Centuries of Resumptions: The Historiography of the Jesuits in Hungary
(10,985 words)

Béla Vilmos Mihalik

Last modified: December 2016


The suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, followed by its restoration in 1814, is generally seen as having created a neat bifurcation of the order’s history into pre-suppression and post-restoration eras. But in Hungary, the picture is more complicated, as decades of postwar Communist rule constitute an additional inflection point. As a result, the history of the Society in Hungary can in fact be divided into four distinct periods:  (1) that of the “old,” or pre-suppression, Society (1561–1773); (2) that which followed the return of the restored Society and the establishment of the autonomous Hungarian province (1853/1909–50); (3) that of Communist oppression and exile (1950–90); and (4) that of the reunified Hungarian province (since 1990). Each period had a unique historical perspective, which was reflected in the writings of the Jesuits of that time. The result is a rich and evolving historiography, which this essay will explore. But first, it is essential to provide a brief overview of the history of the Society of Jesus in Hungary.


History of the Society of Jesus in Hungary

The history of the Society in Hungary began in 1561, just two decades after the establishment of the Jesuit order and the collapse of the medieval Hungarian kingdom into three parts (Habsburg Hungary, Transylvania, and Ottoman Hungary).1 In that year, the archbishop of Esztergom, Miklós Oláh, invited the Jesuits to establish a college in Trnava (Nagyszombat). Although this first attempt was unsuccessful, as the college was closed in 1567 following its devastation by both plague and fire, the Hungarian Catholic elite continued their efforts to bring the Society to their region. By the end of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits had successfully founded colleges in Kláštor pod Znievom (Znióváralja) and Šaľa (Vágsellye), towns in so-called “Royal Hungary” (the western area, close to Vienna, that was under Habsburg rule).

The time of the Jesuit Cardinal Péter Pázmány (1570–1637; archbishop of Esztergom, 1616–37) was a particularly active one, as the Austrian province of the Society established new residences and colleges throughout Hungary and the Jesuits assumed a prominent role in the nation’s  re-Catholicization.  This created a backlash, as Protestant groups used the Diet of 1608 to restrict the order’s right to own land and other properties. Nevertheless, thanks to the support of Catholic bishops and aristocrats, the Society was able to develop almost untroubled until its suppression. One of the highlights of this period was the foundation of the University of Trnava by Cardinal Péter Pázmány (1570–1637).

The Jesuits were able to make progress in the other parts of the kingdom as well. Stephen Báthory, prince of Transylvania (r.1571–86) and king of Poland (r.1576–86), established the colleges of Cluj (Kolozsvár) and Alba Julia (Gyulafehérvár), and unlike the Habsburgs, he ruled that some of these colleges belonged to the South Polish Province. Although Protestant nobility were able to pressure Báthory’s successor and nephew, Sigismund Báthory (1572–1613), into expelling the Jesuits from Transylvania in 1588, he later called them back. The reign of Calvinist princes in the seventeenth century was a larger obstacle, as only missionaries were allowed into Transylvania, despite the continued presence of a Jesuit secondary school in Cluj. The expansion of the Society in Transylvania was not continued until the Habsburg occupation of the principality, which began in 1687.

Ottoman Hungary was also missionary territory, and the first half of the seventeenth century saw the establishment of a number of missions and residences there.  The missions, which included both Jesuit and Franciscan outposts, played a decisive role in maintaining the Catholic population’s fidelity, and after the Great Turkish War (1683–99), the residences became a solid foundation for the growth of the Society of Jesus in a liberated Hungary.

Following the suppression of 1773, the Jesuits were absent from Hungary for eight decades, returning only in 1853. They initially settled in Trnava and within a decade had reestablished themselves in many of their former locations, such as Bratislava (Pozsony), and expanded to a few new destinations, such as Kalocsa, as well. They reached Budapest only at the end of the nineteenth century, however.

The restored colleges were still part of the Austrian province, renamed the Austro-Hungarian Province in 1867 on account of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of the same year. But in 1909, a few years before the eruption of the First World War and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the Hungarian colleges seceded from the Austrian province and formed their own autonomous Hungarian province. Following the Treaty of Trianon (1920), which cost Hungary two-thirds of its territories, the colleges of Bratislava and Trnava became parts of the Czechoslovakian province, while those of Satu Mare (Szatmár) and Cluj  joined the Romanian vice-province.

These dramatic changes paradoxically led to a renewed flourishing of the Hungarian province. Over the next two decades, Hungarian Jesuits founded new colleges, participated in the mission in China (where they formed an autonomous apostolic prefecture in 1936), and contributed to an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to establish a Turkish mission.

All of these fruitful labors were undone by the Second World War and the subsequent Communist takeover. The leaders of the province recognized the implications of these political changes and, in 1949, began efforts to rescue novices and scholastics by transferring them to western Europe. At the end of the same year, Provincial István Borbély (1903–87) also fled, first to Austria and then to Italy. The Communist regime banned several religious orders the year after, including the Jesuits. At this point, the Hungarian province split in two. Section One coordinated the Jesuits who stayed illegally in Hungary, while Section Two  managed those who had gone into exile in almost thirty different countries all around the world. The members of Section One suffered brutal persecution and long imprisonments, with the last Jesuit prisoner being released only in 1972. The oppression finally began to soften  during the second half of the 1970s, a period marked by the visit of Superior General Pedro Arrupe (1907–91) to Hungary in 1978. But the Society was not allowed to resume its functioning until 1989, when Hungary underwent rapid democratization. At that point, the two sections were reunified.


The “Old” Society

The eventful history of the Society of Jesus in Hungary is reflected in its rich and evolving historiography. During the period of the “old” Society, the Jesuits devoted much attention to the history of Hungary, as was natural given their role in re-Catholicizing the nation and their establishment of the culturally important University of Trnava. The pioneer in this regard was Melchior Inchofer (1584–1648), who was encouraged by György Jakusich (1609–47; bishop of Eger, 1642–47) to write an ecclesiastical history of Hungary. Inchofer’s model for this work was the Annales ecclesiastici of Caesar Baronius (1538–1607), which he looked to primarily for its editing and examination of sources.2 Although it only reached the year 1059, the resulting Annales ecclesiastici Regni Hungariae investigated not just Hungarian ecclesiastical history but its antecedents in the ancient Roman province of Pannonia as well.3

Inchofer was also a pioneer in critical historiography, since he settled the real date of many charters, including the important Foundation Charter of the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma. On the other hand, Inchofer made some serious mistakes as well: for example, he is responsible for inventing the spurious “Bull of Pope Sylvester II,” which supposedly granted the apostolic title to the Hungarian kings.

Inchofer’s unfinished project was continued by subsequent generations of Jesuits. Gábor Hevenesi (1656–1715), who later served as the provincial of Austria (1711–14), called for a systematic examination and collection of the necessary sources. The project was started in earnest in the 1690s by Márton Cseles (1641–1709), the Hungarian Jesuit confessor at St. Peter’s in Rome, with the support of György Széchényi (c.1605–95; archbishop of Esztergom, 1685–95) and his successor, Cardinal Leopold Kollonich (1631–1707; archbishop, 1695–1707). Research continued in the eighteenth century, producing enormous manuscript collections named after Gábor Hevenesi (Collectio Hevenesiana, 140 volumes) and István Kaprinay (1714–86; Collectio Kaprinayana, 183 volumes).4

The historiographic efforts of the Jesuits peaked with the life works of György Pray (1723–1801) and István Katona (1732–1811). Pray published five volumes of the Annales regum Hungariae, which examined the history of the Hungarian kings up to 1564. Even though Pray was encouraged in his efforts by the Habsburg court, who wanted him to write a history of the seventeenth century that was favorable to the ruling dynasty, he lacked access to the most important archival documents and was unwilling to accept the aid of the ex-Jesuit court librarian Adam Ferenc Kollár (1718–83) in order to gain it.5 His work was continued in István Katona’s Historia critica regum Hungariae, a forty-two-volume work chronicling the rulers of Hungary from the first Hungarian princes up to the Habsburg kings of the eighteenth century.6 Unfortunately, the death of Katona precipitated a half-century break in the Hungarian critical historiography, leaving the new generation of partly secular historians that appeared in the 1850s–60s with the task of rediscovering Pray, Katona, and their pioneering Jesuit works.7

Although the Hungarian Jesuits were very active in researching the national history of Hungary, they spent little time reflecting on their own history in the region. Insofar as they did examine the development of the Society in Hungary, it was as part of the history of certain colleges. From that point of view, the most important institution was the University of Trnava, which became the subject of several new publications as the centennial of its foundation approached.

