Culture

Hungary Literature Part I

Hungarian literary culture is the daughter of Christianity; in it, therefore, no pagan traditions made themselves felt, nor are there written documents of Hungarian poetry from the pre-Christian era.

The first to cultivate literature were the ecclesiastics with the Venetian San Gerardo, to whom we owe the work entitled Deliberationes. A court priest compiled the Warnings of Santo Stefano to his son Sant’Emerico; and the bishop of Pécs (Cinquechiese), the blessed Maurizio, author of the legends of the hermits San Zoerardo and San Benedetto, is the first writer of Hungarian origin. Both in these last legends as in those of Santo Stefano and Sant’Emerico of the end of the century. XI, there are hardly any particular Magyar elements. It was around the figure of St. Ladislaus that the popular imagination for the first time intertwined characteristically Hungarian traits.

At this time (1091) the first Hungarian story also appeared, the Gesta Ungarorum, which has not come down to us, but which can be reconstructed on the basis of later chroniclers. The Anonymus (notary of King Béla II or King Béla III) opens the ranks of these, whose chronicle is a colorful story of chivalry. His followers were Simone Kézai, court priest (around 1284), and Marco Kálti, canon of Székesfehérvár, who at the time of Louis the Great composed the so-called Aluminized Chronicle of Vienna. The first began the history of Hungary with the Hun legends, tracing the genealogy of the Hungarian princes to Attila; the second perpetuated the legends of the kings of Casa Árpád.

Cultural centers – in addition to the royal court – were the Benedictine, Cistercian and Premonstratensian convents.

In the diplomas, written in Latin, we find, from 1055 onwards, the first memories of the Hungarian language (names of places, single words, translations, glosses). A Latin Mass book, dated 1295, has handed down to us the oldest Hungarian text: a funeral speech and prayer of 26 lines, whose clear and vigorous style necessarily suggests secular precedents. The immediacy, the sonorous rhymes and the sure rhythm of popular poetry, undoubtedly flourished in the same period, but disappeared without leaving traces, resound in the Lament of Mary, the oldest known Hungarian poem, composed around 1300. After some recollections of minor importance, only starting from the second half of the 15th century do we suddenly see the multiplication of written works of Hungarian literature. Their unknown editors were exclusively Dominican and Franciscan monks: the movement of religious reform they led had not a little influence on the beginning of this literary activity, which was limited, however, to simple translations.

The first attempt at a strictly literary use of the Hungarian language is handed down to us by the code Jókai (Legend of St. Francis), written around 1380. The large quantity of subsequent translations was exclusively intended for the education and edification of the monks and above all for the nuns, who did not know Latin. Their content, therefore, is constituted by norms of monastic life, by prayers, hymns, devote readings. There is also no shortage of versions from Sacred Scripture in Hungarian: the Psalms resound and a whole world of medieval legends opens up. The zealous Hungarian monks drew on common sources of religious literature and particularly on Pelbardo Temesvári, an eminent Hungarian Franciscan, whose works (PomeriumRosarium), which appeared abroad in numerous editions, served for a long time as a model for the sacred eloquence of the Catholic Church.

With the exception of two original Hungarian hymns (the one to the Virgin Mary by Andrea Vásárhelyi and another in honor of St. Ladislao), in which a profound religiosity is intertwined with patriotism – the dominant idea of ​​Magyar poetry – few traces remain of secular literature. Only their name (regösigric) and the diplomas concerning them document the fame of the court storytellers of the Arpadian era, since their compositions were intended for an audience of listeners and not readers. Neither the lutenists of King Matthias, mentioned by Galeotto Marzio, must have been literally cultured poets. The only remnant of this popular epic is the song about the Siege of Szabács (war episode by Mattia Corvinus), composed in 1476. Profane lyric poetry, consisting mainly of love songs (virágének) soon disappeared from literature following the persecutions of the Church. The few compositions of the ‘400 that escaped this fate are due to the pen of clerics and scribes and belong to the genre of goliardic poetry. The best is Francesco Apáthy’s Cantilena, the first Hungarian satire, which lashes out at the corruption following the death of King Matthias.

According to sunglassestracker, traces of the spread of humanistic ideas can be found since the second half of the century. XIV. At first, in this field, the Italian influences made themselves felt not only directly, but also through Prague. During the reign of Sigismondo then, especially with the settling of the Scolari family in Hungary, thanks to the Italians they brought there, contacts with Italy acquired decisive importance. With Sigismondo also came Pier Paolo Vergerio, who had a large part in the creation of Hungarian humanistic literature. The influence he had on the bishop of Várad, Giovanni Vitéz, the first aware Hungarian humanist, who sent Janus Pannonius (1447) to the school of Guarino, in Verona, was very effective, who, in turn, he was soon to become one of the most eminent figures in international literature of the 15th century. In the twenty years between 1450 and 1470 all of Italy admired the poems of Pannonius; his glory also radiated on his homeland: he was the first to bring Hungary into the European literary community. Vespasiano da Bisticci remembers only Vitéz, Janus Pannonius and Giorgio Handó, future archbishop of Kalocsa, as representatives of Hungarian humanism. However, neither Stefano Várdai nor Giorgio Kosztolányi (Georgius Polycarpus) were unknown in Italy and, among the young people, Pietro Garázda, also a pupil of Guarino, for his high poetic skills made himself worthy of the admiration of Ficino and Ugolino Verino. . Hungarian humanistic culture culminated in the Matthias court, who did not love the glory and pomp less than the arts and science. He founded a university in Pozsony (Bratislava), a high school in Buda and collected in his library (the famous Corvina) the masterpieces of classical literature in lavishly illustrated codices. After his marriage to Beatrice of Aragon, the generosity of the royal patron made the court of Buda one of the most splendid centers of culture and art. The first profane historian appeared at the royal court: Giovanni Thuróczi, and the first foreigner who studied Hungarian history, Antonio Bonfini. In this time (1473) it began its activity, with the edition of the in Buda a high school and collected in its library (the famous Corvina) the masterpieces of classical literature in lavishly illustrated codices. After his marriage to Beatrice of Aragon, the generosity of the royal patron made the court of Buda one of the most splendid centers of culture and art. The first profane historian appeared at the royal court: Giovanni Thuróczi, and the first foreigner who studied Hungarian history, Antonio Bonfini. In this time (1473) it began its activity, with the edition of the in Buda a high school and collected in its library (the famous Corvina) the masterpieces of classical literature in lavishly illustrated codices. After his marriage to Beatrice of Aragon, the generosity of the royal patron made the court of Buda one of the most splendid centers of culture and art. The first profane historian appeared at the royal court: Giovanni Thuróczi, and the first foreigner who studied Hungarian history, Antonio Bonfini. In this time (1473) it began its activity, with the edition of the Antonio Bonfini. In this time (1473) it began its activity, with the edition of the Antonio Bonfini. In this time (1473) it began its activity, with the edition of the Cronica Budense, the first Hungarian printing house.

Hungary Literature 1