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1 From the Middle Ages this name was applied by the Magyars of Hungary proper to the country beyond (trans) the forested region (sylvania) lying to the east of the Great Plain of Hungary. The Germans called it Siebenbürgen (and the Poles by the equivalent name Siedmiogród) in supposed reference to seven fortified towns built by Saxon immigrants; though some suggest a derivation from Szeben, the most important of these towns. The Hungarian name is Erdély, forest. Cf. Josephus Benkö, Transsilvania (Vindobonae, 1778), i, 3 f.
3 For comprehensive and interesting accounts of Transylvania in its various aspects, see Benkö, op. cit. ; Auguste de Gerando, La Transylvanie et ses habitants, 2 vols. (Paris, 1845) ; John Paget, Hungary and Transylvania, 2 vols. (London, 1850) ; Charles Boner, Transylvania, its products and its people (London, 1865) ; G. von Rath, Siebenbűrgen:Reisebeobachtungen und Studien (Heidelberg, 1888) ; Emily Gerard, The Land beyond the Forest, 2 vols. (London, 1888).
7 In the summer of 1933 the writer and his wife had the enviable experience of attending, as appointed delegates representing the Unitarian churches of America, the ceremonies at the inauguration at Hermannstadt of a new Bishop of the Saxon churches, which took place with all the picturesque pomp and ceremonial handed down from mediaeval Germany.
9 The name Wallack, and its equivalent in various languages of Europe, often seems simply to denote Italian; but in the course of time it had come to have such connotations of inferiority and contempt that at the time of the Hungarian revolution of 1848, when a new order was being established, their Bishop formally demanded that they be henceforth called, as they called themselves, Romanians, and the old name has fallen into disuse. Cf. Benkö, op. cit., i, 474 ff; Rath, Siebenbürgen, p. 154.
10 It was said that as late as the middle of the nineteenth century only a single Wallack periodical was published in all Hungary for their population of two and a half million. Cf. Andrew Chalmers, Transylvanjan Recollections (London, 188o), p. 78.
11 Their ultimate origin is obscure, and has given rise to much speculation, not uncolored by racial feeling. They may have been pre-Roman Dacians, possibly of Celtic stock; but their language, which has clear affinities with Latin, and yet closer ones with Italian, betrays influence of the Roman occupation. It has long been their proud boast that they are descendants of Trajan’s Roman soldiers. With these, as also with the Roman colonists who followed them, there may have been more or less intermarriage, hence their traditional claim. Some evidence also points to an intermixture with an Italian shepherd people immigrating from the Dalmatian coast before their incursion into Transylvania. Cf. G. D. Teutsch, Geschichte der siebenbürger Sachsen (2. Aufl., Leipzig, 1874), i, 7; Rudolf Bergner, Siebenbürgen (Leipzig, 1884), pp. 244—249; E. Robert Roesler, Dacier und Romänen (Wien, 1866) ; id., Romänische Studien (Leipzig, 1871).
22 Cf. Bethlen, op. cit., i, 344; Stephanus F. Uzoni, Unitario-Ecclesiastica Historia Transylvanica, 2 vols. in Ms, i, 603. This most important of the manuscript authorities on Unitarian history in Transylvania exists in three copies: (1) one in the library of the Unitarian Gymnasium at Székely-Keresztúr, in three volumes, ex libris Elek Jakab; (2) one in the library of the Unitarian College at Kolozsvár, in five volumes, of which the last three contain valuable copies of documents, largely in Hungarian; (3) one in two volumes, belonging to the Bishop’s library at Kolozsvár. This last is the author’s original Ms, and is dated at the end, 1775. By the extraordinary kindness of the Representative Consistory of the Unitarian Church at Kolozsvár, to whom the author acknowledges his deep obligation, he was permitted to bring this copy with him to America to use as long as needed in the preparation of the present work. The references are made to this edition.
23 The monk Frater George Martinuzzi, Bishop of Nagyvárad, who had been his valued adviser during his recent exile in Poland, a man of great ability and resourcefulness; and a kinsman named Peter Petrovics, who later on became an active Calvinist.
24 One must try to strike a fair balance between the unqualified praise of Bethlen. op. cit., i, 288, cf. 626, and the virulent condemnation of Forgács, who judges her guilty of every sort of folly and immorality. Cf. Franciscus Forgachius, Rerum Hungaricarum sui temporis Commentarii (Posonii, 1788), pp. 208—233.
