Művelődés-, Tudomány- és Orvostörténeti Kiadó
Folyóirat: 2020/20
Cím: Peregrinatio hungarica: Student Mobility Hungarians at European Universities from the Beginnings until the End of 18th Century

Title: Peregrinatio hungarica: A magyarok egyetemjárása Európában a kezdetektől a 18. század végéig
Szerző(k): Rab Irén - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Rovat: A modern orvostudomány története napjainkig
Kötet: 2015/10
DOI: 10.17107/KH.2015.10.130-140
student mobility, scholarship, grants, peregrinatio academica, Hungarian Protestantism, Habsburgs’ politics
diákmobilitás, peregrináció, magyar protestantizmus, ösztöndíjrendszer, Habsburg-politika, 18. század

Studying at a foreign university is a well-known form of higher education, which in early modern Europe was called "peregrination". Student peregrination from Hungary went on since the Middle Ages and peaked in the 18th century. In the course of the 18th century about 35,000 students from Hungary and Transylvania had studied at European universities. “Peregrinus” Catholics usually went to Italy, Vienna, Prague or Cracow. Since 1635 Catholics were able to attend a university in Hungary (in Nagyszombat and later in Pest), too. Protestants (Calvinists and Lutherans) did not have any institution of higher education in Hungary and they did not even want one. They feared that their Churches would fall under Habsburg authority through a university, curtailing Protestant freedoms. Peregrination provided high quality education as well as the highly regarded foreign experience and connections. Therefore the Habsburgs issued one decree after another restrict peregrination.Protestant students from Hungary and Transylvania studied mostly at German, Dutch and Swiss universities. If they had the possibility, they attended more than one institution. Many different types of grants funded by the European Protestant churches and private persons awaited Hungarian Protestant students at foreign universities.

1.      Introduction: Hungarians at European Universities

Hungarians had been visiting foreign academies from very early times. What the preferred university was differed from era to era, at first was Paris the most popular choice. This was due in part to the French influence characteristic of the age of King Béla III (1172-1196), and the Chancery Administration’s increased demand for intellectual capital. From the 13th century onwards, the popularity of Italian universities began to grow as a result of the expansion of Hungarian foreign policies along a north–south axis. At that time, students called ‘peregrinus’, almost exclusively visited Italy, primarily the universities of Vicenza, Padua, Bologna and Ferrara. The age of Mathias Corvinus (1458-1490) saw an increase in the peregrination to Italian universities, which reflected the king’s relationship with Italy and Italian humanism. The popularity of Vienna and Cracow was due to their geographic location and the unviability of Hungarian universities. The German-speaking Vienna was the primary destination of young Saxon men from Transylvania and Upper Hungary, while Cracow was popular among native speakers of Hungarian. Hungarian presence in Vienna was determinative from the beginning:  from 1366 to 1450, 21% of the 19,780 students (4,151 in all) enrolled there belonged to Natio Hungarorum, which included all Central and Eastern European youth besides Hungarians (“omnes Ungaros, Bohemos, Polonos Moravos, Slavos”) The number of Hungarians was still remarkably high: 2,828 (Magyary 1996: 254).

A comprehensive study on Hungarian university peregrination in the Middle Ages is yet to beconducted. In 2005, László Szögi estimated the number of ‘peregrinus’ at 9,000 (Szögi 2005: 257), and in 2008, at 13,000 (Szögi 2008). Sándor Tonk fully explored medieval peregrinatio academica in relation to Transylvanian students based on available registers and other sources (Tonk 1979: 59). According to him, 2,496 Transylvanian students studied abroad between 1177 and 1520, most of them in Vienna (1,408) and Cracow (814). Nine-tenths of the students carried out their studies in the 15th century, which means that the number of peregrines might have exceeded 100 annually. This would have been enough to fill a small university, so it is surprising that the attempts to establish universities in Hungary all failed in the 14th and 15th centuries. Despite the fact that Mathias Corvinus invited illustrious humanist scholars to the University of Pozsony, i.e. present-day Bratislava (Slovakia), the majority of students from the city went to study in Vienna instead.

