The unceasingly revisitable translation history. Significance and challenges of information history approaches
After identifying seven dominant information history discourses, we verify that translation history can provide worthwhile contribution to all of them. The paper offers a list of research questions, generated by information history interest, which can be seen by translation historians as their special research problem. It is also interesting to reconsider the crossroads, research challenges and new contexts of translation history, using the approaches of Big History and Social Macroevolution. After reviewing the rough historiography of translation history, we explain why it is timely to extend the scope of translation history to every historical form of linguistic connections and meaning conversion.
What does Sarduri have to do with Iątar? An Assyrian logogram as a means of legitimacy in Urartu
According to Dan Sperber, thoughts spread from person to person like infections: they appear primarily as sets of concepts that have been received from somewhere else, or at least their certain specific elements come from outside sources. This holds true for the establishment of the state in Urartu at the end of the ninth century BC, when a number of cultural and technical elements of culture and power appeared in Eastern Anatolia, which were previously typical in the Assyrian Empire: the use of literacy, including taking over various expressions of domination, titles with purposes of legitimacy and the use of symbols. The starting point of the paper is a rather specific written representation of the name of the first known King of Urartu, Sarduri I: the name of the king resembles the Assyrian phrase "Iątar is my strength". The fact that the creator of (or who ordered) the first inscriptions in Urartu took advantage of the possibilities resulting from this acoustic similarity, at least in Assyrian texts, shows that the evolving Urartu State consciously started using the various power-ideology and legitimacy elements of Mesopotamian origin.
The Spanish version – Translators and interpreters in the Franco dictatorship
The Spanish dictatorship (1939–1975), established after the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), laid special emphasis on the total control over its own society. For General Francisco Franco one of the basic requirements of his regimes’ survival was to keep a close eye on the national culture and the Spaniards’ free time and everyday life. All layers of the society relied upon the close ties with the dictatorship, interwoven through professional (like the state-controlled trade unions) and civil groups. Translators and interpreters also had a quite special role in this specific historical situation. Those translators who proved to be worthy of the regime’s trust (being loyal or not openly anti-Francoist) had the task to become the mediators between foreign ideas and Spanish society, paying special attention to the requirements that these ideas or messages should not be “harmful” to the regime’s ideology. In fact, instead of a proper translation, the aim was to create a “Spanish version” of the original works. In this paper we highlight some examples from the fields of translation (especially of literature and cinema) and interpretation of the Francoist dictatorship in order to display some lesser known aspects of the Spanish regime.
Terminology as information and knowledge management for translators – historical aspects
The aim of this study is to present terminology as an information and knowledge management for translators from historical aspects. Several areas can be classified as subsets of information history, e.g. library science, translation, and the fields of terminology, standardization and technical documentation. Terminologists can be regarded as information specialists who provide translators with a special information service: collection, classification, and rendering terms into databases. An important step of international unification processes is standardization, in which terminology is attributed a prominent role. The “father” of terminological standardization was the Austrian engineer Eugen Wüster, whose doctoral dissertation, published in 1931, initiated the process of terminological standardization. From historical point of view, the emergence of terminology as information and knowledge management for translators can be linked to the works of Eugen Wüster. In Hungary, terminological work for translation primarily takes place in translation bureaus, so the information and knowledge management works for translators is provided by these agencies. The most important information management tools to support translation activity are the terminology databases. Such databases were launched as early as the second half of the 20th century, however, public online terminology databases only became available from the mid-1990s, and even more so from the 2000s.
The “Palace Revolution” of 1272 in Székesfehérvár
Around the turn of August and September 1272, probably a few days or weeks before the coronation of King Ladislas IV, a group of Hungarian aristocrats launched an armed attack near Székesfehérvár against the manor house of Queen Elizabeth, the widow of King Stephen V. Their attempt was unsuccessful, but the incident, beyond highlighting the deep internal divisions of the baronial elite, had important consequences. The leaders of the attack have long been identified as Egyed and Gregory of the kindred Monoszló, however, opinions are divided concerning the background, motive and purpose of the attack. Based on contemporary German sources among others it was suggested that the violent deposition of King Ladislas IV aimed at the ascension of his cousin, Duke Béla of Macsó to the throne. This is highly unlikely in our opinion, and it is not clear from the precise interpretation of the sources that Egyed and Gergely had such intentions. Far more plausible is the explanation that the purpose of the "palace revolution" was to oust the heir to the throne, Joakim of the kindred Gut-Keled, who was kidnapped in Slavonia that summer, and his allies, and possibly to punish and execute them, as well as taking over the government by obtaining control over the Queen Mother and King Ladislas IV. In addition to the above issue, we also examine whether there are any traces – in extant medieval sources – of the rumors mostly appearing in literature that Elisabeth and Joakim maintained an adulterous affair around 1272.