25 The various names that this town has borne are apt to confuse the reader. The Latin name long and widely current was Alba Julia; Hungarians called it by the name given above; Germans, by its equivalent, Weissenburg (not to be confounded with Stuhlweissenburg — Székesfehérvár — southwest of Buda). When the fortifications were rebuilt under the Emperor Charles VI, a new set of names was given the city in his honor: Alba Carolina, Károlyfehérvár, and Karlsburg.
28 Cf. Michael Burian, Dissertatio historico-critica de duplici ingressu in Transsilvaniam Georgii Blandratae (Albo-Carolinae, 1806), pp. 10–17. Also Elek Jakab, ‘Néhány adat Blandrata György élete’ etc. (Some data on the life of G. B. ), Keresztény Magvetö (The Christian Seedsower), Kolozsvár, xii (1877), 3.
4 Cf. Andreas Illia, Ortus et progressus variarum in Dacia gentium ac religionum (Claudiopoli, 1730), p. 20; Ferencz Kanyaró, Unitáriusok Magyarországon, etc. (Unitarians in Hungary), Kolozsvár, 1891, p. 13.
8 Cf. Székely, loc. cit. ; Haner, op. cit., p. 162; Franciscus Páriz Pápai, Rudus redivivum, seu breves rerum ecclesiasticarum Hungaricarum... Commentarii (Cibinii, 1684), reprinted in Miscellanea Tigurina (Zürich, 1723), ii, 124–127.
17 It will be recalled that he was one of the two whom King John on his death-bed had appointed as counselors of the Queen. He was a kinsman of the late King, had accompanied Isabella in her exile, and had meanwhile represented her interests with the Sultan.
26 Ut quisque teneret eam fidem quam vellet cum novis et antiquis ceremoniis, permittentes in negocio fidei eorum arbitrio id fieri quod ipsis liberet, citra tamen injuriam quorumlibet, ne novae religionis sectatores veterem professionem lacesserent aut illius sectatoribus fierent quoquo modo injurli. Cf. Erdélyi Országgyülesi Emlékek (Records of the Transylvanian Diets), ed. Szilágy Sándor (Budapest, 1876–99), ii, 78.
27 The name at first given to those holding the Zwinglian view of the Lord’s Supper. Cf. Magyar Emlékek, ii, 93, 98. A similar decree had been passed in the Grisons at the Diet of Ilanz in 1526. v. supra,, vol. 1, p. 97 f.
35 His father’s first name is said to have been Dávid, whence by dropping the father’s family name, a not unusual practice, he came to be called in Latin Franciscus Davidis — Francis, Dávid’s son. Davidis is thus taken as a patronymic in the genitive case; but it may also be a nominative form (so in the Vulgate), and seems often to be so used. Hungarian usage places the family name first — David Ferencz — though that usage is not followed in the present work. Kolozsvár (Lat., Claudiopolis; Ger., Klausenburg; and under the Romanian occupation, Cluj), though not the capital of Transylvania, was its metropolis, a city famed for its wealth and culture, and it has always been the capital of Transylvanian Unitarianism.
38 Ut quisque eam quam maluerit religionem et fidem amplecti et concionatores suae religionis libere alere possit, etc. Cf. Magyar Emlékek, ii, 218, also 223. A different version is given by Pápai, op. cit., p. 152; Benkö, op. cit., ii, 129; Bod, Historia, i, 412. This again is not a decree of general toleration in religion, but merely a guarantee for the religions immediately concerned
41 Biandrata’s management of the difficult proceedings was evidently satisfactory to the King, who seems at this time to have recognized his services by presenting him with three villages, formerly belonging to the cathedral chapter at Gyulafehérvár. Biandrata sold them in 1573 to Christopher Báthory for 6, 000 florins. Cf. Burian, Dissertatio, p. 85 ff.
1Cf. Giovanandrea Gromo, ‘Uebersicht des... Königs Johann von Siebenbürgen... Reiches’ etc., Archiv für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde, N. F. ii (Kronstadt, 1855), 38.
2 Cf. Burian, Dissertatio, p. 212; Jakab, Adat, p. 10.
4 Homo inconstantissimus, et quovis vobilior vertumno; Bod, Historia, i, 308.
5 For a characterization from an unsympathetic source, see the letter of Stephen Szántó, S. J., to his superior, Claudius Aquaviva, dated Kolozsvár, Sept. 1, 1581 two years after Dávid’s death. Francis Dávid was a man of very acute mind and tenacious memory, so familiar with Scripture that he seemed to have the Old and New Testaments at his tongue’s end. In disputes with Calvinists and Lutherans before the leading men of the kingdom he easily surpassed them all. It was his custom to explain Scripture by Scripture, and when a passage was cited against his heresy, he would at once bring forward other similar ones which seemed to support his view, and from these he gathered that the authority cited by his opponent was also to be understood in the same way. ’ Epistolae et Acta Jesuitarum in Transylvania, ed. Andreas Veress (Kolozsvár, 1911), i, 185 f; cf. also a Lutheran view cited by Burian, Dissertatio, p. 236 f.
