BALINT-ILLYÉS, Gabor Szentkátolnai

BÁLINT-ILLYÉS, Gábor Szentkátolnai. Szentkátolna (now Catalina in Romania) 13.3.1844 — Temesvár (now Timişoara in Romania) 25.5.1913. Hungarian Altaic Scholar, Polyglott and Linguist, also interested in Dravidian. Professor in Kolozsvár. He learnt many languages already as a schoolboy. Studied Law at Vienna and Budapest, also attended the Orientalische Akademie. Richterprüfung 1871, left soon for his first journey to Astrahan and Mongolia, returned 1875. In 1877 in China and India (studied Tamil), 1879 in Anatolia, 1880-81 in Bosnia, 1888-90 in Athens. From 1897 Professor of Ural-Altaic Philology at Kolozsvár University (now Cluj-Napoca in Romania). He made an attempt to find a genetic relationship between Hungarian and Tamil (severely criticized by Budenz and Hunfalvy). This unlikely hypothesis seriously damaged his career and is now rightly forgotten

Publications: Several publications on Tatar, Mongol, and Manchu.

– “A tamul nyelva turáni nyelvek sansvkritja”, Erdélyi Múzeum Bölcselet 1888, 33-55.

Tamil tanulmányok. (Tamil Studies) 1894 / Tamulische (dravidische) Studien. 432 p. Vienna n.d. (1898, including a Tamil Grammar).

Sources: Das Geistige Ungern 1, 49; Bethlenfalvy 1981, 23; *L.J. Nagy, “G.B.’s journey to the Mongols”, AOHu 9, 1959, 311-317; *Hungarian Wikipedia with photo; no works in Puskás 1991.

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