Dr. Marianne Rozsondai:



Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books
Tört. Napló kis 8º 6

The albi amicorum of the students visiting various European universities are not only interesting documents, but also important sources of the cultural history of the European countries in the Renaissance and the Baroque period. The fashion of the albi dates back to the middle of the 16th century, to Melanchthon's Wittenberg, but its roots can be traced back to the beginnings of the Renaissance. In some countries it has survived for centuries, primarily amongst Protestant students. In Germany such albi – called Stammbuch – were widespread not only amongst young intellectuals, but also amongst lower strata, like for example journeymen of various guilds.

Genre and types of the album amicorum

We have used two terms for the genre: album and Stamm-
In international literature the term album amicorum
is the most received, but it is sometimes also called
A similar term is written in ink in the inner front
endpaper of the album of Ferenc Pápai Páriz Jr.: onomato-
(treasury of names). This genre was extensively
treated in a book published in 1712 in Königsberg, titled
Schediasma critico-literarium de philothecis varioque earun-
dem usu et abusu, vulgo von Stamm-Büchern…
Its author,
Michael Lilienthal analyses the albi (or, as they are called in
his language, die Stammbücher) in terms of literary criticism,
with respect to their types and uses. At the beginning of his
work he also introduces the term philotheca, or in Greek

repositorium", that is, "thesaurus of friends".

The term "album" comes from Latin "white". In ancient Rome this was the term for the white board used for advertising notices or sometimes name lists. This is the origin of the album amicorum, consisting of white pages and used for receiving autograms and mementos of friends, fellow students, professors, as well as famous personalities.

A number of albi amicorum includes only handwritten mementos. These are occasionally accompanied by designs or – especially in earlier centuries – painted coats of arms. However, the album amicorum can be also a printed book, in many cases an emblem book. The emblem, a sign or symbol referring to its possessor, in most cases a design, a woodcut or a copperplate, is usually accompanied by a short epigram. The various emblemata are collections of such emblems.

The most renowned Hungarian emblemata was composed by the physician, philologist and historian János Zsámboky (with his Humanist name Joannes Sambucus, 1531-1584): Emblemata cum aliquot nummis antiqui operis, Ioannis Sambuci Tirnaviensis Pannonii. Antverpiae, Ch. Plantin 1564. A copy of this emblem book conserved in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (RMK III 172a) is beautifully bound in leather with gilt and gauffered edge. It came to us together with the family library of Count József Teleki, founder of our Library. The uniqueness of this copy is due to the interleaved pages with painted coats of arms and concomitant notes. The great success of Sambucus' emblem book is demonstrated by its five editions as well as by its being translated into French and Dutch.



The volume with the call-number 524.971 of our library includes three works bound together. The first two of these are emblem books. The first one has the title Epitome emblematum panegyricorum Academiae Altorfinae. Studiosae iuventuti proposita, Nürnberg 1602. This emblem book was first published by its author Levinus Hulsius on his own costs in 1597 in Nürnberg. It includes the designs of the medals awarded to winners of various literary competitions at the nearby Academy of Altdorf, accompanied by explanatory and laudatory texts. This second edition of the work was bound with interleaved pages that bear handwritten mementos, mostly by students of Altdorf.

The second work in this volume is an emblem book by Nicolaus Taurellus: Emblemata physico- ethica, hoc est, naturae morum moderatricis picta praecepta, Noribergae, Paulus Kaufmann, 1595. The emblems in this book, also published in Nürnberg some years earlier than Hulsius', apart from offering symbolic illustrations of various concepts, also include small coats of arms, accompanied by Latin epigrams. Every page printed with emblem and epigram has a facing page printed with a decorative border, but otherwise left blank for handwritten mementos. On pp. 12-13. for example we can read the same family name (Gugel) printed above the emblem on the right side, and written by hand under the memento on the left side. Pp. 52. and 126. both include the same popular motto "Non est mortale quod opto" used by Sámuel Fáy in the album of Ferenc Páriz Pápai. So this colligate volume is also a special type of the genre of albi amicorum. – This volume got in the possession of Count Tódor Batthyány, and it came together with the library of the Batthyány family to our Library.