We have more reliable data regarding the early modern era.[1]The series entitled “The University Peregrination of Hungarian Students in the Modern Era”[2]aimed to fully explore the Hungarian relations of peregrinatio academica. According to the studies, 24,600 students from Hungary and Transylvania[3]were enrolled at European universities between 1526 and 1789 [Table 1], which, assuming that one person studied at two academies on average, means between 12 and 15 thousand individuals. A quarter of these were Transylvanian, and their rate of participationin the peregrination was constant from the beginning. Miklós Szabó counted 5,804 graduates between 1521 and 1800, which implies 4,623 individuals (Szabó 1980 161-164).  This means that Transylvanian students attended 1.25 universities on average.

Table 1. Hungarian students enrolled at European universities (1526-1789), based on Szögi’s data (Szögi 2005; Szögi 2008)




























































































      The rate of Hungarian participation in university peregrination was well above the European average. The number of students from Norway – which had nearly identical parameters as far as its area, population, and lack of universities – studying at European universities between 1536 and 1813 was one-fifth of that of Hungarian students (Szögi 2005). The reason behind Hungarian university peregrination does not merely lie in the absence of a Hungarian university: there was a strong societal demand for knowledge acquired abroad in the multinational and multidenominational country. The public perception of knowledge acquired domestically differed from that of education acquired abroad. Though there was part of a Catholic university – legal training began in 1667, while medical training in 1769 – in Nagyszombat, i.e. present-day Trnva (Slovakia), that started its operation in 1635, the proportion of Catholics among theperegrinus students still remained high (40%).The increase in the attendance of German universities is immediately apparent, the reasons behind which were religion and politics. At first, German universities – most of all the newly established Wittenberg University – were sought out by a few students out of curiosity every year, but later those who were influenced by the Reformation and converted to Protestantism did not really have any other choice. By the second half of the 16th century it became the most favoured destination (56%), followed by a steady increase over the next two hundred years. The popularity of Wittenberg decreased in the 18th century, although it still remained the second most well-attended German university. In the century of the Enlightenment, Halle and Jena came into prominence propagating a pietistical spirit and erudition (Table 2). We can see that as the popularity of a university increased in its own country, the Hungarian peregrines’ interest in the same university grew proportionally. The choice of university was also influenced by scholarships. The academy of Frankfurt by the Oder was regarded as mediocre in Germany. It was listed as 19th in 18th century rankings with an annual enrolment of 175 students, but it remained one of the universities most frequented by Hungarians, as it offered them numerous benefits.

   Table 2.  Hungarians  at the most visited German universities (1526-1789) (Tar 2004)











































A total of approximately 9,500 Hungarians, or 38.6% of all peregrinus, visited German universities between 1526 and 1789. Therefore, it is not surprising that Hungarian scholasticism was mainly influenced by the German culture from that era onwards. Only the universities of the Habsburg Empire, most of all, Vienna, could rival German universities. As it was primarily the Hungarians in Hungary who remained Catholic or converted back to Catholicism, they were the ones studying in Vienna. Most of the Hungarian population of Partium and Transylvania, as well as the Transylvanian Saxons and the Germans, Hungarians and Slovaks from Upper Hungary, as followers of the Calvinist and Lutheran Reformation respectively, visited the protestant German, Dutch, Swiss, and occasionally English universities. Up until the mid-18th century transit was almost impossible, so – in order to halt passage to other countries – Protestants were allowed into the Faculty of Law of the University of Nagyszombat and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Vienna  (Kosáry 1983). Subsequently, the balance had shifted, and the direction of university peregrination abroad gradually drifted towards the educational institutions of the Habsburg Empire.

