“Many laughed at the thought of this illustrious young man reading books:” About Miklós Báthory’s Library and His Cicero-Codex

Dávid Molnár
Eötvös Loránd University
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This paper pursues an anecdote of Galeotto Marzio about the erudite Miklós Báthory, bishop of Vác, who read Cicero’s Tusculan disputation while he was waiting with other noblemen for the royal diet in Rákosmező, and the mocking attitude of the Hungarian political elite toward any intellectual endeavor. The traces lead to the National Széchényi Library in Budapest which has in its holdings a manuscript of Cicero under Cod. lat. 150. This book might have been in the hands of Báthory at Rákosmező. The purpose of this paper is to confirm the scarcely known plans of Miklós Báthory, bishop of Vác, to found a Platonic school on the basis of what little remains of his library and, mainly, the notes of his Cicero codex. This information perfectly harmonizes with his well-known aspirations to found a Platonic school in Buda and later his gymnasium in Vác, which seems to have been permeated with a kind of Platonist spirituality. After a summary of the life of Miklós Báthory, the paper offers an outline of the remains of his once rich library and then finally an examination of the history of the Cicero codex and its marginalia.

Keywords: Galeotto Marzio, Miklós Báthory’s library, Cicero codex, Platonic school

The Codices of György Handó1

Dániel Pócs
Research Centre for the Humanities
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The Florentine bookseller and cartolaio Vespasiano da Bisticci included the life of three Hungarian prelates in his Vite, dedicated to the the lives of his most famous clients. Two of the Hungarians, the archbishop of Esztergom, János Vitéz of Zredna, and the bishop of Pécs, the poet Janus Pannonius, are well-known personalities of early humanism in Hungary and some of their codices prepared in Florence still exist. The third one, however, György Handó (c. 1430–1480), provost of Pécs cathedral chapter from 1465 until his death, is much less known. Scholars of early humanism in Hungary were unable to contextualize the information given by Bisticci on Handó’s library, because no other written source could confirm his accounts, and no manuscript could been identified as a Handó codex. The present study demonstrates that contrary to the common belief that his codices had been completely lost, there are, in fact, twenty manuscripts originating from this early humanistic library. This research result is based on the identification of his coat of arms.

Keywords: György Handó, Orbán Nagylucsei, Péter Garázda, Vespasiano da Bisticci, Bartolomeo Fonzio, Piero Cennini, Corvina Library, Matthias Corvinus, Florence, Buda, humanistic book culture, illuminated book


Catullus on a Coat-of-Arms: A Pictorial Paraphrase of Catull. 11 from Late Medieval Hungary*

Attila Tuhári
Doctoral School of Linguistics, Pázmány Péter Catholic University
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The paper discusses the coat-of-arms of Mathias of Szente (or of Sáró) granted by Ladislaus V in 1456, the depiction of which includes–in my opinion–a pictorial paraphrase of a Catullian metaphor. This could offer a more satisfactory, but unusual answer to the emerging problems regarding the interpretation of the composition. The study attempts to reveal how Catullus’ poem could reach Mathias of Szente, as well as the possible connotations it might have awaken on a broader range of the society.

Keywords: coat-of-arms, Mathias of Szente, Catullus

Origin Narratives: Pier Paolo Vergerio and the Beginnings of Hungarian Humanism

Farkas Gábor Kiss
Eötvös Loránd University
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Earlier studies have attributed a pivotal role to Pier Paolo Vergerio Sr in transmitting the fundamental ideas of humanism to the writer Johannes (Vitéz) of Zredna, the first acolyte of Renaissance humanism in Hungary. This paper investigates the possible contacts between Pier Paolo Vergerio Sr and Johannes of Zredna, mapping the channels through which Johannes of Zredna first encountered humanist rhetoric. Whereas many of these possible connections turned out to be historical fictions that proved to be untenable in the form they are described in later historiography, there seems to be a genuine core to the embellished stories. I argue that his direct use of Italian early humanist texts (Guarino’s translation of Plutarch, Gasparino Barzizza’s letters) and an avid reading of Livy’s historical work (witnessed by the ms. Cod. 3099 of the Austrian National Library) are the earliest testimonies of his humanistic interests.

Keywords: Pier Paolo Vergerio, Johannes (Vitéz) of Zredna, humanism

Volume 8 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Migration and Urbanization in Industrializing Bulgaria 1910–1946

Penka Peykovska
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Historical Studies
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Urbanization is among the most important demographic phenomena of the modern age. Today, half of the world’s population lives in cities, and by 2050 this share is expected to reach 70 percent. Urbanization theorists see this as a consequence of three mutually impacting processes: natural growth (population growth as a result of birth rates exceeding mortality rates), migration (mainly from the villages to cities), and reclassification (the administrative mechanism for giving urban status to former villages or urban settlements) – whose relative contribution to the urbanization process varies depending on the environment.

