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dc.contributor.authorKontler, László
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-08T10:09:58Z
dc.date.available2024-02-08T10:09:58Z
dc.date.issued2013
dc.identifier.isbn9789080553873
dc.identifier.issn1385-3945
dc.identifier.urihttps://journalofastronomicaldata.be/JAD19/jad19.htm
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14018/14237
dc.description.abstractThis paper discusses the cultural and political contexts and reception of the most important by-product of Maximilian Hell's famous Venus transit expedition of 1768-69, the Demonstratio. Idioma Ungarorum et Lapponum idem esse (1770) by Hell's associate Janos Sajnovics. Now considered a landmark in Finno-Ugrian linguistics, the Demonstratio addressed an academic subject that was at that time almost destined to be caught up in an ideological battlefield defined by the shifting relationship between the Habsburg government, the Society of Jesus, and the Hungarian nobility. The "enlightened absolutist" policies of the former aimed at consolidating the Habsburg monarchy as an empire, at the expense of privileged groups, including religious orders as well as the noble estates. In the situation created by the 1773 suppression of the Jesuit order (a signal of declining patronage from the dynasty), the growing preoccupation on the part of ex-Jesuits like Hell and Sajnovics with "things Hungarian" could have been part of an attempt to re-situate themselves on the Central European map of learning. At the same time, the founding document of this interest, the Demonstratio, evoked violent protests from the other target of Habsburg policies, the Hungarian nobility, because its basic assumptions - the kinship of the Hungarian and the Sami (Lappian) language - potentially undermined the noble ideology of social exclusiveness, established on the alleged "Scythian" ancestry of Hungarians. By exploring the complex motives, intentions, reactions and responses of the chief agents in this story, it is possible to highlight the extra-scientific constraints and facilitators for the practice of knowledge in late eighteenth century Central Europe.
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherVrije Universiteit Brussel
dc.subjectHistory of astronomy
dc.subjectTransits of Venus
dc.titlePoliticians, Patriots and Plotters: Unlikely Debates Occasioned by Maximilian Hell's Venus Transit Expedition of 1769
dc.typeJournal article
dc.source.journaltitleThe Journal of Astronomical Data
dc.source.volume19
dc.source.issue1
dc.source.spage83
dc.source.epage96
dc.description.versionPublished version
refterms.dateFOA2024-02-08T10:53:24Z
dc.contributor.unitDepartment of History


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