Cultură, societate academică și biblioteci în Țara Vinului

1 February 2010

Botond Gudor

As far as historian Bod Péter (1712-1769) is concerned, the bibliography of the Transylvanian Enlightenment suggested almost paradigmatically, the difficult relation between genesis of scientific work and library in the Wine Country (in Hungarian: Hegyalja) from around the princely town of Alba Iulia. Beginning from premises of nobiliary Enlightenment an overview of culture, book and idea of an academic society in this part of Transylvania clarifies that ambiguity by which this part of the Principality was characterized as being at the periphery of culture: “behind God”. On the contrary, the Wine Country became the melting pot of some mobilizing acquisitions concerning the Hungarian illuminist culture, especially through nobility and clergy. On his debut in bibliotheconomy count Sámuel Teleki (1739-1822), organized his own library in Şard, not far from Alba Iulia. Assuming responsibility for inviting some renowned priests, baron Joseph Inczédi (1688-1751), Reformed churchwarden of Ighiu and judge of the Tabula Regia from Târgu Mureş, asserted himself as innovator of Transylvanian literature by nonconformist use of Arabian Maqama within fiction of the Principality. Pre-illuminist Reformed priest Bod Péter from Ighiu became the promoter of the idea of an erudite society, inside which Transylvanian scientists had preserved for him an eminent place ever since he was alive. Countess Eszter Teleki (Ráday) from Ţelna (1716-1764), heiress of a valuable collection of old book, became the leading representative of the woman capable of assimilating the most noble illuminist ideas. Mother of count Joseph Teleki (1738- 1796) (cousin of Sámuel Teleki) she made use of the pedagogical skills of Bod in preparing the young count to occupy his place in the upper Habsburg society. No wonder that the bibliophile personality of Bod had a benefic influence over the young count from Ţelna, who as an adult donated books to the Library of the future Hungarian Academy. Not far from Ighiu, in Aiud, Sámuel Szilágyi founded his personal library in which literature of radical illuminism was extremely treasured. Remembering also the libraries of the Chapter from Alba Iulia and Bethlen College from Aiud, we may consider that the idea referring to peripheric cultural situation of the area cannot be defended. Under the impact of nobiliary Enlightenment in its radical and conservative variants we acknowledge in the culture and libraries from the Wine Country the bibliophile horizon of Central Europe developed around European academic accumulations. Topics of the theology, history and art volumes belong both to the theological conservatism and philosophic radicalism, suggesting the cultural and pedagogical value of the book. Bibliophile successes of Sámuel Teleki and Joseph Teleki, publications and academic idea of Bod suggested the existence of an extremely dynamic region in reception and promovation of the illuminist message of utilitarist features in the benefit of Transylvanian development. 

library; Academy; Enlightenment; Bod; Teleki