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The present study started out by posing the question: what reasons might lead to the success of Hungarian intellectuals who were schooled in Hungary and who later emigrated to the West. From among the possible answers, we examined one: education and reading culture in Hungary was more complex in a given period than in Western Europe. We consider whether or not this answer is persuasive.

Based on the results provided by basic research in reading history in Hungary in the early modern period, one can safely say that the culture of experts in Hungary was more heterogeneous, and these experts constantly revisited traditional sources and kept them alive. On the other hand, in terms of the depth of professional knowledge and the level of concentration on a given field they were lagging behind their contemporary colleagues in Western Europe. This situation produced a dual eff ect: experts in Hungary had a stronger sense of tradition and they looked for transitional solutions due to the lack of the latest technical development and literature. Out of the Hungarian context, however, they produced outstanding achievements thanks to the more heterogeneous nature of their expertise.