Géza Alföldy (1935–2011) is considered as one of the most important epigraphists and historians of the Roman civilization of the late 20th century, known also as “Mommsen of our ages”. His contribution is indispensable not only for the discipline of Roman epigraphy and social history, but also for the study of Roman religion. His intellectual roots in Hungary and the influence of the Hungarian scholarly tradition of the 1950’s marked his interest in the study of Roman religion for a long period. In this study, the authors discuss the formation of Géza Alföldy and his contribution to the discipline through a wider academic and socio-historical context.
The topic of the paper is a cycle of six large panneaux on Hungarian historical themes panted for the Vienna palace of the Transylvanian Court Chancellery. The series on Hun–Hungarian history from leaving behind the original habitat to the battle of Mohács is the earliest relic of Hungarian history painting, yet earlier researches only tangentially touched on it despite its salient importance.
When the Principality of Transylvania became part of the Central European Habsburg Monarchy as a independent land in 1690, Leopold I founded the Transylvanian Court Chancellery in 1693 as the highest governing organ of Transylvania. Based in Vienna, the office functioned in diverse rented buildings for a long time, before the freshly appointed chancellor of Transylvania Gábor Bethlen (1712–1768) purchased a building in Vienna in 1755 for the office. He chose the Sinzendorf palace in Hintere Schenkenstrasse across from the Löwel bastion (later replaced by the Burgtheater) close to the palace of the Hungarian Chancellery. It functioned until it was demolished in 1880. In 1755–1759 the chancellor had a representative suite of rooms created on the second floor also including a dining room. Its walls were covered by six large (c. 325 x 310 cm) painted wall hangings or spalliers. It is known from a description by Mór Jókai that the cycle contained three scenes from the Hun–Hungarian prehistory and three from the history of the Christian Hungarian Kingdom. 1) Exodus of the Magyars from their original habitat bordering on China; 2) Pagan priest officiating a fire sacrifice and the Hun king Attila (?), 3) Prince of Moravia Svatopluk sells Pannonia to the chieftain of the Magyars Árpád for a white horse, 4) Saint Stephen converts the Magyars to Christianity, 5) King Matthias Hunyadi enters Vienna in 1486, 6) The battle of Mohács in 1526.
In a study published in 1906 Piarist historian–archivist Sándor Takáts (1860–1932) adduced several data on the artists and artisans working on interior decoration of the chancellery palace including painters, presumably on the basis of the artists’ bills. These documents together with all the files of the Directorium in publicis et cameralibus perished in a fire that broke out in Vienna’s Justizpalast in 1927. The Hungarian historical panneaux were presumably painted by August Rumel (1715–1778) who features in the sources as Historienmaler and painter of the Viennese citizenry. On the basis of indirect information, the cycle can be tentatively dated to 1756–1758, as they were already included in the inventory of the chancellery in 1759.
The Transylvanian Court Chancellery hardly used its first headquarters for one and a half decades after 1766. When in 1782 Joseph II merged the Transylvanian and Hungarian chancelleries, the Transylvanian office moved in 1785 next door to its sister institution, which had had a palace since 1747 a street further, in Vordere Schenkenstrasse, i.e. today’s Bankgasse. They moved in the one-time Trautson house. Parallel with that the treasury sold the former centre of the Transylvanian chancellery which was bought by imperial and royal chamberlain Count Mihály Nádasdy (1746–1826).
As far as Jókai knew, the panneaux became court property in the 1780s and they were purchased at an auction in 1809 by Countess Rozália Bethlen (1754–1826) and transported to Transylvania. They can be identified in the chattels inventory for 1839 of the Jósika palace in Kolozsvár. Later the panneaux were inherited within the Jósika family. Elected minister a latere in 1895, Sámuel Jósika (1848–1923) had the cycle transported to Vienna and put them up in the “Hungarian house”, his official place, today the house of the Hungarian embassy. When his incumbency expired, the pictures went back to Transylvania and passed down in the Jósika family. In 1945 four of the pictures got lost. The two surviving pictures were purchased by the Hungarian State and hung up in the gala room of the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna in 2008 where they can still be seen.
The study collects the liturgical textiles with connection to the person of Cardinal Tamás Bakócz (1497–1521), archbishop of Esztergom, which used to be in the cathedral sometime in the past. The method adopted is looking diachronically through the basilica treasury’s inventories and other, 16–18th century written sources (high priests’ testaments). The main aim of the research is to explore the history of the survival of the chasuble adorned with the cardinal-archbishop’s coat of arms and preserved in the treasury of Esztergom cathedral. Apart from collecting the paraments, the study also gives a glimpse of the maintenance of paraphernalia in the treasury of the Esztergom basilica and its history after the lost battle at Mohács in 1526.
The introductory part of the study reviews the historiography of research into jagiellonian letters patent of nobility and the art historical problems of the illuminations. a similar survey was compiled sixty years earlier by dénes radocsay. since then several deeds of granting armorial bearings have cropped up, and lots of new data have been found in historical sources about once existing, now lost or latent, letters patent. the introduction is not meant to thoroughly revise dénes radocsay’s groups compiled by style critical criteria, but it touches on several questions solved or seen more clearly now. For example, the mark of an early 16th century buda illuminator’s hand is preserved not only by letters with armorial bearings, but also by three fragmentary liturgical manuscripts, and the oeuvre of the so-called bakócz monogrammist – who painted the coats of arms in the most representative letters patent in greatest numbers during louis ii’s reign – has been considerably extended.
