B bábi, Tibor

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Brassai, Sámuel (2) (Welmer) (Torockószentgyörgy, now Colţeşti, Romania, 15 June 1797 - Kolozsvár, now Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 24 June 1897) – Polyhistor. His father was a Unitarian minister. In his youth he had been living under adverse conditions. At various times he was aristocrats’ tutor, language master, music teacher, as well as librarian to Count Bethlen’s family. From 1837 to 1848 he was a teacher at the Unitarian College of Kolozsvár; and from 1850 to 1859 teacher at Pál Gönczy’s School in Pest. During the 1850s he taught at the College at Kolozsvár. From 1872 until his retirement in 1884 he was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kolozsvár. From 1834 to 1848 he edited the Sunday News (Vasárnapi Újság), the first popular newspaper in Hungarian. In 1837 he launched a youth-book series called the Blue Library (Kék Könyvtár), and a magazine for young people Friend of Youth (Fiatalság barátja) with György (George) Boros (1851). From 1859 to 1873 he was Editor for the Transylvanian Museum’s Yearbook (Erdélyi Múzeum Évkönyve). From 1877 to 1890 he published with Hugo Meltzl the Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum (Összehasonlító Irodalom-történeti Lapok). He was dealing with geography, history, statistics and economics, the theory of music, nearly every branch of natural science, and with problems of esthetics, art criticism, linguistics and history of literature. In defense of his idealistic philosophical as well as his linguistic and literary views, he was engaged in acerbic polemics with Miklós Jósika, József (Joseph) Eötvös, and even with the great poet Mihály Vörösmarty. His polemical essay: Hungarian or Gypsy Music? (Magyar vagy cigányzene?) (1886), was directed at Ferenc (Franz) Liszt. In this he argued for the originality of Hungarian music. He knew a number of languages, among them Russian, Ottoman Turkish, Hebrew and Sanskrit. He was a school-reformist and popularized science and its latest results. He translated literary works into Hungarian, e.g. some of Gogol’s and Sologub’s works. His works include The Hungarian Sentence (A magyar mondat), (1860-1863); On Methodology (A módszerről), (1867-1869); The Religion of the Future (A jövő vallása) (1886); The Divinity of Jesus (Jézus Istensége) (1887), and Word-order and Accent (Szórend és accentus) (1888). He was regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1865). – B: 0883, 1068, 1257, T: 7456.→Jósika, Miklós; Eötvös, József; Vörösmarty, Mihály; Liszt, Ferenc.

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