See Pavlína Rychterová, “The Manuscripts of Grünberg and Königinhof: Romantic Lies about the Glorious Past of the Czech Nation,” in Manufacturing a Past for the Present: Forgery and Authenticity in Medievalist Texts and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Europe, ed. János M. Bak and Gábor Klaniczay (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 3–30; Fillafer, “Jenseits des Historismus,” 101.

51 The 20-volume series of the Österreichische Plutarch presented idealized portraits of Austria’s princes and statesmen. For an interpretation see Puchalski, Imaginärer Name Österreich, 229–56; Robert, L’idée nationale autrichienne, 289–301. For its portrait of Ferdinand II see Oesterreichischer Plutarch oder Leben und Bildnisse aller Regenten und der berühmtesten Feldherren, Staatsmänner, Gelehrten und Künstler des österreichischen Kaiserstaates (Vienna: Doll, 1807), 8:113. For its influence on Caroline Pichler (who wrote a drama) and the problem of the rebelling Bohemians in this context see Edit Szentesi, “Birodalmi patriotizmus és honi régiségek: Az egykorú osztrák hazafias történeti festészetről szóló írások Josef Hormayr lapjában (1810–1828)” (PhD diss., Loránd Eötvös University of Budapest, 2003), 137.

52 “In der Geschichte sucht der gesunde Menschenverstand das wirklich Geschehene, er sucht die Wahrheit, nur die Wahrheit und Nichts als die Wahrheit: nicht wie sich der Verfasser die Vergangenheit denkt, will er wissen, nicht wie er die Begriffe, die Bedürfnisse der Gegenwart in die Vorzeit hineinstellt und seine Personen in wunderlichem, damals ganz unbekanntem, communistischem, liberalem, absolutistischem oder theokratischem Aufputz und Kostüm vorüberschreiten oder tanzen läßt. Man bietet uns jetzt Geschichten dieser und jener Epoche mit dem lethalen Beisatz: ‘im katolsichen, im evangelischen Sinn,’ ohne zu bedenken, daß man dadurch schon der unparteisamen Geschichtswahrheit den Stab bricht und eine bloße Parteischrift ankündet.” Hormayr, Politisch-historische Schriften, 196.

53 “Dennoch scheint es, als könne auch jetzt noch kein Österreicher eine parteilose Geschichte jener alten Zwiste herausgeben, außer er habe sich vorher durch den Kopf geschossen, am wenigsten dürfte solches ein Staatsdiener unternehmen, ohne für einen Liberalen, für einen Jakobiner zu gelten, ohne lebenslange Ungnade daran zu wagen, ohne sich (trotz all seiner sonstigen Verdienste und völligen Unangreifbarkeit,) polizeilicher Verfolgung und Aufpasserei Preis zu geben, zu deren Werkzeugen sich gewiß erkaufte Domestiken, ungerathene Söhne, lüderliche Weiber und undankbare Freunde finden lassen!! An Materialien, wie das böhmische Martyrologium, wie die Klagen Stransky’s und anderer ausgezeichneter Flüchtlinge, böhmischer Brüder, wie jene Bethlens, Nádasdy’s, Illesházy’s , die Memoires der großen Parteihäupter Tókóly und Rakoczy oder wie die Klaglieder jener ausgetriebenen, in der Finsterniß der Kasematten dahinwelkenden oder auf die spanischen und venezianischen Galeeren verkauften protestantischen Prediger, fehlt es mehr und mehr. Sie werden immer seltener. Man regt sogar kleinliche Zweifel über ihre vollständige oder theilweise Ächt­heit. Doch sind noch handschriftliche Materialien genug übrig, durch die Verstand und Herz jedes rechten Lesers nicht wenig ergriffen werden, im gelehrten Nachlaß von Benkó [József Benkő], Hevenessy [Gábor Hevenesi], Bardossy [János Bárdossy], Kollár [Adam František Kollár], Koller [József Koller], Kéler [Gottfried], Raitsány [Ádám Rajcsányi], des enthaupteten Haioczy [József Hajnóczy], in den Schätzen von Cziráky [Antal Mózes], Mednyánszky [Alajos], Pronay [Gábor Prónay?], u. Marczybányi [István Marczibányi], Radvánszky [János], Benitzky [Lajos?], Giurikovits [György Gyurikovits] u.u.” Ibid., 195. (Also see his self-critical comments on 195–96, and the summary on 199.) Cf. his letter to Karl August Böttiger (November 20, 1822), in Vajk, Hormayr és Böttiger, 63.

54 “Erst seit der Wiedererweckung der lange niedergehaltenen ungarischen und böhmischen Sprachen und mit ihnen der nationalen Quellen, läst sich wieder eine Geschichte der Nationen, lassen sich etwas nationale Ansichten hoffen, statt der bischerigen Chroniken der habsburgischen Dynastie.” Ibid., 192.

55 “Diese Vereinigung ethnographischer so sehr verschiedener und unter einander widerhaariger Bestandtheile, das Zusammenhalten des slavischen, des magyarischen, des italienischen Element, durch das an Zahl geringste, durch das germanische, bildet ein eben so schwieriges Problem der Herrschaft als der Historie: dazu die langwierigen Religions- und Bürgerkriege?! Es vergeht wohl noch mehr als ein halbes, vielleicht ein volles Jahrhundert, bis eine Geschichte dieses Staatenvereines möglich wird, wenn sie zugleich eine Wahrheit werden soll?!” Ibid., 197. See in this regard the article of Varga, “Hormayrs Archiv.”

56 See note 53.

57 Cf. Mario Wimmer, Archivkörper: Eine Geschichte historischer Einbildungskraft (Konstanz: Univ. Press, 2012).

58 “...die in geschichtlicher Treu, ohne mindestes Arg, irgend Documente veröffentlichten, die dem momentanen Götzendienst dieser or jener Lieblingsperiode oder Geschichtsfigur, dieser oder jener Richtung unbequem schienen.” Ibid., 201–02.

59 He apparently continued being an active editor in 1828, when he moved to Munich (which was probably not an abrupt process, in the summer he was still in Vienna, and he left Austrian service only on October 20). On the other hand, Gyurkovits ascribes the publication of the letter by Jacob to Hormayr. Gyurkovits, “B. Hormayr Jósef,” 225.

60 Dümmerth, “Történetkutatás és nyelvkérdés,” 393–94.

61 Unfortunately, this could not be verified, since the volume which supposedly contained the text is still missing (it was missing in Dümmerth’s time, who called attention to this—ibid.). Horvát’s copy is held in the National Széchényi Library, Budapest, Quart Hung 467, IV, 133–36.

62 Dümmerth has given credit to the editorial note, which can be found at the beginning of James I’s letter (Archiv für Geschichte, Statistik, Literatur und Kunst, July 16 and 18, 1828, 453), and believed that both sources originated from the collection of the former imperial librarian Adam František Kollár (1718–1783). According to the editorial notes, Kollár took James I’s letter from the Hamilton books and manuscripts in 1773. This seems quite improbable, however, as the Hamilton manuscripts are not held in the National Library of Vienna, and the letter was faked in 1790 or later, as has been argued above. (Moreover, since it was a faked letter, obviously written by a Hungarian patriot, we can safely exclude its English origins.) One might use the hint to Kollár from the opposite direction and search among Kollár’s late enemies. If Dümmerth is right and the manuscript on the secret council was spreading during the diet of 1811–1812, which seems quite probable, the fakers might be found among those (like Horvát or Márton György Kovachich) who took an eager interest in the defense of the Hungarian language and constitution against the publications of Anton Wilhelm Gustermann and Michael (Mihály) Piringer, which were allegedly ordered by the Viennese government. These modern enemies were, in fact, associated with Kollár, whose similar attack on feudal privileges more than 50 years earlier was still remembered. See the letter by Ferenc Kazinczy of June 24, 1812, in which Kazinczy claimed that these men were basing their books “written against us” on the manuscripts of Kollár, János Váczy, ed., Kazinczy Ferencz levelezése, 21 vols. (Budapest 1890–1911), 9:2256. Cf. Dezső Dümmerth, “Kazinczy köre és az 1811/1812. évi országgyűlés,” Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények 71 (1967): 167–74.

63 Cf. Manufacturing a Past for the Present.

Volume 5 Issue 2 CONTENTS

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Miloš Řezník

The Institutionalization of the Historical Science betwixt Identity Politics and the New Orientation of Academic Studies

Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek and the Introduction of History Seminars in Austria1

 

In this essay I examine the conceptual foundations of history seminars in Austria as they were developed by the Czech historian Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek at the beginning of the 1850s at the behest of the Viennese Ministry for Culture and Education. These conceptual premises were developed before the foundation of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research, so I discuss the indirect influence of Tomek’s ideas on the Institute when it was founded. I also touch on interconnections between politics and educational and university reform, the concept of a supra-national Austrian patriotism, and the situation within the Monarchy after 1849. I consider in particular the link between Tomek’s political loyalty to the Austrian state and his attachment to the Czech national movement, as well as the Czech and Bohemian political backdrop. From Tomek’s perspective and the perspective of the Ministry, this link seemed to involve an ambivalent tension between federalism and centralism. I examine Tomek’s engagement with the issue of instruction in history in the Austrian grammar schools and his “synchronic” method against this backdrop.

Keywords: historiography, nationalism, patriotism, politics of history

 

As has often been noted, the reforms of the Austrian educational system in the 1850s had a decisive influence on the further development of fields of study at the universities. The reforms ushered in a new understanding of university studies and the functions of universities in the Habsburg Monarchy.2 One could even go so far as to contend that the universities in Austria adopted or sought to adopt the much-touted Humboldtian model, i.e. the notion of a holistic unity between research and teaching.3 One important aspect of the reforms involved a fundamental insistence on the methodologically consistent, scientific nature on scholarly inquiry on three levels: the scientific foundation of instruction, the establishment of the universities as research institutions, and the reorientation of the fields of study not simply as forums for the training of jurists, theologians, physicians, and schoolteachers, but also as institutions entrusted with the task of educating scientists, who would pursue research in their given fields of inquiry. This unmistakable push in the direction of the modernization of the universities in Austria, which clearly entailed a restructuring of the courses of study and the functions of the schools, was accompanied by new forms of institutionalization. The study of history was by no means spared by these trends. On the contrary, with its growing importance and its increasing relevance in the Historicist era, not to mention its potentials as an implement in the toolbox of Austrian history politics (or “Geschichtspolitik,” which is sometimes translated as politics of memory), which was focused on nurturing state and dynastic patriotism, the study of history almost “naturally” was the subject of considerable attention, especially since the aforementioned reforms in the Habsburg Monarchy during the period of neo-absolutism clearly had implications for identity politics and were intended to further the emergence of a supra-ethnic “Austrian” nation.4 In connection with the conceptions of positivist methods of source criticism and interpretation and strivings to standardize these methods,5 and also with consideration of the development of the subject itself (the study of history) in France and Prussia, it was clear that the individual university chairs, which had been independent of one another, needed to be brought together into a single institutional framework.

At first, the section of philosophy and history founded at the ImperialAcademy of Sciences in Vienna in 1847 seemed to be heading in the right direction towards a scientific institutionalization of the study of history, or at least an institutionalization oriented in part around research, but this institution did not serve as a forum where future researchers could be trained, and it was not able to achieve the sought-after coupling of research and instruction. The Academy furthered one of the goals of Habsburg identity politics in that it built on conceptual considerations of Austrian history as a supranational history of the Habsburg lands6 (one might think in particular of historian and archivist Josef Chmel), ideas which soon found a spokesman in historian Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek. The museums, which had begun to pop up in the first half of the nineteenth century—on the territory what became known as Cisleithania after 1867, one may name the museum in Graz (1811), Opava (1814), Brno (1817), and Prague (1818),7—offered only a very limited alternative. They were, rather, potential destinations for the people who had completed their university studies in the subjects which were increasingly focused on scientific methods. They were also focused, both territorially and from the perspective of their scholarship, on their own immediate, local context (meaning the communities in which they were found), and they were not state institutions, but rather usually institutions of the region or country in which they were found. Initially, they were under the oversight of the individual Estates and the management of a board recruited out of them or by them. Thus, the museums made the decisions concerning their orientation, points of emphasis, and programs, which in the neo-absolutist period was more likely to awaken suspicion of government.8 In this context, they offered a complementary and even potentially competing alternative to state identity politics because they focused on the traditions and conditions of the countries or lands in which they were found. The Bohemian Museum in Prague, with the establishment of Matice Česká (1841),9 and the Galician Ossolineum in Viennese (1817) and later in Lwów/Lemberg (1827)10 began to make the promotion, either directly or indirectly, of, respectively, Czech and Polish national identity an increasingly important part of their missions. In particular in Prague, with the development of the museum boards and the aforementioned Matice Česká, the foundations were laid for a new institutionalization—which would constitute an alternative to the universities—of the study of history, as well as, sooner or later, the study of language and literature, the natural sciences, archeology, and art history. By the 1850s, the contours and trajectory of this process were already relatively clear.

However, the state politics of scholarship, education, history, and identity (which were intricately intertwined with one another) focused on the foundation of institutionalized forms in the study of history that were oriented around Austrian history politics and addressed the calls for research-oriented qualifications. In the neo-absolutist era, these inclinations and endeavors were pursued by the Vienna Ministry of Culture and Education, which was under the direction of Count Leo von Thun-Hohenstein. Against the backdrop of Austria’s experiences of revolution and discord, these efforts were in part an attempt to craft a historical foundation for an inclusive (supra-national) understanding of the Austrian fatherland and nation. These foundations consisted of the establishment of professorships of Austrian history, attempts to introduce history seminars at the universities, and, as of 1854, the foundation of the Institute for Austrian Historiography (Institut für österreichische Geschichtswissenschaft), as well as the systematic rethinking of instruction in history in the grammar schools and other education institutions.

In the implementation of these steps, the various tendencies on various levels (university and educational reforms, history politics, state and national identity) typically spilled over into the spheres of various actors in politics and historiography. One of the prominent figures in this process, who has remained on the margins of the scholarship on the subject, was a historian whom Thun sought out personally and entrusted with important tasks: as a scholar who held a new chair for the study of the history of the Monarchy, the young professor Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek (1818–1905) was supposed to promote and exert a decisive influence on the transformation of the study of history into a rigorously methodical science11 and the reform of instruction in history. He was supposed to serve as an expert who would devise an effective way to introduce historical seminars as institutionalized forms of scientific inquiry at the universities and prepare future generations of scholars with a firm grounding in the scientific nature of their subjects of study.12 As the author of textbooks on Austrian history, he was a direct participant in the new, systematic history and identity politics. In the 1850s, Tomek also seemed politically suitable for these tasks. However, he was also active as an open representative of the Czech national movement, and he exerted a formative influence on the emerging national study of history and was an important actor in the national institutionalization of historiography and other subjects of study through the Bohemian Museum and Matice Česká. In this sense, the following inquiry offers an important new and broader perspective that complements the existing scholarship: examines the career of a figure who represented both the tendencies and aspirations towards decentralization and Vienna’s efforts towards centralization. He stood on the threshold between a supra-ethnic, “Austrian” patriotism, a regional patriotism, and the blossoming Czech national movement. Even from a later perspective, he seems as if he were predestined to be “Thun’s man.”

Tomek had a number of political, biographical, and professional qualifications that made him ideally suited to play a role in the much sought-after introduction and institutionalization of history as an independent subject of study in the early 1850s. As an utterly typical representative of the Czech Bildungsbürgertum, which constituted itself as a social and also Czech national elite, he had a first-class education in history. He had been a student of František Palacký, a scholar who by then had gained international recognition as a leading authority in the science of history. (Unlike Palacký, Tomek was Catholic, and this was not insignificant.) Under Palacký’s guidance, he had learned the basic methods of critical interpretation of historical sources, and he had proven his ability to make use of them in independently written works of history. Since he was active in the work of the Bohemian Museum and Matice Česká, he had plenty of experience with scholarly institutions. In the 1830s, he began to write texts of his own, and in the 1840s he started to write works of serious scholarship, both articles (first and foremost for Zeitschrift des Böhmischen Museums – Časopis Českého Museum) and books.13 However, he did not have a permanent position anywhere. In 1850, at 32 years of age, Tomek was a mature and experienced scholar, but also young enough to seem full of potential.14 In his publications, for instance in his 1845 attempt to present a narrative of the history of the Habsburg Monarchy as a historically formed unity, he offered the first history of the Habsburg Monarchy to be published in Czech. It was issued as part of the series of the Bohemian Museum entitled Small Encyclopedia of the Sciences (Malá encyklopedie nauk), which was inspired by the ideal of popular education.15 Tomek’s history, however, lacked a clear methodology and conception of Austrian history, and it is not at all clear whether or not or to what extent the work was indebted to earlier (J. F. Schneller) or contemporary (J. Chmel) efforts to write a history of the Monarchy as a whole. But it went in a similar direction, which in the 1850s seemed desirable to the government because it contributed (or was seen as contributing) to the formation of an Austrian patriotism that transcended sentiments of territorial or national loyalty.16

In 1845, he emphasized the need for a perspective on the history of the Habsburg Empire since the sixteenth century that included all of its regions and provinces. This was in his eyes “a subject necessary for every Czech person for a full understanding of his fatherland, the history of which has been fused ever since then with the history of the entire family of different peoples into a whole.”17 Vienna in the 1850s could hardly have hoped for a better project than this proposed unification of the individual regional and national histories with an overarching “Austrian” history with the aim of fostering a sense of shared identity, especially since this proposal came from someone who was also a spokesman for one of the ethnic (or national) movements. In its emphasis, on the one hand, on individual, regional traditions (including considerations of language, culture, and ethnicity) and, on the other, the cohesion and unity of the state (the Habsburg Monarchy), Tomek’s position corresponded with that of Leo von Thun-Hohenstein, although Tomek was much more conspicuous as a member and representative of one of the national communities. Thun had emerged as a spokesman for this position in the Vormärz period. He was open in his support for the Estates opposition in Bohemia and showed understanding for and active interest in the Czech and Slovak languages and Czech and Slovak literature (Thun spoke fluent Czech).18 From the convergence between Bohemian patriots and Czech activists, with Palacký at the vanguard, it was a small step to personal acquaintanceship between Thun and Tomek, and this acquaintanceship grew into trust and friendship. At Palacký’s suggestion, Tomek temporarily traveled to the to Tetchen (Děčín), a town in the northern part of Bohemia where Thun family had a residence, to organize the extensive family archives. The two remained in contact until Thun’s death in 1888.

These contacts between the two men grew stronger during the Spring of Nations (the revolutions of 1848), during which Tomek was active in his support of the Czech national liberals under the leadership of Palacký and in his opposition to liberal-democratic radicalization. When Thun came to Prague from Galicia in the spring of 1848 as the new provincial governor, he found allies in Palacký and, in particular, in Tomek. At Palacký’s suggestion, at the beginning of June 1848 he instructed Tomek to edit a new newspaper entitled Pokrok (Progress), which was supposed to serve as an organ of the press of the provincial government and counterbalance the influence of the increasingly radical press in the Bohemian capital. Although only a few issues of Pokrok were published (the periodical did not survive the June uprising in Prague), Tomek’s firsthand experience of the radical-democratic uprising and its suppression brought him into closer contact and a closer relationship with Thun. Tomek blamed the radical democrats first and foremost for the collapse of the liberal and national hopes in the spring of 1848. In subsequent years and in particular in the first phase of neo-absolutism, he pleaded for a Czech movement that was not political in nature and also for cooperation with the government in order to avert threats to the progress that had been achieved with regards to the Czech language and Czech institutions. As a consequence of this, in the 1850s, he was seen as a conservative who was loyal to the regime, and against this backdrop for almost a decade Palacký’s and Tomek’s (and Thun’s) paths split. Palacký was seen by the political authorities and the police as a politically unreliable person, and he was soon compelled to withdraw from public life, in part because of steps taken by Tomek.19

Thus, from the perspective of the government, Tomek seemed like a welcome alternative to the liberal Palacký. At the same time, he became the main protagonist in Prague of the so-called Government Party, which began to emerge in the early 1850s and consisted of Czech activists around Thun, mostly scholars and prominent figures of cultural life. The center of this party was first and foremost the Ministry of Culture and Education in Vienna.20 It is possible that Thun sought to use the emergence of a Czech political party to strengthen his position in the government cabinet and gain legitimacy for his views, which showed an inclination towards decentralization.

Since this development came during Thun’s reform endeavors, one can identify clear interconnections between some fields and areas of politics, such as domestic politics, politics with regards to the status of Bohemia, educational policy, and history and identity politics. Thun’s decision to support and promote Tomek as a figure in public life seems plausible and understandable from the perspective of his understanding of the exigencies of all four areas. He offered Tomek a position as the holder of a new chair to be established in Austrian history at the university in Prague,21 and Tomek was indeed given this position as associate professor.22 He then asked Tomek to come up with a plan for the establishment of the seminars in history in Austria. Parallel to his counterpart in Vienna (Albert Jäger, the future founding director of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research, who was appointed to a similar professorship in the capital), he was supposed to work out the introduction of a new form of professional education in history that would be scientific in its methodologies and institutional form.

