"... my career has been a great adventure..." Interview with Zsigmond Jakó Initiated by Mária Lupescu Makó (p. 345-358)



This interview was realized with the occasion of celebrating the ninety years old Zsigmond Jakó, former professor of Cluj (Kolozsvár) university. The mentor of the researchers of the Hungarian Middle Ages and early modern age, professor Jakó had an interesting and very impressive academic career. The researcher of historiographic sources, professor Jakó graduated Péter Pázmány University (the predecessor in title of present-day ELTE University, Budapest) as a B.A. in History and Latin. He belonged to the legendary class of Professor Elemér Mályusz, notorious for his maximalism. His attachment to the study of sources was further enhanced by the fact that, at the outset of his career, he worked in the Hungarian National Archives, and after 1941 in Cluj, in the archives of the Transylvanian National Museum. In Cluj, under the guidance of Lajos Kelemen, he also learned the love of source materials. His interest in the archive materials is attested by the fact that the majority of his early scientific work treated themes connected to the archives. Thanks to his close connection to historiographic sources, Zsigmond Jakó became one of the most prolific source editors of the Hungarian language area in the second half of the twentieth century. His wide interest in Transylvanian history, not limited to the Middle Ages and the early modern age, is attested by his source editions as well. His interest in source edition and criticism, and the fact that he taught the auxiliary sciences of history at Cluj University lead to his writing, first and foremost comprehensive textbook-like works in paleography. In this interview, besides his career, professor Jakó has spoken about his family background, the most important stages of his career, his research methods, his private and professional experience towards the Second World War, his opinion about the relationship between politics and history, and about his present research plans.