B bábi, Tibor

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Bonfini, Antonio (Antonius Bonfinius) (Patrignone, Italy, December 1427 or 1434 - Buda, ? July 1502) – Italian historiographer. Bonfini grew up as a humanist in his country of birth and reached the class of magister. He worked for rich families as tutor in Florence, Padua, Ferrara and Rome. From 1478 he taught at Recanta, where he had the opportunity to get acquainted with Beatrix of Aragon, who became the wife of King Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus) of Hungary (1458-1490). Bonfini met with the future queen in Italy; and in 1486, he visited Beatrix at Buda and became her tutor. The king commissioned him to write the history of Hungary. Bonfini commenced the work, though he made several return trips to Italy. He continued the work even after the death of King Mátyás, in the reign of King Ulászló II (Wladislas, 1490-1516) who bestowed titles of Hungarian nobility on him and his sons. The four-volume work, written in Latin, is entitled Rerum Hungaricarum Decades. Originally it was meant to be only for King Mátyás’s famous Corvina library; however, its copies were spreading and were popular in the Age. The work was translated into German and French and was widely read even in royal circles abroad. However, after 1515, it became almost forgotten, and only after 1541 did it evoke interest again and scholars began to search for its missing parts. The first probably complete edition was published by János (John) Zsámboki in Basel (1568). Much later, even in the 20th century, some fragments, long believed lost, turned up. The modern edition of the work was prepared on the basis of a copy found in Krakow in 1936. Bonfini’s monumental work remained unsurpassed for several centuries. – B: 1031, 1150, 1257, T: 7456.→Mátyás I, King; Ulászló II, King; Corvina; Istvánffy, Miklós; Zsámboki Codex.

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