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Companion to the History of the Neo-Latin Studies in Hungary.

Companion to the History of the Neo-Latin Studies in Hungary. Ed. by Istvan Bartok. Budapest: Universitas Publishing House, 2005. 138 pp. Camoenae Hungaricae. Ed. by Gabriel Kecskemeti. Vol. 1, 2004, 146 pp.; Vol. 2, 2005, 155 pp.; Vol. 3, 2006, 180 pp. Budapest: Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. As many readers of Neo-Latin News know, the most recent congress of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies took place in Budapest this past summer. For those of us who attended the congress, there are many good memories--I think this meeting will stick in my mind as the one at which we never stopped eating--but there was food for the mind as well as the body. The organizers took care to provide tangible evidence throughout the meeting of the breadth and strength of neo-Latin studies in Hungary. The volumes under review here were distributed gratis to the participants at the congress, but are also available through the publishers listed above.

Worth its proverbial weight in gold is the Companion to the History of Neo-Latin Studies in Hungary. The book does exactly what its title suggests, providing an orientation to the historical development of Neo-Latin studies in Hungary. Each section gets out the facts, as it were, but does so within an interpretive framework that helps a non-Hungarian reader understand why the names and works she is being introduced to matter. Barnabas Guitman, for example, titles his treatment of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries "Res Publica Christiana--Res Publica Litteraria," discussing first the beginnings of humanism in Hungary, then the accomplishments of neo-Latin philology in the sixteenth century. In "Latin Texts in the Service of Churches and Schools," Istvan Bartok explores the way in which educational and religious needs drove the production of neo-Latin literature in the seventeenth century, through the publication of original Latin texts, the insertion of Latin sources into comprehensive works, and the writing of translations, revisions, and so forth. Eva Knapp and Gabor Tuskes see the eighteenth century as providing "Forerunners of Neo-Latin Philology and National History of Literature," discussing in turn textual publication, genres, and translations. Laszlo Takacs then uses the figure of the handmaiden to structure his discussion of the nineteenth century under the title "Ex ancilla domina": philology began this period as the handmaiden of history and ended it as mistress of the humanities. The first half of the twentieth century, as Farkas Gabor Kiss explains, was devoted to the "Separation of Classical and Neo-Latin Philology," with Jozsef Huszti being in many ways a pivotal figure. The final period is surveyed by Laszlo Havas in "From Separate Local Workshops to Unified National Framework - Becoming Part of International Institutions," with a systematic survey of universities, institutes, libraries, and archives; of periodicals; of studies on Hungarian neo-Latin literature outside Hungary; and of writings in Latin in the twentieth century. The importance of the second part of the book, in turn, is somewhat belied by its title: "Little Encyclopedia of Neo-Latin Philologists." This section may contain only thirty pages, but it is an important thirty pages whose information is not easily obtainable elsewhere in any of the western languages. The indices of personal and place names facilitate the use of the book, which closes with a two-page glossary that gives place-name equivalents in the various central European languages. This is more useful than one might think: while at the congress, I purchased an eighteenth-century edition of Virgil whose place of publication was listed, in Latin, of course, as "Tyrnaviae." The city was in Hungary at that point, where it was called "Nagyszombat"; it is now in Slovakia, where it is called "Trnava." A kind gentleman from Trnava who happened to be at the congress explained all this to me, but in the absence of such resources, the glossary can save one hours of work.