6 Cf. F. Dávid, Elsö része az szent írásnak, etc. (First part of the Holy Scripturepreaching about God the Father) Gyula-Fejérvár, 1569, in the fifth sermon on II. Cor. xi; cf. Uzoni, Historia, i, 126.
12 Cf. Lampe, Historia, pp. 152–158. Károli soon left his post at Kolozsvár and became Rector of the Reformed school at Debreczen, where he later succeeded Mélius as Superintendent upon the death of the latter in 1572. He afterwards published an attack on Biandrata and Dávid, which was in turn answered by Sommer, his successor in the school at Kolozsvár. Cf. Petrus Carolinus, Brevis... Explicatio orthodoxae fidei de uno Deo et Spiritu Sancto adversus blasphemos G. Blandratae et F. Davidis errores (Witebergae, 1571) ; Joannes Sommerus, Refutatio scripti Petri Caroli, etc. (Ingolstadii-Kolozsvár, 1582).
13 Mélius published against him his Az Aran Tamás hamis és eretnec tévelgésinec, etc. (The false and heretical error of T. A. ) Debreczen, 1562, which gives Aran’s theses in full. Cf. Boros, Sketches, p. 324; Kanyaró, Unitáriusok, pp. 56–60,
15 Cf. the published report, Disputatio prima Albana (Claudiopoli, 1566). This discussion, in which Mélius is said to have been considered victor, has often been confused with the much more important one two years later issuing in Dávid’s triumphal acclamation at Kolozsvár.
17 Catechimus Ecclesiarum Dei in natione Hungarica per Transylvaniam, etc. (Claudiopoli, 1566) ; including also the Sententia concors Pastorum, etc. The several items mentioned above are given at length in Lampe, Historia, pp. 147–162; and differently arranged and with a somewhat different text in Bod, Historie, i, 399–405.
20 De falsa et vera unius Dei Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti cognitione, libri duo. Authoribus Ministris Ecclesiarum consentientium in Sarmatia et Transylvania (Albae Juliae, 1567). The mention of Polish ministers is significant, showing that Biandrata was in active communication with the Polish Brethren. Witness also Biandrata’s letter to the Polish churches, Jan. 27, 1568, in Stanislaus Lubieniecius, Historia Reformationis Polonicae (Freistadii, 1685), p. 229f.
21 It seems a fair conjecture that the first or critical part was largely the work of Biandrata. The second or constructive part may well have been compiled from the work of various authors. The eleventh chapter, Brevis explicatio in primum Ioannis caput, has lately been identified by Cantimori with Laelius Socinus’s Paraphrasis in Initium Evangelii S. Johannis. Cf. Enciclopedia Italiana, xxxi (1936), 1015.
22 The pictures were as follows: 1. A three-faced figure on an altar, with the inscription, ‘Janus bifrons was expelled from Rome, in order to set up a Trifrons over the world. ’ 2. Showing a two-headed God on an altar and the Holy Spirit descending in a halo of light (original in a chapel at Kraków). 3. Showing Father, Son and Holy Spirit being transubstantiated into the Host at the sacrament (from a tapestry at Rome). 4. Showing the three persons sitting side by side at table. 5. Showing the flesh of Christ actually descending from heaven. 6. Showing the Father seated, holding the crucified Christ, and above a dove. 7. Symbolically showing Stancaro’s conception of the Son mediating between the whole Trinity and men. 8. Representing the Trinity by a single ring adorned with three identical gems.
24 These pictures continued to scandalize the Trinitarians so much that when the government changed, every effort was made to have all copies destroyed that could be found, and unmutilated copies are extremely rare. The author has a photostatic copy of the book, and the pictures are well reproduced in Konrad Górski, Grzegorz Pawet Z Brzezin (Kraków, 1931), pp. 202–207. For further similar illustrations, see J. R. Beard, Historical and artistic illustrations of the Trinity (London, 1846).
26 Debreczen lay beyond King John’s dominion. Cf. Biandrata’s letter of the same month given in Lubieniecius, l. c. supra; also Dávid’s Literae convocatoriae (Albae Juliae, 1568) convoking the synod next to be spoken of.