Limited data are available on what the students had been studying at the academies. It was not until the 18th century that the chosen facultywas recorded in the register, and even then this was not general practice. We only have such information on one-third of those enrolled in Germany in the 18th century. It might be useful to look at proportions: 21% chose theology, 5% medicine, 4.26% law, and a mere 0.73% philosophy (Tar 2000:31). The database of the National Archives of Hungary gives different figures, although it only contains data on Hungarian passport applicants. According to the database, the Council of Governor-General assessed 1,231 passport applications between 1743 and 1779. 51% of applicants applied to pursue studies abroad in the area of theology, 4% in medicine, 3.1% in humanities and only 0.5% in law. 10 applicants wished to study natural history, one music, two military architecture, and one commercial studies. In 494 cases (40%) the chosen field was not specified (OL HL C 41).

2.      The politics of peregrination

Up until the 18th century it was possible to move freely in Europe; travellers were only thwarted by bad road conditions, wars, closures imposed because of epidemics, and the lack of public safety. Roads were sometimes blocked due to precautions against the plague, and in the 15thcentury the Turkish expansion made passage to the south impossible, while the Hussite Wars blocked passage to the north. Local warfare was often enough to warrant a detour or block passage entirely. The situation did not improve in the 16th and 17th century either. Travel journals and correspondence preserved from that era provide accounts of the dangers and unpleasantness of travel. In any case, the freedom to embark on a journey was not hampered by authorities. Despite the risks and hardships of travel, the resolve of those wishing to learn did not dwindle, as the spirit of adventure and the promise of an intellectual career conquered fear.

The free movement of peregrines was first restricted by a decree by Charles III (1711-1740)[4]in 1725. Centralised administration devised numerous administrative provisions. Travelling abroad required a passport, which was issued by the Council of Governor-General based on a certificate from the local authorities and the permission of the Chancellor. Transylvanian students had to hold a passport issued by the governorate, which was later approved in Vienna. The restriction mostly afflicted Protestants, as the majority of Catholics studied at the universities of the Habsburg Empire. Still, it was relatively easy to get a passport in the age of Charles III, because the king was beholden to the European Protestant powers in return for the ratification of Pragmatica Sanctio (1723).

      Maria Theresa (1740-1780), on the other hand, issued one decree after another that restricted peregrination. According to her Chancellor, “it is dangerous that Catholics should travel, as it strengthens their faith in their dogmas more than necessary, and the views they absorb at foreign universities endanger the safety of the ‘apostolic kingdom’. They bring home baleful books, the contents of which incite the subjects to upset the order” (a katholicusok utazásai veszedelmesek, mert a kelleténél jobban megerősíti őket dogmáikban, olyan elveket szívnak magukba a külföldi egyetemeken, melyek veszélyeztetik az 'apostoli királyság' biztonságát. Vészhozó könyveket hoznak be, melyeknek tartalma a rend felforgatására izgatja az alattvalók lelkét) (Zsilinszky 1907: 493-494). This was actually aboutthe reports of the Committee of Revision (censors) set up in 1720: the number of prohibited books brought home by academics greatly increased. This was grounds enough for the queen to tighten administration. From 1748 onwards only noblemen were issued passports, provided they had an official certificate proving that they had the necessary financial means for their stay abroad. The decree mentions noblemen, but as a matter of fact anybody in possession of a financial certificate could get a travel permit.            

       Many passport applications are kept in the National Archives of Hungary. There are all kinds of certificates, which mirror the image of a diverse, solidary society hungry for knowledge. Johann Freysmuth’s studies at Tübingen in 1759 and his brother Joseph’s studies at Göttingen in 1767 were both financed with 300 forints each by their father, a cloth-maker from Pozsony.  The related certificate was issued by the notary of the royal free city of Pozsony. The 300 Hungarian forints required for Mihály Kaszap’s peregrination to Basel was provided by Fejér county, and Mátyás Bencsok, a plebeian from Teszér, was also sponsored with 300 forints by Baron György Hellenbach.