The first of those books was Imre Tolvay’s (1694–1775) Ortus et progressus Universitatis Tyrnaviensis, which appeared in 1725 and covered the foundation and first decades of the university.8 Tolvay’s account went back to the end of the sixteenth century, when the Jesuits were expelled first from Transylvania and then, as a result of turbulence accompanying the Long Turkish War (1593–1606), from the College of Šaľa. Tolvay emphasized the decisive role of Péter Pázmány, then the Jesuit confessor of Cardinal Ferenc Forgách (1560–1615, archbishop of Esztergom 1607–15), in defending the order during this trying time. As evidence, he published the memorandum of Pázmány to the Catholic estates and the consequent memorandum of the Catholic nobility to King Matthias II (r.1608–19) asking him to restore the Jesuit college in Šaľa. According to Tolvay, it was Pázmány’s determined intervention in this matter that ultimately prompted Pope Paul V (r.1605–21) to send a letter to Matthias II making the same request. Tolvay also credits Pázmány with influencing the Jesuits’ decision to settle in Trnava, the seat of the archbishops during the Ottoman occupation of ancient Esztergom, rather than Šaľa. Pázmány’s support of the Society continued after he became archbishop and culminated in the foundation of the university in Trnava on May 12, 1635.

Tolvay covered the first decades of the university’s existence in the final part of Ortus et progressus Universitatis Tyrnaviensis and, three years later, supplemented his history with a much thinner booklet extending it through 1700. In both works, the author employed an annalistic style, omitting chapter divisions, and focused on the interior development of the university and its religious life, which he situated in the context of the larger historical events (wars, uprisings, etc.) of the time.9

The next history of the university was that of Ferenc Kazy (1695–1759), a bulky volume that appeared two years after the centennial of the university’s foundation.10 While Tolvay had focused primarily on the university itself, Kazy situated its history within that of the Society in Hungary as a whole. It was not surprising that Kazy adopted such a comprehensive viewpoint, since as a professor of humanities at the university (1728–36), he was concurrently writing a three-volume history of Hungary in the seventeenth century.11 Kazy’s work can therefore be treated as a history of the Jesuits in Hungary as well as of the University of Trnava.

Kazy’s history was divided into three parts, each consisting of two or three chapters. He began his examination in the mid-sixteenth century, with the negotiations between Archbishop Miklós Oláh and the Jesuits in Vienna, and then proceeded to discuss the foundation of the first college in Trnava in 1561. Like Tolvay, Kazy saw Pázmány’s role as decisive, although Kazy acknowledged the importance of Pázmány’s predecessors, Archbishops Oláh and Forgách, as well. In fact, Kazy took key sources on Pázmány’s activity—namely, his memorandum to the Catholic estates and their subsequent memorandum to the king—directly from Tolvay’s book. Kazy also emphasized the role of the college in Šaľa as a forerunner to the university and, like Tolvay, connected the history of the university to the great historical events of the time, particularly the Protestant uprisings. He did, however, separate the spiritual history of the university (confraternities, conversions, cult of the saints, etc.) from its general history. Another important difference between Kazy’s and Tolvay’s work was that in Kazy’s third part, where he examined in detail the missions and residences overseen by the university of Trnava, he provided a much wider overview of the activity of the Hungarian Jesuits. His book also closed with short biographies of Archbishop Pázmány and the rectors.

What Trnava meant for Habsburg-ruled Hungary, Cluj meant for Transylvania. Just one year before Kazy’s work appeared, György Daróczy (1699–1756) published a booklet about the history of the college of Cluj.12 The booklet began with a brief biography of Ignatius Loyola, which was followed by a short history of the formation of the Principality of Transylvania and an account of the ecclesiastical prehistory of the region.13 Daróczy paid special attention to the changing political circumstances in Transylvania during the period of the Báthory dynasty and their influence on the Jesuits’ unsuccessful attempt to establish a permanent residence there, examining the records of the Transylvanian diets at the end of the sixteenth century in particular detail. The result was not just a Jesuit history but also a political history of Transylvania. Daróczy’s wide overview thus included the Jesuits in Alba Julia and Oradea (Nagyvárad) as well those in Cluj. However, Daróczy’s book left the story unfinished, because he examined only the Báthory period up to the Bocskai Uprising (1604–5) and the end of the Long Turkish War, mentioning the later missions in the seventeenth century only briefly.

In addition to their works about Jesuit colleges, the Jesuits of the “old” society published several notable biographies. Márton Cseles wrote one about the archiepiscopal period (1685–95) of his patron, Archbishop György Széchényi, in which he examined the connection between him and the Society and emphasized his role in the foundation of several colleges (including Kőszeg, Banská Bystrica [Besztercebánya], Buda, and Esztergom).14 Cseles also examined the archbishop’s activity during the diet of 1687, during which he helped ensure the codification of the Jesuits’ reception into Hungary in Article 20. Another notable offering came from the eighteenth-century theologian Miklós Schmitth (1707–67), who published a work on the archbishops of Esztergom.15 He also composed several volumes on the bishops of Eger, but these did not focus much on the development of the Society in Hungary.16 In the case of Archbishop Széchényi, for example, Schmitth merely touched on his role in the foundation of the colleges and then referred readers back to the work of Márton Cseles.

The historiography of the Austrian province reached its peak in the writings of Anton Socher (1695–1771). His best-known work, Historia provinciae Austriae S.I., was long seen as the definitive source for the history of the Jesuits in the Austrian province, even though the first volume reached only through 1590.17 In that book, Socher addressed the history of the Hungarian Jesuits within the wider context of the history of the province. Since there were at the time few volumes covering Hungarian Jesuit history, he drew primarily upon the work of Francesco Sacchini (1570–1625). He also used the annals of Inchofer and the university histories of Tolvay and Kazy, as well as the manuscripts of György Dobronoki (1588–1649), concerning the college of Sopron and the Austrian province,18 and Rudolf Bzensky (1651–1715), about the ecclesiastical history of Transylvania.19


Suppression, Restoration, and an Independent Hungarian Province

The historiography of the Society in Hungary experienced its first major rupture in 1773, when the order was suppressed and its records scattered. Several important documents, including the manuscript of Socher’s unpublished second volume,20 were delivered to the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma by Mihály Paintner (1753–1826), who became the dean of the Chapter of Győr. The legal documents of the Hungarian colleges were confiscated and moved into the Archive of the Hungarian Royal Chamber,21 while the majority of the volumes of house history found a place in the Library of the University of Trnava.22

The Jesuits returned to Hungary in 1853 but initially had more pressing concerns to attend to than conducting research into the Society’s local history. Thus, in the nineteenth century, such investigations were mostly left to non-Jesuit historians. One of the first to pick up the historiographical thread was János Nagy, who, in the 1840s, wrote a summary of the Jesuits’ history in Hungary. In doing so, he largely followed the style of earlier centuries, turning back to Kazy’s university history as source. His work detailed the Jesuits’ contributions to education, science, politics, and ecclesiastical affairs in Hungary and included a lexicon with short entries about the different types of Jesuit colleges in the various towns.23

The Jesuit Law of 1872, which prohibited the Jesuits from settling in Bismarck’s Germany, affected Hungary as well and thus had a noticeable impact on the historiography of the period. In late autumn of that year, representatives of the cities of Sibiu (Nagyszeben) and Arad sent a proposal to the county of Pest suggesting that the Hungarian national assembly ban any reception of the exiled German Jesuits. The measure was opposed by Lajos Haynald (1816–91), archbishop of Kalocsa (1867–91; cardinal from 1879), a great supporter of the Society in Hungary. In response, a Calvinist member of the parliament, Károly Péteri (1819–77), wrote a historical summary of the Jesuits’ activities in Hungary, although this was more of a political pamphlet than a historical treatise. The central figure in Péteri’s account was Cardinal Pázmány, through whom he was able to attack the Jesuits and the Hungarian clergy at the same time. “For all that atrocious suffering,” he wrote, “for the oppressions of the constitution and the religious persecution which we went through for two and a half centuries, Pázmány and the Jesuits have the responsibility. They sowed the seeds of this pestilent disunity with their ungodly hands. […] After his [Pázmány’s] death his horrid purposes were continued by his successors, who were worthy of him.”24

In the same year, István Toldi (1844–79) published, under the pseudonym Brutus Bocskay, a controversial six-volume pamphlet against the Jesuits. Like Péteri, Toldi did not hide his pure hatred of the Society, portraying the Jesuits as the most efficient weapon of a reactionary papacy. He did cast a wider net, however, as he investigated Jesuit “plots” all around the world from the sixteenth century through the 1870s. Since he closed his examination with a discussion of the Jesuits’ situation in Hungary in 1872, it was obvious that Toldi had the same goal that Péteri did. But unlike Péteri, Toldi had a personal reason for his animus as well a political one: in 1872, his candidacy had been hindered by the Catholic clergy in Csongrád county, inducing him to attack, through the Jesuits, the entire Roman Catholic Church.25

