Jazyková výbava Kryštofa Haranta z Polžic a Bezdružic: případ řečtiny

Title: Jazyková výbava Kryštofa Haranta z Polžic a Bezdružic: případ řečtiny
Variant title:
  • Linguistic competencies of Christopher Harant of Polžice and Bezdružice: the case of Greek
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2018, vol. 23, iss. 1, pp. 121-138
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Christopher Harant of Polžice and Bezdružice (1564–1621), an educated renaissance nobleman, is primarily known for his unfortunate fate, as he was one of the twenty-seven Czech noblemen executed at the command of the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand II at the Old Town Square, Prague, on the 21st June 1621 for high treason. It was an ironic end of his rich and active life, for he had been loyal to the House of Habsburg for most of his life. He had served the Emperor Rudolph II for many years but after his death he stepped aside and, after the Bohemian Revolt had broken out, accepted offices from the hands of the rebel Estates, which proved fatal for him. He is equally known as the author of the elaborated and extensive, two-volume travelogue describing his journey to the Holy Land and Egypt, which he undertook in 1598 (the book was printed in 1608). The aim of this paper was to examine the evidence that could support the thesis of the author of Harant's most recent and most comprehensive biography, Marie Koldinská, that during his long formative stay at the court of Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria, at Ambras Christopher Harant learned not only Latin (which was a standard for an aristocrat of his time), but also Greek. The said evidence is formed by a few pieces of text written in Greek and a large number of references to Greek writers, both ancient and Byzantine, in Harant's travelogue. We cannot determine the exact level of Harant's knowledge of Greek or how and when he achieved it (at Ambras? through self-study?). There were materials for learning Greek in the library of the Archduke Ferdinand at Ambras but we do not know whether Greek was actually taught here (not even in the case of the Archduke and his sons, let alone one of the pages, which was Harant). The analysis of the evidence present in the travelogue proves that Harant was capable of working with Greek texts at least at basic level. It also shows that he was familiar with a high number of various Greek authors and works but that he preferred Latin translations or bilingual Greek-Latin editions or eventually, that he sometimes helped himself with collections of proverbs and quotes or other kind of contemporary compilations. At the time when the travelogue was being created, all the Greek works quoted by Harant were already available in Latin translations (possibly with two exceptions but the way they are quoted suggests Harant probably did not work with them directly).
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