In 1767, János Bornemisza and Pál Esztergomi – both students from Sárospatak – brought witnesses before the congregation of Miskolc to prove that they were noblemen, and that the expenses of their studies in Franeker were “not covered through begging but financed by their own and their fathers’ incomes, and the sum of said expenses is 100 Dutch guilders” (költsége nem koldult légyen, hanem tulajdon maga és attya keresvényibül álló, mely summa 100 hollandiai aranybul álló légyen). The witness “can confirm that with certainty” (szemével látván, bizonyosan tudgya). According to the certificate issued by the Cuman captaincy, József Pap from Püspökladány raised the necessary amount through teaching:“50 Hungarian forints from personal inheritance, and 300 earned by working as a rector in Hajdúböszörmény for two years” (Florenis Hungaricis videlicet 50 ex patrimonio suo, 300 Florenis Hungaricis vero ex praeceptoratu in Oppido Hajdonicali Böszörmény per biennium gesto aquisitis) In the case of Mihály Paksi Szathmári, a student from Sárospatak, a magisterial certificate was enough in itself, without verification of the source of the money. Most records confirm the availability of 300 Hungarian forints[5].

From 1770 the Council of Governor-General kept a cumulative register of peregrines for the sake of transparency, into which their religion, ancestry, the source of their resources, and the chosen academy and studies were recorded. According to this register, everyone chose theology in 1770, without exception.

The Counsellors of State, with reference to the outflow of money, calculated the economic damage caused by peregrination abroad. According to the report, the 700 students that had gone abroad took 210,000 forints out of the country. In order to keep the money within the empire, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine were opened for Protestants at the University of Nagyszombat and Vienna respectively, while plans to establish a Protestant university in Nagyszeben, i.e. present-day Sibiu (Romania), for theologians were underway. The idea came from Maria Theresa ‘proprio motu’, who wished to stop the spread of western doctrines in that way, but this failed mainly because of objections from Calvinists. The Saxon Sámuel Bruckenthal, who prepared the draft, intended to dedicate only one department of theology and law, and two departments of medicine to Calvinists out of the 18 planned. The rest was meant for Lutherans, who in Transylvania were comprised of German-speaking Saxons. Saxons were favoured in other ways as well: Transylvanian advisors to the Chancery were selected from among them, and their financial status was also much better than that of Calvinist and Unitarian Hungarians. In any case, Calvinists had a reason to believe that the university was planned to curtail Protestant freedom, and that it would lower the quality of their education and ultimately lead to the shutdown of their schools. In reality, they feared that their Churches would fall under the authority of the Habsburg powers through that university. It is interesting that the idea was not supported by either the Catholic clergy or the Counsellors of State. The bishop of Transylvania would have preferred that a Catholic university be founded in Kolozsvár, i.e. present-day Cluj-Napoca (Romania), where Protestants would have been allowed to study as well. Neither of the ideas came to fruition, and the case of the university was soon taken off the agenda (Fináczí 1927).

Dissuading theologians from attending foreign universities became a governmental program. The Council of Governor-General gathered evidence to prove that the skills necessary for filling the office of a pastor or teacher could be acquired within the country.  In 1763, Archbishop Ferenc Barkóczy compiled a report for the government on the dangers of peregrination. In his opinion, young Protestants were responsible for bringing “the naturalistic, deistic, and materialistic blight” (a naturalisztikus, deisztikus, materialisztikus mételyt)into the country, arousing discord. He suggested that article XIII of the law of 1609 be applied to them, stating that “nobody is allowed to go abroad in hopes of personal gain or hire without the consent of the king or palatine” (haszon és zsold kedvéért senki se mehessen külföldre a király vagy a nádor tudta nélkül) (Zsilinszky 1907). The law had been originally made to prevent soldiers from hiring themselves out as mercenaries, and Barkóczy assessed the sponsorship from foreign foundations as something similar. Nevertheless, from then on the queen herself signed passports.

Applying for a foreign scholarship was severely restricted, especially in Transylvania. Candidates had to take three academic exams in front of the entire professoriate and student body. A detailed report of the exam was sent to the High Consortium, which provided the recommendation to grant the passport. From 1772, candidates were sworn to take up service of the church upon their return. Churches accepted every restriction to preserve the opportunity to study abroad. The implementation of further restrictions was explained away by the international political situation; the issue of permits was suspended for the duration of the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). At first, no one was allowed abroad between 1756 and 1759 because of the war, and later travel permits were only issued to friendly countries. From 1763, only theologians were allowed to travel, and only to Erlangen and Utrecht, and then in 1766, all outward journeys were temporarily suspended once again (Kosáry 1983).

