Friends or Enemies? Sisterhood in Nineteenth-Century Hungarian Novels and Diaries

Zsófia Kucserka
University of Pécs
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 4  (2020): 650-666 DOI 10.38145/2020.4.650

The study examines two diaries, both written in Hungarian in the mid-nineteenth century by young female authors (Countess Anna Kornis and Antónia Kölcsey). The diaries are approached from the point of view of the interpretations of emotional bonds and relationship patterns offered by the two girls in their descriptions and portrayals of their relationships to their siblings. In the case of Anna Kornis’s diary, I focus on the narrative passages concerning her relationship with her sister. Antónia Kölcsey’s more conflict-ridden relationship with her brother is worth comparing with the relationship between the Kornis sisters. I examine the passages in the two diaries concerning sibling relationships against the backdrop of the paradigm shift familiar from the family history and emotional history secondary literature and the portrayals of sibling relationships in the novels of the period. What kinds of linguistic tools and rhetorical formulae were used to interpret and narrate the emotional content and dynamics of the sibling relationship?

Keywords: nineteenth-century siblinghood, sisterhood, family models, gender order, diaries and familial emotions

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Loving Husbands, Caring Fathers, Glorious Ancestors: Male Family Roles in Early Modern Transylvania

Angelika Orgona
Hungarian National Museum
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 4  (2020): 624-649 DOI 10.38145/2020.4.624
 

The study examines how a Transylvanian nobleman, Gáspár Kornis of Göncruszka (1641–1683), created a narrative concerning four generations of his family. Though in his memoir, a patrilineal lineage scheme dominates, a close reading of scattered family documents also provides insights into the practices of horizontal bonding among relatives. The letters and last wills reflect the life cycle changes and represent emotional relationships among family members. By considering the act of writing as an emotional practice, the essay tests the claims of the memoir with the help of other archival and extratextual sources. What were the narrated roles of heroized protagonists, and what were the everyday duties of noble heads of family in the early modern period? The study depicts the transformations of the family network during crisis situations in the Transylvanian Principality.

Keywords: male family roles, kinship networks, egodocument, generational memory, orphanhood, widowhood, seventeenth-century Transylvania

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Negotiating Widowhood and Female Agency in Seventeenth-Century Hungary

Gabriella Erdélyi
Research Centre for the Humanities
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 4  (2020): 595-623 DOI 10.38145/2020.4.595
 

The case study focuses on the tactics of aristocratic women to negotiate their familial roles and identities primarily as wives and widows. By reading closely the rich family correspondence of the Várdai-Telegdi family in the first half of the seventeenth century and concentrating on the intensive negotiating period between getting widowed and remarrying the study argues that the role of the go-between and the marginal status of women in the patrilineal and patriarchal family created some space for them to maneuver. Moreover, the cultural context of female familial roles and ties (mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, half-sisters) was the female court, which created horizontal and intimate ties between women, which also empowered them.

Keywords: female agency, negotiating female roles, female courts, family network, half-sisters, mother-daughter relationship, emotional practices, letter exchange

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Along the Danube and at the Foothills of the North-Eastern Hungarian Mountains: Some Data on the Distribution of Stone Raw Materials in the Late Iron Age

Zoltán Czajlik
Eötvös Loránd University
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 2  (2020): 331-342 DOI:10.38145/2020.2.331

Stones as raw materials are important environmental resources often found at prehistoric sites. Since their various types essentially retained their original geological features, it is generally relatively easy to identify their origin. Nevertheless, there is hardly any systematic research on late prehistoric stone raw materials. Furthermore, these materials are mentioned very inconsistently and the geological terms, definitions and analyzes are absent from the discussions. The general picture that we can sketch based on secondary literature is therefore mosaic-like. However, it is by no means impossible to identify extraction sites. Based on on-site experience and using modern analyzes, it is possible, for example, to differentiate between individual types of sandstone and andesite. From the perspective of future research, analyzes of late Iron Age stone materials from well-studied archaeological contexts could contribute to understand better how stones as raw materials were used in late prehistoric periods.