27 The sources are given in two reports: one, subscribed by the Elders and Ministers of the (Unitarian) churches in Transylvania, entitled Brevis enarratio disputationis Albanae, etc. (Albae Juliae, 1568) ; the other by Caspar Heltai, one of the judges on the Trinitarian side, entitled Disputatio in causa sacrosanctae Trinitatis, etc. (Claudiopoli, 1568). The accounts agree in the main, but vary considerably in details, being influenced in choice and presentation of materials by the reporters’ sympathies. Two years later Heltai reprinted his text without change, but with a new preface in which he confessed his conversion to the views that he had formerly opposed, and acknowledged his especial obligation to Biandrata and Dávid for enlightening him. For detailed accounts, besides the two reports cited, cf. Pápai, Rudus, p. 155 f; Haner, Historia, pp. 28–287; Uzoni, Historia, i, 133–141; Bod, Historia, 1, 409–412.
28 It is significant that only one speaker on the orthodox side was a Transylvanian; the others being either from the Hungarian counties or else Lutherans. Evidently the Calvinists in Transvlvania had almost entirely followed Dávid.
31 “That faith is the gift of God, as St. Paul declared (Eph. ii, 8) had been a commonplace in Catholic theology, and was often emphasized by the reformers. The decree here gives it a new application by contrast with the policy of imposing faith (in the sense of belief) by force under penalty. The King repeats the saying at the next disputation at Várad (see below).
32 Cf. Magyar Emlékek, ii, 267, 343. The edict is said to have passed the Diet unanimously. It is the moment of the climax of Dávid’s speech in favor of this measure that is represented in the painting by Aladar Körösföi-Kriesch which hangs in the town hall at Torda, and in photogravure has an honored place in multitudes of Unitarian homes in Transylvania. Cf. William C. Gannett, Francis Dávid (London, 1914).
34 The most important was De Mediatoris Jesu Christi Divinitate; including a reprint of a chapter on the restoration of the Church, from De operibus Dei of Cellarius of Basel. Cf. supra, vol i, p. 24. Details of these in Uzoni, Historia, i, 504 f; Károly Szabó, Régi Magyar Könyvtár (Early Hungarian Bibliography), Budapest, 1879, i, ii.
36 Later known as Nagyvárad (Grosswardein). It was one of the most important cities in the King’s dominion,, though situated in one of the Hungarian counties outside of Transylvania proper. The call, together with the propositions for discussion and the opponents’ arguments, etc., are given at length in Lampe, Historia, pp. 224–263, and in Bod, Hsstoria, i, 413–424.
38 Cf. the official report (reprinted, Kolozsvár, 1870, ‘ed. Nagy and Simén), A Nagyváradi Disputatio. For further accounts, cf. Uzoni, Historia, i, 141–143 Jakab, Dávid, pp. 137–150; Biandrata’s contemporary letter to the Polish brethren, given by Theodor Wotschke in his ‘Zur Geschichte des Antitrinitarismus, ’ Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, xxiii (1926), 94 ff, dated Kolozsvár, Oct. 31, 1569.
39 There appears indeed to have been yet a final disputation at Gyulafehérvár late in 1570. The only extant report of it is in a considerably dramatized account written by Palaeologus (cf. Uzoni, Historia, i, 580–599). After the debate at Várad Mélius had written to the King (cf. Lampe, Historia, p. 267) complaining that his opponents had interpreted the Scriptures arbitrarily, being ignorant of languages and of the original texts. A refutation of this charge is furnished in the present debate, in which Paruta and Sommer appear as accomplished linguists, defending their cause in the most earned manner.
Nicola Paruta was one of the early Antitrinitarians in the Venetian territory who, having to flee from the Inquisition, found refuge for many years among the Anabaptists in Moravia (it was at his house at Slavkov that Ochino died in 1564). He was later active in the early movement in Transylvania, where he collaborated with Biandrata in a confession published at Rádnoth on 1567. Johannes Sommer of Pirna near Dresden was called from Germany by Biandrata and Dávid in 1569 to succeed Károli as Rector of the Kolozsvár school where, with his learning and his fame as a poet, he greatly promoted their cause. He wrote in confutation of Károli (v. supra, p. 31, note 52), was distinguished as a Greek scholar, and held that the doctrine of the Trinity was drawn from the philosophy of Plato, and was thus of pagan origin. His theses to this end are preserved in Lubieniecius, Historia, pp. 234–238.
42 Out of a total of about 350 pages, some 265 are a reprint, with occasional rearrangement of matter, and some omissions, of about 180 pages of Servetus. For collation of the passages cf. István Borbély, A Magyar Unitárius Egyház hitlvei a xvi. században (The doctrines of the Unitarian Church in the 16th century), Kolozsvár, 1914, p. 42.
45 Cited by Uzoni, Historia, i, 599.
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