Permission to go to some universities famous for their spirit of Enlightenment was granted rarely or not at all. Göttingen was initially one of these universities. This is why the peregrines named other, better received academies as their destination, and then, after a slight detour, arrived at the desired academy after all. Only 31 individuals submitted an application for a passport to Göttingen between 1743 and 1779, and 22 actually enrolled there [8]. There were an additional 43 students from Hungary who studied at Göttingen in that period, but more than half of them (24) began their studies at other universities. The data suggest that the restrictions were mostly ineffective. The students who managed to go abroad outwitted the authorities, and once abroad, their movement was free. They found their bearings abroad, and passed on their experiences to aid each other. There was a regularly updated ‘travel guide’ (Úti instructio), which provided information on routes, accommodations, food, and prices. The manual also contained locations worth stopping at: “It is best to stay in Leopoldstadt, Vienna, across from 11 Grossen Anker Gasse, at Schön’s, who is a tailor; he provides accommodation and lunch”([Bétsbe] kell szállni a Leopoldstadtban, in der Grossen Anker Gasse aa 11. Nro-val által ellenbe Schönhez, a ki szabó; nálla szállás és ebéd lészen…);or where to find sights worth seeing: “the building of Astronomica Turrist, Universitás is a must see” ([Prágába] az Astronomica Turrist, Universitás épületét meg-kell nézni...). There are some interesting data on the mobility of 18th century Hungarians: “I do not know my way around Halle, but there must be some Hungarians there who you could see. The postman can help you find them.”[Hálába (Halle)...  nem tudom a járást, hanem bizonyosan leszsz Magyar, fel-kell keresni, a Brieftrager reá igazíttya.][6]  (Borzsák 1969: 370-371).

When the Patent of Toleration was issued in 1781, 30 students applied for travel permits at once, to which the authorities responded with intolerance. In the following year, they demanded proof of sponsorship by foreign foundationsto Protestant churches, and permits were withheld until such proof was produced. The proof was never produced, but permits were shortly issued again. József Rozgonyi was said to have had a great role in that.[7]He was a Calvinist student embarking on a peregrination with the money he inherited from his grandfather, but he was not allowed to go farther than Vienna. For this reason, he enrolled in Catholic theology there. News of his case reached the emperor’s ears. Joseph II (1780-1790) received him in person, and, impressed by Rozgonyi’s preparedness, he gave him a passport and allowed everyone else to visit foreign academies once again. Section 5, Article 26 of the law of 1791 granted freedom of religion and peregrination, but following the events of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars restrictions were introduced again. From the reign of Francis II (1792-1835), proof of foreign connections were demanded once again, but everything stayed as it was before.

3. The expenses of  peregrination

In the Middle Ages, a small fortune was necessary for getting a university degree, if not for the studies abroad. Taking a two-year philosophy course at the University of Vienna as a base, a Baccalaureate degree cost 20, while a Magister’s degree cost an additional 45-50 golden forints. In comparison, the annual earnings of the Canon were 60 golden forints (Tonk 1979). In the case of a large land owner or patrician family, the family paid all the expenses of education. The former also sent familiars to serve as an entourage whose expenses were also covered. Wealthier landlords sometimes sponsored the university education of talented serf boys, while the cities did the same for poor citizens, whenever they needed people with an education. The paramount patron was the Church, as it was principally in need of literate and jurists. To that end, it enlisted young men with a thirst for knowledge from among small landowning nobles, urban plebeians and serfs. Grants that were given for the duration of the studies can be viewed as a kind of scholarship. In exchange for these, students were required to give their service to the chapter, the Royal Chancery or the courthouses (Köblös 1988).