Keywords: natural resources, stone raw materials, Carpathian Basin, Iron Age

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Transformations of Metal Supply during the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin

Viktória Kiss*
Research Centre for the Humanities
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 2  (2020): 315-330 DOI:10.38145/2020.2.315

This paper presents recent research questions which have been raised and methods which have been used in the study of Bronze Age metallurgy in connection with available natural resources (ores) in and around the Carpathian Basin. This topic fits in the most current trends in the research on European prehistoric archaeology. Given the lack of written sources, copper and bronze artifacts discovered in settlement and cemetery excavations and prehistoric mining sites provide the primary sources on which the studies in question are based. The aim of compositional and isotope analysis of copper and tin ores, metal tools, ornaments, and weapons is to determine the provenience of the raw materials and further an understanding of the chaine operatiore of prehistoric metal production. The Momentum Mobility Research Group of the Institute of Archaeology, Research Centre for the Humanities studies these metal artifacts using archaeological and scientific methods. It has focused on the first thousand years of the Bronze Age (2500–1500 BC). Multidisciplinary research include non-destructive XRF, PGAA (promptgamma activation), TOF-ND (time-of-flight neutron diffraction) analyses and neutron radiography, as well as destructive methods, e.g. metal sampling for compositional and lead isotope testing, alongside archaeological analysis. Microstructure studies are also efficient methods for determining the raw material and production techniques. The results suggest the use of regional ore sources and interregional connections, as well as several transformations in the exchange network of the prehistoric communities living in the Carpathian Basin.

Keywords: Copper Age, Bronze Age, metallurgy, scientific analysis, exchange networks

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Dendrochronology and Environmental History: The Difficulties of Interpretation

András Grynaeus
Hungarian Dendrochronological Laboratory
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 2  (2020): 302-314 DOI:10.38145/2020.2.302

The study provides insights into questions concerning forest management and timber use by drawing on case studies in the dendrochronological research which has been underway over the course of the past couple of decades in Hungary. The essay refers to natural resource-use and historical and demographic questions which arose in analyses of the wooden materials. The study questions some of the topoi of historical research, such as the immense forest loss traditionally associated with the Ottoman wars.

Keywords: dendrochronology, Hungary, forest resources, Ottoman wars, environmental history

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Millennial Record of Earthquakes in the Carpathian-Pannonian Region: Historical and Archaeoseismology

Miklós Kázmér and Erzsébet Győri
Eötvös Loránd University, MTA–ELTE Geological, Geophysical and Space Science Research Group; Kövesligethy Radó Seismological Observatory
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 9 Issue 2  (2020): 284-301 DOI:10.38145/2020.2.284

This is a short essay on earthquakes in the Carpathian-Pannonian region and its surroundings. Earthquakes have been recorded using seismographs since 1902 in Hungary. The relatively small number of seismic events and the long return period of major earthquakes make it necessary to use historical data in order to assess seismic hazard. Historical earthquake catalogues aim for exhaustiveness both in time and space, but they are limited by the lack of documentary data. A simple arithmetical assessment is provided to estimate our lack of knowledge of past seismic events. All destructive earthquakes of the twentieth century (above magnitude 5) are included in the catalogue (100%). Of the seismic events which took place in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, only 23% are on record, while this figure drops to 4.6 percent for the eleventh–sixteenth centuries and 0.2 percent for the first millennium AD. On average, we have no information about 90% of the destructive earthquakes which occurred in the Carpathian-Pannonian region over the course of the past two millennia.
According to both instrumental measurements and historical sources, there were relatively few earthquakes in the central era of the period of time in question. This era coincides roughly with the two centuries of Ottoman rule (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries). Were there really few earthquakes over the course of these two centuries, or we do not have the relevant records? We contend that warfare resulted in the destruction of settlements and the annihilation of documents.
Fragile historical documents can be supplemented by the study of robust edifices, an approach to the study of the past which is known as archaeoseismology. Evidence of damage and destruction can be identified, and earthquake parameters can be assessed. One can find evidence corroborating other sources indicating an earthquake (e.g. Savaria), and one can also identify traces of previously unknown seismic events (Visegrád). One can also assign intensity values to the existing historical records. Damage observed to a Roman road in Savaria, to the medieval donjon of Nagyvázsony offers support for our fundamental contention. In order to understand the seismic hazard that was faced in the Carpathian-Pannonian region, renewed study of historical sources and new archaeoseismological investigations are needed.

Keywords: earthquakes, archaeoseismology, historical sources, Carpathian-Pannonian region

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