At the end of the nineteenth century, in 1896, Hungary celebrated its millennium. This had a stimulating effect on Hungarian historiography, including at the local level. Many high school histories were written on the occasion, and because their legal predecessors were Jesuit schools, these works contributed to the understanding of Jesuit history.26 They were preceded by the source edition of the Jesuit Frigyes Weiser (1840–1916), who published the foundation charters of the Hungarian schools established in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.27

The next notable Jesuit historian was László Velics (1852–1923), who published three volumes of essays on the Jesuit past in Hungary to mark the centennial of the Society’s restoration.28 Velics divided the first era of Jesuit activity in Hungary into three periods, to each of which he devoted a volume. The first volume covered the Society’s initial settlement in the country, through 1610. Velics’s discussion of this period included brief histories of the religious orders in Hungary and of the first colleges established there as well as some biographies of famous Hungarian Jesuits. The second volume investigated the expansion of the Jesuits in Hungary through 1690, and the third examined the century preceding their suppression. Velics’s aim was to motivate younger Hungarian Jesuits to write monographs about the Society’s history in the country. His own work was modeled on that of Stanisław Załęski about Poland, the history of the Spanish provinces, and Bernhard Duhr’s volumes.29

Together, Weiser and Velics ushered in a new generation of Jesuit historians, but the two authors were sorely lacking in modern historical skills. The latter’s literary style in particular, while illuminating, was in fact closer to that of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century annals than to that employed by early twentieth-century historians. As a result, Weiser and Velics had less influence on historical research than did their pre-suppression predecessors.

Just a few years before Velics published his volumes, Endre Veress (1868–1953), archivist of the Transylvanian Museum Society (Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület), became one of the first non-Jesuit historians to deal with Jesuit history from a non-denominational perspective based on archival sources. His short overview of the Jesuits’ history in Cluj through 1603, published in 1906, incorporated sources from Rome, Vienna, and various Hungarian and Transylvanian archives and was a pioneering work in the area of Transylvanian Jesuit history.30

Veress also established the series Fontes rerum Transylvanicarum, another important contribution to the field. The series included sources from the 1571–88 portion of the Báthory period, published in two massive volumes containing about two hundred letters by István Báthory discussing the Jesuits’ settlement in Transylvania.31 Although Veress planned further source editions extending coverage through the death of Prince Gabriel Báthory in 1613, the outbreak of World War I interrupted the project. He did manage to publish the Jesuit Antonio Possevino’s (1533/34–1611) description of his journey in Transylvania, an account that retains its research value even today.32 Veress was also one of the first Hungarian historians to utilize the litterae annuae in his research, and so he published a volume of their notes on Transylvanian affairs as well.33

Contemporarily with Veress, Romanian historians also developed an interest in the Jesuit past. They were particularly concerned with the origins of the Greek Catholic Church, a union between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. The most significant example this new trend was the history of Transylvania written by the Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga (1871–1940), who was one of the first to research the Jesuit role in the establishment of that union in detail.34 Iorga drew heavily upon the work of Nicolaus Nilles, who published a rich source edition about the various church unions attempted in the early modern period, most if not all of which had significant connections to the activity of the Society.35

Velics’s appeal to Hungarian Jesuits to attend to their own history did not go forever unanswered. In the 1920s, Dénes Szittyay (1887–1957) began collecting relevant documents, and although he left the Society in 1925, he sold many of them to the archive of the Hungarian province. In 1934, the province in turn appointed two young priests, András Gyenis (1901–65) and István Siska (1896–1959), to write the history of the Hungarian Jesuits with the help of the university professor Gyula Szekfű (1883–1955).

Szekfű himself had issued a call for the renewal of Catholic historiography back in the 1920s. His efforts were crowned with the establishment of the Regnum Association for Church History (Regnum Egyháztörténeti Munkaközösség) in 1934, which published the Regnum Yearbook of Church History until 1946 (six volumes). During the same time period, he (with Bálint Hóman [1885–1951]) also published five volumes of Hungarian history. Although Szekfű dealt only briefly with the role of the Jesuits, in the volume about the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he understood their activity as having been instrumental to the formation of both a Catholic middle class and a Hungarian national identity.36 In particular, he identified the Society’s baroque literature as having played a decisive role in the creation of the idea of the “Regnum Marianum,” a key element of the latter. It is no wonder, then, that the Hungarian province turned to Professor Szekfű for help.

Gyenis ended up becoming the most significant historian of the Hungarian Jesuits during the interwar period. The document collection established by him and Siska at the beginning of their work became the basis of the Hungarian Jesuit Archive and its associated library,37 and he was responsible for launching the Jezsuita Történeti Évkönyv (Jesuit historical yearbook) in 1940.38 In addition, Gyenis published several popular works about Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit superiors general, and the Hungarian Jesuit communities.39 He also published Publicationes ad historiam S.J. in Hungaria illustrandam, a series that ran to forty-two volumes, and edited three volumes of biographies by and about Hungarian (and other famous) Jesuits.40 The latter work was a direct continuation of Velics’s 1902 book on the same theme.41

A final notable historian from the interwar period was Antal Meszlényi (1894–1984), a Catholic priest who turned to historical investigations during his education in Rome and subsequently published a summary of the Society’s first years in Hungary and Transylvania.42 In writing his book, he relied primarily on the accounts of Veress and Velics.


Communist Oppression

The postwar Communist suppression impeded research into the history of the Jesuits—and indeed, into that of the Catholic Church as a whole—in Hungary, yet work continued both in the country and abroad. Leading the way was the so-called “Roman School,”43 a circle of Hungarian Jesuits in Rome founded by László Lukács (1910–98). Lukács worked in the Archivum Romanum from 1948 until 1956, when he joined the research group working on a new critical edition of the Ratio studiorum. He went on to publish seven volumes of sources on the Jesuit educational system as part of the series Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu.44

During those same years, Lukács worked with his fellow Hungarian László Polgár (1920–2001) on a source edition concerning the first Jesuits in Hungary (through 1586). Known as the Documenta Romana, it was a worthy continuation of the works of Veress that had been published half a century before and led to the addition of Lukács’s work to the research program of the Institutum Historicum in 1967.45 The Documenta Romana was subsequently republished and continued as the Monumenta antiquae Hungariae, part of the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu. In the volume added, Lukács explored sources relating to the Jesuit mission in Hungary through 1600, shedding new light on the origins of the Catholic renewal there.46 He also published the annual catalogs of the Austrian province through 1773 (eleven volumes) and biographical data on about two thousand members of the Austrian province (three volumes), a near superhuman effort that fulfilled the need for an Austrian prosopography that he had identified in his first plans for the source editions.47

Lukács’s collaborators made other important contributions to the historiography of the Society in Hungary. Perhaps the most well known of the group was Polgár, who spent many exhausting decades compiling Jesuit bibliographies. Polgár began his work with a historical bibliography of the Hungarian Jesuits,48 although after 1963, he expanded his efforts to include the entire Society.49 Another member of Lukács’s circle, László Szilas (1927–2012), continued the researches of Veress on the Transylvanian Jesuits using sources gathered under Lukács’s direction. He wrote his thesis on Alfonso Carrillo (1553–1618), the Jesuit confessor of Prince Zsigmond Báthory.50 József Fejér (1913–91) remained the “man in the background,” assisting the other researchers with their labor. He did however publish two important reference books cataloging the members of the Society who had died during its first two centuries of existence.51

Life was more difficult for the Jesuits who remained in Hungary, but several made valuable contributions nonetheless. The former leader of the archive, András Gyenis, played a great role in the preservation of documents from the archive and library, distributing thousands of books and manuscripts among reliable members of the congregation of the Jesuit church in Budapest and hiding others in cellars and lofts in various churches. But since he lived in miserable conditions in a laundry room in the suburbs of Budapest, he was in no position to continue his work.