The desire to learn did not wane when Hungary, already divided by religion, was torn into three parts. Catholics visited Vienna and the newly founded universities of the Habsburg Empire. Those in need were sponsored by the Church. The still functioning pontifical Collegium Germanico-Hungaricum in Rome provided free education for Hungarian clerics beginning with1580. In the 17th century Pope Paul V (1605-1621) endowed 112 Hungarian and Transylvanian Catholics at the Jesuit Academy in Olomouc, and Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) did the same at the Collegium Urbanum de Propaganda Fide (Lukinich 1927). These institutions were meant for the training of Catholic clergy and served reforms in the Catholic Church. The Jesuit University founded in 1635 in Nagyszombat educated Catholic youth benefiting from numerous grants. Catholic education fell into the hands of the Jesuits, and enjoyed the assistance of the state within the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom.

Protestants needed qualified pastors and teachers to preserve and pass on their faith, but the imperial education system could not and did not want to provide them. In 1562, the Creed of Debrecen declared that it is the duty of the Hungarian secular authorities to maintain students and schools. The Transylvanian secular authorities actually supported those heading abroad and negotiated benefits for them. Transylvanian Calvinists enjoyed the support of the Prince and high nobility until the end of the 17th century. For example, Comes Mihály Teleki (1634-1690) spent 18,000 forints on students studying at Belgian and English universities. Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania (1613-1629), sent several poor young men to foreign academies every year to study theology and philosophy. “Upon your return, we can use your help with ecclesiastical and civil matters as well as with the management of public affairs for the benefit of our nation and country” (Amikor hazatérendesz, úgy az egyházi, mint a polgári dolgokban is, s a közügyek igazgatásában segítségednek hasznát vehessük magunk, nemzetünk, hazánk érdekében) – wrote Bethlen to Gáspár Bojthi Veres, a student in Heidelberg in 1618 (Szabó 1980).In Transylvania, the Bethlen and Bánffy families sponsored academies, while the Szirmay, Prónay, Jeszenák, and Thurzó families did so in Upper Hungary (Szabó 1980, Zsilinszky 1907)                                                  

Church offices and the related intellectual medical, teaching, and tutoring occupations did not provide the opportunity for upward social mobility and the prospect of wealth anymore. This is why in the 16-17th centuries, educated intellectuals almost exclusively came from cities, towns and villages, and not from among the nobility. As these people mostly came from intellectual families (69.2%), intellectual dynasties were formed. This class usually lacked the financial means to finance their own education. A sort of support system was created to raise funds. It was possible to apply for scholarships provided by the city, the educational institution, or foreign foundations. Those who were selected by the high authority of the church were prescribed the academies they could go to, the amount of time they could spend there, the date of their expected return, and even the books they had to acquire. Finding a noble patron and tutoring a rich young man planning to go to a foreign university was also an option. Many took to the practice of albizálás[8]as a means of raising funds – until this practice was banned – or accepted donations from the Church community. It was also common practice to take up the office of schoolmaster or priest to earn money for education. For this reason, compared to their foreign peers, Hungarian students were older, more serious and more determined.

4.  Foreign benefits and the system of scholarships

The Counter-Reformation aimed to wreck Protestant churches and deprive them of their financial and societal support. The persecution and martyrdom of preachers gained the sympathy of European churches. Not only did they take political steps to save them, but they also set up funds and scholarships and provided occasional aid to help Hungarian Protestantism survive. Many different types of grants (24 for Calvinists, and about 10 for Lutherans) awaited Protestant students at foreign academies. At times, their travel expenses were reimbursed and they were provided free lodgings, a free table – which meant free catering – or even clothing, books and a scholarship for the duration of their studies. There were foreign monarchs among the sponsors: the Electors Palatine of Hesse and Saxony as well as the Kings of Prussia and Sweden.  In his edict of 1705 Frederick I, King of Prussia (1701-1713), granted free boarding and lodging for one Hungarian Calvinist in every academy in his country, while Charles, Elector Palatine of Hesse, gave two Hungarian students a scholarship of 300 marks at the University of Marburg, and an additional 36 marks to cover travel expenses.