Levinus Hulsius was born in Ghent, in the Netherlands, and won fame as a geographer. He was a professor of French in Nürnberg. He also wrote a work relating to Hungary: Chronologia Pannoniae. Eine kurtze Beschreibung des Königreichs Ungern, Nürnberg 1595, that was published two more times in the two following years, and he also visited Hungary. – Nicolaus Taurellus was born in Mömpelgard; he graduated in philosophy and medicine, and was a professor of this latter science at the University of Altdorf.

The name of Andrea Alciato, the celebrated jurist of his age is today most known by his Emblemata. Our Library conserves several editions of this influential work, published in more than 150 editions between 1531 and the end of the 18th century. Two of our copies were bound in French Renaissance gilded leather binding at the middle of the 16th century, at the same time of the publication of the respective editions. The one published in 1551 in Lyons (call-number: 542.344) includes short mementos on the blank flying-leaves at the beginning and the end of the book. The other (542.328), published in 1566 also in Lyons, includes interleaved pages between each two printed pages, which, however, were left blank. It is to be supposed that this latter copy was bound with interleaved blank pages by the editor itself, and was sold professedly for the purpose of album amicorum. So it bears a testimony to the fashion of this custom that has survived many centuries. – It is also interesting to mention that p. 355. of the album of Ferenc Páriz Pápai also includes a motto borrowed from the obviously very popular emblem book of Alciato, noted by János Patai on August 22, 1713 in Halle.

The second memento in the album of Pápai Páriz, on p. 9. was noted by Count Miklós Bethlen. The biblical text quoted by him bears a close parallel to the text of the dedication: "…we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God – experiencing this on himself, being endowed with many worldly honours and deprived of the same, this was noted by Miklós Bethlen, called by vain title a Count, in the 1711th year of the Lord's birth, the seventieth of his life, and the eighth of his captivity … in Vienna." The memento noted in Latin verse by Kaposi Sámuel for the young Pápai Páriz setting out to foreign academies is also very considerable and timely: "…Come home, this is my supreme advice."

The album of Ferenc Pápai Páriz Jr.

The Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences conserves the album amicorum of Ferenc Pápai Páriz Jr. (call-number: Tört. Napló kis 8o 6). 1 This album includes notes in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Provençal. This album was taken by Ferenc Pápai Páriz Jr. to his peregrination between 1711 and 1726 from Kolozsvár to Oxford, when visiting the Protestant universities of Europe, and asked mementos of his professors, famous scholars and his fellow students. Pápai Páriz had also another mission: he had to raise funds for the College of Nagyenyed (Aiud) repeatedly burnt down by Austrian troops (1704 and 1707). The album of Pápai Páriz includes no designs and coats of arms, but its notes are very various and rich, informative and edifying, and in many cases they have the value of primary sources.

His father, the professor of the College of Nagyenyed, Ferenc Pápai Páriz Sen., whose bulky Latin dictionary has been used by us several times during the preparation of this web edition, had graduated in medicine on Swiss and German universities. He was the court physician of both Princes of Transylvania Mihály I. and II. Apafi. The album includes notes of thirty-seven Hungarian personalities, amongst the first of Mihály II. Apafi living in Vienna, dated on September 23, 1711. Ferenc Pápai Páriz Sen. wrote his note to his son setting out to road on p. 447 in Latin, Greek, Italian and Provençal, but not in Hungarian. Apart from Hungarian family names we find no Hungarian word in the album. The identity of the Hungarian personalities is also rather important for the history of sciences in Hungary, although it is not always easy to decide their national identity. For example, are Georg Sigismund Liebezeit from Sopron, or the Saxon Tobias Stranover who later put roots in England, to be regarded as Hungarians? They certainly regarded themselves as hungarus, and their common language was Latin, as it was generally so between the educated in the whole Hungarian Kingdom, with no regard to national identity. The case was similar to that of a number of Swiss and German scholars, as well as French Huguenots who had fled to the Netherlands, and became there renowned professors, pastors or physicians, but their descendants already became Flemings or Vallons. The Prussian Wilke opted for England, and he also assimilated his name to his chosen homeland: he noted in the album as Wilkins. Europe was already a universal home for the citizens of all European countries. Certainly, every educated person, but in many cases and to a certain extent also the journeymen setting out to abroad to practice and perfectionate their crafts did speak Latin.