The Origins of Hungarian Nationalism: Discourse About Nationhood at the End of the 18th Century
This paper examines the origins of Hungarian nationalism in the Kingdom of Hungary. Its main thesis is that nationalism (as a political discourse and not as a mass movement) emerged in Hungary more suddenly, more radically and earlier than previously thought. We argue that the power of nationalism in shaping culture, society, politics and identity may best be understood through an analysis of the conceptual arsenal, the rhetorical strategies and dynamics of the new discourse of nation and nationhood, which suddenly emerged in the early 1790s. We claim that it is the sudden appeal of these political discourses that needs to be explained first: how could they successfully overwrite earlier discourses? How did they gain social, political, and cultural legitimacy? How did they relate to the Enlightenment? To provide answers to these questions, we first point out the ambiguity and fluidity of new concepts, such as nation, language, fatherland, patriot, foreigner etc. These new, key concepts in political discourse provided innovative and independent sources of political legitimation. They served as keystones, on the basis of which the framework of politics could be rewritten. They made an easy entry into politics also because they were rooted in more familiar, earlier political discourses. However, for the success of nationalism as a political paradigm (which remained relatively unchanged in the coming century), the new discourses of nation also needed to make attractive ideological propositions and project positive visions of the future. The main body of the paper shows how these propositions, all aiming fundamentally at public happiness, targeted at a variety of audiences.
The Roman Empire in the Speech of Agrippa II
Flavius Iosephus inserted an advisory speech into the second book of his Jewish War. The long suasoria was harangued by Marcus Julius Agrippa II, the client king of Judea, who pretended to dissuade his fellow-countrymen from launching a war against the occupying Roman forces. He tried to convince the Jews that a mutiny against Rome is absolutely hopeless and impossible. The major part of his argumentation is an overview of the Roman Empire in AD 66: he takes into account the nine macro-regions of the imperium Romanum from East to West (Asia Minor, Anatolia, Bosporus; Thrace; Dalmatia; Gaul; Spain; Germany; Britain; Africa; Egypt) from different point of views: e.g. size of population, economic strength, natural protection etc. Josephus/Agrippa aimed to demonstrate that Rome is invincible, she practically rules the whole world, and the nations subjugated to her power, willingly obey. This rose-tinted view, of course, was deliberately distorted and far from truth. Nevertheless, in Agrippa’s speech we do not find the usual topics of laus imperii, therefore this picture of the Roman Empire can be certainly described as more ‘realistic’ than ‘optimistic’. For example, Iosephus/Agrippa openly says that the nations conquered by the Romans commuted their former freedom to slavery. Thus, he does not deny that Rome enslaves the nations, all he wants is to persuade the Jews that this is not only a ‘historical necessity’, but it is in accordance with the plan of God.
Pope Innocent IV and the Decline of Delegated Jurisdiction in Hungary in the Mid-13th Century
The paper discusses a special aspect of the papal-Hungarian relations, namely the operation of the delegated jurisdiction after the Mongol invasion of 1241–42. The focus of the study is on the revival of the system in the 1240s and on certain measures of Pope Innocent IV in 1252 and 1254. The first measure of this kind is traditionally considered to be a papal allowance, which was granted to King Béla IV in order to avoid his ecclesiastical and lay subjects being cited outside of the realm. This prohibition, according to the opinion of the Hungarian legal-historian, György Bónis, was annulled as early as 1259. In the present study we argue that, although the charters of Innocent IV and Alexander IV are indeed of great importance, but its impact should not to be overrated, even though the number of the known cases, which were supervised by papal judges significantly dropped in the 1250s. However, the reason behind this decrease cannot be explained solely with the above-mentioned papal charter, but other factors should also be considered in investigating this question.