In order to achieve this aim, Tomek was supposed to travel to the most important institutions in Europe that were promoting the specialized, scientific education of historians, namely the École des Chartes in Paris and some of the universities in Prussia where seminars in history were being held. Tomek made both trips in 1850. After having spent one month in Paris, he attended seminars in Breslau, Berlin, and Göttingen, and he also met with the heads of the programs. It seemed important that it was Tomek’s and not Thun’s idea to travel to Paris and learn more about the school there, although the Ministry had originally assumed he would only travel to Germany and then England,23 where the institutions were familiar both to Thun and his Undersecretary of State, Joseph Alexander Helfert. In the end, however, he did not include England in his travel plans, in spite of the official announcement in the Österreichische Correspondenz.24

Since over the course of his long life Tomek only rarely undertook long trips (his investigative trip to Paris and Prussia in 1850 was the only time he left the Monarchy), his journey to Paris, Breslau, Berlin, and Göttingen was an important station for him, because he was able to meet personally with important representatives of his field and share ideas about the seminars. In Breslau he met with Gustav Stenzel, in Berlin he met with the very influential Leopold von Ranke, Wilhelm Wattenbach, Wilhelm von Giesebrecht and Georg Heinrich Pertz (among others), and in Göttingen with Georg Waitz. He also met Johann Friedrich Böhmer during a break in his travels in Frankfurt am Main.25 These meetings with prominent figures of the field were supposed to give him new ideas and exert a direct or indirect influence on the conceptual foundation and development of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research.26

While he was traveling, Tomek informed his friend Josef Jireček,27 the concept adjutant in the Ministry, of his first impressions, and Jireček passed his observations on to Thun. Only after having returned to Prague did Tomek compose a special report in August 1850 for the Ministry (in Czech), in which he again summarized his observations and offered a brief account and comparative assessment of the institutions he had visited. He proposed some basic principles for the introduction of the seminars in Austria, though he also emphasized that it was not his task to offer a comprehensive proposal for seminars on history in the Monarchy.28 He discussed the document again with Helfert and Jireček during a trip to Vienna at the beginning of September 1850 and presented it personally to Minister Thun in the course of a longer conversation.29

Tomek emphasized in this report the institutional and the programmatic and content-related differences between the institutions in Paris and Prussia. The most striking difference was simply the fact that the École des Chartes was a relatively large, formally institutionalized school with many professorships, while in the case of Berlin, Breslau, Göttingen, and Königsberg, where a seminar in history was also offered, the seminars were private initiatives of professors who had only very limited resources. From this point of view, the institution in Paris seemed far more advantageous to Tomek. Even when he took into consideration the fact that, given the high costs, the creation of such an institution in Austria hardly seemed possible, he still warned against limiting the seminars to the Prussian model, given its “private” nature. In a letter to Jireček that he had written two months earlier he noted emphatically and candidly his view according to which “in all of Germany there is nothing that would earn the title of a seminar in history.”30 With this contention, Tomek was referring to the fact that the seminars in Germany were merely the product of the personal initiatives of individual professors with no formal structure or standardization. However, the content of the seminars in Germany seemed more practical to him. In contrast with the seminars at the École des Chartes, in Germany the seminars focused not simply on theoretical and methodological questions, but also on the actual processes of research projects. While in France students only began to pursue research after having completed their studies, in Prussia active research was the focus of the seminars. On the basis of these paradigms, Tomek spoke in support of giving a central role to the use of sources and the auxiliary historical sciences. From the perspective of content, the focus should be the Middle Ages and Austrian history. His emphasis on the centrality of Austrian history corresponded with the government’s expectations, expectations that were closely tied to identity politics: in order to present the Habsburg state as an unified whole, the foundation of an understanding of the fatherland meant, from the perspective of the study of history, first emancipating it as the subject of historical narrative.31 The emphasis on the importance of the Middle Ages was tied to the inclination—widespread in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—to adopt methods and approaches that focused on the study of sources.

Tomek used his exposé as part of a direct polemic against another conception of historical seminars that had been proposed and published in the summer of 1850 by Heinrich Wilhelm Grauert, the newly appointed professor at the University of Vienna. Grauert’s proposal may well have been an unpleasant surprise for Tomek, especially since he saw that an institution was being envisioned before he had been able to present his report on his trip to France and Prussia. Grauert, a classical philologist and historian, belonged to the group of professors who had been brought from German-speaking lands outside of the Monarchy following Thun’s takeover of the Ministry in order to establish the universities as scientific institutions oriented around research (among Tomek’s colleagues at the university in Prague, philologist Georg Curtius, who had been brought from Berlin, and professor of history and critic of Palacký Constantin Höfler were among this group). Grauert, who had graduated from the philology seminars in Bonn and had been a student of historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr, brought a distinctive notion of the history seminar from Münster to Vienna, which broke from Tomek’s basic principles on two decisive points. In Grauert’s assessment, the seminars should not be designed to prepare scientists and scholars who would pursue research, but rather they should be structured to prepare grammar school teachers, and the focus should be placed not on history, but rather on classical philology, which should play a central role in the Austrian grammar schools.32

With regards to the issue of the seminars, Grauert had been engaged by Hermann Bonitz, who was responsible for the grammar school reforms. Furthermore, his ideas had been published in the Zeitschrift für Oesterreichische Gymnasien, which had been created with the introduction of the reforms.33 These two facts suggest that there had been a fundamental misunderstanding. Grauert was thinking of instruction at the grammar schools and the training of grammar school teachers at the universities, while Tomek was thinking of research and the sciences. These two perspectives, however, were by no means entirely separate from each other, since the reorientation around scientific methods of the study of history at the universities and the reform of the schools were two interrelated aspects of the identity politics of the government and its efforts to foster a sense of a supra-ethnic “Greater Austrian” national identity. However, Tomek’s and Grauert’s approaches were irreconcilable, because they worked on different levels and had different concrete goals. Thus, Tomek was unwilling to support Gauert’s vision, in spite of the fact that Thun wished the two men to work together.34 Another cause of misunderstanding between Grauert and Tomek was the fact that Grauert was thinking more of a seminar in classical philology, since this kind of seminar was also one of the goals of the reforms. A seminar in classical philology had been introduced in an institutionalized form (taught by Curtius, who was the founding director) at the university in Prague in 1849, i.e. before Tomek had even been given his assignment to examine the institutions abroad.35 Grauert managed to have his seminar introduced at the University of Vienna, and he taught there until his death in 1852.36

In the spring of 1850, Jireček had assured that Tomek would be the director of the history seminar and the seminar would not be founded without his counsel.37 However, by the summer of 1850 this reassurance seemed to have little meaning, although before the year’s end Tomek managed to achieve the most important goal, i.e. he was appointed associate professor at the university of Prague. However, no history seminar was introduced, neither the one proposed by Tomek nor any other variant. Thus, in the 1852/53 academic year, Tomek felt compelled to hold this seminar in the form that he earlier had characterized as regrettable, i.e. as private initiatives. He began holding his facultative seminars in Prague at the same time as Constantin Höfler. In contrast to the courses held by Höfler, which were more speculative in nature, Tomek strove to prepare interested students for careers as scholars and to introduce them to the study of history as the study of sources. In his selection of themes and sources, he concentrated on Bohemia in the Middle Ages, thus remaining true to his conviction and tenet that the Middle Ages and the history of the fatherland should be the focus on study. However, for Tomek the “fatherland” clearly meant Bohemia, while both the government and Thun (as a representative of the government) sought to foster an understanding of the term as referring to the whole Habsburg state.

In accordance with the fundamental principles of his report from the summer of 1850, Tomek oriented his seminars around the examples he had seen in Germany and the programs of the École des Chartes. He wanted the participants in the seminars to submit term papers, which at the time constituted a novelty. However, because of the absence of an institutional framework for the seminars, the declining numbers of students, and the foundation of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research (which also had to struggle with a dearth of seriously interested students),38 in 1854 Tomek stopped holding his seminars and never attempted to introduce this form of instruction again.39 Indeed, for the next three decades (he retired in 1888), Tomek kept his distance in his work as a university professor from all forms of seminars and courses with a focus on active student participation and left this (later) to his younger colleagues, though he did devote himself to an introduction to scientific research methods on the individual level with individual students. However, Tomek’s and Höfler’s seminars exerted an influence on some of the students, who later came to play important roles both in the discipline of historical studies and in other areas.40

In the end, the Austrian Institute of Historical Research was founded and developed without any direct participation by Tomek, and his contacts with the important circles at the Institute were anything but direct. For this reason, he is rarely mentioned in connection with the Institute. Even so, it is remarkable that his name is mentioned only once in the detailed and voluminous monograph on the history of the Institute by Alphons Lhotsky, and only by chance.41 However, Tomek’s views and in particular the information he had gathered seem to have had an influence on the form and evolution of the Institute, even if they did not play any decisive role. In the end, the point of conflict between Tomek and Grauert (the question as to whether or not the seminars that had been envisioned should focus on research or on the education and training of the next generation of grammar school teachers) was decided in Tomek’s favor. Surely Thun’s decision to make Albert Jäger, the Professor from Innsbruck, the first director of the school and the Seminar (at the time the institution was referred to as a seminar; it only began to be called an institute in 1856/57) suggested otherwise, since Jäger’s views bore more affinities with Grauert’s ideas and Jäger had won the minister’s notice with his successful reform of the grammar school in the city of Meran in South Tyrol. But all of the other concrete provisions and regulations concerning the task and mission of the Institute suggested an institution that focused purely on the sciences. Thun’s presentation to the Emperor in September 1853 on the temporary formation of a provisional school at the University of Vienna unambiguously identified “the education of young men for deeper research on Austrian history” as its goal and the acquisition of knowledge of the auxiliary historical sciences and training in the methods of historical research and source criticism as two of the main pillars of the program from the perspective of content. Mutatis mutandis it borrowed the phrasing of the Institute statutes of 1853 (a preliminary proposal written by Jäger), 1854, and 1857 (presumably a joint proposal made by Jäger and his successor, Theodor Sickel).42 One finds no mention of any teaching program for grammar school instructors and also no trace of any dominant role of classical philology in the presentation (which again suggests that in 1850 Grauert conceived of seminars in a completely different manner and for a different subject of study, and he only used the unfortunate term “history seminar” for them as a matter of convenience, causing at the very least temporary confusion by doing so). Even the three focal points—the history of the fatherland (Austria), the study of the Middle Ages, and the auxiliary historical sciences—corresponded essentially to Tomek’s suggestions and observations.

The École des Chartes, however, played an important role as a model for the Institute. In its equipment and organization it remained well behind the Parisian institute, but given its foundation as an institution of the state which, in spite of its close ties to the University of Vienna, was directly underneath the Ministry of Culture and Education, it was hardly comparable to the privately held seminars in Prussia. Thus, the character of the new institution in Vienna, which resembled a university, corresponded closely with Tomek’s notions of a history seminar. In its provisional statute from 1853/54 and its curriculum the Institute more or less adopted the structure of the École des Chartes.43 This configuration was correlated with the publication entitled Über Nationalgeschichte und den gegenwärtigen Stand ihrer Pflege in Oesterreich, which was written in connection with the founding of the new institute. The author, the aforementioned Undersecretary in the Ministry for Culture and Education Joseph Alexander von Helfert, was one of Thun’s close political allies (and like Thun, the owner of a land estate in Bohemia) and one of Tomek’s friends, with whom he had fled Vienna in 1848 because of the upheavals of the revolution. He was active in the Ministry as a central figure in the foundation of the Institute and the creation of professorships. Helfert, who alongside Jireček was the second main contact person between Tomek and Thun and also presumably mediated the special role of Tomek for the Ministry in 1849,44 had no firsthand knowledge of the École, but rather relied on Tomek’s reports and comments.45 Lhotsky is of course correct in his observation that the decision to entrust Jäger with the position as head of the new institution and the task of further developing its conceptual foundation was made long before the appearance of the publication by Helfert, and this publication thus had no causative effect on the foundation of the Institute.46 Certainly by the time Thun had appointed Jäger to a position at the University of Vienna the Ministry had known of Tomek’s reports from August 1850 (on which Helfert’s text was based) for at least nine months. Helfert, who first visited the École in person in 1856, drew heavily on extensive comments that Tomek had given in a letter to Jireček immediately after his return from Paris in April 1850.47

The reason for which Tomek remained distant from the undertakings in Vienna, was not able to take over any of the seminars in Prague, and held his seminar courses for only two academic years is in all likelihood to be sought in the political circumstances. In his vision of an institutionalized seminar he always thought in the plural. His understanding of scholarship and research on the history of the fatherland, which the seminar was supposed to promote, was closely tied to the notion of a supra-national history of the Austrian “Gesamtstaat,” loyalty to the state, and allegiance to the dynasty. However, this was tied in his mind to the protection of the individual regional and national patriotisms and senses of attachment. This view corresponded entirely to the federalist idea that in the Vormärz period had been advocated by the Bohemian opposition (including Thun), and which later, after some modifications to the idea had been made, had the support of Czech representatives (including Tomek) and the conservative nobility (including Thun again). The August 1850 plan for history seminars is clear proof that Tomek knew that it would be impossible to adopt the École model in its entirety primarily because of the costs involved (and both Thun and Helfert confirmed this).48 However, he still recommended the introduction of history seminars at all of the universities and in all of the crownlands, since “given the diversity of the nationalities, one can hardly content oneself with the establishment of one such institute for the entire empire.”49 In his view, the seminars should have been founded with a modest breadth and linked to a university pulpit in history at each of the individual universities. If Tomek expected to be given a key role in the establishment of a history seminar, he was clearly thinking of a seminar at the university in Prague, and not at a central institution in Vienna. But this is where Tomek’s vision collided with the wishes of the government: the Institute in Vienna was intended to serve the notion of a united, supra-national state and foster loyalty to this state, not promote any kind of regional identity or particularism.

Apart from the matter of the costs of the idea as envisioned by Tomek, it was also quite unimaginable in the 1850s because of the suspicions concerning aspirations for federalization, which the Czech liberals had brought on themselves with their 1848 proposal for a federal restructuring of the Monarchy, and even Thun would not have been able to push it through (nor did he want to). His earlier or later federalist ideas, his local patriotism and attachment to Bohemia, and his sympathies with the Czech and Slovak national movements notwithstanding, in his presentation to the Emperor in September 1853 Thun not only recommended a strongly centralist solution, he also argued in favor of such a solution in candid opposition to regionally patriotic history politics:

 

this school will only be able to come close to meeting its goals if it brings together younger talents from the various crownlands of the Empire and bring them out of the narrow circles of views which not rarely distract even talented minds under the influence of national strivings from the proper goals of the study of history and make them mere party loyals.50

Thus, Thun was in complete accordance with the standpoint that the education of historians by the state should be linked with the history and identity politics of a supra-national Austria.

Thun’s position was not in complete opposition to Tomek’s desire for some emphasis on the distinct traditions of the individual crownlands. On the contrary, he supported Tomek and entrusted him with tasks that allowed the professor in Prague to realize some of his ideas. Somewhat paradoxically, this took place precisely in the area which, in his polemics with Grauert, Tomek had characterized as less relevant to his conception of seminars in history, namely grammar school history courses. As a professor of Austrian history, he was supposed to compose an appropriate textbook that would be used all over the Monarchy, and so he was engaged to play an important role as a textbook author in the implementation of the grammar school reforms. The Ministry’s goal was to introduce a unified, comprehensive interpretation of history that was oriented around the entire Habsburg Empire and, in doing so, to promote the creation of a political Austrian nation. Tomek’s textbook was completed in 1852 and was translated from Czech51 into German and other languages of instruction used in the Habsburg lands.52 Tomek turned away from focusing on the history of the Austrian core lands since the Middle Ages, and thus had to face the objections of the censorship and his critics,53 who insinuated that his textbook gave expression to a tendency that was federalist, nationalist, and therefore potentially threatening to the unity of the state (Albert Jäger was one of the censors, and although he raised a few objections, he responded very positively to Tomek’s work).54 Tomek did not hesitate to ask the Minister to bring an end to the criticism, and he did indeed get some help from Thun, who had to come out in disagreement on some points with the Ministry of Police. But after the personal decision of the Emperor, Tomek was obliged to give into the pressure of the censors.55

In the early 1850s, considerations regarding the introduction of history seminars in Austria, the creation of professorships for Austrian history, and the writing of history textbooks for grammar schools prompted Tomek to develop his own conception of Austrian history in the form of a “synchronic method.” As he had done in his work on the history of Austria composed in the 1840s, Tomek emphasized the importance of studying, narrating, and teaching the history of the Habsburg lands since 1526 as a whole, while also being attentive to the specific aspects of the histories of the individual regions or crownlands. In his view, this approach was important both for teaching and for the writing of synthetic narratives of the history of the Habsburg Monarchy. With regards to history before the election of Ferdinand I as King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526), Tomek was opposed to what he referred to as the “Stammlandmethode,” which focused exclusively on the lands under Habsburg rule, while other lands and regions, including Hungary and Bohemia, only became a part of the historical narrative after they had become part of the Habsburg Monarchy. Tomek felt that Bohemia, Hungary, and the other lands should be accorded the same attention in the discussion of the history of the Middle Ages. In this regard, he continued and developed the propositions of Josef Chmel and Karl Johann Vietz,56 which had been ventured in the 1840s, and even with the conceptual considerations of Joseph von Hormayr57 as well as of Julius Franz Schneller, a historian from Graz, from the early nineteenth century,58 and he also agreed with the basic proposals of Helfert.59 Tomek was putting forward for the first time—at the same time as Helfert—this fundamental transformation consequently, even at the level of history lessons in the schools (the grammar schools and secondary schools) all over the Monarchy. His ideas unquestionably acquired new political relevance in the 1850s.

Tomek’s “synchronic” approach of the 1850s,60 which was the basis of his history textbooks, and in particular the arguments that he made in support of this approach awoke the suspicion that his views were part of a federal vision of the restructuring of the Monarchy, or at least a vision in which the individual regions would gain a larger degree of autonomy. At the same time, the contention was also made that his method served to underpin the notion of a Habsburg patriotism and thus buttress Thun’s identity politics with history politics. Indeed, the main argument of his tersely presented methodology corresponded to this line of thinking. Tomek argued in support of the premise that the formation of the Habsburg Monarchy as an enduring whole consisting of different historic lands was not simply the result of dynastic coincidences and political constellations. Rather, in his assessment, the bonds that joined these lands were the products of historical development, and in earlier phases the lands themselves had shown an inclination towards closer cooperation and unification. From this perspective, Tomek saw the historical emergence of the empire as a natural expression of a historical logic, as the culmination of forces that were the very basis of the spirit of history. In other words, the unification of the Habsburg crownlands was the result of an inclination towards integration that was intrinsic to their historical development. Had Tomek presented his ideas in a less terse and more thoroughly elaborated manner, one would hardly have been able to imagine a better historical legitimization for the Empire and also for the individuality of its constituent parts. This was particularly true for the Ministry of Culture and Education. If the grammar schools were intended to become important instruments in the crafting of an education that was oriented around the idea of a single, inclusive Austrian state and also play a meaningful role in the integration of the state through the cultivation of a supra-ethnic, supra-national patriotism,61 the question nonetheless remained: to what extent would it actually be possible to construct such a state identity, a “Gesamt-Österreichertum,” given the historical and cultural diversity of the components of which it consisted. With regards to history politics, which was understood as a crucial tool in the creation and affirmation of identity, Tomek strove to reach a notable balance, which would correspond to the views of Thun, who was oriented around state and regional patriotism.

At roughly the same time as the founding and the beginnings of the actual work of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research (1854–56) all of Tomek’s activities having to do with the institutionalization of history seminars in Austria came to an end, as did his work concerning a methodical approach to the history of the Monarchy and his attempt to influence the instruction of history at the grammar schools and secondary schools. He did not write any more grammar school textbooks, he stopped attempting to propagate the synchronic method (or at least no longer did so with the intensity he had shown initially), developed no more ideas for the seminars, and even stopped holding his seminar exercises in Prague. Though there is no proof of an explicit link between these changes and the opening of the institute, the connection seems rather obvious. Presumably, Tomek was disappointed not because he was not given any direct role in Vienna,62 but rather because corresponding institutions were not founded in the other university centers, for instance in Prague. As noted, he regarded private courses like the ones that he had seen in Prussia as a less than adequate solution, and he brought them to an end as soon as it became clear that there would be no institutional framework for them.63 Presumably, Tomek realized only later the real extent to which the state wished the notion of a supra-national Habsburg realm (and identity) to figure in the understanding, study, and teaching of history.

