The Correspondence of Czech students at Protestant universities (Hrubý edition, 290 letters)

Primary Contributors:

Cultures of Knowledge and the Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno


Titlepage of Étudiants tchèques aux écoles protestantes de l’Europe occidentale à la fin du 16e et au début du 17e siècle, ed. František Hrubý and Libuše Urbánková-Hrubá (Brno, 1970). (Source of image: Cultures of Knowledge)

František Hrubý. Photograph. (Source of image: Archive of the Masaryk University in Brno, presented on www.encyklopedie.brna.cz)

In 1970 of a collection of manuscript letters focused on the correspondence of Bohemian and Moravian students who were studying at Protestant universities in Western Europe was published in Brno. The letters had been assembled by František Hrubý (1887–1943), director of the Moravian Archives from 1927 to 1937 and a professor at Masaryk University, and were prepared for publication in the decades following his death by his daughter Dr Libuše Urbánková-Hrubá (1923–2001), together with a preface supplied by Bedřich Šindelář. An outstanding Czech historian, Hrubý was an expert on Moravia in the years surrounding 1620 and the Battle of White Mountain. In the course of three research trips conducted between 1924 and 1931, he visited archives in France and Switzerland and researched systematically the correspondence of Moravian and Bohemian noble Protestants, in particular that of members of The Unity of Brethren with European centres of Reformed Churches and with Lutheran and Calvinists academies in France and Switzerland.

 


Partners and Additional Contributors

Work to compile metadata for this collection of letters has involved a partnership between EMLO and the Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, where PDF copies of Hrubý’s invaluable publication may be consulted online. Thanks are extended to Zdenka Macková at Masaryk’s Digital Library, and to Iva Lelková at the Academy of Sciences at the Czech Republic, Prague. Preparation for upload to EMLO of the metadata of these letters was led by Editorial Assistant Mark Thakkar, with assistance from Digital Fellows Lucy Hennings, Katharina Herold, and Callum Seddon.


Key Bibliographic Source(s)

Étudiants tchèques aux écoles protestantes de l’Europe occidentale à la fin du 16e et au début du 17e siècle, ed. František Hrubý and Libuše Urbánková-Hrubá, intr. Bedřich Šindelář (Brno, 1970).


Contents

Hrubý’s edition contains 290 letters that span the sixty-one years from 1573 to 1634. Although the collection is drawn from a number of archives in Brno, Litoměřice, Opava, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zurich, Gotha, Munich, Paris, Wrocław, and Vienna, the majority of the correspondence is to be located in the Universitätsbibliothek Basel and is dated between 1580 and 1606. The collection contains letters of Karel the Elder of Žerotín and his friends from Reformed churches, letters of Bohemian and Moravian students on academies of Western Europe, letters of members of family of Zástřizl with Theodor Beza and others, and correspondence of the Bohemian Brethren from Moravia with the Swiss Reformed churches. An important part of the collection is composed of the letters of professors and preceptors — for example Theodor Beza, Johann Jakob Grynaeus, Amandus Polanus of Polansdorf, and Jakob Zwinger — and this offers an interesting insight into life of Reformed academies, their students, and teaching practices. Transcriptions of the letters, which were written primarily in Latin, may be consulted in Hrubý’s edition, where the footnotes and covering texts have been provided in French.

Karel the Elder of Žerotín, after a contemporary portrait. Reproduced in Étudiants tchèques aux écoles protestantes de l’Europe occidentale …, ed. František Hrubý (Source of image: Cultures of Knowledge)




Scope of Catalogue

This collection may be complemented by further letters of the theologian and dean of the theological faculty in Basel Amandus Polanus of Polansdorf (1561–1610) and it is hoped that in the course of the coming months a complete calendar of his calendar will be created within the project ‘Correspondence networks between Central and Western Europe: From Comenius and Kircher to Hartlib and Oldenburg’, which funds cooperation between the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, and Early Modern Letters Online at the University of Oxford.


Further resources

Moravské korespondence a akta z let 1620–1636, ed. František Hrubý (Brno, 1934–1937).

Étudiants tchèques aux écoles protestantes de l’Europe occidentale à la fin du 16e et au début du 17e siècle, ed. František Hrubý and Libuše Urbánková-Hrubá (Brno, 1970).

Between Lipany and White Mountain: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Modern Bohemian History in Modern Czech Scholarship, ed. James R. Palmitessa (Brill, 2014).

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