Public Lecture on Hungarian Typographer’s Life and Work

On December 5, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) hosted a public lecture by Dr. Péter Pál Kránitz on the life and work of Hungarian typographer, Nicolaus Kis of Misztótfalu. Rector of TSU, Giorgi Sharvashidze, representatives of the Embassy of Hungary to Georgia, students and professors attended the lecture, which was delivered on the sideline of Hungarian culture days in Georgia.

“The lecture was very interesting; it was dedicated to Georgian-Hungarian relations and the Hungarian typographer, who was the first ever to cut Georgian letters. In its time, Akaki Shanidze explored the path passed by Georgian letters cut by Nicolaus Kis of Misztótfalu. Later in 1982, Guram Sharadze released a book on this issue and today we have new facts from his biography. A lot of people familiarized themselves with interesting facts about Georgian-Hungarian relations through Facebook livestreaming of the lecture,” Giorgi Sharvashidze said.

Nicolaus Kis of Misztótfalu, Hungarian typographer, was among the first ever to cut Georgian letters in 1684, commissioned by King Archil of Imereti. Although his Georgian letters are believed to have been lost in Sweden (where King Archil’s son was held captive) before reaching its destination, the printing house of the king, Nicolaus Kis’s life work is a proof that Hungarian-Georgian relations exceed the diplomatic and military alliance that point to medieval origins, manifesting in the cultural sphere of the early modern period as well.    
The Transylvanian pressman was working in Amsterdam, where he was one of the pioneers of Oriental printing. His Armenian, Chinese, Hebrew, Syrian, Coptic and other letters were among the first ever to be widely used in European printing houses.  


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