In the following years and decades, Tomek concentrated almost completely on research and publishing. Teaching was relegated to the background, and he no longer played any central role in political circles. However, as a representative of the conservative-liberal line in Czech national politics, he remained a convinced dynastic and Austrian patriot, an ally of Leo Thun, in regional politics and the politics of the empire, and he met his responsibilities as a professor of Austrian history (he held his courses exclusively in Czech, which in the 1870s made him seem unsuitable for an appointment at the University of Vienna, where he would have been Jäger’s successor).64 However, as of the 1860s he was active as an engaged proponent of a history politics as a means of creating identity exclusively in support of Czech national movement and political representation.

Conclusion

For professional, political, and personal reasons, Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek seemed a particularly well-suited agent for the Ministry of Culture and Education, who could be entrusted with the task of developing the foundations of a new history politics that would serve to cultivate a new identity, namely a supra-national Habsburg (Austrian) identity. This included, in the context of the university and educational reforms, the desired reorientation of the universities towards scientific methods, the linking of research and teaching, and the professional training of historians and archivists. He was sent by the Ministry of Culture and Education to universities in Prussia and the École des Chartes in Paris and charged with the task of developing the fundamental principles on which the seminars would be based. Although the ideas and models with which he came into contact in Prussia influenced his vision and proposal (first and foremost the practice of expecting the participants in the seminars to submit written research papers), he unambiguously presented the École des Chartres, which he preferred from the outset, as the ideal model on the basis of which to found similar institutions in Austria. Accordingly, he placed central importance on the study of medieval sources, the auxiliary historical sciences and the history of the fatherland, which he understood both as the history of the Monarchy and the history of the individual lands and regions. His roughly outlined idea was by no means a detailed plan with precise organizational and programmatic guidelines, and it served more to provide the Ministry with basic principles and information concerning the creation of the envisioned Austrian Institute of Historical Research. Even when some of Tomek’s suggestions were put into practice, this was presumably not a direct result of his proposals, and certainly the ideas he had sketched were not the only factor. In any event, one of the most important aspects of Tomek’s vision was not adopted. The Institute was created as a central part of the University of Vienna, and no similar institutions were created at the universities in the other crownlands of the Empire. Thus, ultimately Tomek played no direct role in the institutionalization of a program for the education and training of professional (scientific) historians. His seminar exercises in Prague remained a temporary, private initiative that he undertook as a professor of Austrian history. In connection with his role in the early 1850s, he was engaged in other activities through which, either as a direct or indirect assignment of the Ministry, he provided support for the government’s history politics (the aim of which was to create and foster a supra-national identity) by writing history textbooks and developing a “synchronic” method of historical inquiry, though in his work he linked the notion of the unified Habsburg state and Habsburg history with the perspectives of the individual crownlands.

 

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1 This text was written in response to the initiative of the editor of the volume at hand as a partly revised version of an earlier publication: Miloš Řezník, “Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, das Ministerium für Cultus und Unterricht und die Einführung der historischen Seminare in Österreich: Die Institutionalisierung der Geschichtswissenschaft zwischen Staat, Nation und akademischer Neuorientierung,” in Geschichtsforschung in Deutschland und Österreich im 19. Jahrhundert: Ideen – Akteure – Institutionen, ed. Christine Ottner and Klaus Ries (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2014), 139–57.

2 Hans Lentze, Die Universitätsreform des Ministers Graf Leo Thun-Hohenstein (Vienna: VÖAW, 1962).

3 Joachim H. Knoll and Horst Siebert, Wilhelm von Humboldt: Politik und Bildung (Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1969); Clemens Menze, Die Bildungsreform Wilhelm von Humboldts (Hannover: Schroedel, 1975); Hans-Josef Wagner, Die Aktualität der strukturalen Bildungstheorie Humboldts (Weinheim: Studien-Verlag, 1995). For an example of the use of references to the “Humbolt Model” in debates today concerning education see Franz Schultheis, Paul Frantz Cousin, and Marta Roca i Escoda, eds., Humboldts Albtraum: Der Bologna-Prozess und seine Folgen (Konstanz: UVK-Verlagsgesellschaft, 2008).

4 See the recent and admirably thorough work of Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg, “Vaterländisches Gemeingefühl und nationale Charaktere,” in Nationalgeschichte als Artefakt: Zum Paradigma “Nationalstaat” in den Historiographien Deutchland, Italiens und Österreichs, ed. Hans Peter Hye, Brigitte Mazohl, and Jan Paul Niederkorn (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2009), 133–78. For the role of historiography in the nation-building processes (with a comparative regard to the Czech case) see esp. Monika Baár, Historians and Nationalism: East-Central Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

5 See for instance Georg G. Iggers, The German Conception of History: The National Tradition of Historical Thought from Herder to the Present (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1968), in particular 85–162; Daniel Fulda, Wissenschaft aus Kunst: Die Entstehung der modernen deutschen Geschichtsschreibung 1760–1860 (Berlin–New York: De Gruyter, 1996); Wolfgang Küttler, Jörn Rüsen, and Ernst Schulin, eds., Die Epoche der Historisierung, vol. 3 of Geschichtsdiskurs (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1997); Erhard Wiersing, Geschichte des historischen Denkens: Zugleich eine Einführung in die Theorie der Geschichte (Paderborn: Schöning, 2007), 369–94.

6 Alphons Lhotsky, Geschichte des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 1854–1954, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Ergänzungsband, 17 (Graz–Cologne: Böhlau, 1954), 1–3.

7 Peter Pakesch and Wolfgang Muchitsch, 200 Jahre Universalmuseum Joanneum 1811–2011 (Graz: Universalmuseum Joanneum, 2011); Karel Sklenář, Obraz vlasti: Příběh Národního muzea (Prague: Paseka, 2001); Slavomír Brodesser, Jan Břečka, and Jiří Mikulka, Serving, Understanding and the Glory of the Land: History of the Moravian Museum (Brno: Moravian Museum in Brno, 2002); Josef Duda, ed., 150 let Slezského muzea 1814–1964 (Opava: Krajské nakladatelství, 1964).

8 See Berger Waldenegg, “Vaterländisches Gemeingefühl,” 161–68.

9 On the museum and on Matice Česká see inter alia Sklenář, Obraz vlasti; Karel Tieftrunk, Dějiny Matice České (Prague: V kommissí u F. Řivnáče, 1881); Anna M. Drabek, “Matice Česká und Matice Moravská: Ihre Bedeutung für die kulturelle und nationale Entwicklung der tschechischen Gesellschaft im 19. Jahrhundert,” in Vereinswesen und Geschichtspflege in den böhmischen Ländern, ed. Ferdinand Seibt (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1986), 71–96.

10 Marian Tyrowicz, “Ossolineum a życie polityczne Galicji w dobie przedautonomicznej,” in Ossolineum: Księga pamiątkowa w 150-lecie zakładu (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1967), 143–68.

11 See also Lentze, Die Universitätsreform, 250.

12 In the 1990s, Zdeněk Šimeček examined the role Tomek played in the introduction of the history seminars in Austria, with many references to the ties between his activities and the creation of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research. Šimeček also made references to the role of the familiar links between Tomek and Vienna (for instance in the person of Helfert) in this context, though he focused on analyses of the historical seminar exercises that Tomek offered in 1852–1854 at the university in Prague. See Zdeněk Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení k českým dějinám V. V. Tomka v letech 1852–1854”, in K poctě Jaroslava Marka: Sborník prací k 70. narozeninám prof. dr. Jaroslava Marka, ed. Lubomír Slezák and Radomír Vlček (Prague: Historický ústav Akademie věd České republiky 1996), 49–72. In contrast with Šimeček, I focus more on the interconnections among university and educational reforms, the identity politics and history politics of the state (and the Ministry of Culture and Education), the political situation in Austria in the neo-absolutist period, the Czech national movement, and Tomek’s and Thun’s political attitudes.

13 For an almost exhaustive survey of Tomek’s publications, arranged chronologically, see Václav Novotný, “Bibliografický přehled literární činnosti V. V. Tomka,” in V. V. Tomek (1818–1918): Na památku jeho stých narozenin (Prague: Historický Spolek, 1918), 49–71.

14 Although towards the end of his life Tomek completed work on a two-volume memoir (Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, Paměti z mého žiwota, 2 vols. (Prague: F. Řivnáča, 1904–1905) and many texts were published on his career and life (in particular at the beginning of the twentieth century), as of yet no modern, comprehensive biography on this important figure of educational reform has been written. Various aspects of his activities as a scholar and politician are analyzed in the published proceedings of a conference that was held in Hradec Králové (Tomek’s birthplace) in 2005 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death. Miloš Řezník, ed., W. W. Tomek, historie a politika (1818–1905) (Pardubice: Univerzita Pardubice, 2006).

15 W. Wladiwoj Tomek, Děje mocnářstwí Rakauského (Prague: Calve, 1845).

16 See Fritz Fellner, “Alfons Huber: Werk und Wirken im Umfeld der zeitgenössischen Geschichtswissenschaft,” in Geschichtsschreibung und nationale Identität: Probleme und Leistungen der österreichischen Geschichtswissenschaft, ed. Fritz Fellner (Vienna–Cologne–Weimar: Böhlau, 2000), 278–79.

17 Tomek, Děje mocnářstwí, Preface (not paginated).

18 On Thun’s formational phase and initial work see Christoph Thienen-Adlerflycht, Graf Leo Thun im Vormärz: Grundlagen des böhmischen Konservatismus im Kaisertum Österreich (Graz: Böhlau, 1967); in the more recent secondary literature one finds numerous references to the ties between Thun and the Czech movement, for instance in Ralph Melville, Adel und Revolution in Böhmen: Strukturwandel von Herrschaft und Gesellschaft in Österreich um die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Mainz: von Zabern, 1998); Rita Krueger, Czech, German, and Noble: Status and National Identity in Habsburg Bohemia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Ute Hofmann, Aristokraten als Politiker: Der böhmische Adel in der frühkonstitutionellen Zeit (1860–1871) (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 2012); Jiří Rak, “Graf Leo Thun in den Ansichten der tschechischen patriotischen Gesellschaft der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Adel und Politik in der Habsburgermonarchie und den Nachbarländern zwischen Absolutismus und Demokratie, ed. Tatjana Tönsmeyer and Luboš Velek (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 2011), 103–16.

19 On Tomek’s political activities, in particular around 1848 and in the 1850s, see Miloš Řezník, “Český a rakouský politik W. W. Tomek,” in W. W. Tomek, historie a politika (1818–1905), ed. Miloš Řezník (Pardubice: Univerzita Pardubice, 2006), 31–57.

20 On the contacts between Tomek and the Ministry in Thun’s era see Rudolf Kučera, “Historik a politika: V. V. Tomek a ministerstvo kultu a vyučování 1848–1863,” in W. W. Tomek, historie a politika (1818–1905), ed. Miloš Řezník (Pardubice: Univerzita Pardubice, 2006), 59–68.

21 Tomek was brought up by the government as a possible candidate for this position for the first time in April 1849, in other words before Thun was given the portfolio, and he was suggested specifically as an alternative to Palacký. Jiří Kořalka, František Palacký (1798–1876) (Prague: Argo, 1998), 325.

22 Karel Kazbunda, Stolice dějin na pražské universitě, 2 vols. (Prague: Univerzita Karlova, 1965), 2:24–50. Tomek was made an ordinary professor in 1860.

23 Joseph Alexander von Helfert to Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, Vienna, 8 February 1850: “I have told the Minister that you are considering going to Paris; he has given his approval of your idea—as long as you do not forget the other universities.” Archive of the National Museum, Prague, Bequest of V. V. Tomek, Carton 5, Inv.-Nr. 254. See also Tomek, Paměti I, 336.

24 Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 51.

25 Tomek, Paměti 1:343–50.

26 Lhotsky, Geschichte, passim.

27 In the 1850s, Josef Jireček (1821–88), a Czech patriot, literary historian, and liberal-conservative politician was a member of the circle around Thun. As a young student of law in 1848, he worked for the aforementioned periodical Pokrok, where he established close ties with Thun and a close friendship with Tomek. In the end, he chose the career at the Ministry. He played a very significant role in the formation of the Czech “Government Party” and ensured communication between the party and Prague, and in particular with Tomek. In 1871, he was appointed Minister of Culture and Education in the cabinet of Hohenwart. Most of the written communication between Tomek and Thun went via Jireček. A critical edition of the correspondence between Tomek and Jireček (some of which was political in nature) unfortunately is oriented around the year 1860: Magdaléna Pokorná et al., eds., Spoléhámť se docela na zkušené přátelství Vaše...: Vzájemná korespondence Josefa Jirečka a Václava Vladivoje Tomka z let 1858–1862 (Prague: Academia, 2008). The voluminous correspondence between the two men is found in the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature (Literární archiv Památníku národního písemnictví), the bequest of Josef Jireček, in the Archive of the National Museum in Prague (Archiv Národního muzea), bequest of W. W. Tomek, and in the Archive of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, bequest of Hermenegild Jireček.

28 Tomek reproduced the entire report in his memoirs: Tomek, Paměti, 1:353–61.

29 Ibid., 1:362.

30 Cited in Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 54.

31 See Berger Waldenegg, “Vaterländisches Gemeingefühl,” 148–49.

32 Wilhelm Heinrich Grauert, “Plan eines historischen Seminars,” Zeitschrift für Oesterreichische Gymnasien 1 (1850): 321–44.

33 See Peter Wozniak, “The Organizational Outline for the Gymnasia and Technical Schools in Austria and the Beginning of Modern Educational System in the Habsburg Empire,” in Zwischen Orientierung und Krise: Zum Umgang mit Wissen in der Moderne, ed. Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl (Vienna–Cologne–Weimar: Böhlau, 1998), 104.

34 Josef Jireček to W. W. Tomek 4. August 1850, cited in Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 55.

35 Martin Svatoš, Česká klasická filologie na pražské univerzitě 1848–1917: Působení Jana Kvíčaly a Josefa Krále (Prague: Karolinum, 1995), 26.

36 On Grauert, who died in January 1852, the most thorough work of secondary literature available is Heinrich von Srbik, Ein Schüler Niebuhrs: Wilhelm Heinrich Grauert, Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Wien, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, Vol. 176, 4. Abhandlung (Vienna: A. Hölder, 1914).

37 Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 54.

38 Berger Waldenegg, “Vaterländisches Gemeingefühl,” 147.

39 On the content of the seminar exercises see Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 59–70.

40 On Tomek’s students and his activities as teacher see Miloš Řezník, “W. W. Tomek jako pedagog,” in Jaroslav Goll a jeho žáci, ed. Bohumil Jiroušek, Josef Blüml, and Dagmar Blümlová (České Budějovice: Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích, Historický ústav, 2005), 131–50.

41 Lhotsky, Geschichte, 147. Lhotsky even confuses Tomek with the later scholarship holder and Church historian Ernst Tomek (ibid., 421). Even in Berger Waldenegg’s “Vaterländisches Gefühl,” which focuses on the central perspective of the government, Tomek’s name only comes up once, in a footnote (footnote 213, p. 167).

42 All three documents are reproduced in their entirety in Lhotsky, Geschichte, 25–27, 29–33.

43 Lhotsky, Geschichte, 34–35.

44 Kučera, “Historik a politika,” 60.

45 Joseph Alexander von Helfert, Über Nationalgeschichte und den gegenwärtigen Stand ihrer Pflege in Oesterreich (Prague: Calve, 1853); Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 56–57.

46 Lhotsky, Geschichte, 19–20.

47 Šimeček, “Seminární cvičení,” 51.

48 Ibid., 54.

49 Tomek, Paměti, 1:356.

50 Joseph Alexander von Helfert in the name of Minister Count Leo Thun-Hohenstein to Emperor Francis Joseph I., September 14, 1853, cited in Lhotsky, Geschichte, 26.

51 Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, Děje mocnářstwí Rakauského ku potřebě na gymnasiích (Prague: Calve, 1852). The textbook presents a version of his aforementioned Austrian history from the 1840s revised for the grammar schools. Wácslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, Děje mocnářstwí Rakauského: Druhé školní wydání (Prague: Calve, 1851).

52 Wenzel Wladiwoj Tomek, Geschichte des oesterreichischen Kaiserstaates: Zum Gebrauche an Gymnasien und Realschulen (Prague: Calve, 1853); V. Tomek, Storia dell´imperio austriaco da uso di Ginnasi e delle scuole reali compilata (Vienna: Gerold, 1854); V. Vladivoj Tomek, Az Austriai birodalom történelme a gymnasiumok s reáliskolák használatára (Pest: Heckenast, 1856).

53 Jana Kovaříková, “Učebnice dějepisu jako nástroj formování českého historického povědomí ve 2. polovině 19. stol,” in Úloha historického povědomí v evropském národním hnutí v 19. století, ed. Miroslav Hroch (Prague: Univ. Karlova, 1976), 75.

54 Tomek, Paměti, 1:387–89.

55 Ibid., 1:395–96; Zdeněk Šimeček, “Slovanské a rakouské dějiny v české historiografii poloviny 19. století,” Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Philosophica et Historica (1982): 91–117; Kazbunda, Stolice dějin, 2:52–54.

56 Jiří Štaif, Historici, dějiny a společnost: Historiografie v českých zemích od Palackého a jeho předchůdců po Gollovu školu, 1790–1900, 2 vols. (Prague: Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, 1997), 1:86–87.

57 Werner Telesko, Geschichtsraum Österreich: Die Habsburger und ihre Geschichte in der bildenden Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts (Vienna–Cologne–Weimar: Böhlau, 2006), 316.

58 Julius Franz Schneller, “Geist der Geschichtsschreiber des Kaiserthums Oesterreich,” Hesperus (1818): 17–23, 27–29, on which he then builds his work: Julius Franz Schneller, Staatengeschichte des Kaiserthums Oesterreich von der Christi Geburt bis zu den neuesten Zeiten, 7 vols. (Stuttgart: Hallberg’sche Verlagshandlung, 1837–1841); before Schneller, the Gothaer historian Galletti made a—less programmatic—attempt to draw attention in equal shares to Austrian, Hungarian, and Bohemian history: Johann Georg August Galletti, Geschichte des österreichischen Kaiserthums, vol. 1 of Handbuch der neuen Staatengeschichte (Leipzig: Johann Friedrich Gleditsch, 1810).

59 Helfert, Über Nationalgeschichte, 2.

60 Two versions of his programmatic article were published, one in German and one in Czech. The Czech version was addressed to the general educated public, while the German version was addressed specifically to people involved in grammar school education. Wenzel Wladiwoj Tomek, “Über die Behandlung der oesterreichischen Gesammtgeschichte,” Zeitschrift für Oesterreichische Gymnasien 4 (1853): 824–33; Vácslav Vladivoj Tomek, “O synchronické methodě při dějepise rakouském,” Časopis Českého museum 28 (1854): 375–406.

61 Christoph Stölzl, Die Ära Bach in Böhmen: Sozialgeschichtliche Studien zum Neoabsolutismus 1849–1859 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1971), 71.

62 Tomek was only in occasional, indirect contact with affairs at the Institute. For instance, in 1858 he corresponded with Jireček in this regard (he made recommendations concerning scholarships). He emphasized, however, that he was not informed about the requirements at the Institute. Pokorná, Spoléhámť se docela, 70. We also know that Theodor von Sickel was one of his political opponents at the time. Ibid., 204, 211, 218. Tomek and Jäger enjoyed a positive relationship from the start, even if it remained only occassional. They met during his stay in Vienna in 1851. They were introduced to each other by Helfert. Tomek, Paměti, 1:379.

63 Later (1858), he mentioned his “historical exercises,” which focused on direct work with sources, but which were met with little interest and thus always remained “my private amusement.” Pokorná, Spoléhámť se docela, 70.

64 Lhotsky, Geschichte, 147. At the end of the 1850s, Thun contemplated having Tomek leave Prague and be given an appointment at another university in Austria in order to speed up the process of making him full professor. Josef Jireček to W. W. Tomek, Vienna 19. May 1858, cited in Pokorná, Spoléhámť se docela, 72.

Volume 5 Issue 2 CONTENTS

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Ádám Bollók

Excavating Early Medieval Material Culture and Writing History in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Hungarian Archaeology1

 

In this essay, I examine the initial stages in the nineteenth century of the study of material finds from the Middle Ages in the Carpathian Basin. I offer a brief overview of the history of the scientific work that led to the identification of archaeological findings from the Avar era and the era of the Hungarian Conquest, and I also shed light on some of the reasons underlying the failure to identify properly findings from the Hun era (i.e. the fifth century) and the late Avar era (i.e. the eighth century). I examine the principal considerations that shaped the research endeavors of historians and archaeologists in the nineteenth century, and I present the primary methodological approaches according to which historians drew on archaeological findings in support of their conclusions. I focus in particular on the works of Miklós Jankovich, Flóris Rómer, Ferenc Pulszky, Géza Nagy, József Hampel, Géza Supka, and Zoltán Felvinczi Takács, though I also consider the writings of less influential representatives of scholarly life.