Two other members of the Society did attempt to continue their research and even managed to forge connections to the Roman School while doing so. Antal Petruch (1901–78) spent two years in prison (1950–52), doing manual labor, but in 1957 he was able to begin copying sources for a history of the Society in Hungary. He did most of his work in the library of the Benedictine abbey of Pannonhalma, where the rich collection of Mihály Paintner on the pre-suppression period was held. Petruch’s intent was to publish the second volume of Anton Socher’s work on the history of the Austrian province, extending that history through 1619, but while he finished the preparations for such an edition, the manuscript remains unpublished. He was however able to collect many sources to aid the research of Lukács, who in turn published (in Rome) Petruch’s monograph on the first Jesuit college in Trnava.52 Petruch also wrote a history of the Society in Hungary from its restoration until its oppression by the Communist regime, even though he was unable to publish it until the democratic reforms of 1990. His volumes remain the only monographic overview of Hungarian Jesuit history after 1853 and are notable for their detailed analysis of the establishment and history of the independent Hungarian province, which Petruch was able to write thanks to his connection to Lukács and his access to the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu.53

The other Jesuit who continued his work while in Hungary was Flórián Holovics (1903–88). While Petruch cooperated with Lukács, Holovics worked primarily with Polgár, combing the Hungarian National Archives for pre-suppression-era sources. Since Holovics lived in miserable conditions under the Communist regime (in 1959, for example, he had only bread and water to eat and lacked adequate clothing for the winter), Polgár aided him as much as he could. Although Holovics never published anything from his research, his archival inventories and collections are still useful, and he played a great role in saving parts of the former Jesuit archive in the Archdiocesan Archive of Esztergom.

Beginning in the 1960s, professional connections between Hungarian historians in the country and outside of it were restored. More and more of the former visited the archives in Rome, receiving useful and generous help from the exiled Jesuits there. By the early 1980s, those connections had turned into collaborative research. One of the most notable results of that research was the Reference Books for the History of Intellectual Movements in the Seventeenth Century (Adattár XVII. századi szellemi mozgalmaink történetéhez) series, begun by a group of young literary historians from the University of Szeged as a continuation of the Monumenta antiquae Hungariae. The two volumes of sources related to the Jesuit missions in Transylvania and the Ottoman-occupied Hungarian territories that they published with the help of Lukács and Ádám Fricsy (1914–98) can be regarded as another such continuation,54 and they produced a second collection of Jesuit documents from Transylvania and Hungary as well.55 Taken as a whole, these works established an important new viewpoint on Hungarian cultural history, which until the 1980s had been investigated mostly in terms of the Reformation’s contribution to Hungarian culture, with Catholicism appearing mainly as a reactionary counterforce. The Szeged historians’ new examination of Jesuit sources allowed an alternative narrative to emerge, in which Catholics, too, played an important role in the formation of Hungarian culture.

Research in two other fields began concurrently, in connection with the activity of the Szeged group. One was that of Jesuit libraries, in which two inventories of Hungarian collections appeared.56 The other was theater studies. Its pioneer, Géza Staud, produced a chronological inventory of archival sources for each drama played in Hungarian Jesuit schools.57 In the wake of his efforts, a research group published the remaining scripts of Jesuit dramas in two solid volumes in the 1990s.58 Rounding out the field was an extraordinary catalog of Jesuit stage designs, published in 1999.59 Both the libraries and the school dramas were almost unknown as objects of research prior to these publications, but they generated a wave of interest that continues to the present day.


Democratization and a Reunified Hungarian Province

Following the democratization of Hungary and the reunification of the two sections of the Hungarian province, the Jesuits there began a long period of self-reflection. Several interviews, biographies, and memoirs were published as part of the Anima Una series, edited by Ferenc Szabó (b.1931), a former member of the Hungarian staff at Vatican Radio (1967–92). One of the first volumes to appear was Antal Petruch’s above-mentioned history of the Society in Hungary from 1853 to 1950. There followed a remembrance book written by older Jesuits about the most significant figures of the twentieth century, from the interwar period through the decades of the Communist persecution.60 Closely connected to these books was the memoir of Antal Pálos (1914–2005), the provincial of Section I during the dictatorship of Mátyás Rákosi (1892–1971). Pálos suffered imprisonment and torture many times during that period, the darkest of the Communist era, making his book a true memento of those hard days and of four decades of Communist oppression.61 Szabó then turned to the remembrances of several other persecuted Jesuits, which he collected in a book reflecting on the first half of the 1950s.62 The series continued its run with a collection of memoirs, remembrances, and obituaries intended to preserve memories from both sections.63 Attila Miklósházy (b.1921), bishop of the Hungarian diaspora in North-America, took an additional step in that direction by writing a synopsis of the history of Section II.64 His work is still the only one on the exiled sector of the Hungarian province, although the documents of Section II provide a rich source base for further investigations.

The self-reflective mood of the 1990s, characterized by its special type of oral history, encompassed the Hungarian Jesuits’ Chinese mission as well. The foremost historian in this regard was Péter Vámos, who began to collect relevant sources in Rome with the help of Lukács. Vámos’s interviews with the surviving members of the Hungarian mission to the Far East were published as part of the Anima Una series,65 and his systematic research in archives from Rome to Beijing eventually produced a thorough monograph on the Hungarian Jesuits’ mission in China.66

The work of Péter Vámos illustrates the decisive impact of the Anima Una series on Hungarian Jesuit historiography. Its influence is also visible in the research of Gábor Bánkuti (b. 1978), who published an original monograph on the persecution of the Hungarian Jesuits under the Communist regime. His exploration of the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security, the first of its kind, shed new light on the remembrance writings that Szabó was editing.67 Szabó also wrote a memoir of his own, in which he used his twenty-five years at Vatican Radio as a lens through which to examine the Ostpolitik of the Holy See during that time.68

The research conducted in the decade or so following the reunification of the Hungarian province was reviewed in a pair of books published in the opening years of the twenty-first century. One volume was comprised of papers presented at a conference organized by Pázmány Péter Catholic University for precisely that purpose. Its articles covered the history of the Jesuits from their beginnings through the twentieth century.69 The other volume was published in honor of László Szilas’s eightieth birthday in 2007, and contained several studies of the four-century history of the Society in Hungary.70

The two review volumes confirmed that early modern topics still dominated the historiography of the Jesuits in Hungary, a long-standing trend that has continued in subsequent scholarship. One area in which considerable progress has been made is that of the Jesuits’ cultural history in Hungary, particularly in the seventeenth century. The advances in this field are due in no small part to the research of the Roman School and the other associated scholars mentioned above. Lukács himself made an important contribution in this regard back in 1989, when he wrote about Jesuit attempts to create an independent Hungarian province.71 Their attempts had been spurred by the successful separation of the Bohemian province in 1623, but whereas the Bohemian Jesuits gained independence, the Hungarian Jesuits failed to do so. They were thus forced to continue their identification with the Austrian province. Further complicating matters was the Society’s struggle for legal approval by the Hungarian Diet, which it gained only in 1687.The question remains a historically important one, due to the political issues it is bound up with and its ramifications for the subsequent development of the Society in Hungary.

The seventeenth-century Jesuit cardinal Péter Pázmány has long held a special place in the historiography and is therefore worthy of in-depth discussion. One of the first to study him was Vilmos Fraknói (1843–1924), who wrote a biographical monograph about the cardinal in the late nineteenth century.72 The Hungarian Jesuit Miklós Őry (1909–84) began to examine Pázmány’s theological works in the 1950s, leading to the publication of two important books examining the spiritual dimension of his writings.73 In exploring the roots of Pázmány’s theology, Őry also investigated his education and consequently undertook a historical examination of the development of the Jesuit system.74

Őry was affiliated with the Roman School, cooperating primarily with Ferenc Szabó. Together, they published selected works of Pázmány in 1983.75 Szabó continued his research after Őry’s death, examining more closely Pázmány’s years in Graz. The time Pázmány spent on the staff of the Jesuit college and lecturing at the university there had a great impact on his theological works, and in studying the period, Szabó also furthered the investigations begun by Őry into Pázmány’s role in Jesuit education.76 Szabó is still writing on these subjects, most recently examining the Christological and ecclesiological aspects of Pázmány’s works.77

Szabó has also examined the political background of Pázmány’s activity, in particular the nature of his long-term connection to the Jesuits. Because the political and legal situation in 1616 would not have allowed a Jesuit to become the primate of Hungary, Pázmány was allowed to transfer to the order of the Somaschi Fathers. Yet his final vows to the order never took place. This raises a fascinating question: was Pázmány in fact able to remain a member of the Society after his investiture as archbishop? Szabó and Lukács’s investigation of the matter appeared in a 1985 issue of Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu.78

Pázmány has generated interest among secular historians as well. Foremost among them is István Bitskey (b.1941), who recently published a collected volume of his own most important essays on the man. Bitskey focuses on Pázmány’s role as a Counter-Reformation preacher, examining his life work from a literary and cultural perspective.79 Also of note is Bitskey’s study on Pázmány’s refutation of the Quran, which sheds an interesting light on how the Hungarian Jesuits (and in a broader way, the Hungarian Catholic Church) viewed Islam at the time of the Counter-Reformation.80

