Totum devicerat orbem

Exercise-book of Aurél Stein from the Dresden Kreuzschule, 1876
The exercise-book of fourteen-year old Aurél Stein from his Dresden school years was opened at these two pages on the Hong Kong exhibition, organized in this March-May by the Oriental Collection of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to illustrate with manuscripts and photos from the Stein legacy his path of life from his native house in front of the Academy through the Silk Road to the cemetery of Kabul.

Aurél Stein drinking tea in India
It is not clear to which subject this exercise-book belonged, for it includes everything together, just like his later life, from cartography through languages to philological analysis. He failed to learn the lesson of the Ancient wisdom he even noted here in Latin and German. No wonder he did not receive the so much sought-for high school teachership in Kolozsvár, nor any other position in Hungary, never.

Exercise-book of Aurél Stein from the Dresden Kreuzschule, 1876, detailMos hominum est, ut nolint, eundem hominem compluribus rebus excellere.
It is customary of people that they do not like when one excels in more than one thing.


To the right, the sketch of the regions of Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden. The tracing is still uncertain, but the geographical structure is clearly built. To the left, Latin syntactical exercises, above with German translation and below with analyses of syntax and prosody.

Exercise-book of Aurél Stein from the Dresden Kreuzschule, 1876, detailMagnus Alexander totum devicerat orbem
unde sibi magni nomen adeptus erat.

Alexander the Great conquered the whole world
thus seizing a great name for himself.


He has before him yet the Indian and Iranian studies in Vienna, Leipzig and Tübingen, the post-doctoral years in London, Cambridge and Oxford, the discoveries in India, Turkestan and Persia. He does not know yet that he will seize a great name for himself by walking through the Silk Road from China to Syria and by reconstructing for the first time the world-conquering path of Alexander the Great.

Photo of Aurél Stein on the Silk Road: Pan Zhen with attendants
Photo of Aurél Stein on the Silk Road: Yazgulamis anthropometrically examined at Rokhar
In Studiolum we have just completed the four languages – English, Spanish, Chinese and Hungarian – web catalog of the Hong Kong exhibition. We have just uploaded it on the server of the Hungarian Academy: http://stein.mtak.hu/index-en.html. The day after tomorrow, on November 12, at 14 o’clock it will be solemnly presented to the Hungarian scholarly public at the Academy, together with the web edition of the medieval Hebrew Kaufmann Codices. The two collections will be introduced by professor and head of the department of Ancient history Gyula Wojtilla, and by chief rabbi Tamás Raj, respectively. After them, we will demonstrate the secrets of the web edition. Coffee and cakes will be provided by our host. All our readers are welcome.

The Khotan manuscript of Aurél Stein with flower

1 comentario:

Mongols, China and the Silk Road dijo...

studiolum zei...
Hello, I am the maker of the site you were so kind to advertise here. Thank you very much! However, I'm sincerely curious how you found it, if I just uploaded it on the server of the Academy two days ago. You must have a very good eye and a researcher’s luck comparable to Stein’s…

I have also written about the preparation of this site in my blog several times, for example here, and finally yesterday here.

We have also prepared a previous site at the Academy for the centenary of the discovery of the Dunhuang Cave Library by Stein, at http://dunhuang.mtak.hu, it is also worth to visit.

11 november 2008 6:39


mongols, china and the silk road zei...
Unfortunately the mysterie is smaller than you thought and therefor their is also less glory for me in it !!!
A few days ago the IDP newsletter no 31 was published (http://idp.bl.uk/archives/news_current/news_current.a4d#6 ) and your site was mentioned there.
I have to congratulate you with this site. The contents are well known but the photographs were really beautifull and many of them unknown to me.
I am going to read your blog now and come back to you later.
Best regards,
Hans van Roon

15 november 2008 10:28

PS i corrected the exhibition data for the DunHuang article, reading properly proves to be more dificult for us than we think.