Keywords: archaeology, late antique and early medieval history, historiography, Carpathian Basin, Avars, ancient Hungarians

 

Introduction

The founding father of ancient critical history-writing, the rightly famous Thucydides, in his celebrated narrative of the pre-history of the Greeks (the so-called “archaeology,” Greek arkheologieo), reports on a “dig”, i.e. what we today would call an “archaeological excavation”. It had been carried out by the Athenians in 426 BC at Delos in order to purify the island, which was regarded as the birth place of the gods Artemis and Apollo, and therefore both births and burials had been prohibited there. His conclusions, which were based on the results of this early “excavation,” are particularly interesting, since they shed considerable light on the thinking of “researchers,” both ancient and modern, engaged in the study of history through material remains of the past. As the fifth-century BC author concludes on the basis of his inspection of the relics discovered at Delos, before the arrival of the Greeks,

 

Carians inhabited most of the islands, as may be inferred from the fact that, when Delos was purified by the Athenians in this war [i.e. the Peloponnesian war] and the graves of all who had ever died on the island were removed, over half were discovered to be Carians, being recognized by the fashion of the armor found buried with them, and by the mode of burial, which is that still in use among them.2

Thucydides’ observation offers a very clear illustration of the fact that one of the important aspects of the interest in the material culture of the past has always been closely connected in European intellectual life to the conviction that these objects constitute sources on the basis of which conclusions concerning the past can be drawn. Furthermore, his chain of thought also clearly shows that one of the primary aims of this interest in the past was to clear up questions concerning the identity of those people who created these objects. One of the important aspects of this is referred to in contemporary scholarly discourse as the “ethnic interpretation” of the archaeological record.

This is particularly true with regards to the archaeological remains of eras from which very few or only very uninformative written sources survive. Thus, the study of material culture can acquire a role of particular prominence in the process of acquainting ourselves with this slice of the past. It is therefore hardly surprising that, since the early nineteenth century, this approach has enjoyed considerable popularity in European scholarship and, within this, in Hungary, whose academics initially was very closely tied to the pursuit of German scholarly circles. Though, in the second half of the twentieth century historical and archaeological scholarship began to express serious doubts concerning the theoretical foundations and reliability of ethnic interpretations of archaeological finds. This skepticism was no doubt prompted in part by the fact that, after World War II, experts of the history of Antiquity and the early Middle Ages became increasingly emphatic in their observation that the notion of ethnic identity in these periods could hardly be described with the conceptual frameworks that were used by representatives of the eighteenth-century idea of the modern nation, however enthusiastically these thinkers, who projected the notions of identity that prevailed in their era onto the past, attempted to do so.3 On the other hand, one still comes across heated debates in the secondary literature on the extent to which archaeological relics can be assessed and studied from the perspective of their “ethnic” attribution,4 while other scholars simply seem to ignore this question altogether.

However, in the nineteenth century, which is the period that is the most important from the perspective of my inquiry, the question of the ethnic attribution of archaeological relics (or, more precisely, the question of the grounds on which a scholar could venture an assertion on the ethnic interpretation of a relic) was hardly a concern for the majority of researchers. The notion that the various finds that were being excavated could and indeed had to be connected to some earlier ethnic group was regarded as self-evident. Naturally, this view was closely tied to political nature of the study of history and the public discourse concerning history at the time.

The Early Stage of Archaeological Research

Historians studied the history of the Carpathian Basin in late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages primarily from the perspectives of political history, endeavoring to write narratives of the histories of the various gentes that for a time made the middle Danube Basin their home by collecting, critiquing, and assessing the written sources.5 The importance of this seemed self-evident at the time in part simply because for most of the gentes in question there was no simple, adequately stable chronological narrative of events that could serve as a point of departure for further inquiries. In addition to this focus on the essential need for annals of history, understandably the question of the pre-history of the peoples who lived in the Carpathian Basin was also a subject of considerable interest, including for instance the desire to determine their earlier homes and the paths they had taken in the course of their migrations. However, as noted above, scholars at the time hardly took into consideration the possibility that the peoples of the early Middle Ages were not ethnic groups in the modern sense of the term. They were even less communities that could be described using the Romantic term “nation.” Thus, one could hardly regard their “wanderings” as the migrations of coherently defined and “closed” ethnic groups or “nations” from one homeland to another.

For Hungarian scholars, the arrival of the ancient Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin was a topic of particularly keen interest, as was the question of their migrations in the times before the so-called Conquest (i.e. the ancient Hungarians’ settlement in the Carpathian Basin at the turn of the ninth century). At the same time, however, for perfectly understandable reasons from the outset scholars did not really consider archaeological finds alone as suitable sources for the study of historical questions of such importance. Clearly, one of the reasons for this was the fact that, at the time of the first excavations of finds from the period of the Conquest (from the 1830s to the 1860s), Hungarian archaeologists had no historical relics from the territories of “Scythia” (the “original homeland” mentioned in the Hungarian chronicles from the Middle Ages), the Hungarian settlements discovered in the thirteenth century by Friar Julian on the Volga River,6 or the wider area around the Ural Mountains (which on the basis of the Finno-Ugric affinities of the Magyar language was regarded as their ancient homeland). Thus, it was not possible to make comparisons. Therefore, while the scholars who were investigating the question of the previous “homelands” of the ancient Hungarians and their migration towards East-Central Europe sought answers to the inquiries first and foremost in written sources and the theories concerning the linguistic affinities of the Magyar language, from the outset archaeological finds seemed for more suitable as a means of shedding light on the culture of the ancient Hungarians of the tenth century. And this culture seemed accomplished indeed. In contrast with descriptions found in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German historical literature, which concluded, on the basis of their own historical concepts and the image of the ancient Hungarians depicted in medieval Western chronicles, that the Hungarians of the tenth century were an unrefined, barbaric people, nineteenth-century Hungarian historians contended with pride and satisfaction that the surviving historical relics from the Conquest Period hardly support the image of the “uncivilized Hungarians” that had come to prevail in the historical scholarship in the West.

Nineteenth-century scholars could not easily refute this negative image of the ancient Hungarians drawn in the Middle Ages (an image of the attacker that was constructed by the attacked, who used topoi from the literature of Antiquity on the “Northern barbarians”), or, more precisely, the recurrence of this image in the Western European scholarship of the Early Modern Era, merely on the basis of the written sources. The oft-quoted description in the World History written by Regino, a late ninth-century abbot of Prüm (d. 915), for example, encapsulates this medieval Western attitude with epigrammatic conciseness. According to Regino, the Hungarians “do not desire gold and silver in the same way as other mortals. […] They know nothing about the use of wool and clothing, and although they are consistently afflicted by the cold they wear only skins of wild animals and rodents.”7

Nevertheless, although this description of the ancient Hungarians’ pre-Conquest history and visual appearance is no more than a slightly modified version of the paragraph originally written by the second- or early third-century Roman historian, Justin, about the Scythians, Regino’s markedly hostile tone is clearly apparent. While the Scythians’ simple lifestyle in Justin’s characterization harmonized well with the stereotypes of the Antiquity about the “Northern barbarians”, who were supposed to have led a refined, moderate and admirable life, “[b]y omitting this [attitude from his writing], Regino turns Justin’s celebration of the simplicity of an ancient civilization into revulsion at a backward people.”8

The images drawn of the ancient Hungarians by the majority of contemporary or near-contemporary authors correspond in their main outlines with the one delineated by Regino. More appreciative voices have not remained entirely unheard in late nineteenth-century Hungarian historiography, either. In contrast to Regino’s description, the famous Persian geographer Abū Sacīd cAbd al-Íayy ibn ŻaÎÎāk ibn MaÎmūd Gardīzī (d. ca. 1061), writing in the first half of the eleventh century, offered the following description of the ancient Hungarians: “These Hungarians are a people [that] are [possessed] of [fair] countenances. Their clothes are of brocade and their weapons are [made] of silver and are goldplated.”9 Though Gardīzī is a comparatively late author, this passage is commonly thought to have been excerpted and translated into Persian from an earlier, but now regrettably lost Arabic work, thereby preserving a later ninth- or tenth-century account.10 Given its positive depiction of Hungarians, it is hardly surprising that Gardizi’s text rapidly became familiar among Hungarian historians and figured frequently in their writings. However, considering that neither the Persian text nor the Hungarian translation was published before the very end of the nineteenth century,11 at the time when the first archaeological excavations were being done (roughly between the 1830s and the 1880s) the only available descriptions of the early Hungarians were found in the works of (medieval) historians from Western Europe, and these descriptions offered decidedly negative depictions of the Hungarians.

In light of the above, it is hardly surprising that in the nineteenth century Hungarian historians and archaeologists, in order to correct the picture bequeathed by the biased written accounts, turned to the tenth-century archaeological material that had recently been excavated from sites all over the Carpathian Basin. However, this approach hardly turned out to be without pitfalls.

With the discovery and identification in 1834 of the first ancient Hungarian grave assemblage, the famous burial of a tenth-century Hungarian in Benepuszta (today part of Ladánybene in Central Hungary),12 archaeology began to play a significant and continuously growing role in the research on the visual appearance of the ancient Hungarians in particular and the early phases of Hungarian national history in general.13 Miklós Jankovich (1772–1846), a famous art-collector and art-connoisseur of the earlier nineteenth century and the first publisher of the Benepuszta grave assemblage, proudly compared the glittering of the silver-gilt costume accessories revealed among the finds with the visual appearance of the Celtic and Germanic tribes described by Julius Caesar and Tacitus, respectively.14 Jankovich was also obviously pleased to note that the tenth-century western European coins, minted in the name of Berengar I as King of Italy (r. 887–915) and then Emperor (r. 915–924) and King Hugo of Provence (r. 924–947), evidently corroborate the contemporary chroniclers’ accounts of the western European military campaigns of tenth-century Hungarians.15

The presence of these coins among the finds of Benepuszta was doubtless of utmost importance, since these objects provided the necessary clues enabling Jankovich to identify the proper chronological position of the entire burial. On the other hand, the exploration of an ancient Hungarian assemblage prompted him to take a step further by attempting to define the main characteristics of tenth-century Hungarian national decorative style and its eastern, pre-Conquest roots. In this endeavor, Jankovich happily referred to the leaf-shaped silver-gilt mounts, which according to his supposition was attached to the deceased’s over-garment, by emphasizing that the technique of mercury gilding was introduced to Europe from Asia by the ancient Hungarians.16 The griffon portrayal on the Benepuszta strap-end, a late Carolingian product in reality, was likewise regarded by him as a typically Asian phenomenon which did not bear any resemblance to Greco-Roman or European griffon depictions.17

Of course, it would be a serious mistake to judge Jankovich’s assumptions by the standards of our today knowledge. Still, two notable tendencies were palpable in this very first assessment of the tenth-century material culture of the Carpathian Basin. The first and more understandable is the author’s national pride, which characterizes the almost hymnal tone of his entire contribution. The second, in contrast, is more closely connected with Jankovich’s and his contemporaries’ historical concept of the Hungarians’ eastern origins,18 a notion that led them to trace back all possible elements of the material record known to them at the time to an eastern, Asiatic ancestry. The equation of the Hungarians’ eastern origins, a commonsensical fact generally acknowledged from the very beginnings of medieval Hungarian historiography,19 with a specifically Asiatic ancestry, on the other hand, hardly gained universal acceptance in later decades. Needless to say, archaeology was hardly in a game-changing position in the research of Hungarian origins in the middle and late nineteenth century. The debates about the Finno-Ugrian or Turkic genealogy of the Magyar language were understandably dominated by comparative linguistics and resulted in the demonstration of the Finno-Ugrian affinities of the Magyar language.20 Historical analyses of the available written sources, conversely, repeatedly directed the researchers’ attention to the world of the steppes. Relying on the testimonies of western European Latin and Byzantine Greek authors, who often saw, in all new-coming nomadic tribes, the same “Scythians,” “Huns” or “Turks,”21 several historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth century considered the Scythians, Huns, Sabirs, Avars, Bulgars or Pechenegs as the ancestors and/or closest relatives of pre-Conquest Hungarians.

An archaeological assessment of the various historical theories was hindered for a long time by the fact that the identification of the material heritage of the abovementioned peoples was far from sufficiently advanced in these decades. In the material record as it was known at the time, the large Hun-age copper cauldrons were ascribed to different peoples, from the Scythians to an “unspecified” early medieval population.22 The first Hun-age grave assemblages were either identified as “Migration period antiquities”23 or they appeared among early and middle Avar-period, i.e. sixth- to seventh-century, finds.24 In contrast, the eighth-century cemeteries characterized by the appearance of a great number of bronze casts were thought to represent the later Sarmatian and Hunnic periods, i.e., the third to the fifth, or more broadly, the third to the sixth or seventh centuries.25 The reasons for the latter misidentification clearly exhibit the main problems faced by, and in the meantime the central interests of, later nineteenth-century Hungarian archaeology. A third- to fifth-century (perhaps sixth century) date was proposed for these eighth-century grave assemblages and cemeteries mainly on the basis of the late Roman coins and secondarily reused Roman artefacts found among the finds. The late Antique style of the ornamental vocabulary appearing on the late Avar-period bronze casts likewise seemed to strengthen this chronological attribution. Both the majority of excavators of individual sites26 and leading archaeologists performing the systemization of the finds shared these views concerning chronology.27 József Hampel (1849–1913), one of the most outstanding minds of late nineteenth-century Hungarian archaeology, attempted to carefully consider the value of late Roman coins in dating the artifacts and assemblages.28 He realized that several cemeteries containing the eighth-century casts actually continued well into the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries.29 Yet even he assumed that the griffon depictions and animal combat scenes on these casts represented a late Scythian legacy preserved by the Sarmatians.30 Finally, he presumed that the casts decorated with animal figures and vegetal ornaments went out of use only slowly around and slightly after the sixth-century arrival of the Avars.31

The rather romantic assumption, however, according to which a people of such an enormous world-historical importance as the Huns must have left significant archaeological traces, was raised only sporadically. On the contrary, considering the lack of securely dateable find assemblages from the late fourth and earlier fifth centuries (other than those assigned to the Sarmatian population), some archaeologists argued that only the Hun political center had moved from the Ukrainian steppes to the Carpathian Basin, while the bulk of the ethnically Hun population had continued to reside in the eastern European steppes throughout the Hunnic epoch.32 The main rationale behind these and many similar hypotheses was doubtless the strong belief in the ethnical and historical interpretability of the archaeological record.

Such strongly historically-minded approaches, however, may equally have led to suppositions which later proved to be more accurate, even if they were hardly more than uncertain educated guesses at the time of their formulation. I cite a single eloquent example. Ágost Sőtér (1837–1905), a landowner and lawyer in Moson County, concluded on the basis of the results of his excavation conducted at Dunacsúny (today Čunovo in Slovakia) that the abovementioned cemeteries that had been attributed to the Sarmatians by the leading experts of his time were, in fact, established and occupied by the Avars. His line of reasoning, or, more precisely, his passing remark was based solely on the extension of the Dunacsúny cemetery and his conviction that “only the Avars resided in this region” in sufficiently large numbers to leave behind hundreds of graves.33 The archaeological finds themselves may have led to similar “accurate intuitions.” The suggestion made by Ferenc Pulszky concerning the dating of finds that had characteristic cast belt adornments to the Avar period (though in the case in question the sixth and seventh centuries were meant) was similarly founded on a relatively weak argument. The idea was based on a fibula that had been found in a seventh-century grave of one of the cemeteries in Keszthely. Because of the nature of the excavations, however, Pulszky could not have known that the fibula had not been taken from the same grave as the cast mountings (for this problem, see note 39 below).34

Knowledge concerning the archaeological material connected with the Sabirs, the Bulgarians, and the Pechenegs was even more limited. The initial identifications of the first Proto-Bulgarian assemblages in present-day Bulgaria were only made in the 1930s,35 practically 100 years after the publication of the Benepuszta finds, while the pinpointing of the archaeological heritage of the Sabirs poses unsolvable problems for specialists even today. One of the few possible reliable points of departure for a comparative analysis that would have enabled archaeologists to take sides in the contemporary debates of historians and linguists was thus provided by Ferenc Pulszky’s (1814–97) identification of the material culture of the early Avar period in 1874. In the latter case, again coin finds, namely solidi minted under the Byzantine emperors Justin I (r. 518–527), Justinian I (r. 527–565), Phocas (r. 602–610), and Constantine IV Pogonatus (r. 668–685), offered the necessary starting point.36 On the basis of the main characteristics of these finds, the sixth- to seventh-century assemblages discovered over the course of the following decades were in most cases properly identified,37 even if some of the attributions were still mistaken.38

As is readily apparent from this brief overview, the accurate dating of types of artifacts and find assemblages was rarely possible without contemporary coin finds. Where these coins were not available or the available ones were not contemporary with the burials in which they were found, only stratigraphic and typological observations or securely dateable imports would have provided the necessary help. However, neither did the excavation methods employed in course of the majority of the nineteenth-century archaeological explorations supply specialists with the crucial stratigraphic data,39 nor was the archaeological research conducted on the territories from which exports that might have been accurately dated arrived in the Carpathian Basin in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages advanced enough to provide sufficiently useful assistance for experts specialized in the research of the material culture of the Middle Danube region. (Germanic finds originating from the Roman imperial and the Merovingian periods were notable exceptions, however.) Still, it would be unfair to fail to note that in a number of cases typological comparisons could and actually did play a role in establishing the proper chronological position of several assemblages. To mention only a few examples, on the basis of formal analogies—which are not entirely acceptable today, but at the time were the only available ones—Flóris Rómer (1815–89) came to the accurate conclusion that the Hun-age cauldrons were, in fact, early medieval manufactures.40 Similarly, Hampel based his dating of the finds from Adony on comparisons with artifacts from the late Roman and Merovingian periods,41 and Géza Nagy (1855–1915), an archaeologist at the Hungarian National Museum, came close to dating accurately the eighth-century assemblages on the basis of typological observations (indeed he was hindered first and foremost in this by his faith in the usefulness of coins as artifacts on which to base hypotheses concerning dating).42

Indeed it is worth mentioning, in this context, an essay by a German archaeologist, Paul Reinecke (1872–1958), that was written towards the end of the nineteenth century and remains a captivating read even today. With thorough knowledge of early medieval Western European finds and relying on proper methodologies, Reinecke used formal analogies to accurately date the eighth-century relics (i.e. of the late Avar period) found in the Carpathian Basin.43 His conclusions, however, found little echo in the Hungarian scholarship of the time.

In addition to these obstacles, mention must also be made of at least two decisive subjective factors, each of which played a significant role in the emergence of long-term misconceptions. The first was, as we have already seen, an immediate consequence of the belief of nineteenth-century historians and archaeologists that archaeological cultures constitute well-definable entities corresponding to peoples in the modern sense of the word. As a consequence of this strongly historical approach, many researchers focused on ethnic interpretations of the assemblages that had been and were being discovered, labelling them with ethnic names known from the written sources. On the other hand, the inevitable use of coin finds in course of the determination of the chronological position of a given assemblage and find horizons not only turned out to be a helpful tool for archaeologists, but, along with the written accounts of conquests and decisive battles, it also generated a sort of optical illusion. Since coins from the sixth, seventh, and tenth centuries were found primarily in graves and small cemeteries characterized by a high percentage of horse burials, rich grave furnishings, and weapon finds (and thus, one can conclude, were left behind mostly by the members of early and middle Avar and ancient Hungarian elites), scholars were inclined to regard both peoples as relatively small, but rich and militant groups.