Another lay historian who has done valuable work on Pázmány is Péter Tusor (b.1967), an excellent scholar of Hungarian church history. In his recent microhistory of Pázmány’s archiepiscopal nomination, Tusor provides a detailed analysis of the nomination’s political background, focusing on negotiations between Rome and Vienna and addressing the Habsburg-Hungarian relationship as well.81

Pre-1945 research on the Transylvanian Jesuits has also had an impact on the current historiography—and not just among Hungarian historians. Paul Shore, for example, has examined the Jesuits’ role in that multiethnic and multiconfessional region following the Habsburg takeover. His work approaches the Society’s situation in Transylvania from a cultural-historical perspective,  examining how they managed to strengthen their position in a predominantly Protestant land.82 The Romanian historian Ioan-Aurel Pop has also researched the Society’s activity in Transylvania, particularly their connections with the Orthodox population of the region.83

One hundred years after Veress published Possevino’s description of Transylvania, the Italian Jesuit is still of interest to historians. In 2007, a conference in Cluj was devoted to him and the Jesuit heritage in the region, the proceedings of which were published by the Institutum Historicum in Rome.84 The Romanian historian Otilia Ştefana Damian has also recently produced a new volume about Possevino, addressing the history of the publication of his work.85

The Ottoman portion of Hungary has received a fair bit of attention as well. The leading scholar in this regard is Antal Molnár (b.1969), a disciple of Lukács and later the director of the Hungarian Jesuit Archive. One book of his thoroughly examines the three missions in the Transdanubian region: Pécs, Andocs, and Veszprém. In it, he observes that the Jesuits played an important role not just in carrying out the duties of the local, secular Hungarian administration but also in administering episcopal authority, sometimes as the general vicars of the exiled bishops. Against the directive of the Society’s Constitutions, they often had to administer the parishes as well. Through their efforts, the Jesuits contributed decisively to the church’s retention Roman Catholics in the region and to the preservation of at least a portion of the former ecclesiastical infrastructure and parish network there.86

Molnár has also researched the history of the Jesuit residence in Gyöngyös, the rich market town near the Hungarian-Ottoman border that fell under Ottoman rule. The town offered multiple possibilities for investigation, as he was able to compare the activities of the Jesuits and the Franciscans there, explore how they dealt with the local Protestant community, and examine the extent to which they were able to carry out a Catholic (Counter-)Reformation despite the Ottoman occupation.87 Another topic Molnár has investigated is the fate of the seventeenth-century Jesuit missions in Transylvania following their expulsion at the beginning of the century. In doing so, he focused on the questions of what such missions were able to do in the Protestant principality and what their cultural and religious influence might have been.88

While research on the Society in Transylvania and Ottoman Hungary has generated a new wave of interest, there has yet to be much work done on the Jesuits in Royal Hungary. Recent signs suggest that this may be changing, however. The first attempt to fill the gap came from Paul Shore, who examined the Society’s strategy in the region during the Counter-Reformation.89 More recently, the topic has been taken up by the youngest generation of historians, with Zsófia Kádár (b.1987) undertaking a comparative investigation of the three Jesuit colleges of Győr, Sopron, and Bratislava—all in the environs of Vienna—as her thesis project.90 She has also published an important overview of the religious confraternities organized by the Jesuits in seventeenth-century Hungary.91 Another comparative examination comes from Eszter Kovács, who delved into the relations between Bohemian and Hungarian Jesuits against the backdrop of those provinces’ bids for independence. It is an interesting topic, since the first provincial of the Bohemian province, Gergely Rumer, was born in Hungary and maintained strong ties to the Jesuits there, resulting in extensive mutual cultural influence.92

Another early modern topic that has garnered considerable interest is the history of the Hungarian Jesuits’ missionary activity in Latin America. Some of the most important sources in the field are Ferenc Xaver Éder’s (1727–72) descriptions of the Peruvian missions, published in full in the 1980s.93 Dóra Babarczi has recently begun to examine the letters of the Hungarian Jesuits from Brazil as well, from the time before the suppression of the Society in the Portuguese territories.94 So far, she has presented the history of the mission through a discussion of the personal careers of four of its members,  three of whom (József Kayling [1725–91], Dávid Fáy [1722–67], and János Szluha[1723–1803]) participated in the evangelization of the Indian tribes and the fourth of whom (Ignác Szentmártoni [1718–93]) was entrusted with mapping the Spanish-Portuguese border in South America.

Rounding out the early modern historiography is work on the University of Trnava, which is still the center of much attention from both Hungarian and Slovak historians. The university (reestablished in 1992) recently founded the Institute for the History of the University of Trnava, which has already published two volumes in accordance with its mission. One takes a rather popular approach, while the other presents a number of scholarly essays from a variety of fields.95 The institute has also published a separate volume on the history of the university observatory. That book offers a unique overview of the Society’s contribution to modern sciences, particularly astronomy, and an introduction to Hungarian Jesuit astronomers, such as Miksa Hell (1720–92).96

From the 1990s on, there has been a good deal of research into the peregrination of Hungarian students abroad, a development that has also generated interest in the students of universities, academies, and colleges in Hungary—particularly the University of Trnava. The student register for the seventeenth century was published in 1990.97 A decade later, the register of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century doctoral students was published as well.98 The full register of students of the Theological Faculty appeared in 2011.99

A separate but closely related topic is the activity of the university press. The press’s inventory on the eve of the suppression is known and was published along with the register of the movable properties of the Jesuit college in 1997.100 The catalogue of the imprints of the university press in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has recently been published as well.101

The historiography of the Hungarian Jesuits in the modern period is much sparser. This is particularly true of the half-century-long history of the common Austro-Hungarian province that existed prior to the establishment of the independent Hungarian province in 1909, which has received practically no attention. As a result, the somewhat dated work of Petruch remains the best guide for that period of Hungarian Jesuit history. There are, however, a couple of scholars who have begun to address this historiographical lacuna. One is Géza Bikfalvi, a former librarian of the Hungarian province, whose biographical lexicon of the Hungarian Jesuits in the post-1853 period can be regarded as a continuation of the great work of Lukács.102 Another is Klára Antónia Csiszár, who used her historical investigation of the Jesuit college in Satu Mare (established in 1858) to shed light on the political troubles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their impact on the Society. Csiszár’s research in the Diocesan Archive of Satu Mare, the Hungarian Jesuit Archives, and the Jesuit Archives in Rome enabled her to map the interactions among ecclesiastical authorities at those three levels, with special regard given to the challenges of operating within a multiethnic and multiconfessional local civil society. She also examined the attempt that was made to integrate Greek Catholics into the Society after Satu Mare became part of the Romanian vice-province following the First World War.103 Csiszár’s efforts, along with those of Bikfalvi, constitute an important first step in fleshing out the history of the Jesuits in the Austro-Hungarian province; yet there remains much for future generations of historians to do.

One modern topic that has generated considerable interest of late is the activity of the Hungarian Jesuits during the interwar period. A number of papers focusing on those years were presented at the conference marking the Hungarian province’s centennial.104 The same year the conference publication appeared, Ferenc Szabó and Antal Molnár published a monograph about the Jesuit Béla Bangha (1880–1940), a controversial figure accused of helping to fuel the rise of anti-Semitic nationalism in Hungary. In their book, Szabó and Molnár explored Bangha’s role in the organization of the Hungarian Catholic press and his deep influence on Hungarian Catholicism in general between the two world wars. They also published his diary, which helped clarify some previous assumptions about his “anti-Semitic” views.105



From the seventeenth century on, Jesuit history has continued to generate new directions for research, even as other of its topics have remained almost evergreen. Central to those historiographical efforts since the mid-twentieth century has been the circle of emigrated Hungarian Jesuits known as the Roman School, which established an international network supporting them. Although the death of Szilas marked the passing of the last member of that group, it left its disciples and a new generation of historians a strong foundation on which to build, and the rich and varied history of the Society of Jesus in Hungary possesses many avenues just waiting to be explored.


For more bibliographical information, consult Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel Online (NSO).


^ Back to text1. The territories of the kingdom included today’s Hungary, Eastern Austria (Burgenland), Slovakia, the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine, the Transylvanian parts of today’s Romania, the northern parts of Serbia (Voivodina), and smaller parts of Croatia and Slovenia as well. The kingdom therefore had a multiethnic society, which was later reflected in the membership of the Austrian province.

^ Back to text2. Cesare Baronius, Annales ecclesiastici a Christo nato ad annum 1198, 12 vols. (Rome: Typographia Vaticana, 1588–1607).

^ Back to text3. Melchior Inchofer, Annales ecclesiastici Regni Hungariae (Rome: Grignani, 1644).

^ Back to text4. Both collections are held today in the manuscript collection of the library of Eötvös Loránd University.

^ Back to text5. György Pray, Annales regum Hungariae, 5 vols. (Vienna: Schulz, 1763–70).