The structure of the notes in the album

The notes usually begin with a shorter or larger quotation, in many cases from the Bible or well known ancient authors. Besides this, a motto or "symbolum" is also often included. The dedications written to Ferenc Páriz Pápai are in some cases conventional, in other cases very personal, and his father is in several cases also mentioned, as many old foreigner professors had still known him personally. Apart from one anonymous note, every memento is signed, to which in most cases the offices and titles of the persons are also added. The date (year, month, day) and place are usually also included, this latter regularly in Latin version (for example Ratisbona for Regensburg, Tig. Helv. Metrop. for Zürich, Lugduni Batavorum for Leiden, Trajecti ad Rhenum for Utrecht, or Oxon. for Oxford).

Dating and calendars

The Catholic countries of Europe adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1582, but the Protestant regions did so only much later, and in various dates (some parts of Switzerland only in 1812). In Hungary there were "veterists" as well who firmly adhered to the "old calendar", and printed calendars continued to simultaneously indicate the dates according to the old calendar (stilo veteri) and to the new one (stilo novo) for long decades even after the adoption of the Gregorian reform. England kept the Julian calendar as long as until 1752, and the year begun on March 1, instead of January 1. This is why some, at least foreigners, use a double dating, as we can see in a letter by Ferenc Pápai Páriz: "Londini 14 st. v. / 25 st. n. Xbris [=Decembris] 1715", and in his album: "1718/19 Feb. 1". – In our web edition the English datings, if they were with certainty according to the "old style", have been recalculated to our modern calendar.

Some statistics

As to their citizenship, we have mementos of 8 Hungarian, 29 Transylvanian, 31 German, 15 Englishmen, 14 Dutchmen, 12 Swissmen, 3-3 Frenchmen and Polish, one Danish and two personalities of unknown origin, apart from the possessors themselves. It is not easy to categorize them according to their professions, for some of them simultaneously provided for the offices of physician, theologian and pastor. We have 19 VDM (= verbi divini ministers, "servants of the divine word"), that is, pastors, 17 professors of theology, 16 students of theology, six bishops, ten professors of philosophy and philology, four students of philology, ten noblemen of high rank or high officers, (for example the Prince of Transylvania Mihály II. Apafi, or Count Miklós Bethlen, and their secretaries), five professors of medicine, eight students of medicine, three physicians, two professors of law, three students of law, four scholars of natural history (including Newton and Halley), one painter (Tobias Stranover), two schoolboys (a young Count Teleki, Mihály and the younger brother of Ferenc Páriz Pápai, András). Eight persons did not indicate their profession.

Almost a third of the mottos come from the Bible (46), but not much less are taken from popular proverbial wisdom (41). Classical authors are also represented with a high number (32). About a tenth of the notes (15) include a poem written by the author of the memento himself. The quotations from church fathers and from "modern" – 16-17th century – authors are equally 5.

Concerning the language of the mementos, all the authors wrote something in Latin, at least some words connected to their signature. 78 persons wrote only in Latin, 25 in Greek, 5 in Hebrew, 2 in Italian, and one-one in English, Arabic, Provençal, Spanish and Syriac. Five persons wrote their mementos in two or more languages in addition to Latin.

The binding of the album

The album is bound in a dark brown Baroque leather binding tooled in gold. Designs of the upper and lower cover are identical. Covers are bordered with an ornament of small arches. Within this runs a roll of small flowers and gems limited by a double line from the outside and a line and a pointed line from the inside. The centre is covered by a red leather onlay, meant probably for a name or a title, but left void on both the upper and the lower cover. The corners of this are linked by diagonals to the outer frame. The diagonals are flanked each by a pair of flowers with long pistils. The central rectangular onlay is surrounded by typical floral curls twisting to the right and to the left, respectively. The spine has two bands and three compartments, with the inscription FRANC // PARIZ // PAPAI // 1707 in the central one. The upper and lower compartments are decorated with three flowers each. The binding was made in Transylvania, perhaps in Kolozsvár (Cluj), or possibly in Debrecen. The album has marbled end-leaves and red and white headbands, and gilt and gauffered edges. Its size is an oblong 106 × 158 × 38 mm. The first quire consists of three pairs of leaves, but the half of the central leafs was cut off. Some other leaves were cut out later, too, perhaps by Pápai Páriz himself, maybe in order to write and hand a note to somebody. The other quires consist of four pairs of leaves. The pages were later numbered by hand. Today the numbering runs to 477, including the inner side of the back end-leaf, on which György Rettegi made his note. There are some erroneous numbers between pages 75 and 80. Number 75 figures twice, while one leaf in the middle of the book, as well as the first leaf were left unnumbered. We have not corrected these errors. Today the album includes 240 leaves, with 121 written pages. It has no title page, and does not contain drawings.

