Matej Bel as a Historian of Ancient History
Author: Nagy Imrich
Source: Studia Historica Nitriensia, year: 2018, vol.: 22, number: 2, pages: 474-485
Abstract: Baroque scholar and polymath Matej Bel had mainly established himself in the sphere of history, national history and geography, ethnography and genealogy within Hungarian history thanks to his impressive work Notitia Hungariae novae historico geographica (1735 – 1749), i. e. The Knowledge. He does not leave out ancient times in the description of particular Hungarian counties history (settlements in their area). Thus The Knowledge of Matej Bel represents a precious evidence about shaping opinions of the Ancient Rome in our area from the era of baroque historiography. Regarding his hypotheses, their proving and argumentation in general, Matej Bel presents himself as an erudite historian of the ancient history with great knowledge of antique sources. He critically compares and verifies claims of not only humanist historians, but also his contemporaries. According to Matej Bel, only unequivocally identifiable findings of material culture may be regarded as truly convincing arguments. However, when comes to their historical interpretation, he tries to regard general situation and dynamics of historical development of the Roman Empire in given time and space. Thus, even when he does not have adequate information, his logical consideration of presence and localization of Roman settlements are unusually accurate.
Key words: MATEJ BEL (MATHIAS BELIUS, BÉL MÁTYÁS); ANCIENT HISTORY; PANNONIA; LIMES ROMANUS; HISTORIOGRAPHY OF 18TH CENTURY;
Publication order reference: Univerzita Mateja Bela v Banskej Bystrici, Katedra histórie, Tajovského 40, Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org