“…she will form a new bond between her esteemed family and the nation…”. The members of the imperial family in Hungary (1867–1868)
The primary aim of my study is to present the birth of the imperial couple’s youngest child in Buda, as well as episodes of her infanthood in Hungary by showing snippets of Elizabeth’s private sphere, to the extent the available sources allow, based on printed and handwritten sources that haven’t been examined in detail before. These sources not only present considerable new developments in Elizabeth’s representation in Hungary, but they might have significant lifestyle-history aspects as well, not to mention cultural history. They could also provide crucial new details in the examination of Elizabeth’s life, by shedding light on the shift in her role as a mother, in which she had previously been forced into the background due to her mother-in-law’s rise to prominence.
The early political career of Miklós Vay in Zemplén county (1825–1831)
In my thesis I aim to present a relatively short period in the life of an exceptionally prominent conservative politician of the 19th century, Baron Miklós Vay’s (1802–1894), when he worked as notary, then deputy lieutenant (vicecomes) in Zemplén county. His career is worth examining, and still has not been investigated in detail. As it has not yet been analyzed, one can only learn of his activities from the relatively small number of archival sources and on the basis of a few written records. In my work I have focused my attention on Vay’s activities in Zemplén county from 1825 to 1831. I studied it in the context of the political activity of the Hungarian aristocracy in the period ranging from 1790 to 1848. As Vay’s person is in the center of my research, I present his appointments and election to the offices, and his supporters in the county and later in the country and empire, too. I can only give a general picture of Vay’s activities from these archival documents, which is an important aspect in itself as well, and can also provide useful information for an eventual complete Vay-biography in the future.
The education of the orphans of Pál Zichy II. The education strategy of the Zichy family during the second half of the 17th century
The study of the 16th-17th century school as an educational institution, and the education habits of aristocrats and other social groups of the time has gained traction in the recent years. This study aims to join this trend by examining the education of the children of the Zichy family in the 17th century. The first section of the study presents a more general image of the family’s education strategy during this century. It is followed by a more detailed examination of the university studies of the orphaned children of Pál Zichy II (1640-1684). Useful information can be found in this section regarding the children’s studies, accommodation and retinue first in Vienna, then presumably in Graz. The most important sources used were the letters of Kata Károlyi (-1694), the mother of the children, written to her father- in-law, István Zichy I regarding the studies of her sons. We learn about Pál Zichy Jr.’s studies in the Pázmáneum from the letters of János Kecskeméthy, the director of the institution at the time. These letters contain information about the difficulties parents and guardians had to endure if they sent their children to study in foreign schools. The literature of the field and newer sources also confirm that the Zichy family managed to integrate fully into the Hungarian aristocracy by the end of the 17th century, and adopted their education habits as well, while also trying to overcome the challenges of the are to ensure a prosperous future for their children.
“Emotional ailments” and “troubles of the mind”. Illnesses of the soul in medical dissertations on the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries
Complex scientific ideas explaining the soul and its ailments, place, role, and effect on the body first formed in the fields of medicine, philosophy, anthropology, and pedagogy, then they became disciplines of their own by the second half of the 19th century. Interest in human sciences, including the scientific examination of the soul, started in Hungary during the second half of the 18th century. This is clearly discernible from the scientific discourse of the time, an important part of which were the dissertations written at the end of one’s university studies, which were published in print as well. The dissertations examined in this study present significant information regarding what was taught at universities about the nature and role of the soul, as well as its illnesses, and how this knowledge changed and improved during the examined time period. In other words, what new, empirical information about the illnesses of the soul and the mind got added to the texts besides the preexisting base of knowledge. Furthermore, as most of these dissertations were not original works, but compilations, the reception of new pieces of knowledge from Western Europe can also be examined in them. Present study focuses on the dissertations written and defended by the Hungarian students of the universities of Vienna and Nagyszombat/Buda/Pest between 1750 and 1830. Only a small number of dissertations about ailments of the soul were written at the examined universities during this period, but references or even entire chapters dedicated to these illnesses often appeared in dissertations focusing on different topics. To account for this, we have expanded the scope of examined texts to dissertations in which the illnesses of the soul appeared as causes or risk factors for other pathological conditions or said to be caused by these conditions. Dissertations focusing on medical practices and therapy should also be examined in relation to this topic, since during this period they already contained practical information regarding the treatment of the mentally ill.