Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 June 2021
At the time of the establishment of the first Chair of Egyptology in France in 1831, the Hungarian Kingdom, which had been part of the Habsburg Empire since 1699, was dominated by a liberal and national movement, aiming to foster modernisation, the language and culture, as well as to achieve greater autonomy within the Habsburg Monarchy (the Reform Age: 1825–48). This reform movement culminated in a revolution and war of independence during 1848–49, which was repressed by an Austro-Russian alliance. During the following period of some two decades (1849–67), Hungary was reduced to the status of a province, and administered from Vienna, to which the response of the Hungarians was an organised passive resistance. In such circumstances, coupled with a political emphasis on national aspirations and a cultural focus on national traditions, there was little awareness of ancient Egypt among the wider population during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century.