As Laszlo Szorenyi, chairman of the editorial board, explains in the introduction to the first issue, Camoenae Hungaricae was planned from the outset with an eye on the 2006 IANLS congress, as a forum to present Hungarian neo-Latin philology. Vol. 1, 2004, offers the following articles: Laszlo Havas, "La naissance de la litterature hongroise en latin (Entre la civilisation byzantine et la culture latine occidentale)"; Agnes Ritook-Szalay, "Das gemeinsame Europa der Humanisten"; Laszlo Szorenyi, "Omnia Calliope concentu temperet uno! Panegirico e poema in Giano Pannonio"; Peter Kulcsar, "I manoscritti di Antonio Bonfini"; Istvan Bartok, "Grammatica Hungarolatina--Grammatica Latinogermanica: Janos Sylvester und Marcus Crodelius"; Gabor Kecskemeti, "Genus iudiciale in the Practice and Theory of Hungarian Literature in the 16th and 17th Century"; Piroska Balogh, "Horatius noster: Der Horaz-Vortrag von Ludwig von Schedius aus 1794-1795." Vol. 2, 2005 contains: Zsuzsanna Kisery, "Qui amant ipsi sibi somnia fingunt (Virg. Ecl. VIII, 108)--Francesco, l'inaffidabile narratore del Secretum"; Klara Pajorin, "La cultura di Janos Vitez"; Olga Periae, "Res privatae dans la correspondance de Iohannes Vitez de Sredna et Janus Pannonius"; Laszlo Torok, "Janus (poeta) festivus"; Laszlo Jankovits, "Il carattere virgiliano dei panegirici di Giano Pannonio"; Darko Novakoviae, "Le traduzioni dal greco di Janus Pannonius: la filologia al servizio della politica"; Concetta Bianca, "Come avvalersi dei nemici: Giano Pannonio e Plutarco"; Istvan David Lazar, "La traduzione latina dedicata a Mattia Corvino del Trattato del Filarete"; Gilbert Tournoy, "Il primo viaggio intorno al mondo di Magellano nella relazione di Massimiliano Transilvano"; Gabor Kecskemeti, "Hungarian Connections of Nicodemus Frischlin"; Elisabeth Klecker, "Maria Theresia und Aeneas: Vergilrezeption zur Bewaltigung der weiblichen Erbfolge"; and Laszlo Havas, "Ricerche sulla letteratura mediolatina e neolatina in Ungheria nella seconda meta del secolo XX e alle soglie del nuovo millennio: Dai centri di ricerche ai programmi nazionali e alle collaborazioni in progetti internazionali." In Vol. 3, 2006, we find the following articles: Istvan David Lazar, "La <<docta ignorantia>> del Petrarca"; Klara Pajorin, "Antiturcica negli anni quaranta del '400: Le epistole di Francesco Filelfo, di Poggio Bracciolini e di Janos Vitez"; Eniko Bekes, "La metafora <<medicus-Medici>> nel De doctrina promiscua di Galeotto Marzio"; Istvan Bartok, '"Grammatica est ... ': The Significance and Sources of Janos Sylvester's Definition"; Pal Acs, "Andreas Dudith's Turkish Brother-in-Law"; Gabor Kecskemeti, "A Hardly-known 16th-century Humanist: Paulus Rosa of Kormocbanya"; Istvan Bitskey, "Historie und Politik (Gedichtband von Leonhardus Uncius uber die ungarische Geschichte)"; Emil Hargittay, "Peter Pazmany: De ecclesiastica libertate circa causam Veneti interdicti (1606)"; Sandor Bene, "Acta pacis--Peace with the Muslims (Luigi Ferdinando Marsili's Plan for the Publication of the Documents of the Karlowitz Peace Treaty)"; Laszlo Havas, "La tradizione testuale degli Ammonimenti di Santo Stefano di Ungheria e il Tractatus de potestate del principe Ferenc Rakoczi II"; Laszlo Szorenyi, "Dugonics' Argonautica"; and Reka Lengyel, "La fortuna ungherese del Libro di Fortuna del Petrarca (Le edizione ungheresi del De remediis utriusque fortunae nel secolo 18)." Book reviews, and announcements of conferences and research projects, fill out each volume.

The journal and the Companion do their job well, attesting to the vigor of neo-Latin studies in Hungary. Given that Latin was the official language for government work in Hungary until 1844, this is not surprising, but it is good to be reminded in such tangible ways as these. (Craig Kallendorf, Texas A&M University)
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Title Annotation:Camoenae Hungaricae, vols. 1-3
Author:Kallendorf, Craig
Publication:Seventeenth-Century News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2006
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