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  • 1 Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Humanities H-2087 Piliscsaba Egyetem u. 1 Hungary

Politics and literature traditionally developed in a close contact with each other in Hungary. This paper argues that this intimacy had a particular reason: the fact that Latin educational ideals determined the way youth were brought up well into the 20th century. This had an impact on the way politics was understood here, including the fact that parliamentary debates were carried out in Latin well into the early 19th century.And this had a further consequence as well: literature was not viewed simply as an autonomous field of activity, aiming only at aesthetic merits, but as a way to reflect on the fate of the nation. Lawyers had a professional training in rhetoric and therefore they had a familiarity with classical literature, which led many of them towards their own creative writing. And professional writers, too, had no other education than that of the Latin Christian-Humanist model, which made them representatives of the nation, as well as followers of earlier, classical patterns of writing. These features played a major role in the formation of the two heroes of the paper, the poets Dániel Berzsenyi and Ferenc Kölcsey, who had an internal conflict between each other, but who both embodied the type of late humanist political writers, so characteristic of the reform era of this region of Central Europe.

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