^ Back to text6. István Katona, Historia critica primorum Hungariae ducum (Pest: Weingand, 1778); Katona, Historia critica regum Hungariae stirpis Arpadinae, 6 vols. (Pest: Weingand, 1779–83); Katona, Historia critica regum Hungariae stirpis mixtae, 12 vols. (Buda: Landerer, 1788–93); Katona, Historia critica regum Hungariae stirpis Austriacae, 24 vols. (Cluj: Typis Episcopalibus, 1793–1817).

^ Back to text7. For more about the participation of the Hungarian Jesuits in the Hungarian historiography in the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries, see György Szabados, “Jezsuita ‘sikertörténet’ (1644–1811): A magyar történettudomány konzervatív megteremtőiről” [The Jesuit success story (1644–1811): The conservative founders of the Hungarian historical science], in Clio inter arma: Tanulmányok a 16–18. századi magyarországi történetírásról [Clio inter arma: Essays on the Hungarian historiography in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries], ed. Gergely Tóth (Budapest: MTA BTK TTI, 2014), 203–26.

^ Back to text8. Emericus Tolvay, Ortus et progressus almae archi-episcopalis S.J. Universitatis Tyrnaviensis, a primis illius initiis ad annum usque 1660 (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1725).

^ Back to text9. Emericus Tolvay, Progressus almae archi-episcopalis S.J. Universitatis Tyrnaviensis, ab anno 1661 usque 1700 (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1728).

^ Back to text10. Franciscus Kazy, Historia Universitatis Tyrnaviensis (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1737). Kazy also prepared seventeen short biographies of other important seventeenth-century Hungarian Jesuits for the third chapter of the third part, but it remained unpublished. The manuscript was published later as “Kazy Ferenc egyetemtörténetének kiadatlan utolsó könyve” [The unpublished last chapter of Ferenc Kazy’s university history], ed. Péter Kulcsár, Az Egyetemi Könyvtár Évkönyvei 7–8 (1995–97): 299–325.

^ Back to text11. Franciscus Kazy, Historia regni Hungariae, 3 vols. (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1737–49).

^ Back to text12. Georgius Daróczy, Ortus et progressus Collegii Claudiopolitani ab anno 1579 (Cluj: Typis Academicis, 1736).

^ Back to text13. As a preface, Daróczy wrote a short family history of the Hallers. This was because his work was dedicated to Count Pál Haller de Hallerkő, whose family was a great supporter of Catholicism in Transylvania.

^ Back to text14. Martinus Cseles, Decennium Georgii Széchenyi metropolitae Strigoniensis (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1721). The volume was published posthumously, as Cseles died in 1709. István Fazekas has recently addressed Széchényi’s extraordinary sense for economics, which facilitated his extensive support for the rebuilding of Hungary and as well as the rise of his family: István Fazekas, “Kivételes karrier? Szempontok Széchényi György esztergomi érsek pályafutásához” [An extraordinary career? Viewpoints for the career of György Széchényi, archbishop of Esztergom], in A reform útján: A katolikus megújulás Nyugat-Magyarországon [On the path of reform: Catholic revival in western Hungary] (Győr: Győri Egyházmegyei Levéltár, 2014) 53–66.

^ Back to text15. Nicolaus Schmitth, Archi-Episcopi Strigonienses (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1752).

^ Back to text16. Nicolaus Schmitth, Episcopi Agrienses, 3 vols. (Trnava: Typis Academicis, 1768).

^ Back to text17. Antonius Socher, Historia provinciae Austriae S.J. (Vienna: Kurtzböck, 1740).

^ Back to text18. Dobronoki’s manuscript about Sopron, the Historia Collegii Soproniensis, is held in the Manuscript Collection of the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Handschriftensammlung). His manuscript on the history of the province, the Historia Societatis Jesu in Austria, Hungaria, Transylvania ab anno 1551, is part of the Collectio Hevenesiana (cod. 26.). The latter was written around 1638, likely in anticipation of the Society’s centennial. But Dobronski’s history only reached the year 1586, and the manuscript was never published.

^ Back to text19. Rudolf Bzensky, Syllogimaea Transylvanae ecclesiae (ELTE Egyetemi Könyvtár, Collectio Hevenesiana, cod. 23).

^ Back to text20. Antonius Socher, Historia Societatis Jesu Provinciae Austriae: Pars Secunda; Ab anno 1591 in annum 1619. The manuscript is hold in the Library of the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, in the Paintner Collection (sign. 118 C 28).

^ Back to text21. This is now part of the National Archives of Hungary.

^ Back to text22. This is now part of the manuscript collection of the library of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

^ Back to text23. Joannes Nagy, “Memoria ordinis Societatis Jesu in Hungaria,” in Fasciculi ecclesiastico-litterarii, ed. Franciscus Szaniszló (Pest: Trattner-Károlyi, 1842), 1:190–219, 257–77; 2:129–61, 288–339.

^ Back to text24. Károly Péteri, A jezsuiták [The Jesuits] (Budapest: Kocsi, 1873).

^ Back to text25. Brutus Bocskay [István Toldi], A jezsuiták története [The history of the Jesuits] (Leipzig: Köhler, 1873).

^ Back to text26. For example: Bertalan Schönvitzky, A pozsonyi királyi katholikus főgymnasium története [The history of the Royal Catholic High School in Bratislava] (Pozsony/Bratislava: Eder, 1896); Ferenc Acsay, A győri katholikus főgimnázium története 1626–1900 [The history of the Royal Catholic High School in Győr] (Győr: Győregyházmegyei Nyomda, 1901); Győző Morvay, A középoktatás története Nagybányán [The history of the secondary education in Baia Mare] (Nagybánya: Molnár Mihály, 1896).

^ Back to text27. Frigyes Weiser, Litterae authentica, exhibentes origines scholarum Hungariae post 1526, 3 vols. (Kalocsa: Holmeyer, 1882–85).

^ Back to text28. László Velics, Vázlatok a magyar jezsuiták múltjából [Sketches from the past of the Hungarian Jesuits], 3 vols. (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1912–14).

^ Back to text29. Stanisław Załęski, Jezuici w Polsce [The Jesuits in Poland], 5 vols. (Kraków: Anczyc, 1895–1906); Antonio Astrain, Historia de la Compañía de Jesús en la asistencia de España, 6 vols. (Madrid: Razón y Fe, 1905–25); Bernhard Duhr, Geschichte der Jesuiten in den Länder deutscher Zunge vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert, 4 vols. (Munich: Manz, 1907–28).

^ Back to text30. Endre Veress, A kolozsvári Báthory-egyetem története lerombolásáig, 1603-ig [The history of the Báthory University in Kolozsvár until its destruction in 1603] (Kolozsvár: Stief, 1906).

^ Back to text31. Endre Veress, Erdélyi jezsuiták levelezése és iratai a Báthoryak korából (1571–1613) [The correspondence and documents of Transylvanian Jesuits from the Báthory era], 2 vols. (Budapest: Athenaeum, 1911–13).

^ Back to text32. Endre Veress, Antonio Possevino della Compagnia di Giesù: Transilvania (1584) (Budapest: Athenaeum, 1913).

^ Back to text33. Endre Veress, Jézus Társasága évkönyveinek jelentései a Báthoryak korabeli erdélyi ügyekről (1579–1613) [The notes of the yearbooks of the Society of Jesus on Transylvanian affairs in the Báthory era] (Veszprém: Egyházmegyei Nyomda, 1921).

^ Back to text34. Nicolae Iorga, Istoria românilor din Ardeal şi Ungaria (Bucharest: Şcoaleror, 1915). Regarding the Jesuits, see particularly the following chapter: “Imperialii în Ardeal: Unirea cu Biserica Romei,” 314–58.

^ Back to text35. Nicolaus Nilles, Symbolae ad illustrandam historiam (Innsbruck, 1885).

^ Back to text36. Bálint Hóman and Gyula Szekfű, Magyar történet [Hungarian history], 5 vols. (Budapest: Királyi Magyar Egyetem, 1935–36), 4:120–24.

^ Back to text37. For more about the Hungarian Jesuit Archive’s history, see Béla Vilmos Mihalik, “Nyolcvanéves a Jezsuita Levéltár” [The eighty years of the Jesuit Archive], Levéltári Szemle 64, no. 4. (2014): 26–34.

^ Back to text38. Jezsuita Történeti Évkönyvek [Jesuit historical yearbook], 3 vols. (Budapest: Korda–Stephaneum, 1940–42).

