The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 17, 2014

January 17, 1871

Nicholas Jorga is the anglicized version of the name of a twentieth century historian and Romanian politician, Nicolae Iorga (January 17, 1871 to  November 27, 1940). By his 30s he supported nationalist ambitions, writing a history of Romania and history of Romanian literature. This involved political antagonism towards the Austro-Hungarian empire. He shared the ideology of reverence for the peasants and currents of antisemitism which typified a later Nazi intellectual framework, as well as their  rejection of modern art.

I am of course assessing what I have read about Iorga. I am not comfortable in the thicket of the Romanian language and culture so let me to be fair, quote the Encyclopedia Britannica. They presents a gentler summary of Iorga's career:

Nicolae Iorga, [was] ..., Romania’s greatest national historian, who also served briefly as its prime minister (1931–32)....Appointed professor of universal history at Bucharest (1895), Iorga early established his historical reputation with his two-volume Geschichte des rumänischen Volkes (1905; “History of the Romanian People”), his five-volume Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches (1908–12; “History of the Ottoman Empire”), and studies of the Crusades.

From the time of his first election to the Romanian Parliament (1907), he played an important role in national politics. ....A man of enormous energy, he is believed to have written more than 1,000 books and some 25,000 articles. He published a monumental 10-volume national history (
Istoria Românilor; 1936–39). His strongly nationalist writings and lectures influenced all of Romanian intellectual life. .... Iorga supported the regime of his former pupil, King Carol II, who had returned from exile in 1930 to claim the national throne, but he adamantly opposed both the extreme right and the extreme left. In November 1940 Iorga was assassinated by terrorists of the fascist Iron Guard.

One of Nicolae Iorga's books includes this quoted text:

I have as much pity of poor men as [a] peddlar 
        hath of cats 
That would kill them, if he catch them might
        for coveting of their skins.

I am sticking by my assessment, of Nicolae Iorga, provisional as it must be, not only because he was virulently antisemitic, but these strange numbers of books. I cannot place this in some anthropology, but it makes me very suspicious of the quality of the scholarship. 

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