It is therefore hardly surprising that for Ferenc Pulszky, who at the time was the director of the Hungarian National Museum, “the ancient Hungarians were conquerors and not craftsmen, and thus their jewelry was made by their servants, prisoners of war, and the local population found [inside the Carpathian Basin] in a period in which art was on the decline.”44 Following a similar line of thought, Géza Nagy attempted to make a systematic comparison of objects and burial customs from the three assemblage groups assigned to the “Hunno-Sarmatians,” the Avars and the ancient Hungarians in a series of papers published in 1893.45 Not surprisingly, more similarities were detected between the burial assemblages of the “Hun” and early Avar epochs, in large part because the material remains of the alleged “Hunno-Sarmatians” did in fact date from late seventh and eight centuries, in other words, the late Avar age, and therefore represent the archaeological heritage of the descendants of the gentes populating the Carpathian Basin in the early Avar period. On the other hand, Nagy seems to have been even more intrigued by the dissimilarities that divided his “Hunno-Sarmatian” and Avar groups from the ancient Hungarian assemblages. In his view, the middle Volga components of and the Sāsānian and early Islamic influences that left their marks on the ancient Hungarian material culture adequately explain these differences.46 Interestingly enough, Nagy further added that the material remains of the Pechenegs, the Jasz people, and the Cumans are also to be found among the burial assemblages ascribed, on the basis of Byzantine, Islamic, and western European coin finds, to the tenth-century Hungarians. This latter assumption apparently reflects Nagy’s belief that “the cultures and customs of all these peoples differed only in nuances from one another.”47

Nevertheless, not only the Hungarians, Pechenegs and Cumans were considered kin folks or essentially similar peoples in Nagy’s understanding. He also regarded the various tribes and tribal alliances—Sabirs, Utrigurs, Kutrigurs, Onogurs (or Hunugurs), Bulgars among others48—mentioned in the historical record during the century following the dissolution of the Hun Empire and often labelled “Huns” in the Byzantine sources as the direct offspring of the Huns. Moreover, according to Nagy, in all likelihood Magyar elements had been among the Bulgar tribes migrating into the Carpathian Basin in the 680s, and therefore the presence of the Magyar ethnos in the Middle Danube region might be traced back to the late seventh century at the latest.49 Perhaps not surprisingly, archaeology played virtually no role either in the construction of Nagy’s models of ethnic continuity or in his hypothesis regarding the Magyars’ settling in the Carpathian Basin before their historically attested arrival at the end of the ninth century. Accordingly, hardly any mention was made of the archaeological heritage of the “post-Hunnic” tribes enumerated above or the pre-conquest Magyars residing east of the Carpathians. The fact, therefore, that, as mentioned above, Nagy himself detected noticeable differences between the archaeological materials of his “Hunno-Sarmatian” and Avar groups on the one hand and that of the ancient Hungarians on the other and he still reckoned with a Magyar presence in the Avar-era Carpathian Basin is very telling as far as his understanding of the different values of the historical and material record is concerned. Although he shared the belief, which represented a widespread conviction and method at the time, that one could draw a relatively simple equation between ethnic entities bearing strong ethnic identities on the one hand and material cultures on the other, nonetheless, if the results of an archaeological investigation did not support the desired historical model the historical hypotheses were granted priority over the conclusions drawn from the archaeological finds.

Of course, it would be an oversimplification to claim that Nagy’s theories and approaches succeeded in convincing all of his contemporaries, whether archaeologists or historians. It was even more so when later, after the turn of the nineteenth century, he made clear steps toward demonstrating the direct historical and ethnic links between the Scythians and the early medieval steppe peoples, including the ancient Hungarians.50 Moreover, his dedicated efforts to search for the ancestors of the Hungarians led him to consider the Sumerian language one of the relatives of the Magyar tongue.51 The implausible nature of these theories was not always obvious even to the best minds of the age.52

Several of Nagy’s lesser errors were shared by Hampel as well. Although Hampel was less historically-minded than his colleague at the National Museum, he similarly believed in the necessity of identifying archaeological horizons with given peoples.53 Thus, Hampel was also convinced of the Sarmatian identification of the late Avar-age cemeteries, even if he clearly saw that on typological grounds a number of these assemblages must be dated to periods as late as the seventh and eighth centuries. Still, he dated the overwhelming majority of his “Sarmatian group” up to the sixth century.54 Nor did he recognize the genuine chronological position of the Hun-age copper cauldrons, as noted above.55 In his search for analogies of the tenth-century Hungarian archaeological relics, however, Hampel more consequently and strictly relied on the comparative methods widely employed by art-historians and archaeologists. Thus, he put less emphasis on the late antique and early medieval written accounts. It is therefore hardly surprising that the majority of the comparative materials cited in his writings originated from Eastern Europe and the Byzantine and Islamic worlds.

The Comparative Study of Archaeological Finds in the Carpathian Basin

As of the mid-1860s, archaeologists studying the history of the Carpathian Basin in the early Middle Ages were able to begin familiarizing themselves with Russian archaeological finds, which constituted an increasingly important contribution to their work. It also contributed significantly to Hampel’s comparative efforts. In 1874, Rómer was able to study museum collections in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Helsinki,56 and Hampel traveled to Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 1886 to pursue similar work.57 In the 1890s, archaeologist Mór Wosinsky was able to travel east as part of the first expedition led by Jenő Zichy,58 and archaeologist Béla Pósta was able to familiarize himself with a tremendous range of archaeological finds as part of the third Zichy expedition, which journeyed as far as the Minusinsk Basin.59 The incorporation of archaeological relics that were discovered in the course of these expeditions—relics that were from the Hun period or were in some way tied to Finno-Ugric peoples— and research ventures into the study of the relics from the Carpathian Basin represented an important step forward.60 It opened a new path for archaeological research on the ancestors of the peoples settled in the Carpathian Basin by enabling a comparison of the archaeological groups that had been established earlier on the basis of the relics found in Hungary with the relics from the territories of Eastern Europe.

On the other hand, the archaeology of further eastern territories, i.e. that of Central and Inner Asia and that of the Far East, was merely in statu nascendi in the days of Hampel and Nagy.61 Thus, it may not come as a surprise that the debates followed with more than keen interest by the leading archaeologist of the Carpathian Basin were centered on the interpretations of the late Antique and early medieval artistic cultures of the eastern Mediterranean. The most important among them, the “Orient oder Rom?” controversy, initiated and shaped for almost 40 years by the formidable Austrian art-historian Josef Strzygowski (1862–1941), had an extremely profound effect on the thinking and interpretative models of Hungarian early medieval archaeologists.62 In his later works, Hampel also swung between the sharply different images of Late Antiquity drawn by Austrian art-historians Alois Riegl (1858–1905) and Josef Strzygowski. Though he was obviously unable to take a clear stand between the arguments advocated by the Viennese art historian and the Graz-based scholar in the “ Orient oder Rom?” controversy, he essentially remained true to the principles set down by Riegl in his understanding of early medieval ornamental arts, one of the central issues of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Hungarian early medieval archaeology.63

Hampel’s successors, however, were more drawn to Strzygowski’s nationalistic and ethnocentric views, thereby distracting themselves in their scholarship from Hampel’s more balanced attitude. One of the main protagonists of this process was Géza Supka (1883–1956), one of Strzygowski’s former students in Graz, who began working in the Hungarian National Museum in 1904, during Hampel’s time. In his early studies, written during the first decade of his academic career in Budapest, Supka’s focus was primarily on the Near Eastern origins and historical developments of Byzantine art and its impact on the material cultures of early medieval steppe peoples.64 In the meantime, his gradually growing interest in the latter topic quickly led him to concentrate his research efforts more and more on the questions of the archaeology of Central Asia.65 Nevertheless, he was far from alone with this commitment to making use of the then recent results of emerging Asian archaeology. Zoltán Felvinczi Takács (1880–1964), a young art historian who approached the subject from a different direction, entered the picture in 1913 with an article demonstrating the Hunnic origin of the copper cauldrons.66

The studies by Géza Supka, which concentrated on the art of Central and Inner Asia, and Zoltán Felvinczi Takács, which focused on the art of the Far East, directed attention to Asia, a region that was barely known to Pulszky, Nagy and Hampel’s generation. The “discovery” of Asia, the recourse to a host of previously unknown relics that were being brought to light almost continuously from one year to the next in the study of the early medieval archaeological assemblages of Hungary undermined the primacy of the Graeco-Roman world (and of Sāsānian and early Islamic culture) among the potential source regions from which the material cultures of the Migration period drew inspiration. Following the path paved by Strzygowski in the “ Orient oder Rom?” controversy, as of the mid-1910s Supka immersed himself in the study of Central and Inner Asian Buddhist relics and their cultural milieu, on the basis of which he constructed hypotheses concerning the nomadic peoples who migrated to the Carpathian Basin, including the ancient Hungarians.67 Pursuing a different path, Felvinczi Takács attempted to highlight the Chinese and Central Asian cultural connections of the Migration period material of the Carpathian Basin. Both scholars achieved important results: mention must be made of the final demonstration of the Hunnic affinities of the copper cauldrons by Felvinczi Takács and the proper identification of the Hun-age coins discovered in the Carpathian Basin,68 as well as of some western European Hun assemblages69 and the introduction of the new publications on the Turfan murals into the reference works regularly relied on by Hungarian archaeologists in the case of Supka.70 Conversely, the overwhelming majority of their conclusions never gained currency among specialists. To mention a single eloquent example, let me refer here to the dozens of studies published by Felvinczi Takács between the 1920s and 1960s, in which he continued to argue for the Sarmatian attribution of the eighth-century cast bronze belt ornaments by alluding to Central Asian and Chinese parallels of their decorative motives.71

Although Supka and Felvinczi Takács’s efforts to demonstrate the direct Chinese and Central and Inner Asian roots of some of the Avar and Conquest period relics did not achieve any particular prominence, their influence should by no means be underestimated. Nándor Fettich (1900–71), the leading archaeologist of the Migration period in Hungary during the 1920s and the 1930s, was, for instance, visibly influenced directly and, even more importantly, indirectly by Supka and Felvinczi Takács’s views and Strzygowski’s pan-Iranian theory, which exerted a considerable impact both through his own writings and through Supka’s studies. Consequently, Josef Strzygowski’s views became absolutely dominant in Hungarian early medieval archaeology during this period.72

Despite the mistakes and deficiencies in the main lines of archaeological interpretations, mention must also be made of several important new results achieved in the early twentieth century. The scholarship of utmost importance includes the proper identification of the material heritage of the Huns in the mid-1920s73 and the final determination in the 1930s of the dating of the cemeteries characterized by the cast bronze belt ornaments to the eighth century.74 These series of advances slowly paved the way for the final construction of the proper chronological sequence of late Antique and early medieval find horizons of the Middle Danube Basin, which was an indispensable prerequisite of the search for the formal analogies of given artefact types and burial customs at the right places and in the right periods. These progressive developments were further reinforced by several significant new discoveries and publications in Russian and then Soviet-Russian archaeology in the first half of the twentieth century, as the progress that was made in historical and linguistic research likewise helped archaeologists continually sharpen the focus of their own investigations.

Conclusion

Be that as it may, one point clearly emerges, at least in my understanding, from the overview I have offered here. Although early medieval archaeological investigations of the material remains of the Huns, Avars, and ancient Hungarians were generally regarded as part of a scholarly discipline of essential historical and national importance from the outset, archaeologists specializing in research on these periods actually rarely were in a position to construct their own narratives of the national past in the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries. Of course, sometimes they supported preexisting historical narratives by referring to obvious or superficial similarities between artifacts and burial customs or told their own versions of a people’s history based on their readings of the available written accounts, as Géza Nagy did, for instance. Others, like Supka and Felvinczi Takács, thought to establish historical connections by “discovering” formal parallels without considering the actual historical and chronological limits of the elements of the material record under examination. Yet, the points of departure of many ahistorical approaches and the findings that were made by the last two scholars were strongly historical in nature and actually had little if anything to do with their reading of the archaeological record. The guiding idea behind their investigations was their firm belief in the historical and, to a certain extant at least, ethnic relatedness of the ancient and early medieval nomadic peoples, from the Scythians or the Huns down to the Hungarians. On the other hand, the best minds, like Pulszky and Hampel, who rejected the ahistorical construct of the eternally unchanged “steppe peoples”, were to a great extent deterred from constructing an independent historical narrative based mainly on their own understanding of the material record by the apparent lack of necessary comparative material. Furthermore, the general Zeitgeist of their age doubtless granted priority to the information provided by the written testimonies over the lessons that could be gleaned from the archaeological record. These and other prejudices and misconceptions led to a curious situation; in the nineteenth century, the age of master-narratives, an “outstandingly national discipline,” to quote Gustav Kossina’s famous characterization of archaeology,75 could hardly construct its own master-narrative of Hungarian national history.

 

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1 The present paper was written within the research project no. K 108 670 supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, entitled Művészetek és tudomány a nemzetépítés szolgálatában a 19. századi Magyarországon.

2 Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Book I, Ch. 8. For the Greek text and the English translation, see Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, vol. I: Book I and II, trans. Charles Forster Smith, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1956), 12–15.

3 One of the first attempts to articulate and address this problem from a modern perspective, an attempt which put the research on completely new foundations in many respects: Reinhard Wenskus, Stammesbildung und Verfassung: Das Werden der frühmittelalterlichen gentes (Cologne–Graz: Böhlau, 1961). Other emblematic works include Herwig Wolfram, History of the Goths, trans. Thomas J. Dunlap (Berkeley–Los Angeles–London: University of California Press, 1988); Walter Pohl, Die Awaren: Ein Steppenvolk in Mitteleuropa, 567–822 n. Chr. (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1988); Walter Goffart, The Narrators of Barbarian History (A.D. 550–800): Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). For an attempt to adopt Wenskus’s methods and observations to the research of the history of the ancient Hungarians, see Jenő Szűcs, A magyar nemzeti tudat kialakulása (Szeged: JATE, 1992). Written in 1970, this major work was published only in 1992 in its entirety and accordingly relies on literature that was available up to the 1960s.

4 For a work that recently ignited an impassioned debate in the archaeological scholarship on the early Middle Ages, which continued to adhere to European and primarily continental traditions, see Sebastian Brather, Ethnische Interpretationen in der frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie: Geschichte, Grundlagen und Alternativen. Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, Ergänzungsband, 42 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004). For a discussion of the most recent responses to Brather (which includes an articulation of the author’s viewpoint), see Volker Bierbrauer, “Vom Schwarzmeergebiet bis nach Pannonien: Ethnische Interpretationsprobleme am Ende des 4. und in der ersten Hälfte des 5. Jahrhunderts,” in Romania Gothica II: The Frontier World. Romans, Barbarians and Military Culture, ed. Tivadar Vida (Budapest: ELTE, 2015), 365–475. The debate is continued from another perspective in Florin Curta, “Some Remarks on Ethnicity in Medieval Archaeology,” Early Medieval Europe 15 (2007): 159–85; idem, “Medieval Archaeology and Ethnicity: Where Are We?” History Compass 9 (2001): 537–48; Sebastian Brather, “Ethnizität und Mittelalterarchäologie: Eine Antwort auf Florin Curta,” Zeitschrift für Archäologie des Mittelalters 39 (2011): 161–72; Florin Curta, “The Elephant in the Room: A Reply to Sebastian Brather,” Ephemeris Napocensis 23 (2013): 163–74.

5 Cf., e.g. Károly Szabó, Magyar vezérek kora Árpádtól Szent Istvánig (Pest: Ráth Mór, 1869); Henrik Marczali, “A vezérek kora és a királyság megalapítása,” in Magyarország a királyság megalapításáig, vol. 1 of A magyar nemzet története, ed. Sándor Szilágyi (Budapest: Athenaeum 1895), 1–344; Gyula Pauler, A magyar nemzet története az Árpádházi királyok alatt, 2 vols. (Budapest: Athenaeum, 1899), 1:1–38. See also the data assembled by Géza Nagy, “Magyarország története a népvándorlás korában,” in Magyarország a királyság megalapításáig, vol. 1 of A magyar nemzet története, ed. Sándor Szilágyi (Budapest: Athenaeum 1895), CCLIII–CCCLII.

6 For a discussion of the attempts to identify the ancient homelands of the ancient Hungarians, see István Vásáry, “Mediaeval Theories Concerning the Primordial Homeland of the Hungarians,” in Popoli delle steppe: Unni, Avari, Ungari, Settimane di studio del Centro Italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo 35 (Spoleto: Centro italiano de studi sull’alto Medioevo, 1988), 213–44.

7 Regino of Prüm, Chronicle, s.a 889. English translation: History and Politics in Late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe: The Chronicle of Regino of Prüm and Adalbert of Magdeburg, transl. Simon Maclean (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009), 203.

8 Simon Maclean, “Commentary,” in Ibid., 203, n. 367.

9 Arsenio P. Martinez, “Gardīzī’s Two Chapters on the Turks,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 2 (1982): 162.

10 Earlier scholarship concurred that the passage cited from Gardīzī’s was excerpted from al-Ğayhanī’s late ninth- and early tenth-century Kitāb al-masālik wcal-mamālik (Book of Roads and Kingdoms). However, István Zimonyi suggests that the passage in question may have been taken from another, unknown work. See Hansgerd Göckenjan and István Zimonyi, Orientalische Berichte über die Völker Osteuropas und Zentralasiens im Mittelalter: Die Ğayhānī-Tradition (Ibn Rusta, Gardīzī, Íudud al-Alam, al-Bakrī und al-Marwazī), Veröffentlichungen der Societas Uralo-Altaica, 54 (Wiesbaden: Klaus Röhrborn, Ingrid Schellbach-Kopra, 2001).

11 Gardīzī’s chapters on the peoples of Eastern Europe, including the ancient Hungarians, were first published (although separately from one another, but based on the same manuscript and almost in the same year) by the Russian Vasilij Vladimirovich Bartol’d (Otchet o poezdke v Srednii Azii s nauchnoj celi 1893–1894 gg., Zapiski Imperatorskoj Akademii Nauk po Istoriko-filologicheskomu otd’lenii, VIII ser., I.4, Sankt-Peterburg: n.p., 1897) and the Hungarian Géza Kuun (“Keleti kútfők” in A magyar honfoglalás kútfői, (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1900), 137–284, and see esp. 148–49, 167–73).

12 Miklós Jankovich, “Egy magyar hősnek – hihetőleg Bene vitéznek, – ki még a ’tizedik század’ elején, Solt fejedelemmel, I. Berengár császárnak diadalmas védelmében Olaszországban jelen volt, újdonnan felfedezett tetemeiről, ’s öltözetének ékességeiről,” A Magyar Tudós Társaság Évkönyvei 2 (1832–1834) [1835]: 281–96.

13 For a reading of the history of the archaeological scholarship, see Péter Langó, “Archaeological Research on the Conquering Hungarians: A Review,” in Research on the Prehistory of the Hungarians: A Review, ed. Balázs Gusztáv Mende (Budapest: Institute of Archaeology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2005), 175–340.

14 Jankovich, “Egy magyar hősnek,” 282.

15 Ibid. For these coins and the pioneering work done by Jankovich, cf. László Kovács, “Benepuszta és Vereb: az elsőként ismertté vált két honfoglalás kori sír (1834, 1853) érméinek sorsa,” Numizmatikai Közlöny 110/111 (2011/12): 51–69.

16 Jankovich, “Egy magyar hősnek,” 286. For our present state of knowledge about the introduction and early history of mercury gilding, see Kilian Anheuser, Im Feuer vergoldet: Geschichte und Technik der Feuervergoldung und der Amalgamversilberung. AdR Schriftenreihe zur Restaurierung und Grabungstechnik, 4 (Stuttgart: Thiess, 1999).

17 Jankovich, “Egy magyar hősnek,” 289.

18 For Jankovich’s views on Hungarian prehistory and early history, see István Vásáry, “Jankovich Miklós és a magyar őstörténet,” in idem., Magyar őshazák és magyar őstörténészek. Magyar Őstörténeti Könyvtár, 24 (Budapest: Balassi Kiadó 2008), 179–89. As Vásáry notes, Jankovich concluded on the basis of the secondary literature that was available to him at the time that the relatives of the Hungarians and their distinctive language were to be sought first and foremost among Asian peoples and languages. He felt that “the Huns, Cumans, Khazars, and Hungarians all had a shared language. The dialectical differences were like the dialectical differences between the Germanic languages of today. Jankovich was obviously mistaken, but most of the scholars of his time shared this mistaken belief. It was merely a hypothesis regarding ancient history, since they had no concrete data whatsoever concerning the languages of the Huns, the Cumans, and the Khazars.” Ibid., 185–86.

19 Cf. Vásáry, “Mediaeval theories.”

20 For a brief overview of the main views, see János Pusztai, Az “ugor-török” háború után (Budapest: Magvető, 1977).

21 For an unsurpassable critical overview of the Byzantine sources, see Gyula Moravcsik, Byzantinoturcica, vol. 2/1 of Die byzantinische Quellen der Geschichte der Türkvölker: Sprachreste der Türkvölker in den byzantinischen Quellen. Zweite durchgearbeitete Auflage, Berliner Byzantinische Arbeiten, vols. 10–11 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1958).

22 The first person to publish an article on a cauldron from the Hun period was correct in his hypothesis that it dated back to the Migration period: Flóris Rómer, “A czakói bronz-edény,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 2 (1869) [1870]: 292–92. Very soon after having published this article, Rómer enriched the literature with data concerning another cauldron which had not been fully published for a long time. Idem., “A czakói bronzedény ügyéhez,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 3 (1870): 114–15. Mór Wosinsky, the archaeologist who published data concerning the second cauldron found in the course of archaeological excavations in the Carpathian Basin, also thought that it probably dated to the Migration period. He was able to present two similar types of finds among finds known from Russia. Mór Wosinsky, “A kaposvölgyi népvándorláskori üst,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 11 (1891): 427–31. József Hampel, however, did not regard this hypothesis as persuasively founded. He hypothesized that this kind of artifact might have been used in the Scythian period, though he did not exclude the possibility (particularly in his article written in German) that the cauldrons might have been used in the early Middle Ages. József Hampel, “Skythiai emlékek Magyarországban,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 13 (1893): 400; idem., “Skythische Denkmäler aus Ungarn: Beitrag zur uralaltajischen Archäologie,” Ethnologische Mitteilungen aus Ungarn 4 (1895): 15. It was not until the twentieth century that the cauldrons were dated accurately to the Hun period, cf. n. 66 below. For a detailed examination of the history of scholarship on the question, see István Bóna, Das Hunnenreich (Budapest: Corvina, 1991), 220–21.

