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By Gábor Kármán

In A Seventeenth-Century Odyssey Gábor Kármán reconstructs the lifestyles 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 gentle upon the terribly flexible occupation of this person, but additionally at the number of circles within which he lived. Gábor Kármán additionally provides the 1st old research of Harsányi’s contribution to Turkish reports, the Colloquia Familiaria Turcico-latina (1672).

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This informal help also stood at Harsányi’s disposal. Just like the majority of the Hungarian students, he arrived to the Netherlands during the summer. 58 They must have travelled together most of the way. 59 Harsányi, however, did not benefit from the opportunities offered by the “Hungarian colony” at Franeker. His stay there was not even long 55 56 57 58 59 seventeenth–eighteenth centuries is from Sándor Ladányi, “Magyar diákok a franekeri egyetemen” [Hungarian students at the Franeker University], Confessio 10, no.

This is all the more striking since they rarely complain about the hardship of a continental land journey. It was most probably the exceptional nature of the experience, and the fact that they had survived a hitherto unknown danger, that released their loquacity. 53 We do not know whether Harsányi had to face similar woes, but it must have been a comforting feeling to have reached the first goal of his journey, Franeker. The university of Friesland, established in 1585, second only to Leiden in the list of early Dutch university foundations, counted as the “most Hungarian” institution of higher education in the period.

1, 1506–1648 (Stuttgart, 1887), 744– 745 (in the following: PKPS XXXII). Márton Szepsi Csombor, Europica varietas, ed. Péter Kulcsár (Budapest, 1979), 103–122. András Csehi to the Council of Nagybánya ([1648]), Lajos Kaposi, “A régiek” [The ancients], Magyar Protestáns Egyházi és Iskolai Figyelő 6 (1884), 268 (in the following: MPEIF VI). On the phenomenon generally, see András Péter Szabó, “Haller Gábor naplójának forrásai” [The sources of the diary of Gábor Haller], in Emlékezet és devóció a régi magyar irodalomban, ed.

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