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Abstract

This paper analyzes the Janus Pannonius collections in Seville, Biblioteca Capitular y Colombina, Ms T (7-1-15) and Ms S (56-4-57), which have enriched our knowledge of Janus Pannonius' literary heritage. The study argues that Ms T and Ms S belong to the π tradition, which could explain the collections curated nearly or almost exclusively by Janus Pannonius in Hungary during the last years of his life. The paper contributes to a deeper understanding of Janus Pannonius and, thanks to the legacy of Seville, provides insights into the broader dynamics of humanist networks, manuscript transmission and book collecting during the Renaissance.

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Abstract

Ferenc Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania, the leader of the Hungarian war of independence against the Habsburgs between 1703 and 1711, was the first legend of Hungarian national independence at the turn of the century. In the early years of the 20th century, after decades of social and political struggle, the transportation of the prince's body from his original burial place in Constantinople to Hungary came within reach. Until that happened, his tomb was visited several times and for various purposes by Hungarian historians, politicians, religious leaders, and public figures – visits known as the Rákóczi pilgrimage. The most significant was the Rákóczi pilgrimage of 1903. It involved important rituals of cultic attitudes: visiting the tomb of a saint, participating in cultic ceremonies, and collecting relics. The event was one of the most important modern pilgrimages of the early 20th century, with historical roots dating back to the early modern period.

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Abstract

This paper aims at presenting the Wiki database of a current project and has a distinctly computational signature. It is a fitting complement to years of work in the study of linguistic variation, of non-classical forms of Latin, but also the infinite possibilities offered by this field of study in terms of historical linguistics and database implementation. In the specific case, we will use the metalinguistic term constructio as an example of the analytical potential offered by the WikiMedia of the SiRe project Parts of speech meet Rhetorics: Searching for syntax in the continuity between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age.

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Abstract

The present study aims to determine the role of the Hungarian language in European polyglot dictionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries and thus to establish its position within the group of European languages. The study is based on earlier findings by Gabriele Stein (1989) concerning the role of English in 16th-century multilingual wordlists, and it addresses two questions: 1) How often was the Hungarian language included in polyglots compared to other European languages? 2) Did Hungarian hold a similar position to other vernaculars in the dictionaries considered?

It was examined which languages were included in the polyglots published during the period under discussion and how many times each vernacular appeared in a dictionary. Moreover, the contents of selected dictionaries were analysed. Results indicate that Hungarian played an important, though not key role in European polyglot dictionaries of the 16th and 17th centuries and that its position among other European languages was not marginal at the time.

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The altarpiece of the Passion of Christ preserved in the Evangelical church in Sibiu, created in 1519 by a skilful artist, Simon Pictor, using extensively the prints of Dürer and Altdorfer, represents one of the most spectacular surviving artworks of the Renaissance in Transylvania. Its subsequent transformation in 1545 and 1701 certainly enhanced its historical significance. The restoration of the artwork in the 1980s brought back to light very significant details: the dating of the original artwork (1519), two coats of arms hinting to the patronage, and a part of the genuine style of master simon. The identification of the sinister coat of arms, thus the one in the inferior heraldic position, as belonging to Johannes Lulay (royal judge and administrator of the royal mint of Sibiu) constituted the basis of extensive incursions in the patronage of this remarkable altarpiece. However, an important question remained unsolved: who could have been the other patron or commissioner of the altarpiece? As the preeminent position of the coat of arms (on the heraldic dextra) clearly indicates, this was an individual even higher in the hierarchy as Johannes Lulay himself.

The assumption of the study is that this prominent patron was Paulus de Tomor/Tomori Pál. He remained in the Hungarian national consciousness as the heroical leader of the army in the „Mohácsi csata” of 29 August 1526, a critical turning point in the history of the state. This study contributes to the reveal of parts of his “Transylvanian biography,” his allegiances and political network in situ before he left the region, his patronal endeavours, and last, but not least, it discloses his real (and tinctured) coat of arms. At the same time, the great altarpiece of the Passion in Sibiu recovered another piece of its complex content, by the identification of the main patron (or, rather, the more honourable patron) in the person of Paulus de Tomor. Last, but not least, this study asserts that three of the characters depicted in the scene of the Lamentation over the dead Christ on the predella are in fact crypto-portraits of Johannes Lulay, his wife Clara Thabiassy, and his partner and superior Paulus Tomori.