23 Ambró Lakner, “Csornai leletekről,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 9 (1889): 263–71. Later, Hampel classified the diadem from Csorna as “Germanic”: József Hampel, A régibb középkor (IV–X. század) emlékei Magyarghonban, 2 vols. (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1894–1897), 2:20.

24 József Hampel, “Újabb hazai leletek az avar uralom korából,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 20 (1900): 98–107, 110–11.

25 In contrast with this view, which was accepted by the majority, Wosinsky regarded the graveyard in Závod, a cemetery in which interments began in the seventh century and were continuous into the eight, but where the characteristic eighth-century bronze casts did not appear, as the heritage of a Germanic community on the basis of a pectoral cross that was found there. Mór Wosinsky, “A závodi sírmező,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 16 (1896): 30.

26 The individual argumentations varied considerably, and non-professional archaeologists were also often cautious enough not to offer precise ethnic labels. Cf., e.g., Gyula Tergina, “Az ordasi lelet,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 14 (1880) [1881]: 336–40; Zsigmond Szelle, “Régészeti ásatások a bölcskei népvándorláskori temetőben,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 11 (1891): 239–49 (by alluding to the chronological position of the Keszthely cemeteries); Vilmos Lipp, “A vasmegyei régiségtár köréből,” A vasmegyei régészeti-egylet évi jelentése 6 (1878): 31–34 (although misguided by the coins, but otherwise cautious and subtle in his analysis). Soon, however, Lipp changed his mind and suggested an eighth-century date for some of his finds, which ultimately proved correct according to later analyses. Nevertheless, unfortunately he did not specify the considerations which led him to this result. Cf. idem., “Keszthelyi leletek,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 14 (1880) [1881]: 122. Then, in his subsequent studies published after the excavation of several new Roman-era coins, he returned to the fourth- to fifth-century date, cf. idem., A keszthelyi sírmezők (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1884), 51; Idem., Die Gräberfelder von Keszthely (Budapest: Kilian, 1885), 87. For a complete survey of his works and views on this topic, see Gábor Kiss, “A Keszthely-városi avar kori temető kutatásának kezdetei,” Zalai Múzeum 9 (1999): 77–98.

27 József Hampel, “A n. múzeum érem- és régiségosztályának gyarapodása a f. évi julius-november hónapokban,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 14 (1880) [1881]: 349–51 (yet only hesitantly); Idem., “Népvándorláskori temető Mártélyon,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 12 (1892): 422; Géza Nagy, “A régi kunok temetkezése,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 13 (1893): 109–12; Idem., “Magyarország története a népvándorlás korában,” CCXCV–CCIXVI, CCCXXX–CCCXXXII.

28 Hampel, A régibb középkor, 2:22–26.

29 Ibid., 2:20, 26. The origins of this conviction appear to be twofold. On the one hand, some of his considerations seem to be of a typological nature. On the other, some of the cemeteries really were only opened in the seventh century, in other words, at a time at which the available archaeological finds had already been accurately dated by scholars.

30 Ibid., 2:26.

31 Ibid., 2:27.

32 Nagy, “A régi kunok temetkezése,” 111–12, Idem., “Magyarország története,” CCXCVI, CCCXXX–CCCXXXI.

33 Ágost Sőtér, “Csúny,” in A Mosonmegyei Történelmi és Régészeti Egylet Emlékkönyve, 1882–1898: A honfoglalás ezredéves ünnepélyének emlékére, ed. Ágost Sőtér (Magyar-Óvár: Czéh Sándor-féle könyvnyomda, 1898), 123. Though, Bóna’s judgement, according to which “Heute wissen wir, aber auch zu Zeiten Hampels wußten alle diejenige, die selbst die Gräber freigelegt hatten (M. Wosinsky, B. Pósta, Á. Sőtér, E. Kada sowie auch P. Reinecke), daß die Gruppe II die Hinterlassenschaft der späten Awarenzeit des 7. und 8. Jahrhunders umfaßte” is a bit of an exaggeration (Bóna, Das Hunnereich, 222).

34 Ferenc Pulszky, “Rekeszes ötvösség Magyarországon,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 15 (1881): 151–52.

35 For a research history, see Uwe Fiedler, Studien zu Gräberfeldern des 6. bis 9. Jahrhunderts an der unteren Donau. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie, 11 (Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 1992), 106, 319–24.

36 Ferenc Pulszky, A magyarországi avar leletekről. Értekezések a történeti tudományok köréből, III.7 (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1874), 6–10.

37 Cf., e.g., Hampel, “Újabb hazai leletek,” 97; and his “Avar group” in Joseph Hampel, Alterthümer des frühen Mittelalters in Ungarn. 3 vols. (Braunschweig: Vieweg und Sohn, 1905).

38 Cf. n. 23.

39 It is interesting to note, for example, that the overwhelming majority of hundreds of burial assemblages excavated by Vilmos Lipp at various localities in and around Keszthely remained practically undocumented. Consequently, it was impossible to know which objects might have originated from the same grave. This practice left archaeologists unable to separate, among others, the various chronological horizons of a multi-period site.

40 Rómer, “A czakói bronz-edény.”

41 Hampel, “A n. múzeum érem. és régiségosztályának gyarapodása,” 348–49; and see the assemblages collected in his “third group” in Hampel, Alterthümer.

42 In 1893, he still compared stirrups from the late Avar age with “eighth-century and ninth-century Germanic and Norman stirrups.” cf. Nagy, “A régi kunok temetkezése,” 109–10. Two years later he uncertainly explained items similar to the Germanic-type stirrups found in graves defined by him as dating from the Sarmatian period by some Germans among the buried. Cf. Idem., “Magyarország története,” CCCXXXII.

43 Paul Reinecke, “Studien über Denkmäler des frühen Mittelalters,” Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien 29 (1899): 35–52.

44 Ferenc Pulszky, A magyar pogány sírleletek. Értekezések a történeti tudományok köréből, 14 (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1891), 3.

45 Nagy, “A régi kunok temetkezése”; Idem., “A magyarhoni lovassírok,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 13 (1893): 223–34; Idem., “A hunn-avar és magyar pogánykori sírleletek jellemzése,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 13 (1893): 313–23.

46 Idem., “A régi kunok temetkezése,” 115.

47 Ibid., 115–16.

48 Nagy, “Magyarország története,” CCCXXIX, CCCXLVIII–CCCCXLIX.

49 Ibid., CCCLII.

50 Géza Nagy, A skythák: Székfoglaló értekezés. Értekezesek a történeti tudományok köréből, 22 (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1909).

51 Géza Nagy, “Tanulmányok a szumirokról,” Ethnographia 9 (1898): 27–41.

52 For instance, Hampel did not entirely support Nagy’s theory according to which the Scythians were the ancestors of the “Turanian peoples” of the early Middle Ages. However, he also did not indicate that he found it inconceivable. He merely noted that “we cannot establish this continuity on any archaeological basis.” Cf. x.y. [József Hampel], “A skythák: székfoglaló értekezés Nagy Gézától” Archaeologiai Értesítő 29 (1909): 372–73.

53 Cf. Paul Reinecke’s personal experiences with Hampel, mentioned by Paul Reinecke, “Die archäologische Hinterlassenschaft der Awaren,” Germania 12 (1928): 87–88.

54 Cf. p. 22 above and Hampel, Alterthümer, 1:13, 17–23, 790–806.

55 Cf. n. 22 above.

56 Flóris Rómer, “Jelentés az északi tartományokba tett tudományos kirándulásról,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 9 (1875): 9–17, 39–48, 78–81.

57 József Hampel, “A honfoglalási kor hazai emlékei,” in A magyar honfoglalás kútfői, ed. Gyula Pauler and Sándor Szilágyi (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1900), 796.

58 Cf. Gábor János Ódor, “Wosinsky Mór, Tolna megye népvándorlás korának első kutatója,” in Wosisnsky Mór: “… a jeles pap, a kitűnő férfiú, a nagy tudós…” 1854–1907, ed. Attila Gaál (Szekszárd: Wosinsky Mór Megyei Múzeum, 2005), 120–21.

59 Béla Pósta, “Archaeológiai tanulmányok oroszországi gyűjteményekben,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 18 (1898): 246–53, 334–345; Idem., Archaeologische Studien auf russischem Boden, 2 vols. (Budapest–Leipzig: Hornyánszky Viktor–Karl W. Hiersemann, 1905).

60 Concerning the significance of Pósta’s work to the research on the archaeology of the Hun period, see Bóna, Das Hunnenreich, 222.

61 For more on this, see Géza Supka’s recollections from almost three decades later: Géza Supka, “Népvándorlási ötvösség Magyarországon,” A Magyar Nemesfémipar Évkönyve 6 (1930): 22.

62 Ernő Marosi, “Survival or revival? The Nagyszentmiklós treasure in Hungarian art history,” in The Gold of the Avars: The Nagyszentmiklós Treasure, ed. Éva Garam and Tibor Kovács (Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2002), 134–42.

63 Cf. József Hampel, Újabb tanulmányok a honfoglalási kor emlékeiről (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1907).

64 Cf, e.g., Géza Supka, “A ΠΑΝΑΓΙΑ (Panagia) a bizánci érmeken: Adatok a bizánci Mária-típus ikonográfiai fejlődéséhez,” Numizmatika Közlemények 7 (1908): 137–63; Idem., Lehel kürtje (Budapest: Franklin, 1910); Idem., “Archaeologiai kutatások a külföldön: A «közelebbi kelet» a középkorban,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 32 (1912): 418–35.

65 Cf. Géza Supka, “Motívumvándorlás a korábbi középkorban,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 34 (1914): 1–19, 89–110, 184–203; Idem., “Streifzüge unter alttürkischer Fahne,” Ostasiatische Zeitschrift 3 (1914/1915): 112–18; Idem., “Kulturwissenschaftliche Voraussetzungen einer Orientextension Ungarns,” Österreichische Monatsschrift für den Orient 41 (1915): 77–88.

66 Zoltán Felvinczi Takács, “Kölcsönhatások a távol Kelet művészetében,” Turán 1 (1913): 170–77.

67 Géza Supka, “Buddhistische Spuren in der Völkerwanderungskunst,” Monatshefte der Kunstwissenschaft 10 (1917): 217–37.

68 Idem., “A magyarországi hún-uralom néhány érememléke,” Archaeologiai Értesítő 35 (1915): 224–37.

69 Cf. Idem., “Motívumvándorlás a korábbi középkorban.”

70 For their works of ground-breaking importance, their most important and still valid findings, and their general place in the research history of the Hun-age archaeological record, see Bóna, Das Hunnenreich, 222–23.

71 Cf., e.g., Zoltán Felvinczi Takács, “Chinesisch-hunnische Kunstformen,” Izvestia na Bălgarskia Arheologicheski Institut 3 (1935): 194–229; Idem., “Mittelasiatische Spätantike und ‘Keszthelykultur’,” Jahrbuch der asiatischen Kunst 2 (1925): 60–68; Idem., “Some Chinese Elements in the Art of the Early Middle Ages of the Carpathian Basin,” East and West 11 (1960): 121–34.

72 For more on this phenomenon, see Ádám Bollók, Ornamentika a 10. századi Kárpát-medencében: Formatörténeti tanulmányok a magyar honfoglalás kori díszítőművészethez (Budapest: MTA BTK Régészeti Intézet, 2015), 29–49.

73 For more on this process, see the concise summary of Bóna, Das Hunnereich, 223.

74 For an overview of the history of the research, see Ilona Kovrig, Das awarenzeitliche Gräberfeld von Alattyán, Archaeologia Hungarica, 40 (Budapest: Ungarisches Nationalmusum, 1963), 224–27.

75 Gustaf Kossina, Die deutsche Vorgeschichte, eine hervorragend nationale Wissenschaft (Leipzig: Curt Kabitzsch Verlag, 1912).

Volume 5 Issue 2 CONTENTS

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Filip Tomić

The Institutionalization of Expert Systems in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia

The Founding of the University of Zagreb as the Keystone of Historiographic Professionalization, 1867–1918

 

In this paper, I analyze the founding of the University of Zagreb as the “top of the pyramid” in an attempt to create a modern national educational system within the framework of the general process of building a modern social order in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia in the second half of the nineteenth century. I focus in particular on the founding of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb and its history chairs. The establishment of these chairs was crucial for the legitimate scientific grounding of Croatian national historiography. Through its sanctioned expert systems, these chairs then had the potential to exert a decisive influence on narratives of “Croatian” history and the creation and reproduction of discourse on the Croatian nation.

Keywords: University of Zagreb, nineteenth century, historiography, modernization, expert system

 

Introduction

The construction of the concept of a nation and its right to a given territory, a process which includes the general periodization of national history and the crafting of a shared interpretation of this history, the classification of groups of people into the categories “us,” “those close to us,” and “others,” or, put simply, the creation of nation-centric history, is doubtlessly linked to the fundamental transformation of the entire social order of the nineteenth century, which we usually call “modern.” The creation of an educational system with national characteristics is an exceptionally important component of the social order and forms of social organization, not only as a product of the prevailing order, but also as an important element of its (re)production and further symbolic construction, in which academia play an important role due to its halo of autonomy and claims of objectivity. In this paper, I consider the importance of the formation of modern national historical scholarship in Croatia (more precisely Croatia and Slavonia) in the second half of the nineteenth century, the creation of narratives of national history, and the emergence of a discourse on the Croatian nation as a pivotal element of the organization of life in the past, present, and visions of the future. In doing so, I try to identify both the peculiarities of above mentioned processes in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia within the Habsburg realm and their congruence with general international social processes. Before undertaking the latter task, I must stress some interpretative and theoretical pillars of my inquiry.

John Burrow offers a provocative analysis of the process of the professionalization of historiography as a discipline as part of the broader process of professionalization and specialization, which is an inevitable response to the rapid growth of knowledge and which was in turn both the cause and effect of the ideal of research. The natural sciences were in the lead in this context, and other disciplines sought to follow their example. Despite being an ancient intellectual discipline, history lacked a solid foundation in university education until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when its usefulness in the education of statesmen and public officials and the promotion of patriotism, national consciousness, and national unity became apparent.1 At that time, history was adapted to the growing bureaucratization of society, which also influenced the organization of education and even research. Paid education and research professionals created, as was expected of men at their positions, a consensus on the research standards of each discipline (as a qualification for attaining academic positions) and the presentation of the findings of this research, and they also stressed that maintaining a serious and neutral tone was strictly necessary.2 Most historians considered these priorities self-evident, and it seemed that history, having received professional recognition and organization, had found its identity, which was expressed through the rhetoric of “science”: history, properly applied, was an objective and aggregate form of knowledge, the sum of the results of the work of professionals. It was reasonable to expect no further revolutions, since it is impossible to be more scientific than science, especially since history lacked an all-encompassing theory, apart from a general directive for critical rigor.3 Burrow’s understanding relates to theoretical notions of Anthony Giddens, who emphasizes the distinctive and discontinuous character of modernity, its radical historicity, and the important roles of expert systems in it. In his view, with the development of modern institutions “history,” as a systematic appropriation of the past in order to form a future, gains a fundamentally new impetus, and though it is subjected to various interpretations, through recombinations of time and space it constitutes a world-history framework for action and experience. As one type of uprooting mechanism intrinsically involved in the development of modern social institutions, “the expert system” is woven into a reflexivity characteristic of modernity. It constantly revisions social practices in light of knowledge of these same practices and continuously generates systemic self-knowledge, thus changing its subject matter.4 I believe that we can legitimately speak of the modern educational system as an expert system, with the university as its primary instance, based on the symbolic authority of science and forming “an established episteme.” We can also speak of an expert system and expert knowledge in the field of historical scholarship, based at modern universities, which participates on the one hand in the production of the distinctiveness of modernity and on the other in the representation of these distinctive social forms of modernity (e.g. the political system of a nation state, the nation) as rooted in history.

With all this in mind, one is perhaps hardly surprised by the fact that the question of institutionalizing the University of Zagreb was of the utmost importance to the group of Croatian intellectual and political elite which based its legitimacy on the goal of modernizing and uniting the Triune Kingdom, especially in view of the efforts to broaden the autonomy of Croatia and Slavonia in the 1860s. But this process was not at all straightforward, as it was situated in the complex context of the political, socio-economic, and cultural restructuring of the Habsburg space in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The Development of the Modern Universities in the Habsburg Realm

After the collapse of the 1848 revolution, the government in Vienna tried to reform the Habsburg Monarchy, which on a basic level was a monarchic community, into a modern, strictly centralized state, held together by unified legal norms, as well as culture and identity. These centralistic undertakings, which also had elements of Germanisation, were likewise apparent in the field of historical scholarship. In 1848, a “history commission” was founded at the Imperial Academy of Sciences (Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste), tasked with the systemic accumulation of sources that would serve as the basis for writing a “national Austrian history,” which would include the histories of parts of the unified Empire.5 Since the Academy, founded in 1847, was supposed to represent a central and supra-regional scholarly institution, the founding of local historical commissions on the level of the entire Monarchy was intended to complement it. However, the needs of the Monarchy’s leadership for historiographic legitimization of the political and social constitution of a modern state was not completely in line with the goals of provincial scientific societies, which were oriented towards the development of the sciences in national languages.6 For example, in the case of Transylvanian learned societies, Borbála Zsuzsanna Török explores how local scholarly life, organized principally along ethnic and political allegiances in the multicultural setting, at the same time encompassed adaptations of international trends and practices of scholarship to local conditions, as well as mutual communication, the circulation of ideas, and the transfer of knowledge. Yet, Török warns about the boundaries of knowledge circulation, particularly given the pressures of age of nation-state building (in the mid-nineteenth century), when patriotism and participation in more universal knowledge was reformulated with an emphasis on national cultural affiliations. In the scholarly sphere, this coincided with the reorganization of universities.7

It was precisely in the period of neo-absolutism that the impulse to make historical scholarship more scientific appeared, originating from the center of the Monarchy. In 1854, the Institut für österreichische Geschichtsforschung (Austrian Institute of History Research) was founded at the University of Vienna with the goal of serving as an institutional basis of the aforementioned “national Austrian history.” With its emphasis on the study of modern criticism of sources and the auxiliary sciences of history, it became the center of education for many professional historians throughout the Monarchy and an inspiration for the pursuit of research within national frameworks. The Institute is also a good indicator of the fundamental shift in higher education policy in the Habsburg Monarchy after 1848. Social, political, and technological changes demanded a reform of higher education. The Enlightenment ideals of the free-thinking, Humanist-educated individual also made an impression, so a far-reaching reorganization of the Philosophical Faculty was initiated, elevating it to the same level as the “higher” faculties (of Law, Medicine, and Theology).8 The Humboldtian model was taken as a point of departure, and the universities were reformed from functional places for training public officials, teachers, and priests to places of synergized general education and scientific research.9 Of course, these ideal goals were adapted to the needs of political and social control by the central state authorities, and this was reflected in the efforts to make the universities remain primarily Catholic, conservative, and loyal to the Monarchy. However, according to Jan Surman, it was precisely the inclusion of the faculties of philosophy into the university on equal terms that led to their cultural particularity and the intensification of national conflicts.10 Humanist disciplines were the basis for the process of cultural revival. This also changed the character of university education, which, through the implementation of an organic cultural-educational paradigm with universities as the pivotal institutions in the educational process, paved the way to cultural conflicts. A strong Humanist commitment changed the function of universities in the public sphere and they thus became the main producers of cultural norms, which potentially led to conflicts at a time when culture was becoming increasingly nationally codified.11 Universities started adopting this orientation with the fall of neo-absolutism, which did not bring an end to the efforts to transform the Monarchy into a functional modern state, but which did compel the Monarchy’s leadership to introduce some form of decentralization.