The watermark of the paper (on the blank pages 205 and 207) is a shield with longitudinal sections, a crown and cross on the top, flowers around the shield, and the sheep of the golden fleece hanging under it. This design is very similar to the shields no. 386 and 391 included in the watermark catalogue composed in the form of artistic drawings by Nándor Lajos Várkonyi, copied from archival material in the Museum of Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfîntul Gheorghe). 2 The dating of the first document is April 25, 1708, while of the second December 20, 1711; this latter was conserved in the epistolary of the Transylvanian Vaja family. All these details coincide with the period of preparation and original place of use of the album of Ferenc Páriz Pápai.

The provenance of the album

The inner part of the back endleaf bears a note of György Rettegi (1718-1786). Erzsébet Diószegi, the mother of the first wife of Rettegi, Salome Aczél, was married as a widow by Ferenc Pápai Páriz Jr. The children born in this matrimony died at an early age. The Latin memento of Rettegi  informs us that "through the adversities of times and of good fortune this album of the late Ferenc Pápai Páriz, full of laudations by various erudite men, came into the possession of György Rettegi in 1762".


A simple ex libris is stuck to the inner side of the upper cover of the album, according to which it came to the collection of the Senator and later Mayor of Debrecen János Fáy (1773-1833). 3 The renowned collection of János Fáy of Fáj was admired by many outstanding personalities of the period, including the writer and leading literary critic Ferenc Kazinczy, a relative of him. His mother was Mária Terézia Klimó, younger sister of the Bishop of Pécs György Klimó. Apart of his famous collection of paintings, the old Hungarian prints of his library had an exceptional value. His collection included more than one album amicorum: these were also seen by Kazinczy 4 who copied several mementos for himself. From this album he mentions by name Newton, Prince Mihály II. Apafi, Count Sándor Teleki, and Count Miklós Bethlen. János Fáy died without children, and he appointed his heir his nephew Alajos Fáy.

The note on the inner side of the flying leaf at the beginning of the album informs us that it was "purchased from the antiquarian Fülöp Horovitz for 25 forints in Budapest, May 2, 1881". This note is probably the hand of Ernő Lindner, sub-librarian of the Academy. The album of Ferenc Pápai Páriz was registered in the Receipt Inventory of the Department of Manuscripts of the Library of the Academy by Elek Jakab as the first item in 1881. 5

Fülöp Horovitz (1815-1886) was graduated in medicine, and worked in a hospital between 1849 and 1851. He was, however, much more interested in books. Already in 1847 he wanted to open an antiquary, and this intention of his was supported, amongst other, by the leading writers and literary critics József Bajza, János Erdélyi, György Fejér and Ferenc Toldy. He became the manager of the Fischer bookshop, then in 1852 he purchased the shop and began to develop it. He was generally respected for his expertise and the knowledge of the sources of old literature. His bookstore was sold out in 1884.


Peregrination, as we intend it here, does not refer to religious pilgrimage, but to the long travel undertaken by students to foreign universities, that was also general amongst Hungarian students. Catholic youth could go to nearby universities, like Vienna, Graz and Cracow, or to the Academy of Nagyszombat (Trnava). However, Protestant students intending to graduate had to go farther. Transylvanian Calvinist students were especially well represented in the academies of Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and many of them also visited the universities of England. A remarkable fact is for example that in the university of Franeker, an important centre of Reformation, in the 17th century the greatest number of foreign students came from Hungary, primarily from Transylvania. This was also due to the fact that Calvinists, whose proportion was especially high in Transylvania, could not find adequately high level academic training at home.

Thus Hungary, amongst other through his Hungarian students, was an organic part of the intellectual blood circulation of Europe, of which she became a member by full right again on May 1, 2004.