The Várad Court of the Younger István Bethlen, or the Venus of Murány in Várad
The nephew of the reigning prince of Transsylvania Gábor Bethlen became the commander-in-chief of the border castle of Várad in 1621, at the age of 15 and, at the same time, the heir to the throne. The reigning prince of a flourishing little country intended that he should continue his life-work. According to this purpose he carefully provided for his education and when the time came he entrusted him with one of the most important border castles of Transsylvania where a late Renaissance courtly centre was formed at this time, although it was shortlived. The author has done researches into the spiritual environment of this Renaissance court. He presents us the main personalities who were present around the young Bethlen, among them several of the humanist poets from the beginning of the XVII-th century: Christian Schaeseus, György K. Károlyi, Gáspár Bojthi Veres, Pál Háportoni Forró, and includes long quotations from their poetry in his own translation.
Another famous personality of this court is Mária Szécsi, a renowned beauty at the tune, also called since István Gyöngyösi's famous poem "the Venus of Murány". Several latin poems were written for her wedding by Ferenc Bornemisza and later Mihály Kalmár and János Fileki wrote poems at the death of her daughter.
The most important poet among those who gathered around István Bethlen was János Laskai Matkó, the translator of Justus Lipsius, whose poignant latin poem written at the early death of his protector was also the epitaph of a brief but flourishing period.
The Woodland Properties of the Szekler Frontier Guards Regiment in Csík Sedes
The study deals with the history of the common woodlands of the onetime 1-st Szekler Infantry Frontier Regiment from 1918 until the liquidation of all common properties in Romania.
What happened to these properties represents the saddest chapter of the economic plundering of the Hungarian peasantry which came under Romanian rule. The fate of these common properties is one of the most representative cases in which, through a gross violation of the rights of the Hungarian minority, of all international and local norms of the law, the private properties of the minority as well as the clerical or other common properties of public utility were sacrificed by a regime driven by nationalism and self-interest. These common properties were liquidated in 1923, and even after a prolonged and expensive litigation, justice has not been administered in this case.
The Scientific Investigation of the Ancient History of Transsylvania until the Middle of the XIX-th Century
The interest concerning the ancient history of Transsylvania began in the XIV-th century and it manifested itself in the collection of Roman relics and inscriptions. The first wellknown epigraphist was John Megyericsei (Mezerzius), who copied about 120 inscriptions and got his collection to Italy too. The famous work of Stephen Szamosközy (Zamosius), Analecta lapidum, was published in a short interval in Italy and Germany, Szamosközy appreciated inscriptions as some lighting rays which illuminate the past. He tried to identify ancient towns and roads and to treat some numismatic problems in connection with the so called Koson golden coins.
After Szamosközy the research knew an interval of decline, but soon it had a new impulse owing to intellectuals coming from abroad (Opitz, Manovius, Trösler and the Italian A.F. Marsigli) and to local scholars (Huszty, Weidenfelder, Seivert). In the beginning of the XVIII. century there was established the first museum and there were founded various scientific societies and there were published several newspapers and periodicals in German, Hungarian and Romanian. In the years 1803-1804 the State Tresury ordered the execution of an official excavation to find some golden coins called Koson, about which the sorrounding inhabitants had spread many stories and myths. Meanwhile the Romanian historians too lined up to study the Roman past of the country. Among the scholars of the time we mention T. Cipariu, Neigebaur, András Lugosi Fodor and J.W. Ackner.
After such a long preparation and research work there were laid down the foundations on which notable scholars such as Mommsen, Torma, Goos and many others by surveying sites, by excavations and studies, in the second half of the XIX. and the beginning of the XX. centuries could create in this field the real scientific research work of the Transsylvanian history.
Peasant Cantors ("deaks") in the Hungarian Villages of Moldavia
At present there are about a quarter of a million Catholic csangos living in Moldavia at different stages of ethnic and linguistic assimilation. Regarding their origin, they are all of Hungarian descent, but today only about one third of them speak Hungarian. This is mainly due to the lack of public worship conducted in their mother tongue. During the Middle Ages the religious life of these Catholics was supervised by the Hungarian kings, then beginning from 1622 foreign (Italian, Bosnian, Croatian, Polish) priests were sent here by the missionary organization called De Propaganda Fidei which had its centre in Rome. But these priests were always too few and they didn't even speak the language of their congregation. At the end of the XIX. century a Roman Catholic Episcopacy and Theology was founded in Iasi but these institutions have served the Romanian nationalism up to the present day: the priests educated in Iasi forbid the use of Hungarian in Moldavia.
The official leaders and the priests have never spoken to the Hungarians living in Moldavia in their mother tongue. Still the language of private worship remained Hungarian until the middle of the XX. century. This folk religiousness was directed by so called "deaks", peasant cantors who could read and write and knew the songs and prayers that these people used. As priests could very rarely go to one village or another, these "deaks" were the ones who prayed together with the people in church on Sundays, sang funeral songs, taught their children and lead their pilgrimages, etc. They had regular contacts with the Hungarian Catholics from Transsylvania and had an important role in the preservation of the mother tongue. This is why in the XX. century the official church together with the state liquidated this institution. The old "deaks" were banished from the churches and their prayer and songbooks were confiscated, finally they were not allowed to pray in Hungarian even at funerals at private houses.
Hungarian Folklore Researches in Romania (between 1944 and 1994)
Vilmos Keszeg's study outlines the results of the Hungarian folklore researches in Romania in the last 50 years. He presents the sporadic institutional network (university education, museums, publishing of books and reviews) which - mainly voluntarily - embraced the cause of these divisions of learning, or rather, owing to the lack of which the researches were done in an extremely unorganized and inefficient way. Due to these circumstances specialist replacement was almost impossible, there was very little professional interest and hardly any scientific life. Scientific research merely consisted of the work of a few persons and reflected only some archaic spheres of the popular culture.
The study analyses the contributions of the Hungarian folklore researches in Romania to the general Hungarian folkloristics (the works of Olga Nagy, József Faragó), as well as the remarkable isolated research themes and methodological strategies (of Gabriella Vöő, István Pál Demény, János Ráduly, etc.)
The conclusion of the author is that the results of these researches as well as their professional standard is due to the lack of proper institutions, education and scientific life, of long-term perspectives, the finality of the research, the redefinition of concepts and that of a well-defined object of research.
Egyesületi közlemények: Az 1995. május 20-i közgyűlés iratai