Municipal bodies and private individuals both made endowments to their impecunious coreligionists. The endowments made by the Dutch orders in Utrecht, the Frisian orders in Franeker and the Westphalian orders in Leiden provided 1,500 guilders, 14 free tables, tuition-free education, and books for Hungarian and Transylvanian students of theology. The Swiss orders of Geneva, Bern and Zurich donated a total of 1,200 guilders as a scholarship, and 300 guilders to cover the expenses of travel, clothes and books to 12 Hungarian Calvinist students. The four scholarships in Bern were shared by a student from Debrecen, two from Sárospatak and one from Transylvania. Mór Ballagi published detailed data from a letter by Lukács Simon Borosnyai, which he wrote about his peregrination around 1760: “Upon arrival, they had a nice robe of the Order made of fine, black baize with a sleeved dolman and two pairs of trousers for 50 Rhenish guilders; additionally, I was given four ducats for a small gown, slippers, and stockings, 24 Rhenish guilders for the most necessary books, 12 Rhenish guilders for boarding and lodging every month, which was enough to get by at that time, and 60 Rhenish guilders for travel expenses, a cloak” (Érkezéskor csináltattak egy rendbéli szép öltöző köntöst fein fekete posztóból...ujjas dolmánnyal s 2 nadrággal, fl.Rh. 50, apró köntösre, papucsra, strümpre Duc.4.  legszükségesebb könyvekre fl.Rh. 24, minden hónapra, szállásra és asztalra fl.Rh. 12, mellyel az akkori időben meg lehetett élni és úti költségre `palástra` fl.Rh. 60 adtak) (Ballagi 1891: 405).In Utrecht, the foundation of Miss Evenvein and Bernardin distributed 2,400 guilders among Hungarians every year, while the Palm’sche Fund, with a capital of 16,000 guilders, provided financial aid that was usable at different universities.

Lutherans also received grants and assistance: the Hiller’sche Fund in Tübingen sponsored 4 Transylvanian Saxon students using the annual interest of 2,000 guilders, the Burgstaller grant in Göttingen covered the entire expenses of one student from Pozsony every year, and the foundation of the Pozsony Sophia Scarizkin also provided aid with a capital of 10,000 guilders. The wealthier families and cities also made endowments in foreign universities. In Frankfurt by the Oder, Transylvanian Comes György Bánffy and Ádám Teleki paid the expenses of two Calvinist students each, while in Greifswald, the Baron Szirmay family covered the costs of four Lutheran students through their 3,000-guilder fund. In Franeker, Comes Sándor Teleki provided five free tables, and in Göttingen, Comes János Kendeffy provided two. The town of Kassa (i.e. present-day Košice, Slovakia), fund could be used in Wittenberg, and this, together with private donations, was the annual interest of an almost 10,000 forint capital. Universities also provided free board and a tuition exemption for needy Hungarian and Transylvanian students. Such allowances were granted in Bremen, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Erlangen, Halle, Hanau, Heidelberg, Herborn, Marburg, and Oxford, among other universities. Grants were not awarded strictly on a denominational or geographic principle: Lutherans were allowed to use benefits meant for Calvinists, and Transylvanian Calvinists could similarly use benefits meant for Hungarians. Unitarians did not have a Church abroad, but they were given discounted rates for board at the dormitories in Jena and Göttingen. [9]The list is not complete or exhaustive, as the quantity of grants changed from time to time. In any case, the national and international cooperation to protect faith and education was fascinating, and the Habsburgs’ efforts to prevent the peregrination of Protestant students are understandable. Still, by the end of the 18th century there were hardly any Protestant theologians, writers, pastors, or teachers in higher positions who never studied abroad. It was a distinction that distinguished them from ‘domi docti’, who only held domestic degrees, and therefore were given a much lower social recognition.


1. BALLAGI, M.: Magyar stipendiumok külföldi egyetemekre. ItK,1 (1891), 404-406.

2. BORZSÁK, I.: Sárvári Pál levelezéséből, ItK, 73 (1969), 368-373.

3. FINÁCZY, E.: Az újkori nevelés története (1600-1800). Budapest, 1927.

4. KEMÉNY, J.: Stiftungen des Auslandes für die dort studierende Jugend Ungarns und Siebenbürgens. Magazin für Geschichte, Literatur und alle Denk- und Merkwürdigkeiten Siebenbürgens. 1.1 (1844), 80-91.

