Early Humanism in Hungary and in East Central Europe
Farkas Gábor Kiss Special Editor of the Thematic Issue
Farkas Gábor Kiss
Origin Narratives: Pier Paolo Vergerio and the Beginnings of Hungarian Humanism 471
AbstractEarlier 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.
Catullus on a Coat-of-Arms: A Pictorial Paraphrase of Catull. 11 from Late Medieval Hungary 497
AbstractThe 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.
The Codices of György Handó 508
AbstractThe 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.
“Many laughed at the thought of this illustrious young man reading books:” About Miklós Báthory’s Library and His Cicero-Codex 573
AbstractThis 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.
The Work Ethic in Humanist Biographies: The Case of Willem Canter 594
AbstractThis article is a case study of the work ethic as represented in biographies of humanists. It draws first and foremost on Melchior Adam’s anthology of biographies of learned “German” men of 1615–1620. The analysis of some of the longer biographies reveals that Adam was more dependent on his sources than previous research supposed. Moreover, the stress on the education and diligence of the individuals in several of the biographies follows not from Adam’s interests, but rather from the logic of humanist biographies, a primary function of which was to legitimate social rise, redefine social values according to meritocratic principles, and promote the Renaissance ideology of virtue. The vita of William Canter, which I analyze in considerable detail, illustrates how early modern biographies tended to construct the self on the basis of ancient and more recent clichés and to present ideal types. The work ethic represented by Canter’s scholarly persona reveals that hard work in the Renaissance was intrinsically linked to disciplined time-management.
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Trust, Authority, and the Written Word in the Royal Towns of Medieval Hungary. By Katalin Szende. Reviewed by Agnieszka Bartoszewicz 620
Confraternity, Mendicant Orders, and Salvation in the Middle Ages: The Contribution of the Hungarian Sources (c. 1270–c. 1530). By Marie-Madeleine de Cevins. Reviewed by Eszter Konrád 623
The Árpáds and Their Wives: Queenship in Early Medieval Hungary 1000–1301. By Attila Zsoldos. Reviewed by Christopher Mielke 626
Die Hungarica Sammlung der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle: Herausgegeben von Brigitte Klosterberg und István Monok. Alte Drucke 1495–1800, Bd. I. A–O, Bd. II. P–Z. Bearbeitet von Attila Verók. Reviewed by Dorottya Piroska B. Székely 629
Matézis, mechanika, metafizika: A 18–19. századi matematika, fizika és csillagászat eredményeinek reprezentációja a filozófiában és az irodalomban [Mathesis, mechanics, metaphysics: The representation of findings in mathematics, physics, and astronomy in philosophy and literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries]. Edited by Dezső Gurka. Reviewed by Tibor Bodnár-Király 632
National Indifference and the History of Nationalism in Modern Europe. Edited by Maarten Van Ginderachter and Jon Fox. Reviewed by Ágoston Berecz 636
Wirtschaftsnationalismus lokal: Interaktion und Abgrezung zwischen rumänischen und sächsischen Gewerbeorganisationen in den siebenbürgischen Zentren Hermannstadt und Kronstadt, 1868–1914. By Stéphanie Danneberg. Reviewed by Gábor Egry 639
Metropolitan Belgrade: Culture and Class in Interwar Yugoslavia. By Jovana Babović. Reviewed by John Paul Newman 642
Austrian Reconstruction and the Collapse of Global Finance 1921−1931. By Nathan, Marcus. Reviewed by Ágnes Pogány 645
History and Belonging: Representations of the Past in Contemporary European Politics. Edited by Stefan Berger and Caner Tekin. Reviewed by Orsolya Anna Sudár 649
Planning in Cold War Europe: Competition, Cooperation, Circulations (1950s–1970s). Edited by Michel Christian, Sandrine Kott, and Ondřej Matějka. Reviewed by Voicu Ion Sucală 652
Notes on Contributors