Cultural Horizon of Aristocrats in the Hungarian Kingdom

István Monok:
The Cultural Horizon of Aristocrats in the Hungarian Kingdom. Their Libraries and Erudition in the 16th and 17th Centuries

[= Verflechtungen und Interferenzen. Studien zu den Literaturen und Kulturen im zentraleuropäischen Raum. Hg. von Wolfgang Müller-Funk und Andrea Seidler; 3]

2019, ISBN 978-3-7069-1024-8, 390 S., brosch.
€ [A] 33,00 / € [D] 32,10

       Praesens OpenAccess

„Inter arma silent musae” – Muses are silent in war, meaning the continuous wars of the 16-17th centuries did not favour education, the blooming of culture – is it really the case? The book, searching for possible answers, examines the literacy of the country’s decision-makers, and gives the answer, highlighting that members of the aristocratic families – the Istvánffys, the Zrínyis, the Bánffys, the Nádasdys, the Esterházys and others – have acquired similar education to contemporary European nobility. Being literate helped them take responsibility for the support of churches operating on their holdings, establish schools, printing houses, libraries, and offer examples of civilized life, cultural tastes and entertainment in their courtyards. They made decisions with history and politics in mind, encouraging the reunification of the country (the Hungarian Kingdom), looking for a potential ally. Because even back then they couldn’t do it alone.