^ Back to text39. András Gyenis, A jezsuita rend generálisai: Életrajzi és rendtörténeti vázlatok [The superiors general of the Jesuit order: Biographical and historical essays] (Budapest: Jézus Társasága, 1935); Gyenis, Loyolai Szent Ignác és életműve [Saint Ignatius of Loyola and his life work] (Budapest, Szív, 1937); Gyenis, Régi magyar rendházak: Központi rendi kormányzat [Old Hungarian congregations: The central government of the Society] (Rákospalota: Szalézi, 1941).

^ Back to text40. Száz jezsuita arcél [One hundred Jesuit portraits], ed. András Gyenis, 3 vols. (Budapest: Fővárosi Nyomda, 1941).

^ Back to text41. László Velics, Magyar jezsuiták a XIX-ik században [The Hungarian Jesuits in the nineteenth century] (Kalksburg: Fromm, 1902).

^ Back to text42. Antal Meszlényi, A magyar jezsuiták a 16. században [The Hungarian Jesuits in the sixteenth century] (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1931).

^ Back to text43. For more on the Roman School, see Antal Molnár, “A római magyar iskola: Magyar jezsuita történészek Rómában 1950 után” [A Hungarian school in Rome: Hungarian Jesuit historians in Rome after 1950), in Historicus Societatis Iesu: Szilas László Emlékkönyv, ed. Antal Molnár, Csaba Szilágyi, and István Zombori (Budapest: METEM, 2007), 45–68.

^ Back to text44. Ladislaus Lukács, Monumenta paedagogica Societatis Iesu, 7 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum S.I., 1965–92).

^ Back to text45. László Lukács and László Polgár, Documenta Romana historiae Societatis Iesu in regnis olim corona Hungarica unitis, 3 vols. (Rome: Curia Generalitia S.I., 1959–67).

^ Back to text46. László Lukács, Monumenta antiquae Hungariae, 4 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1969–87).

^ Back to text47. László Lukács, Catalogi personarum et officiorum provinciae Austriae Societatis Iesu, 11 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1978–95). The first two volumes of the Catalogi were published as part of the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu. Lukács, Catalogus generalis seu Nomenclator biographicus personarum provinciae Austriae Societatis Iesu (1551–1773), 3 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1987–88).

^ Back to text48. László Polgár, Bibliographia de historia Societatis Iesu in regnis olim corona Hungarica unitis (1560–1773) (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1957).

^ Back to text49. For more on Polgár’s life work, see László Szilas, “Polgár László SJ, a könyvész (1920–2001)” [László Polgár SJ, the bibliographer], in Historicus, ed. Molnár, Szilágyi, and Zombori, 39–44.

^ Back to text50. László Szilas, Der Jesuit Alfonso Carrillo in Siebenbürgen, 1591–1599 (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1966).

^ Back to text51. József Fejér, Defuncti primi saeculi Societatis Jesu (1540–1640), 2 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1982); Fejér, Defuncti secundi saeculi Societatis Jesu (1641–1740), 5 vols. (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1985–1990).

^ Back to text52. Antal Petruch, Az első jezsuiták Magyarországon (1561–1567) [The first Jesuits in Hungary, 1561–1567] (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1963). For Petruch’s safety, the book was published under the pseudonym János Péteri.

^ Back to text53. Antal Petruch, Száz év a magyar jezsuiták múltjából [A hundred years from the past of the Hungarian Jesuits], 2 vols. (Kecskemét: Korda, 1992–94).

^ Back to text54. Mihály Balázs et al., eds., Erdélyi és Hódoltsági jezsuita missziók (1609–1625) [Jesuit missions in Transylvania and in Ottoman Hungary (1609–1625)], 2 vols. (Szeged: Scriptum, 1990). Ádám Fricsy worked briefly in the Archive of the Hungarian Province before 1950. During the Communist era, he researched the history of the diocese of Pécs.

^ Back to text55. Mihály Balázs et al., eds., Jezsuita Okmánytár, vol. 1: Erdélyt és Magyarországot érintő iratok, 1601–1606 [Jesuit documents, vol. 1, Letters concerning Transylvania and Hungary, 1601–06] (Szeged: JATE, 1995).

^ Back to text56. Monok István,Varga András, eds., Magyarországi jezsuita könyvtárak 1711-ig [The Jesuit libraries in Hungary until 1711, vol. 1, Kassa, Pozsony, Sárospatak, Turóc, Ungvár)], ed. (Szeged: Scriptum, 1990); Farkas Gábor, ed., Magyarországi jezsuita könyvtárak 1711-ig, vol. 2, Nagyszombat 1632–1690 (Szeged: Scriptum, 1997).

^ Back to text57. Géza Staud, A magyarországi jezsuita iskolai színjátékok forrásai [The sources of Jesuit school dramas in Hungary], 4 vols. (Budapest: MTAK, 1984–94). The last volume was an index, published posthumously.

^ Back to text58. Imre Varga ed., Jezsuita iskoladrámák [Jesuit school dramas], 2 vols. (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó–Argumentum Kiadó, 1992–95).

^ Back to text59. József Jankovics, ed., The Sopron Collection of Jesuit Stage Designs  (Budapest: Enciklopédia, 1999).

^ Back to text60. Ferenc Szabó, ed., Kortárs magyar jezsuiták [Contemporary Hungarian Jesuits],  2 vols. (Budapest: JTMR, 1991–92).

^ Back to text61. Antal Pálos, Viharon vészen át: Jezsuiták a szétszóratásban [Through storms and dangers: Jesuits in dispersion] (Kecskemét: Korda, 1992).

^ Back to text62. Ferenc Szabó, ed., Üldözött jezsuiták vallomásai [Confessions of persecuted Jesuits] (Budapest: JTMR, 1995). The book was later published in French as well: Jésuites hongrois sous le pouvoir communiste, trans. Thierry Monfils (Bruxelles: Lessius, 2012).

^ Back to text63. Ferenc Szabó, ed., Magyar jezsuiták vallomásai [Confessions of Hungarian Jesuits], 4 vols. (Budapest: JTMR, 1997–2008).

^ Back to text64. Attila Miklósházy, Magyar jezsuiták a nagyvilágban: A magyar jezsuita rendtartomány külföldi részlegének; Sectio II: vázlatos története 1949–1989 [The Hungarian Jesuits around the world: A short history of the Foreign Department of the Hungarian Jesuit Province (Section II)] (Budapest: JTMR, 2009).

^ Back to text65. Péter Vámos, Két kultúra ölelésében: Magyar jezsuiták a Távol-Keleten [In the embrace of two cultures: Hungarian Jesuits in the Far East] (Budapest: JTMR, 1997).

^ Back to text66. Péter Vámos, Magyar jezsuita misszió Kínában [The Hungarian Jesuit mission in China] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2003). Vámos also published the diary of István Koch (1904–89) about the final destruction of the Hungarian Jesuit mission in China: Vámos, Bevégeztetett: Koch István naplója a magyar jezsuiták kínai missziójának pusztulásáról [It is over: The diary of István Koch about the destruction of the mission of the Hungarian Jesuits in China] (Budapest: Terebes, 1999).

^ Back to text67. Gábor Bánkuti, Jezsuiták a diktatúrában: A Jézus Társasága Magyarországi Rendtartomány története 1945–1965 [Jesuits during the dictatorship: The history of the Hungarian province of the Society of Jesus 1945–65] (Budapest: JTMR – L’Harmattan, 2011). Bánkuti recently published the continuation of that monograph, in which he carries out a comparative examination of the Central European Jesuits during the Communist era (particularly in Romania, Hungary, and East Germany): Bánkuti, A romániai jezsuiták a 20. században [The Jesuits in Romania in the twentieth century] (Budapest: Jezsuita Kiadó, 2016).

^ Back to text68. Ferenc Szabó, A Vatikán keleti politikája közelről: Az Ostpolitik színe és visszája [The east politics of the Vatican from up close: The two sides of Ostpolitik] (Budapest: JTMR, 2012).

^ Back to text69. Csaba Szilágyi, ed., A magyar jezsuiták küldetése a kezdektől napjainkig [The mission of the Hungarian Jesuits from the beginnings till today] (Piliscsaba: PPKE BTK, 2006).

^ Back to text70. Molnár, Szilágyi, and Zombori, eds., Historicus.

^ Back to text71. László Lukács, A független magyar jezsuita rendtartomány kérdése és az osztrák abszolutizmus 1649–1773 [The question of the independent Hungarian Jesuit province and Austrian absolutism] (Szeged: JATE, 1989).

^ Back to text72. Vilmos Fraknói, Pázmány Péter és kora [The life and the time of Péter Pázmány], 3 vols. (Pest: Ráth, 1868–72); Fraknói, Pázmány Péter (1570–1637) (Budapest: Méhner, 1886).

