Homo Europaeus’ temptation the catholic bishop Batthyany Ignac (1741-1798)
Autor: Ileana Dârja
The Catholic Bishop Batthyany Ignac (Gűssing Austia the 30th of July 1741 – Cluj Napoca the 17th of November 1798) was, in the last two decades of the 18th century, an outstanding personality of the spiritual and cultural Transylvanian space. Not only that he has distinguished himself as being a spiritual guide for the Transylvanian people for eighteen years, as a bishop, but also as being a true protector of arts and sciences, by initiating and supporting cultural establishments; the most famous is Batthyany’s Institute from Alba Iulia / INSTITUTUM BATTHYANIANI ALBAE CAROLINAE/ now the Romanian National Library branch Batthyaneum Alba Iulia, initally organised as astronomical observatory, library, several historical collections, printing establishment and bookbindery. In this way he was irrevocably inscribed in the universal cultural patrimony.
This article resumes the destiny of one complex personality, true European man of his times, able to carry out in the same time multiple missions and responsabilities. He was an aristocrat, ecclesiastes, scientist, erudite bibliophile, historian, exceptional scholar, passionate of astronomy, authorised collector, protector of arts and sciences, creative spirit, initiator of cultural projects in Transylvania. He consciously felt responsible for all these domains, always in contact with the western high society and with the intellectual elite of his times, but most of all he was a true person.