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A Seventeenth-century Odyssey in East Central Europe: The by Gábor Kármán

By Gábor Kármán

In A Seventeenth-Century Odyssey Gábor Kármán reconstructs the existence tale of a lesser-known Hungarian orientalist, Jakab Harsányi Nagy. The dialogue of his actions as a college instructor in Transylvania, as a diplomat and interpreter on the elegant Porte, as a secretary of a Moldavian voivode in exile, in addition to a courtroom councillor of Friedrich Wilhelm, the good Elector of Brandenburg not just sheds mild upon the terribly flexible profession of this person, but in addition at the number of circles within which he lived. Gábor Kármán additionally provides the 1st old research of Harsányi’s contribution to Turkish reviews, the Colloquia Familiaria Turcico-latina (1672).

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Extra resources for A Seventeenth-century Odyssey in East Central Europe: The Life of Jakab Harsányi Nagy

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Bots and W. Th. M. Frijhoff, “De studentenpopulatie van de Franeker academie: Een kwantitatief onderzoek (1585–1811)” [The student population of the Academy of Franeker: A quantitative analysis 1585–1811], in Universiteit te Franeker 1585–1811, ed. Goffe Th.  Smit, and Frans Westra (Leeuwarden, 1985), 57–62. indb 26 11/17/2015 3:57:44 PM The Beginnings of an Ecclesiastical Career 27 percentage of Hungarians is even higher if we only consider the faculty of theology. 56 This certainly made the adaptation of the newcomers to the ­foreign conditions easier, since they encountered a massive body of their compatriots who could help them overcome their initial difficulties.

In the case of Gábor Haller it could be assumed that the alchemist had a future advantage in mind when he received the young aristocrat as a guest (and even lent him some money). 80 It is thus possible that, like other students, Harsányi and his company were hosted by Bánfihunyadi, especially since they had to pass through London. If Harsányi was in Cambridge in the second trimester of 1642, and if we assume that he had previously stayed in London, he must have arrived in England in the second half of 1641, probably during the autumn, since crossing the English Channel in winter could be a dangerous enterprise.

77 The surviving evidence, which is nevertheless scarce, shows that the Hungarian students did not use these fairly obvious networks. Márton Szepsi Csombor crossed the Channel from Vlissingen (Zeeland) to England on his own initiative and tried to find his way around London alone. 78 It is not clear why Szepsi Csombor did not contact the one person on whose support an increasing number of visiting students could rely since the 1620s, John (János) Bánfihunyadi. This Hungarian alchemist, born in Nagybánya, had been living in London since 1608, and although he planned several times to return home, he could only leave town for shorter periods because of his English wife and his 74 75 76 77 78 The exact text of the dedication is cited in footnote 3.

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