Latin at the Crossroads of Identity: The Evolution of Linguistic Nationalism in the Kingdom of Hungary

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From the late 18th century in the multi-ethnic Kingdom of Hungary, new language-based national identities came to dominate over those that had previously been constructed on legal, territorial, or historical basis. While the Hungarian language struggled to emancipate itself, the roles and functions of Latin (the official language until 1844) were changing dramatically. Latin held a different significance for varying segments of society, from being the essential part of an individual identity to representing an obstacle to “national survival”; from guaranteeing harmony between the different linguistic communities to hindering change, social and political justice. This pioneering volume aims to highlight the ways language debates about Latin and Hungarian contributed to the creation of new identities and ideologies in Central Europe.

Contributors include Gábor Almási, Per Pippin Aspaas, Piroska Balogh, Henrik Hönich, László Kontler, István Margócsy, Alexander Maxwell, Ambrus Miskolczy, Levente Nagy, Nenad Ristović, Andrea Seidler, Teodora Shek Brnardić, Zvjezdana Sikirić Assouline, and Lav Šubarić
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Biographical Note

Gábor Almási, Ph.D. (1972), Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, is external researcher at Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies. His interests range from Renaissance studies to pre-modern nationalism. He is the author of Uses of Humanism (Brill, 2009).

Lav Šubarić, Ph.D. (1971), University of Innsbruck, is key researcher at Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies. His interests include manuscript studies, Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin studies. He has co-authored Tyrolis Latina. Geschichte der Lateinischen Literatur in Tirol (Böhlau, 2012).

Review Quote

"Latin at the Crossroads of Identity is highly recommendable and is a valuable volume not only for linguists, as some may deduce from just the name of the ancient Roman language in its title, but also for historians, sociologists, and a wider audience interested in topics related to Central Europe and all-European culture [...] a volume that thoroughly explores the complex and dynamic relation between language and national identity within the Hungarian Kingdom of the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."
Ferdinand Siarl in Hungarian Cultural Studies. e-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association

"The book will act as a useful corrective to the traditional view on the importance of Latin as contained to early modernity only, while on the other hand, it constitutes a much needed introduction to central European Latinitas. Hopefully, other scholars not only will incorporate the presented information in their own publications and research, but will also probe into some issues and problems signaled on the volume’s pages."
Tomasz Kamusella (University of St Andrews) in Colloquia Humanistica (2017-6).

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Map of Hungary c. 1790

Introduction 
Gábor Almási and Lav Šubarić

The Politics of Language

When Language Became Ideology: Hungary in the Eighteenth Century 
István Margócsy

Which Language and Which Nation? Mother Tongue and Political Languages. Insights from a Pamphlet Published in 1790 
Henrik Hönich

‘Hungarus Consciousness’ in the Age of Early Nationalism 
Ambrus Miskolczy

Before and after 1773: Central European Jesuits, the Politics of Language and Discourses of Identity in the Late Eighteenth Century Habsburg Monarchy 
Per Pippin Aspaas and László Kontler

Dilemmas of Latin in Education and Media

The Enlightenment’s Choice of Latin: the Ratio educationis of 1777 in the Kingdom of Hungary 
Teodora Shek Brnardić

The Long Road of Hungarian Media to Multilingualism: on the Replacement of Latin in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Course of the Eighteenth Century 
Andrea Seidler

The Language Question and the Paradoxes of Latin Journalism in Eighteenth-century Hungary 
Piroska Balogh

The Other Hungarians

From the Aftermath of 1784 to the Illyrian Turn: The Slow Demise of the Official Latin in Croatia 
Lav Šubarić

The Latin Speeches in the Croatian Parliament: Collective and Personal Identities 
Zvjezdana Sikirić Assouline

Latin as the Panslavonic Language, 1790−1848 
Alexander Maxwell

Latin and Vernacular Relations in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: the Serbian Case 
Nenad Ristović

Romans, Romanians and Latin-speaking Hungarians. The Latin Language in Hungarian-Romanian Intellectual Discourse (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries) 
Levente Nagy

List of Contributors 

Index 

Readership

Teachers, researchers, and students in European (especially Central and East European) history. Specialists in nationalism, Neo-Latin studies, linguistics, and history of ideas.

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