Court and Nation: Research Questions Cover Image

Az Udvar és a Nemzet. Egy kutatás kérdései
Court and Nation: Research Questions

Author(s): Péter Erdősi
Subject(s): History
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The study’s introduction, placing the problem of rulers’ courts in the context of state formation research, points out that the nineteenth- and twentieth-century survival and changing functions of this early modern institution can be interpreted by the nationalism theories of the 1980s. Furthermore, the study, focusing on the relationship between rulers’ courts and nations in nineteenth-century Hungarian history, establishes two possible strands of research: (1) the analysis of nineteenthcentury historians’ image of medieval and early modern Hungarian courts, and closely associated to this, (2) the contemporary perceptions of the nineteenthcentury Habsburg court in Buda, the Hungarian state capital, determined by the ambiguous relations, conflict and accomodation, between the ruling dynasty and the Hungarian nation. The present work refers to the case study of the nineteenthcentury perceptions of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Transylvanian rulers and their court in Gyulafehérvár in the context of two travel accounts promoting knowledge about Transylvania and its history. On one hand, these suggest that national historiography established the splendid image of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Transylvanian court in Gyulafehérvár by ignoring the humble nineteenth-century realities of the town’s urban life and monuments. On the other hand, the purpose of reminiscing about the glorious past of the Transylvanian court was to conpensate for the lack of early modern and nineteenth-century ‘national’ kingdom and court. Gyulafehérvár, thus, became the polar opposite of Vienna and Buda as the representatives of royal Habsburg power – a compensative mirage of the desire for national independence.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 37
  • Page Range: 41-56
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Hungarian