The processes of urbanization and internal migration in Bulgaria in 1910–1946 have not often been made the subject of rigorous study, perhaps because the scale of urbanization at the time was small and the pace slow compared to the period after World War II. At the same time, however, the first half of this period was characterized by intensive waves of refugees and immigrants (Bulgarians, Russians, and Armenians). Having in mind the lack of attention which this question has been given in the secondary literature, in this paper I examine the urbanization processes in Bulgaria at the time and the role of migration to and within the country in these processes. In particular, I monitor the significance of gender, nationality/“nationalité ethnique” in urbanization in Bulgaria and the roles of smaller and larger cities and the capital, Sofia. I rely heavily on the five censuses carried out between 1910 and 1946, which drew a distinction between local-born and non-indigenous populations, including people who had been born abroad. In other words, the data contain information on native-born people (i.e. born in the locality where they were enumerated or, as one might say “locals”), people who were enumerated in a locality different from their birthplace within the country (i.e. internal migrants, in-migrants), and people who were foreign-born (i.e. external migrants, immigrants).

Concerning the role of migration to and within the country in the urbanization process in Bulgaria, my quantitative analysis shows that urbanization in Bulgaria was influenced by migration (mainly internal migration), partly by the waves of refugees and immigrants during the war and in the interwar period, which accelerated the growth of cities. At the same time, the urbanization of small towns was due primarily to immigration. The trend towards urbanization (albeit at a slow pace) in Bulgaria was a result of the migration of the predominantly ethnic Bulgarian population from villages to cities, but the contribution of Armenian and Russian refugees was also notable.

Keywords: internal and external migration, immigration, in-migration, Bulgaria, urbanization, towns, cities, ethnicity, sex, 1910–1946

Volume 8 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Inner Territory and What Lies Behind It: An Inquiry Into the Hungarian Urban Hierarchy in 1930

Gergely Károly Bán
University of Debrecen
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The study of the emergence of the Hungarian urban hierarchy raises a number of methodological questions concerning the complex settlement structure and the unique urban development of the Carpathian Basin. Research on the Hungarian urban hierarchy reveals a strong positive correlation between the position of the cities in the hierarchy and the complexity of their urban functions. The aim of my inquiry is to provide a complex picture of the Hungarian urban hierarchy of the 1930s, or, more precisely, the potential hierarchies. I approach this issue from various perspectives. As there are different definitions of cities in judicial (administrative), statistical, economic, sociological, and geographical contexts, the questions remain open: what do we consider a city, and what makes a settlement a city in the interwar period in Hungary? One of the cornerstones of my research is the issue of the outskirts. In administrative terms, we can speak about a unit, but due to the differing patterns of urban development in Hungary, the relationship between the core territory and its periphery is complex. Since the classic homestead theory has been challenged, hierarchical investigations have had to address the problems involved in dividing the data between urban cores and urban peripheries. Hierarchic rankings based on the incorporation of outskirts are quite different from rankings which omit the latter zones, which tend to be dominated by scattered farms not linked functionally to the urban core. The differences also show strong regional patterns. This study, based on statistical data, tries to highlight these differences in the urban hierarchy using this new approach. This way, it becomes possible to put the study of the Hungarian urban hierarchy in the interwar period on a new methodological footing which differs in several significant ways from the foundations of earlier research on the subject in Hungary.

Keywords: periphery issue, settlement structure, urban hierarchy, Hungarian urban network, historical geography.

Volume 8 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Regional Differences in Development and Quality of Life in Hungary During the First Third of the Twentieth Century*

Zsolt Szilágyi
University of Debrecen
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In this essay, I look for answers to the following three questions: to what extent did the borders of Hungary after the 1920 Treaty of Trianon overlap with borders of structural development in 1910 and in 1930; what does the term “development” mean when we are talking about the Carpathian Basin; and how did geographical differences in standards of living change in the territories under discussion over the course of these two decades. To some extent, the new political borders which were drawn in 1920 in the Carpathian Basin overlapped with the borders which reflected the different levels and patterns of development in the region. This is a consideration which has been given little attention in the secondary literature in Hungary. The developmental structure of the Carpathian Basin in 1910 can be mapped using the GISta Hungarorum Database. One discerns in this structure a major line of development. Within this line, one finds an area in which the level of development was higher than average and, in some places, considerably higher than average. Another distinctive feature of this area was that is had several centers, and this fact was of particular importance from the perspective of the Treaty of Trianon and its alleged consequences. In recent years, groundbreaking research on economic history has persuasively shown that Hungary managed to recover economically relatively quickly after 1920. Numerous factors played a role in this recovery. One of the more decisive, I argue in this study, was the geographical developmental structure of Trianon Hungary, which had several centers. Although the territory of Trianon Hungary was considerably more developed than other areas of the Carpathian Basin, it is quite clear that the economic fault lines which existed after Trianon had in fact existed before Trianon too, and the internal peripheral areas had already formed (and remained essentially unchanged throughout the interwar period). Thus, the Treaty of Trianon did not play any role in the emergence of formation of these areas. The treaty may well have had grave consequences for the country and region, but the developmental geographical structure of Hungary in the interwar period, which ultimately exerted a shaping influence on development in Hungary for the rest of the twentieth century, was not a result of Trianon.

Keywords: HDI change, regional differences in development, Interwar Hungary