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A Contribution to the Hungarian Reception of Marulić’s Works
The author first advanced the hypothesis of a potential Hungarian reception of Marko Marulić in his comparative analysis of Marulić’s Judita (Judith) and the epic poem History of Dame Judith and Holofernes (Az Holofernes es Judit asszony históriája) written by a poet of the Hungarian Reformation, Mihály Sztáraij. Till recently, the sole known Hungarian response to the Split poeta eruditus was indirect and concerned the genesis of the epic Szigeti veszedelem (Obsidionis Szigetianae) by Nikola Zrinski (Miklós Zrínyi): The poet Brne Karnarutić Zadranin was known to have utilized Marulić’s Judita in his Vazetje Sigeta grada (The Conquest of the City of Sziget), used later by Nikola Zrinski in his Sziget epic in Hungarian.
Hungarian literary history still requires a serious analysis of the domestic response to Marulić’s works. The evidence is to be sought on two sides: in the Hungarian libraries and archives, and in the works of the 16th and 17th century Hungarian writers. Taking both lines of research the author has discovered that Marulić was read in Hungarian monasteries in the 17th century, as is witnessed by the library catalogues of the Jesuit Order at Kassa and Pozsony, cities in Upper Hungary, where the Jesuits started organizing monastic life from the very beginning of the Catholic renewal. The catalogues at Kassa and Poszony recorded first copies of the Euangelistarium as early as the 17th century. Other fresh factual information concerns the collection of Count Miklós Pázmány, Chief Captain of Vesprim and the nephew of the Archbishop of Ostrogon, Cardinal Péter Pázmány. The list of the Count’s collection records a copy of the De institutione.
Particular attention has been paid to Marulić’s reception on the part of István Miscolczi Csulyak, one of the most outstanding and educated personalities of the Hungarian 17th century Reformation. In the catalogue of his library holdings the title of the Euangelistarium was entered twice. One of the copies was of the Venetian edition of 1516 and the other of the Köln edition of 1556.
The report concludes with the sole evidence of the Hungarian direct response to Marulić’s work. Namely, the Jesuit György Káldi, at one time collaborator to Cardinal Péter Pázmány and the Baroque translator of the Bible, in 1631 published two volumes of Sunday and holiday sermons. In them he quoted Marulić several times and alluded to his De institutione. Analyzing Kaldi’s texts the reader is immediately struck by his erudition. The sermons include numerous quotations from the Church Fathers (Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Tertullian), scholastics (Thomas Aquinas, Bernard from Clairvaux, Bonaventure) and classical literature (Xenophon, Plutarch, Aristotle etc.). In this brilliant galaxy we find also the name of Marcus Marulus Spalatensis.
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