Varga Benedek szerk.: Orvostörténeti közlemények 141-144. (Budapest, 1993)

TANULMÁNYOK - ESSAYS - Kis, Domokos: Az erdélyi bujdosók és a pestis

SUMMARY Owing to the overwhelming military power of the Habsburg forces Transylvanian sympathizers fled twice to Hungary during the Rákóczi uprising (1704—1711): first in 1704-1706 and then in 1707-1711. In the autumn of 1707 they numbered as much as ten thousand people, and according to the decrees of the diet at Kisvárda, they were settled down in smaller units in around Szabolcs, Szatmár. Bereg, Ung, Ugocsa and Máramaros counties. Though always short of money, the leaders of the uprising created a system that satisfied the basic­needs of these refugees. By the end of the rebellion, nevertheless, as the territory controlled by Rákó­czi's armies decreased considerably, the refugees were forced to move on and on, which certainly led to a corruption of their food supplies, accommodation and hygienic conditions. The worst among all came with the plague. The author examines the effects of the epidemic and the counter-measures taken by the individual and the authorities of the uprising. Kis has consulted the main Hungarian books of that age that referred to black death (among others Anna Zay 's Herbarium [1719], Samuel Köleséri's Pestis Daicae, György Komáromi Csipkés's Pestis pestise, Ferenc Pápai Páriz's Pax Corporis and A pestis betegség etc. , and Máté Tsanaki's A Döghalálról, etc.), as well as many archival papers (the correspondence of Count Sándor Károlyi with his wife Krisztina Barkóczy, those of General Bercsényi to his wife and Prince Rá­kóczi, and some doctors' reports, etc.). His main source, however, is Zsigmond Szaniszló's diary. Szaniszló was a former főbíró (chief­sheriff) of the Transsylvanián Torda city, an Anti-Trinitarian stronghold, and remained a leader of his people during the emigration. According to his notes, which the author has compared with the data gi­ven by the others, there were hardly any measures taken against plague in this community. Although Szaniszló gives detailed descriptions about the everday life of the refugees he almost entirely omits to mention anything that could be considered as anti-plague measure, except, perhaps, turning to the Al­mighty. This unreasonable conduct is often supposed to be the manifestation of fanaticism. Kis. however, prefers another explanation, because, as he argues, in lack of an elaborated knowledge of the mentalité of the Transsylvanián Anti-Trinitarian communities, and according to the insufficient number of original sources it would be unsafe to reason this striking phenomenon exclusively by un­questioning faith. So. Kis concludes that it was caused rather by the fact that plague had been virtually unknown in the remote city of Torda, therefore these refuegees did not know any sort of counter­measures that could have been taken. For them the epidemic was unexpected, uncontrollably fast and devastating. As a consequence, having but the last refuge, all they could do was praying.