5. KOSÁRY, D.: Művelődés a XVIII. századi Magyarországon. Budapest, Akadémia, 1983.

6. KÖBLÖS, J.: A Jagello-kori egyházi középréteg egyetemjárása. = Az értelmiség Magyarországon a 16-17.században. szerk. Zombori, I.. Szeged, 1988. 23-48.

7. LUKINICH, I.: Magyar diákok külföldi egyetemeken. = A magyar tudománypolitika alapvetése szerk.MAGYARY, Z. Budapest, 1927. 149-165.

8. Magyar Országos Levéltár, Helytartótanácsi Levéltár OL HL, C 41. LAD.

9. MAGYARY, Z.: A magyarok külföldi egyetemjárása = Fejezetek a magyar művelődéstörténet forrásaiból, szerk. GAZDA, I.  Budapest, Tárogató, 1996, 252-326.

10.  SZABÓ, M.: Erdélyi diákok külföldi egyetemjárása a 16-18. században. In: Csetri, E., Jakó, Zs.: Művelődéstörténeti tanulmányok. Bukarest, Kriterion, 1980. 152-168.

11.  SZABÓ M., SZÖGI L.: Erdélyi peregrinusok. Erdélyi diákok európai egyetemeken 1701-1849. Marosvásárhely, Mentor, 1998.

12.  SZÖGI, L.: A külföldi magyar egyetemjárás a kezdetektől a kiegyezésig. Educatio, 2 (2005), 244-266.

13.  SZÖGI, L.: A külföldi egyetemjárás és a magyar értelmiségi szerep kapcsolata. Valóság 61, no. 4. (2008)

14.  TAR, A.: Magyarországi diákok németországi egyetemeken és főiskolákon 1694-1789. Budapest, ELTE Levéltár, 2004.

15.  TONK, S.:  Erdélyiek egyetemjárása a középkorban. Bukarest, Kriterion, 1979.

16.  ZSILINSZKY, M. (szerk.):A magyarhoni protestáns egyház története. Budapest, Atheneum, 1907.


[1]In this paper, by early modern era I mean the period between the beginning of the Reformation (1517) and the end of the 18th century.

[2]  Edited by László Szögi, published by the Archives of ELTE. 16 volumes were published by 2011.

[3] In the Middle Ages Transylvania was part of Hungary, from 1570 to 1711 an independent Hungarian principality, called Principality of Transylvania. After the ousting of the Ottoman Turks, the territorial integrity of the Hungarian Kingdom was not reinstated.Transylvania became part of the Habsburg Monarchy.Hungarians lived in two homelands,  in Kingdom of Hungary and in Transylvania.

[4] Habsburg Monarchs as Kings of Hungary.

[5] I collected the certificates and applications from peregrination records kept in the Hungarian National Archives, Archives of the Council of Governor-(OL-HL C 41)

[6]These travel instructions were compiled by János Saátor for Pál Sárvári in 1792.

[7]Rozgonyi studied abroad from 1784 to1790. He studied in Utrecht, Oxford and Göttingen, but he also visited France and Switzerland. Upon his return, he worked as a college professor, first in Losonc, then in Sárospatak.

[8]A practice aimed at collecting support practiced by students of theology embarking on a peregrination. They sought out wealthy donors (individuals or communities), who gave them money for their education, and wrote recommendations in their albums amicorum (hence the name albizálás, roughly, “album-ing”).

[9]The first summary on the foreign grant system was compiled by the Counsellors of State in 1766. It was first published by József Kemény in 1844, and finally by Mihály Zsilinszky in 1908. Their summaries are not complete and lack clarity, which is either the result of the lack of exhaustive data, or the inaccuracy typical of the publications of that era. More recently, Miklós Szabó has published excerpts, but only pertaining to Transylvanian peregrines. Extensive and academic research on the topic is yet to be done.  – (Szabó 1980; Zsilinszky 1907; Kemény 1844;Szabó-Szögi 1998)