In an account of the Monarchy’s dualist conception of 1867, Robin Okey claims that the rationale on which it was founded combined dynastic loyalty with the principle of German liberal hegemony in Austria and Magyar liberal hegemony in Hungary.12 Yet, politics in the Monarchy was tied up with the nationality question in one way or another,13 and though German economic and cultural power influenced all parts of Monarchy, it proved unable to fashion a supra-national identity. So, integration failed and the history of Dualist Austria became a study in the erosion of German liberal hegemony and the emancipation of the non-German nationalities from it, which contributed significantly to the development of fully structured and culturally cohesive Slav communities increasingly resentful of their subaltern role.14 This does not mean that a series of fluid and manifold personal and collective identifications ceased to exist; various political and social conceptions of the Monarchy were an outgrowth of this phenomenon, making the distinction between monarchic and national anything but straightforward. However, a new type of politics was emerging, in which the language of national sentiment, political rights, and culture would become more and more common,15 directed (in the terms of social stratification) in the territorial units of the empire much more from “top down.”16 This process was also reflected at the universities, which acquired the dual role of educating loyal citizens and fostering their cultural identity. This often, though not necessarily, led to contradictions.17

The process of building national cultural spaces in Cisleithania was reflected at universities first through the introduction of national languages and history, followed by the introduction of “national” languages at universities. However, only those universities with the prerequisite political and institutional basis could reach this level. For example, the universities in Cracow and L’viv in Galicia were Polonised in 1869 (though L’viv was bilingual until 1879, when Polish became the sole official language there). Both of them had a tradition stretching back to the Vormärz period and now also enjoyed the support of the factually autonomous status Galicia had within the Cisleithanian half of the Empire from the 1870s. The University of Chernivtsi was founded in 1875 with German as its official language and with the ideological goal of attracting the Ruthenians to the “political Austrian nation” and influencing education in the neighboring Romanian lands. Chairs in the Ruthenian and Romanian languages were established at this university.18 The University of Prague was, after a brief bilingual period, divided into two universities in 1882, with German being the official language of one and Czech the official language of the other.

Despite the ongoing process of concentrating on linguistic and cultural affinities as the main mechanisms of self-identification at Cisleithanian universities from the 1860s, which also resulted in more employees being drawn from the respective linguistic communities, attempts were made to maintain administrative, political, and “ideological” continuity with conservatism and Catholicism as the main ideological values within academic life.19 At the Germanophone universities (Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Chernivtsi) this was (alongside the general emphasis placed on the importance of criticism of sources as the methodological basis of scientific historical scholarship) characteristic of the chairs in Austrian history, which were interpretatively pan-Austrian, pro-Habsburg, and pro-Catholic. Chairs in Polish history were established at Galician universities (in Cracow in 1869, in L’viv in 1881) and became rivals in their interpretations of national history. Concentrating on the neuralgic spot of Polish national history (the disintegration and division of the Polish Commonwealth in the eighteenth century), the interpretation of the “Cracow school” implied that the loyalist pro-Habsburg discourse served as a guarantee that Polish nationhood would be preserved. Thus, the Cracow school earned itself the label “clerical-conservative.” On the other hand, the “L’viv school” considered itself more “progressive,” placing a greater emphasis on the influence of imperial geopolitics on the partition of Poland and thereby implying more emphatically the need for Polish independence.20 Thus, these two “schools” expressed general uncertainty about the definition of the Polish nation and its national territory, as well as any affirmation of the possibility of building a modern Polish state. The University of Prague was also becoming the central place for the professionalization of Czech national historical scholarship, especially after 1882, developing towards rigorous critical objectivity. Yet, intra-national turmoil and discussions on the position of Czech culture and the shape of the “national idea” found expression in historiographical national narratives derived from differing interpretations of essentialities, the turning points in Czech history, and their importance for the present.21

In the other part of Dualist Monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary, from the dominant Magyar perspective there was no denying that the nationalities were a reality or that Hungary should be a national state, not an ethnic federation.22 Eventually, successes made in the name of the unitary Hungarian “political nation” had prevented an accommodation with national minority movements, which had become more embittered. In the scholarly realm, developments after 1867 were similar, reflecting general reforms with dominant national flavor. During the period of neo-absolutism, the University of Budapest underwent reforms similar to the reforms at the Cisleithanian universities, but from 1861 Hungarian became the official language of the university (it would also become the official language of the University of Cluj/Kolozsvár, founded in 1872, and the universities in Bratislava/Pozsony and Debrecen, founded on the eve of World War I). Together with other scholarly institutions (the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, various associations of historical scholarship), they represented the pillars of the professionalization of historical science, which went from the predominantly national romantic historiographic accounts of the Vormärz period to the more specialized, scientifically elaborate and methodologically source based historical scholarship of the later nineteenth century. Nevertheless, the majority of the Hungarian historiography was anchored in a national master narrative reflecting the dominance of the Magyar conception of the Hungarian national state.23

Regarding the developments in the Transleithanian part of the Monarchy, the only exception to this general trend was the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia and the University of Zagreb. The development of its internal autonomy, scholarly institutions, and in particular historical scholarship is the topic of subsequent sections of this essay.

The Making of the First Institution of Historical Scholarship in Croatia

In Civil Croatia (Banska Hrvatska), the foundations for the construction of a Croatian nation as a modern political and cultural community were laid down in 1835–47. The basis of Croatian nationalism was broadened among various social groups (nobles, bourgeoisie, clergy, and military officers).24 This political movement managed to resolve (not without support from court policy in the 1840s) several decades-long disagreements and conflicts between the Hungarian and Croatian diets regarding Croatia’s municipal rights by adding considerations of cultural loyalties and inclinations and fashioning a program for the creation of an autonomous political entity (the Triune Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia) based on a liberal civil social order. The most important points of this program include demands for the introduction of the “national language” on all levels of education, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, support for education, and, specifically, the founding of the University of Zagreb.25 The effects of the turbulent events of 1848/49 and the short-lived unification of the Triune Kingdom in the person of the ban (viceroy) Josip Jelačić (1801–59),26 which was effectively nullified by the introduction of Viennese centralism and the neo-absolutist system in the early 1850s, remained a useful source for visions of the nation state and the national community in the subsequent decades.

During the neo-absolutist regime, legitimation of national individuality was constrained to the cultural sphere, which was also strictly regulated and supervised by authorities. The foundation of the Society of Yugoslav History and Antiquities in 1850 represented the first systematic push towards scientific (source collection, critical approach) historical scholarship. The Society equally emphasized the need for the “pragmatic” aspect of historical scholarship, and it saw history as an ideological and scientific legitimization of Croatian national particularity and its South Slavic frame.27 As Society sponsor ban Jelačić remarked at a Society assembly in 1852, the history of each nation was to be considered its baptismal certificate and an indicator of its place among humanity. Similarly, Ivan Kukuljević (1816–89), the Society’s chairman, reminded his audience that one of the goals of the Society’s historical research was to awaken in the people a grasp of and yearning for their national heritage and, in doing so, to help them understand themselves and thus give them pointers for the future. He placed emphasis on Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia as the regions that were “closest” to the Croat nation, but he also noted the importance of the Yugoslav “homeland.”28 Therefore, the Society was forced by the authorities to make several changes to its regulations and was given final approval by the Ministry of Internal Affairs only in 1857.29

Although the conditions for professional historical scholarship in Civil Croatia began to develop in the 1850s, reflecting general trends from abroad and also impulses from within the Monarchy, it was only in the 1870s that its organizational foundations were laid through the systematic publishing of historical sources and research findings and the creation of the institutional framework necessary for the education of professional historians. The former was made possible by the foundation of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences, which provided firm logistical support for professional scholarship. The latter was made possible by the foundation of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb.

The Construction of a Croatian National Historical Narrative
and the Question of the Foundation of the University

After the collapse of neo-absolutism in the Habsburg Monarchy, the Croatian Sabor (Parliament) was convened in 1861. Many contemporaries believed it to be a continuation of the Sabor of 1848, which had laid the foundations of the legal basis of the post-feudal order. At that session, the Croatian state ideology had been systematically formulated. These formulations, with certain minor modifications, remained the ideological foundation of the right of the Croatian nation to statehood, even after the Croatian-Hungarian Compromise of 1868. This ideology was based on the notion that Croatian historical state rights had survived uninterrupted over the centuries and that the “constitution” of the Triune Kingdom had a historical continuity which could be traced to the time of the “national kings”30 in the early Middle Ages.

While the main interest of historical research in the first half of the nineteenth century was the defense of the nobility’s “municipal rights” in the kingdoms of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia, historical scholarship in the second half of the nineteenth century appeared as a modern discipline one of the goals of which was to further the efforts of Croatian politics to preserve political autonomy and encourage individuals to actively affirm Croatian identity as a modern nation.31

One of the main initiators of this new direction was Franjo Rački (1828–94), a man who was also the main formulator of the basic tenets of the ideological foundation of the Croatian nation state in 1861. In his historiographic work, Rački devoted most of his energies to research on early medieval Croatian history in order to prove the historically deep-rooted nature of Croatian statehood, the distinctness of the Croatian people, and their strong connections with other South Slavs (as was typical for nineteenth-century Croatian historians). Following European role models in regard to the scientific writing of history, he nonetheless strongly linked it to national ideology. Called the first Croatian professional historian,32 this long-time president of the Yugoslav Academy and founder of several journals and editor of compilations of historical sources as important instruments of the professionalization of humanist disciplines can be placed within the main trajectory of the development of Central European national historiographies in the mid-nineteenth century. Having received an education in the auxiliary historical sciences in Rome, Rački, in addition to placing emphasis on the criticism of historical sources and unbiased writing, believed that history should construct national narratives with the goal of righting present-day injustices and accomplishing desirable political goals. As Monika Baár determined in her comparative analysis, historians belonging to that generation in East Central Europe were involved in promoting a unified national culture, ascribed an educational purpose to history, tended to depict the nation as a victim of historical injustices, and considered progress—which was usually linked to divine providence—inseparable from national freedom, which was proved through the study of history, i.e. by showing the antiquity, unity and uniqueness of the national community and the historical continuity of its culture, including its political culture.33 For example, Rački idealized the values of the old Croatian state and its alleged democratic institutions, which stemmed from the characteristics of the Slavic family of peoples, which were distinct from the Germanic or Romanic peoples. Feudalism, which was contrary to Christian and Slavic morals, was to blame for the weakening of Croatian statehood, because it separated the nobility from the people. The nobility thus fell prey to a foreign “spirit,” while the national consciousness of the peasant masses almost completely disappeared. Rački taught Croats that their very existence would be threatened unless they maintained their Slavhood, and he was convinced that the state union of Hungary and Croatia had separated the Croats from other South Slavs and thus ruined Croatian statehood.34 By encouraging the writing of overviews of Croatian history, Rački expressed his belief that a complete Croatian history could only be written by a nationally conscious individual (i.e. not a foreigner), and that “national consciousness, criticism and science should be married in a national historian.”35 He also warned that, for the survival and future development of the Croatian nation, work should have been undertaken immediately to elevate the arts and sciences in Croatia to a level comparable to that of the most developed nations of Europe, while at the same time maintaining the characteristics of intellectual endeavor among Croatians which were an expression of the national “spirit.” Otherwise, the Croatian people, who according to Rački were exposed to the hegemonic aspirations of the culturally developed Germans and Italians, would in time disappear from the stage of history.36

The beliefs of people like Rački were strongly present among the political class, which had by then clearly defined itself as “Croatian” and had clearly expressed its political goals and influenced the efforts of the Sabor to reform many areas of social life, including education. Their goal, frequently emphasized in the Sabor, was to secure both the “material” and “spiritual” development of “our people,” and the first steps towards this were the reorganization of the absolutist educational system in a manner appropriate to the “national spirit” and the founding of the University of Zagreb as the “crown of national education.”37 The bishop of Đakovo, Josip Juraj Strossmayer (1815–1905), offered public support for the founding of the University of Zagreb through his inspired speech in the Sabor, together with a monetary donation. Strossmayer was one of the leading members of the People’s Party (Narodna Stranka) and the most important patron of cultural institutions in Croatia in the second half of the nineteenth century. His speech in the Sabor encompassed all the tropes and standard discursive motifs of the “Croatian” political, intellectual, cultural and scientific fields and their meeting points in the second half of the nineteenth century.38 Stressing the importance of enlightenment and education as “spiritual goods” more important than “material riches,” in his speech the bishop explicitly spoke of the challenges faced by the Croatian people, who found themselves in a peripheral area of a great empire which had the aspiration of casting itself as a national community. History, he said, had been unjust and merciless towards a community which had belonged to a circle of advanced nations. Its territory had been torn apart and estranged from its former cultural achievements, the Croatian nation had the historical right and spiritual capacity to restore its former glory. Its position on the periphery and crossroads of great empires gave it a chance to unite with its “brothers” and spread modern European Christian civilization to the southeast of Europe. An important role in this was to be played by education and science. The implicit tension in Strossmayer’s statement is the relationship between the “Croatian” and the “Yugoslav,” a relationship about which he offers no definitive conclusions. Also, as not surprising in the Habsburg context, he gave no clear indication of the aspirations of his “tribal” brothers “on the other side” for unity or connection, appealing merely to the tradition of the Croatian right to statehood and the potential of Zagreb as a modern cultural center of the Yugoslav world.

In the subsequent sessions of the Sabor, as the efforts to found a university became more concrete, Strossmayer’s enthusiastic words gave way to more prosaic formulations. Thus, Pavao Muhić (1811–97),39 when presenting the legal basis of the university formulated by a committee elected for that purpose, devoted most of this time to describing the inadequacy of higher education in Croatia, which was limited to the practical education of state officials, while higher education institutions would “be an instrument of all-round and thorough higher education, which is only possible at a university.”40 Muhić didn’t fail to mention how the founding of the university and the advancement of the sciences were imperatives in a world in which others had already achieved significant scientific-technological advancements, and he went on to repeat Strossmayer’s view of Zagreb’s university as a potential bridge towards the Ottoman lands, concluding that

 

[n]o matter how the legacy of the Sick Man of the Bosporus [the Ottoman Empire] is divided, whether some of the Yugoslav lands end up under the Croatian–Hungarian crown as we wish them to, or whether they are left to an uncertain fate, it shall remain our noble and most high duty to spread the culture and civilization of Europe, cleansed of the western mold, to the nations which are part of our body, blood of our blood.41

Strossmayer’s and Muhić’s geopolitical ambitions even found a place in the final address to the ruler, albeit in a somewhat humbler form.42 This also illustrates the liberal-minded nature of the 1861 Sabor, which was held at a time when the Habsburg authority had weakened, but not nearly enough to prevent it from dissolving the Sabor, which left most of the Sabor’s provisions, including those on the founding of a university, without the ruler’s sanction. The ruler’s permission for the founding of the two institutions, the Academy and the University, which the political and social elite in Croatia, particularly the part of it that advocated the unification of the Triune Kingdom and national autonomy with the characteristics of statehood, considered of special national interest and honor, had to wait until the crystallization of the new constitutional framework of the state, which appeared following the Austro–Hungarian Compromise of 1867. Apart from the Unionists, for whom this arrangement guaranteed that Croatia and Slavonia would have to define their relationship with the Kingdom of Hungary clearly on the principles of a relatively narrow provincial autonomy, the other political groups in Croatia were disappointed by this turn of events. However, it was only under these circumstances that the barriers to the founding of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences were removed. It was formally established in 1867, but, despite its name, was largely devoid of “Yugoslav” content. Its declared purpose at the 1861 Sabor was to support the arts and sciences on the “Slavic South” among Croats, Serbs, Slovenians, and Bulgarians, i.e. to offer a scientific interpretation of the state, social, and intellectual life of the “Yugoslav nations,” with the ambition of bringing together all the better “minds” of the Slavic South into a single scientific organization.43 However, the rules that eventually were sanctioned changed these aims into mere stress on the general tendency to cultivate sciences and arts, especially the “Yugoslav” language and “Yugoslav” literature, while its ordinary members were to be “impeccable Austrian citizens,” i.e. not those living in Yugoslav lands outside the Monarchy.44 Similar political occurrences delayed the sanctioning of the legal basis of the founding of the University of Zagreb. While the ruler gave his sanction to the draft of the legal basis in 1869, political infighting between the Unionists and the People’s Party delayed the sanctioning of the final document until 1874. At this time, the People’s Party and ban Ivan Mažuranić were in power, and they intensified the modernization reforms with a liberal orientation. In the numerous declarations, from the Austro–Hungarian Compromise to the founding of the University itself, one no longer finds grand plans for a “Yugoslav” university in Zagreb as the central institution of higher education of all the South Slavs that would have fulfilled the visions of Strossmayer and Muhić. The rudiments of such a goal can be seen in some of Rački’s speeches,45 but the basic tone of all these discussions had a more pragmatic character, aimed at the eventual founding of an institution of higher education within the frame of the self-governing territorial unit of Croatia and Slavonia. Eventually, even the idea of calling the University “Yugoslav” was rejected in the name of pragmatism and realism. It was named the University of Francis Joseph I, i.e. the name became an expression of loyalty, not difference.46

The Founding of the University as a Factor in the Development of Croatian Historiography

The reformist practices of Mažuranić’s government in the year in which the University was founded included the enacting of a law on primary education, which laid the foundations of the entire educational pyramid and created the conditions for the construction of an educational system which allowed functional differentiation in the field of education. It thus was an important step forward in the further creation of a modern civil society.47 Contemporaries saw the year 1874 as the final point at which “the progress of the Croatian nation was raised to such a level that, in the sense of education, they can rightly be counted not only among the first nations in the Slavic south, but among the most cultured nations in general.”48 During the opening of the University, its first rector, Matija Mesić (1826–78), who also became the first professor of Croatian history in the Faculty of Philosophy, expressed similar feelings in his long speech, in which he also spoke of the history of the Croatian people and their continued aspirations for the founding of a university.49 Mesić said that the Croats had settled in their current homeland as a national group that had already taken form, whose cultural transformation was marked by Christianization and Enlightenment in the Slavic spirit through the saints Cyril and Methodius. Slavic cooperation had been broken by the Christian schism, so “its [the nation’s] cultural life then followed two different courses: the Croats, together with their Slovenian kin, were left under the influence of the West, while their Serb neighbors stood under the influence of the Byzantine East.”50 Thereafter, Mesić limited himself to presenting the basic flow of Croatian history, which he did according to the interpretation which by then had become canonical. According to this interpretation, the Croats had been raising their level of education until the centuries-long caesura caused by the Ottoman conquests, when they were forced to devote their energies to the defense of the Christian world, neglecting the development of their education and science. The seed of institutions of higher education reappeared in the seventeenth century, but they did not reach acceptable levels of development until, “in the fourth decade of our century, the spirit of the times and the danger which threatened our homeland gave rise to a select circle of Croatia’s sons,”51 who awoke the “consciousness” and “pride” of the nation. After many decades of struggle, their efforts to found a university were fulfilled when Mesić held his speech, and now the university not only served as an institution for the education of government officials, but also was charged with the task of

 

nurturing the general educational sciences, considering science to be an end in itself, [since] science is not only the characteristic of one nation, but the common treasure of all mankind, our university shall build upon the great achievements that have been made over the ages, especially in the recent times, thanks to the activity of man’s spirit. The duty of the scholar shall, however, be to refer to the individual nature and character of his nation, to research and test its people and its views on the world and man, and the conditions in which he lives.52

 

Mesić eventually returned to Strossmayer’s visions and expressed his hope that the newly-opened University, as “the shrine of science and education,” would spread its boons throughout the Balkans and thus fulfill the mission which history had accorded the Croatian people, “to be the intermediary between the progressive West and the backward East.”53

The University of Zagreb was divided into three faculties, the Faculties of Law, Theology, and Philosophy; the latter included two sections, one for the philosophical-historical sciences and another for the mathematical-natural sciences.54 Within the Faculty of Philosophy, chairs in universal history and Croatian history (with special consideration of Austrian and Hungarian history) were established. These chairs were completed by a seminar on the auxiliary sciences of history (a separate chair was founded in 1908). The chairs in history tried to implement the modern imperatives related to the organization of the curriculum and research, basing historical inquiry methodologically on the factual and source-oriented research ideal and epistemologically on the “genealogical concept.” Burrows’s theories on the organization and institutionalization of higher education as being congruent with the tendencies of the general construction of the modern social order explain quite well how this expert system was legitimized. Faculties became a place of instituting55 (creating new academics), but also of the selection and hierarchization of cadres in the educational pyramid. The rules prescribed the enrolment and duties of the faculty and students, and the evaluation committees reviewed dissertations, habilitations, and applications to fill vacant professorial posts. Thus, in the period before 1918, 17 doctoral dissertations were written, the main topic of which was related to subjects from general or Croatian history, and numerous dissertations were written dealing primarily with the fields of philology, Slavonic studies, the history of philosophy, geography, etc. This contributed to the creation of a Croatian cultural space and Croatian history, situating it within a broader geopolitical and socio-cultural context and forming and rooting contemporary Croatian identity.56 In addition, university professors, as top-ranking experts, were also competent to serve on commissions that appointed secondary school teachers.57 It could be said that a “truly Croatian” historical scholarship was established only once it had joined the general process of scientification and experts had emerged as agents of this development.

Three Distinguished Historians

Three professors of history were particularly prominent in the 1874–1918 period due to their public activities, reputations, and influence. They were Tadija Smičiklas, Vjekoslav Klaić, and Ferdo Šišić, and they still occupy prominent positions in the Croatian historiographic canon. They are particularly significant due to their overviews of Croatian history, which had a deep impact on the approach to research, narrativisation, and interpretations of the history which was understood as the history of the “Croatian people” and the “Croatian” lands.