A few words about the arrangement of the data in the list. the letters patent follow in chronological order, the years of granting emphasized for better orientation.
Vladislav ii’s letters patent arranged by years are followed by a few items that cannot be dated accurately. line one traditionally contains the names of the grantees, modernized – if possible – but not in phonetic transcription gaining ground lately. (i attach the original form of the name in parentheses.) then come dating, measurements, place of preservation and (when known) provenance. the most important data are followed by the list of works in which the given diploma is mentioned. it includes hand-written – 18th and 19th century – mentions, copied texts, as well as items of the modern special literature.
The present article contains the philological edition of the Old Babylonian Sumerian composition Dumuzi and Ĝeštinanna (UET 6, 11), a study of its literary characteristics, intertextual elements, allusions, and early hermeneutic techniques.
Around 1903–04 there was an outstanding number of sacral design competitions in Hungary, two of which at first glance seem very similar, and their juxtaposition even seemed to be a way of drawing more general conclusions. the Ministry of agriculture was looking for plans for churches in designs for villages to be settled by the state treasury, while the archdiocese of Kalocsa was looking for designs for Catholic churches to be built on the outskirts of subotica. the calls for proposals were for buildings of roughly the same size, a year apart, both seeking a solution to a pressing, long-standing problem. the problem was architectural, simply put: many churches were missing. the tendering process was not cheap, but it was the most efficient way to obtain many plans at once.
Comparing the competitions, various aspects were taken into account, firstly, the similarities and differences between the procedures, which were mainly due to the characteristics differences between of the institutions commissioning the work. the second was an architectural analysis, clarifying issues of building size, and then we looked at the characteristics of the design and layout. in this context, we reviewed the texts of the judging reports and made general observations on the two juries. the longer more extended, more professional review was analysed with the aim of reconstructing from the comments, summarising the criteria of the critique, the possible ideal types against which the judges compared the entries.
As a result, we have registered a kind of transition in sacral architecture in the mid-1900s, in which traditional form and spatial shaping were dominant, but also the signs of a later formalisation that would come to fruition in the 1910s. this transition can also be observed in professional texts on architecture, which evolved into professional writing that flourished in the years leading up to the First World War.
The study investigates one arresting detail in Julian's Caesars (333B) that is related to Marcus Aurelius: “four-square and made without a flaw” – τετράγωνος ἄνευ ψόγου τετυγμένος. The central concern is to examine the background which could have influenced Julian's Neoplatonic thoughts in the 4th century AD by the Syrian Neoplatonist, Iamblichus. Marcus Aurelius as a symbol of perfection in Julian's opinion is another interesting question that needs to be answered.
Within half a century, there were two Unitarian authors who created rhymed Hungarian translations of the Book of Psalms – Miklós Fazakas Bogáti at the end of the 16th century and János Thordai in 1627. There are still unanswered questions regarding these translations: why did Bogáti's translation not spread among Unitarian congregations? Was Thordai acquainted with Bogáti's translation?
This paper explores the circle of possible answers to these questions from various perspectives. It also examines Bogáti's biography and the subsequent legacy of his Psalterium, taking into account the context of Church history and the history of publishing Unitarian songbooks. In addition, the poetics of the two translations are analysed. Based on these it transpires that there were several circumstances that made the spreading of the Psalterium difficult.
However, Thordai's work should not be viewed solely as depending on Bogáti's translation, since it is not certain that Thordai was trying to fill a gap with his translation. The Transylvanian Unitarians did not necessarily intend to publish a complete Unitarian translation of the Book of Psalms in their songbooks.
One of the most outstanding cultural events of the year 2019 is the facsimile edition of the Hungarian Szalkai Codex, thanks for which are due to cooperation between the Library of the Primate of Esztergom and the Collection of the Roman Catholic Church at Sárospatak. This outstanding cultural asset, written at Sárospatak (called Patak at that time) and guarded at Esztergom, serves as a curiosity not only for researchers interested in palaeography but also for specialists working in different fields of the history of education. This codex is not only the oldest, but at the same time the only surviving Hungarian schoolbook from the Middle Ages. With its help we may reconstruct some of the ways in which town (parish) schools operated under the reign of King Matthias. The present study focuses on medieval music education.
Carolus Clusius (Charles de l’Écluse, 1526–1609), one of the most renowned naturalists of sixteenth-century Europe, was a versatile man of letters. One of his fields of interest neglected in scholarship is his attitude and activities around what was called fossilia at that time, and what can today be called non-living naturalia: metals, gems, various strange „stones”, fossils, medicinal earths. Such naturalia appear several times in his correspondence: this study reviews how Clusius took part in the collecting, exchange and discussions about these inorganic objects in the European respublica litteraria. He could even be involved in geological or palaeontological issues of his age. The investigation will not only throw light on the activities of Clusius and some of his correspondents, but also taps into to the broader topic of communication and exchange in the Literary Republic of the time, and may even contribute to the history of the natural sciences in the period. Some of the non-living naturalia Clusius was interested in (like „Saint Ladislaus's coin” or the medicinal earth of Tokaj) could be found in Hungary and he looked for them by way of friends in that region (it is known that one of his most important patrons was the Hungarian aristocrat Boldizsár Batthyány). For reasons of space, the study will be published in two parts: Sections 1–3 can be read in this issue, while Sections 4–7 will be published in the next.