^ Back to text73. Miklós Őry, Pázmány Péter lelkisége [The spirituality of Péter Pázmány] (Klagenfurt: Carinthia, 1964).

^ Back to text74. Miklós Őry, Pázmány Péter tanulmányi évei [The educational years of Péter Pázmány] (Eisenstadt: Prugg, 1970).

^ Back to text75. Miklós Őry and Ferenc Szabó, Pázmány Péter: Válogatás műveiből [Péter Pázmány: Selection from his works] (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1983).

^ Back to text76. Ferenc Szabó, A teológus Pázmány: A grazi theologia scholastica Pázmány művében [The theologian Pázmány: The theologia scholastica of Graz in the work of Pázmány], 2 vol. (Budapest: METEM, 1998).

^ Back to text77. Ferenc Szabó, Krisztus és egyháza Pázmány műveiben [Christ and his church in the works of Pázmány] (Budapest: L’Harmattan, 2012).

^ Back to text78. László Lukács and Ferenc Szabó, “Autour de la nomination de Péter Pázmány au siège primatial d’Esztergom (1614–1616): Pázmány est-il resté jésuite après sa nomination?” Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu 54 (1985): 77–148.

^ Back to text79. István Bitskey, Hitvédelem, retorika, reprezentáció Pázmány Péter életművében [The defense of faith, rhetoric, and representation in the life work of Péter Pázmány] (Budapest: Universitas, 2015).

^ Back to text80. István Bitskey, “Pázmány Péter Korán-cáfolata” [The Quran refutation of Péter Pázmány), in Eszmék, művek, hagyományok: Tanulmányok  magyar reneszánsz és barokk irodalomról (Debrecen: Kossuth, 1996), 179–94.

^ Back to text81. Péter Tusor, Pázmány a jezsuita érsek: Kinevezésének története 1615–1616 (Mikropolitikai tanulmány) [Pázmány, the Jesuit archbishop: The history of his nomination 1615–16 (a micropolitical study)] (Budapest: MTA, 2016).

^ Back to text82. Paul Shore, Jesuits and the Politics of Religious Pluralism in Eighteenth-Century Transylvania (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

^ Back to text83. Ioan-Aurel Pop, Cultural Diffusion and Religious Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Transylvania: How the Jesuits Dealt with the Orthodox and Catholic Ideas (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2014).

^ Back to text84. Alberto Castaldini, ed., Antonio Possevino: I gesuiti e la loro eredità culturale in Transilvania; Atti della giornata di studio Cluj-Napoca, 4 dicembre 2007 (Rome: Institutum Historicum S. I., 2009).

^ Back to text85. Otilia Ştefana Damian, Antonio Possevino e la Transilvania tra censura e autocensura (Cluj: Academia Româna, 2015).

^ Back to text86. Antal Molnár, A katolikus egyház a hódolt Dunántúlon [The Catholic Church in Transdanubia under Ottoman occupation] (Budapest: METEM, 2003).

^ Back to text87. Antal Molnár, Mezőváros és katolicizmus: Katolikus egyház az egri püspökség hódoltsági területein a 17. században [Market town and Catholicism: The Catholic Church in the Ottoman-occupied territories of the diocese of Eger in the seventeenth century] (Budapest: METEM, 2005).

^ Back to text88. Antal Molnár, Lehetetlen küldetés? Jezsuiták Erdélyben és Felső-Magyarországon a 16–17. században [Mission impossible? The Jesuits in Transylvania and Upper Hungary in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries] (Budapest: ELTE TDI, 2009).

^ Back to text89. Paul Shore, Narratives of Adversity: Jesuits on the Eastern Peripheries of the Habsburg Realms (1640–1773) (Budapest: CEU Press, 2012).

^ Back to text90. Zsófia Kádár, “The Difficulties of Conversion: Non-Catholic Students in Jesuit Colleges in Western Hungary in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century,” Hungarian Historical Review 3, no. 4. (2014): 729–48; Kádár, “Jesuitische Kolleggründungen im westungarischen Raum in der ersten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts: Die Beispiele von Győr/Raab und Sopron/Ödenburg,” in Frühneuzeitforschung in der Habsburgermonarchie: Adel und Wiener Hof—Konfessionalisierung—Siebenbürgen, ed. István Fazekas et al., (Vienna: Collegium Hungaricum, 2013), 155–70.

^ Back to text91. Zsófia Kádár, “Jezsuita vezetésű társulatok Magyarországon a 17. században (1582–1671)” [Confraternities led by Jesuits in Hungary in the seventeenth century], Századok 148, no. 5. (2014): 1229–72.

^ Back to text92. Eszter Kovács, “Légy cseheknek pártfogója, magyaroknak szószóllója…”: Cseh-magyar jezsuita összefüggések a kezdetektől 1773-ig [“Be the patron of the Czechs, advocate of the Hungarians…”: Czech-Hungarian Jesuit connections from the beginnings until 1773] (Budapest: PPKE-OSZK, 2015).

^ Back to text93. Lajos Boglár and András Bognár, Ferenc X. Éder’s Description of the Peruvian Missions from the 18th Century, 3 vols. (Budapest: ELTE, 1981–86).

^ Back to text94. Dóra Babarczi, Magyar jezsuiták Brazíliában 1753–1760 [Hungarian Jesuits in Brazil] (Szeged: SZTE, 2013).

^ Back to text95. Jozef Šimončič and Alžbeta Hološová, eds., The History of Trnava University (1635–1777, 1992–2012) (Trnava: Institute of History of Trnava University, 2014); Alžbeta Hološová et al., eds., Die Tyrnauer Universität im Licht der Geschichte (Kraków: Ústav dejín Trnavskej univerzity, 2012).

^ Back to text96. Alžbeta Hološová and Henrieta Žažová, eds., History of the Observatory at the University of Trnava 1756–1785 (Trnava: Trnavská Univerzita, 2013). See also Paul Shore, "Enduring the Deluge: Hungarian Jesuit Astronomers from Suppression to Restoration," in Jesuit Survival and Restoration, ed. Robert A. Maryks and Jonathan Wright (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 148–161.

^ Back to text97. Attila Zsoldos, Matricula Universitatis Tyrnaviensis 1635–1701 (Budapest: ELTE, 1990).

^ Back to text98. Krisztina Bognár, Mihály József Kiss, and Júlia Varga, A Nagyszombati Egyetem fokozatot szerzett hallgatói, 1635–1777 [The graduates of the University of Trnava] (Budapest: ELTE Levéltára, 2002).

^ Back to text99. Zsófia Kádár, Beáta Kiss, and Ágnes Póka, A Nagyszombati Egyetem teológiai karának hallgatósága, 1635–1773 [The students of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Trnava] (Budapest: ELTE Levéltára, 2011). The register of the students from the Jesuit High School and Academy in Cluj was also published: Júlia Varga, A Kolozsvári Jezsuita Gimnázium és Akadémia hallgatósága, 1641–1773 (1784) [The students of the Jesuit High School and Academy of Cluj] (Budapest: ELTE Levéltára – MTA Egyetemtörténeti Albizottság, 2007).

^ Back to text100. György Haiman, Erzsébet Muszka, and Gedeon Borsa, A nagyszombati jezsuita kollégium és az egyetemi nyomda leltára, 1773 [The inventory of the Jesuit college and the university, 1773] (Budapest: Balassi, 1997).

^ Back to text101. Stephanus Käfer and Esther Kovács, Ave Tyrnavia! Opera impressa Tyrnaviae typis academicis 1648–1777 (Budapest: EHF, 2013).

^ Back to text102. Géza Bikfalvi, Magyar jezsuiták történeti névtára, 1853–2003 [Historical biographical lexicon of the Hungarian Jesuits] (Budapest: JTMR, 2007).

^ Back to text103. Klára Antónia Csiszár, Megújult lendülettel: A szatmári jezsuiták története a 19–20. században [With revived impulse: The history of the Jesuits in Satu Mare in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries] (Budapest: Jezsuita Kiadó, 2015).

^ Back to text104. Antal Molnár and Csaba Szilágyi, eds., Múlt és jövő: A magyar jezsuiták száz éve (1909–2009) és ami abból következik [Past and future: A hundred years of the Hungarian Jesuits and its consequences] (Budapest: METEM, 2010). Other topics included the establishment of the Society, its apostolic mission in print media, its contributions to education and science, and its missions abroad (in Turkey and China).

^ Back to text105. Antal Molnár and Ferenc Szabó, Bangha Béla SJ emlékezete [The memory of Béla Bangha, S.J.] (Budapest: JTMR, 2010).

Cite this page
Béla Vilmos Mihalik, “Centuries of Resumptions: The Historiography of the Jesuits in Hungary”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 30 March 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-7723_jho_COM_192543>
First published online: 2016

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