Through his academic path and public and political activity, Tadija Smičiklas (1843–1914) represented a sort of role model of the Croatian national bourgeoisie and scholarly elite, even to his contemporaries. Educated at the Faculty of Philosophy in Vienna and having graduated in the field of auxiliary sciences of history at the Austrian Institute of History Research, he chose the right moment to appear on the intellectual and scientific scene with his long-awaited synthesis, a two-volume History of Croatia (1879–82). Fulfilling the general wish of the intellectual elite of every “emancipator” nation (to use Baár’s term) for a “complete history of the nation,” Smičiklas also presented the narrative of this history in a widely-desired “pragmatic” tone with the goal of educating the broader strata of society and presenting an account that resonated with current events.58 The work garnered him much attention, both among valued predecessors such as Rački, who lauded both his scientific merits and his patriotic spirit, and successors such as Šišić, who emphasized that few scholarly books were as widely read as this one, which “also strongly affected consciousness-raising and the desperate resistance and struggle of the people in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.”59 He also won other forms of recognition, such as honorary citizenship of Zagreb, Karlovac, and Varaždin.60 In addition, it was precisely this book that, together with his Viennese diploma, was of crucial importance for his appointment as professor at the Chair of Croatian History of the University of Zagreb in 1882.61 Until his death in 1914, Smičiklas served as a professor, president of Matica hrvatska, and president of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was also the person who set in motion the publishing of important historical sources in an edition known as the Codex diplomatics regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae. He also actively participated in politics as a parliamentary representative of the Independent People’s Party in the 1880s and 1890s, with the goal of opposing ban Károly Khuen-Héderváry’s Hungary-friendly regime. Smičiklas thus positioned himself among the top history experts of his time, and he became an important person for the cultural and political development of the modern Croatian nation, whose ideological outlooks on the era were in line with historiographic interpretations. Thus, in the tradition of the People’s Party of the 1860s and 1870s and led by the visions of Strossmayer and Rački, he developed a periodization of Croatian history from which the historical rights-based argumentation for the unification of the Triune Kingdom was derived on a political level and from which the distinctiveness of the Croatian people as a social whole, albeit ethnically substantially linked to other South Slavs, was derived on a cultural level. In the more down-to-earth context of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Smičiklas’s synthesis was clearly seen as an argument for granting greater autonomy to the part of Croatia under the Hungarian crown. Therefore, his narrative of the fourth epoch of Croatian history (from 1700 on) and the dangers of German centralization efforts highlighted the negative role of Hungarian nationalism.

 

The Croats, being rather weak, found strength [in opposition to Hungarian nationalism] in the Slavic idea. If the Hungarians, seeing their tribe alone among great nations, strongly and bravely gave their people the goal of spreading as far as possible, then the Croats started to feel that they were a living part of a large nation, that they had brothers. It is through the Slavic idea that Croatia was reborn.62

Smičiklas reaches the significant conclusion: “Researching the new contacts and conflicts that will be born of it, or whether we are approaching the fifth epoch of Croatian history, is not our goal.”63

Smičiklas’s main rival for the position of professor at the Chair for Croatian history in 1882 was Vjekoslav Klaić (1849–1929). Another Viennese student, Klaić became a publically respected historian and geographer as a secondary school (gymnasium) teacher. In 1878, he replaced the deceased Matija Mesić as substitute professor at the Chair for Croatian History. Although he didn’t manage to attain a permanent position as professor in 1882, he was appointed professor at the Chair for General History in 1893, and in the meantime worked as assistant professor (Privatdozent) of the Geography of South Slavs. Active both in the field of historiography and geography and authoring a range of works, from syntheses to school textbooks and works intended for the broader public,64 Klaić strove to build the foundations of the historiographic and geographic imagination of the Croatian national space, extending it to Bosnia and Herzegovina more resolutely than his other colleagues. As a university professor and member of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences (1896), Klaić maintained his status of a distinguished scholar, occasionally feeling himself invited to participate in political discussions, based on his authority as a historian.65 His outlook was grounded primarily in the traditional conceptions of the Party of Rights and the real position of Croatia, and he emphasized historical state rights as the basis for securing the autonomous position of Croatia within the Monarchy. Klaić was also preoccupied with Croatian historical state rights in his scientific work, which culminated in a five-volume History of the Croats (1899–1911), but only covered the period up to 1608. Despite the fact that Klaić never completed his overview of early modern and modern history, parts of his work which concern the High Middle Ages still attract the attention of historians today, but its contemporary mass reception was even more significant. His work was republished several times, and the editions from the 1970s are a ubiquitous feature of all second-hand book shops and an almost symbolic example of Croatian historiography present in many private libraries in Croatia today. His skillful narration, which follows the chronological line of history, and his discourse, which masterfully links major socio-political group identities with past times, have ensured Klaić a place as the ideal choice for historical dilettantes who lazily seek answers to questions about the geographic and social continuities of their national affiliation. From the perspective of this paper, Klaić is not only interesting because of his clear idea of the subject and goal of historiography, but also because of his clear vision of the importance of belonging to a nation, the importance of its continuity and—inevitably in a world made of different nations which have their own interests and goals—its rivals and allies. In accordance with his general socio-political conceptions, he saw the Croats as part of the Slavic world, but he also insisted they had developed a distinct identity it. He contended that over the course of twelve centuries the Croat “remained defiant towards all that seeks to eradicate him and has through unfailing perseverance defended and maintained his name, his individuality and his territory.”66 Croats thus fought against both political and cultural invaders, preserving their independence and particularity within the framework of Christian civilization through their Cyrilomethodic heritage, while politically “[t]he Kingdom of Croatia never ceased living throughout all these centuries: they tore it apart limb by limb, trampled and stunted many of its rights, which had been guaranteed by oaths; but the core of the kingdom remained intact, so that its scattered or stolen remains would always return to it.”67 The oaths to which he referred were given by both the Hungarian and the Habsburg king. The Ottomans invaded, but Klaić actually considered the time in which he was living of crucial importance:

 

But the nineteenth century, the century of nations, pushed the Croatian nation into the fiercest struggle in its history. The struggle is persistent and decisive, since it involves not only the living but also the dead. The knot has been tightened, and God knows what would have happened had it not been cut by the sword of ban Jelačić. The Croatian language was recognized as a diplomatic one only after two wars, and now reigns not only in the peasant’s cottage, but also in the Ban’s Court. Let all those who eat Croatian bread speak and create using the Croatian language [...] The power of the Croatian people to resist was best seen in the originally bloodless, but eventually bloody struggle for nationality. Little Croatia [...] showed the entire world that it lives and is worthy of living. Croatia again refused to fall, but emerged from the struggle stronger and greater than before [...] Dalmatia also ceaselessly calls for unification, which shall come to pass sooner or later; for this is not only the wish of all Croats, but a completely legitimate goal, guaranteed by the newest laws and oaths! Then the Croatian Kingdom shall once again encompass all the territory it possessed in the time of kings Petar Krešimir and Dmitar Zvonimir [...] A great Hungarian patriot at the beginning of our century said of his country: “Hungary was not, but it will be.” And let us say: “Croatia was, it is, and it must remain until the end of time.”68

The influence of the third university professor who tried his hand at writing an extensive overview of Croatian history, Ferdo Šišić (1869–1940), has also persisted up to the present day. His work, An Overview of the History of the Croatian People, was first published in 1916, and it was reissued many times in the following decades. Šišić was already belonged to a generation which had graduated from the University of Zagreb. Although he had spent part of his time as a student in Vienna, he enrolled and graduated in Zagreb, where he also attained his PhD. He also became assistant professor there in 1902 and full professor in 1905, succeeding Smičiklas as the Chair of Croatian History. Unlike Smičiklas or Klaić, Šišić did not write school textbooks or popular history books. Rather, he made substantial contributions as an acclaimed expert in two apparently different areas: historiographic works on the period of “Croatian national rulers” in the early Middle Ages, which garnered him decades-long scientific relevance, and scientific efforts to study recent historical events focusing (with the unavoidable political implications) on Croatian-Hungarian relations, a field in which he was practically a pioneer.69 Of course, in accordance with his focus on “genetic” political history, to which Šišić had remained loyal, his research preoccupations were not contradictory and were actually skillfully combined in his synthesis,70 forming an interpretative academic and national canon that provided arguments for the continuity of the symbols of independent Croatian statehood. In doing this, Šišić followed in the path of Smičiklas, situating his contemporary political reasoning, which was based on historical arguments, within the context of the Habsburg Monarchy, but transcending its borders in a cultural sense, putting Croats in a broader South Slavic context. In the turbulent period of the crisis of Dualism, which was felt in post-Khuen-Héderváry Croatia (after 1903) and marked by political turmoil, Šišić, as a member of the Croatian-Serbian Coalition (winning four elections for Sabor in 1906–1913), remained a member of the Croatian parliament and a member of the delegation to the Hungarian Parliament where, according to the words of his contemporary, the student and later professor Viktor Novak, he spent more time working in the Budapest archives and libraries than participating in the activities of the parliament.71

Conclusion

It is precisely this statement by Novak about Šišić that gives us a characteristic picture of professional Croatian historians in the second half of the long nineteenth century. Parallel to the imperatives of building modern scholarly institutions as constituent parts of the nation-building process in a world of chronic shortages of intellectual forces capable of building a complex national institutional infrastructure (a problem faced by most of the emerging nations of Central and Eastern Europe), the intelligentsia of these regions was inevitably involved in political processes not only on an ideological level, but often also operationally. The often-present discrepancy between the scholarly habitus of individuals and their practical political activities, which left its mark on their reception both in domestic and international circles, stems precisely from these circumstances. However, even in places where conditions for the greater independence of the scholarly and political spheres existed and which for the most part spared scholars from having to “dirty their hands” by wrestling with the contradictions of political work and allowed them to reach the public status of “experts” more safely, the processes of modern nation-building and the institutionalization and professionalization of the scientific and intellectual fields were interwoven. “Croatian” historiographers, under the institutional strength and the officialized authority of the Faculty of Philosophy, legitimizing themselves according to modern standards of research, succeeded in creating an “expert” template for the interpretation of national history, demonstrating (or at least alleging) the continuity of historical political rights and revealing the distinctiveness of the Croatian nation as a political, social, and cultural entity. The devotion to exact learning and the metaphysics which stood behind it were linked by the idea that a historian does not deal in abstractions, but in unique spiritual entities and individualities embodied in the form of states and nations and the condensed texture of their mutual relations.72 The character of the nation constitutes a space of experience that explains individual practical orientation and provides a framework for individual “free choices” to become articulated and socially coherent.73 However, this could not be done in a vacuum, but only in the “Croatian space of experience,” as derived in officialized and “expert” historical scholarship and molded in accordance with international scientific trends of historical scholarship intermediated by the political context of the Habsburg realm and its political and social conflicts, collective dissatisfactions, and divergent interests, but also by the transfer and emulation of scholarly knowledge. These kind of historiographic narrative constructs received their incentive from the basic characteristics of modernity, which I have adapted from Giddens and which allowed the construction of a discourse on the nation, the imagining of its borders, and the concept of belonging to a national community, as well as the derivation of the continuity of its culture and statehood in the context of comparisons of the past and present, in the terms of a unitary, “emptied” time and space, which allowed the clear “detection,” definition, and historical situation of the identity “us” and those who are close to us, as opposed to the “others” and enemies. Regardless of historiographic disputes about certain matters and the differing ideological and political beliefs that adapted historiography to different political and social visions and plans, the template that I have striven to present in this paper has shaped the discursive constitution and institutional organization of the modern social order, into which more and more people were inevitably incorporated over time, and has remained the basis of political and social discourse and activity in the Croatian national space to this day, presenting life in the current political reality and social order as natural, normal, and historically-grounded.

 

Archival Sources

Hrvatski državni arhiv [Croatian State Archive], Fond 502

Arhiv Filozofskog fakultet u Zagrebu [Archive of Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb], Box 3

 

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1 John Burrow, A History of Histories (London: Penguin Books, 2009), 454.

2 Ibid., 455.

3 Ibid., 478.

4 Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996), 1–54.

5 Mario Strecha, “O nastanku irazvoju moderne hrvatske historiografije u 19. stoljeću,” Povijest u nastavi 3 (2005): 106.

6 Jan Jakub Surman, “Habsburg Universities 1848–1918: Biography of a Space” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 2012), 34.

7 Borbála Zsuzsanna Török, Exploring Transylvania: Geographies of Knowledge and Entangled Histories in a Multiethnic Province, 17901918 (Leiden–Boston: Brill, 2016), 1–25.

8 Margret Friedrich, Brigitte Mazohl, and Astrid von Schlachta, “Die Bildungsrevolution,” in Soziale Strukturen: Von der feudal-agrarischen zur bürgerlich-industriellen Gesellschaft, vol. 9/1 of Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918, ed. Helmut Rumplerand and Peter Urbanitsch (Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2010), 92–93.

9 Christophe Charle, “Patterns,” in A History of the University in Europe, ed. Walter Rüegg (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 48, 51.

10 Surman, “Habsburg Universities 1848–1918,” 40.

11 Ibid., 51.

12 Robin Okey, The Habsburg Monarchy c. 1765–1918 (Basingstoke–London: Macmilllan Press, 2001), 194.

13 Lothar Höbelt, “ ‘Well-tempered discontent’: Austrian Domestic Politics,” in The Last Years of Austria–Hungary, ed. Mark Cornwall (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2002), 49.

14 Okey, The Habsburg Monarchy, 195.

15 Fernando Veliz, The Politics of Croatia-Slavonia 1903–1918: Nationalism, State Allegiance and the Changing International Order (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2012), 76.

16 Ibid, 84.

17 Surman, “Habsburg Universities 1848–1918,” 5.

18 Ibid, 155–57.

19 Ibid., 214.

20 Ibid., 311–12.

21 Ibid., 281–89.

22 Okey, The Habsburg Monarchy, 314.

23 István Deák, “Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe: Hungary,” American Historical Review 97, no. 4 (1992): 1041–42, 1045–50.

24 Tomislav Markus, Hrvatski politički pokret 1848.–1849. godine: Ustanove, ideje, ciljevi, politička kultura (Zagreb: Dom isvijet, 2000), 47.

25 Petar Korunić, “Hrvatski nacionalni i politički program 1848./49. godine: Prilog poznavanju porijekla hrvatske nacije i države Hrvatske,” Povijesni prilozi 11 (1992): 231–33.

26 Ban Jelačić conquered Međimurje, the Hungarian Littoral, and Rijeka in 1848. The emperor named him the governor of Rijeka and the civilian and military governor of Dalmatia. With the introduction of the so-called Imposed Constitution of 1849, Rijeka and the Croatian Littoral were united with Croatia and Slavonia, and the unification of Dalmatia with Croatia and Slavonia was also promised. However, attempts to unite the Military Frontier with civil Croatia and Slavonia proved unsuccessful. Mirjana Gross, Počeci modern Hrvatske (Zagreb: Globus, 1985), 15–16.

27 Ibid.

28 “Dodatak: Izvestje o glavnoj skupštini društva ‘za povestnicu I starine jugoslavenske’ dne 2.Veljače god. 1853,”Arkiv za povestnicu jugoslavensku 2, no. 2 (1852): 439–40.

29 Gross, Počeci modern Hrvatske, 427.

30 Mirjana Gross and Agneza Szabo, Prema hrvatskom građanskom društvu (Zagreb: Globus, 1992), 130–31.

31 Strecha, “O nastanku i razvoju modern hrvatske historiografije u 19. stoljeću,” 105–06.

32 Mirjana Gross, Vijek i djelovanje Franje Račkog (Zagreb: Novi liber, 2004), 503.

33 Monika Baár, Historians and Nationalism: East Central Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 46–74.

34 Gross and Szabo, Prema hrvatskom e građanskom društvu 290.

35 Strecha, “O nastanku i razvoju modern hrvatske historiografije u 19. stoljeću,” 107.

36 Ibid., 107.

37 Gross and Szabo, Prema hrvatskom e građanskom društvu, 147–48.

38 Spomenica na svetčano otvaranje Kralj. sveučilišta Franje Josipa I. u Zagrebu, prvoga hrvatskoga, dana 19. listopada 1874 (Zagreb: Dragutin Albrecht, 1875), 5–12.

39 Lawyer and professor of political-cameral sciences at the Zagreb Academy of Law (1850–71); member of the Sabor (1861–66).

40 Spomenica na svetčano otvaranje Kralj. sveučilišta, 13–14.

41 Ibid., 16–17.

42 Ibid., 18–20.

43 Gross and Szabo, Prema hrvatskom e građanskom društvu, 149–50.

44 Ibid., 285.

45 Spomenica na svetčano otvaranje Kralj. sveučilišta, 45–47.

46 All important discussions and acts regarding the process of founding the University can be found in: Ibid., 30–76.

47 Dinko Župan, “Pučkoškolstvo u vrijeme banovanja Ivana Mažuranića” (MA thesis, University of Zagreb, 2002), 107.

48 Spomenica o 25-godišnjem postojanju Sveučilišta Franje Josipa I. u Zagrebu (Zagreb: Tisak Kr. Zemaljske Tiskare, 1900), 2.

49 Mesić’s entire speech can be found in: Spomenica na svetčano otvaranje Kralj. sveučilišta, 80–104.

50 Ibid., 84.

51 Ibid., 94.

52 Ibid., 98–99.

53 Ibid., 101.

54 The Faculty of Medicine became active only in 1918, despite the fact that its legal basis was laid down in 1874.

55 In the sense of Bourdieu’s solemn sanctioning and sanctifying of a certain social difference, which is known and accepted by both the instituted agent and other members of the society and which permanently increases the value of the bearers of state credentials, the prevalence and intensity of the belief in its value. Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 119.

56 Stjepan Damjanović, ed., Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu: Monografija (Zagreb: Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 1998), 325–29.

57 Candidates who wished to hold history lectures had to display a good grasp of chronology, the “pragmatic coherence” of the “major events,” and the “cultural-historical” value of the important periods. They also had to incorporate into “general history” a “detailed and broad” knowledge of “the history of the Austro–Hungarian Monarchy with special regard to Croatian history”. Hrvatski državni arhiv [Croatian State Archive], fond 502: Ispitna komisija zapolaganje stručnih ispita za zvanje profesora srednjih škola Filozofskog fakulteta u Zagrebu, opći spisi, 1882–1889, document No. 12.

58 Baár, Historians and Nationalism, 53.

59 Ferdo Šišić, Povijest Hrvata u vrijeme narodnih vladara (Zagreb: Tisak Narodnih novina, 1925), 20.

60 Zdenka Janeković Römer, “Vjekoslav Klaić na zagrebačkom sveučilištu,” in Vjekoslav Klaić – Život i djelo, ed. Dragan Milanović (Zagreb: Sveučilište u Zagrebu–Hrvatski institute za povijest–Podružnicaza povijest Slavonije, Srijema i Baranje, 2000), 365.

61 Arhiv Filozofskog fakulteta u Zagrebu [Archive of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb], box 3 (1880–1882) - zapisnik IV. sjednice profesorskog zbora mudroslovnoga fakulteta Kr. Sveučilišta Franje Josipa I, držane 13. veljače 1881 [Report of the Fourth assembly of the professorial council of the Philosophical faculty held on February 13, 1881].

62 Tadija Smičiklas, Poviest Hrvatska (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1882), 1:xxxii.

63 Ibid.

64 For example Hrvati i Hrvatska (Zagreb: Dioničkatiskara, 1890); Pripovijesti iz hrvatske povijesti, 3 vols. (Zagreb: Društvo sv. Jeronima, 1886–1891).

65 Stjepan Matković, “Politički rad Vjekoslava Klaića,” in Vjekoslav Klaić–Život i djelo, ed. Dragan Milanović (Zagreb: Sveučilište u Zagrebu–Hrvatski institute za povijest–Podružnica za povijest Slavonije, Srijema i Baranje, 2000), 401–15.

66 Vjekoslav Klaić, Povijest Hrvata (Zagreb: Lav Hartman, 1899), 1:V.

67 Ibid., 1:VI–VII.

68 Ibid., 1:VIII–IX.

69 Ferdo Šišić, Hrvati i Magjari od godine 1790. do 1873. (Zadar: Matica Dalmatinska, 1913); idem., Rijeka i riječko pitanje od godine 1790. do 1870. (Zadar: Matica Dalmatinska, 1913).

70 Ferdo Šišić, Pregled povijesti hrvatskoga naroda (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1916).

71 Stjepan Antoljak, “Ferdo Šišić,” Arhivski vjesnik, 32 (1989): 127.

72 Burrow, A History of Histories, 458–61.

73 Elías José Palti, “The Nation as a Problem: Historians and the ‘National Question’,” History and Theory 40 (2001): 328–29.