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After the abolition in 1782 several works of art owned by the Clarisses were lost. Some of them were identified in recent years; I would like to write about an other one that was found in the cloister of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Elisabeth in Bratislava. It is fairly unique because of its theme: it commemorates the escaping of the Clarisses from Stephen Bocskai’s attack on Graz and Vienna in 1605, also the taking over of the reformed and stricted Regula. It was painted together with another, recently hidden picture that has since been lost almost twenty years later in 1623, most likely in the Austrian capital, when Clarisses escaped secondly to Vienna.

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In the bas-de-page decoration by Jörg Breu the Elder of a leaf in the Prayer Book of Emperor Maximilian I (fol. 78r), a cheerful winged putto is gracefully propelling a walking frame. Both the rolling structure aiding its first steps and the presence of wings cry out for an explanation, especially as the two are shown together.

Unlike most other depictions of a child with a walker, this putto is neither a personification of an age of man, nor a reference to a specific infant. Among its precedents, it is worth mentioning the marginal decorations of prayers of intercession, especially the relevant depiction in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy.

The structure of the walker in Maximilian’s prayer book is counterfunctional: its wooden slats together form a capital A and capital D. By modelling the walker on Dürer’s monogram, Jörg Breu was, on the one hand, thanking his mentor for his inspiration, and on the other, fulfilling the wish of Konrad Peutinger – and indirectly of the emperor – that the decoration of the prayer book be completed in the manner commenced by Dürer.

While there are also classical precedents for the motif of the walker as a device aiding the acquisition of knowledge, later examples are particularly relevant to the sustentaculum modelled on Dürer’s monogram. In the seventeenth century, the metaphor of the “first step” and the concept of “giving and receiving support” frequently conjured up the theme of master and pupil; at this time, the child learning to walk with the aid of a walker was repeatedly alluded to in the context of the study and practice of art. This notion also comes across in the etching by Rembrandt known as ‘Het Rolwagentje’: here too, learning to walk independently refers to the process of mastering art, with the obligatory first steps being to practise drawing nudes and to copy the works of the master.

In the depiction of the putto, its hesitant steps imply slowness, while its wings suggest speed. This ambivalence is also the essence of the adage festina lente, which was of particular relevance to Emperor Maximilian; the theme was probably suggested by Peutinger. Other references to the emperor are the figure of Hercules stepping on a snail, in the lower right margin of the same sheet, and the crane depicted on its verso.

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In this paper I analyse the photomontages of Endre Bálint (1914–1986) in the context of the cultural politics of the Iron Curtain period in Eastern Europe and Hungary. First, the study takes a diachronic, historical approach to photomontage as a creative method that maintained continuity between the avant-garde generations of artists, a way of thinking and a creative process accordingly, cultivated in the circles of persecuted, banned or silenced artists experimenting during the decades from the 1920s to 1970s. Second, by placing Endre Bálint’s late photomontages (made after his 1963 return from his “exodus” to Paris) in the context of contemporary artistic phenomena (e.g. Brecht’s photobook, Jean-Luc Godard’s work, David Hockney’s montages or bricoleur punk artists), I argue that, in contrast to the generally held view, they are not the withering signs of renunciation, but rather a way out of renunciation, that is, a solution. “We breathe in fragments,” Bálint wrote, and the pictorial form to fittingly reflect a fragmented way of existence (together with the psychological burdens, shadows of the past, and the social and cultural-political determinations) was the montage-technique that had flourished from the 1920s, and whose Eastern European, distinctively Hungarian variant found its guardian, its good shepherd in Bálint, in his creative practice. Bálint’s late photomontages also deserve attention from the point of view of a silent narrative of art history, which does not focus on middle-aged artists’ major works, but on the profuse production by the old masters, the masters of sprezzatura, which is characterised by an aesthetic lightness, a kind of aesthetic liberation and swiftness, and the ability to allow memories a free influx into the creative work. One of the conclusions of this study is that Hungarian photomontage, and especially the late work of Endre Bálint, can be instructively read in conjunction with the equally restrained psychoanalytic literature of the period, in which the splitting of Self as a traumatic consequence of shocking events and also a means to survive those events is a key concept. A critically productive artistic construction that is based on fragments can be seen and read as the visual counterpart of a psychological notion of Self-splitting.

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