The case of “a crow dressed in borrowed feathers”: Debate of the church historians on plagiarism in the 19th-century Hungary


  • Csaba Fazekas University of Miskolc Faculty of Arts, Institute for Applied Social Sciences (Miskolc, Hungary)



plagiarism, historiography, church history, debate, press, Hungary, comparison


This paper presents a heated debate about plagiarism that unfolded between historiographers of the Catholic Church in the press in Hungary in 1841. It was only one special event with few participants, but this case offers an opportunity to study the development of the approach of historical science to plagiarism and the conditions of historiography in East-Central Europe, with special regard to church history, and contrasts these with the conditions in West European countries.

To interpret the plagiarism debate, the “court model” will be applied because the writings of the accused author, the victim, and the witnesses remind us of the participants in a court trial, where for the court to pass the sentence mitigating and aggravating circumstances can be put forward, and there is also countercharging; and the committed act is also considered from the point of view of intellectual property rights, as well as from a moral and scientific standpoint.

Author Biography

Csaba Fazekas, University of Miskolc Faculty of Arts, Institute for Applied Social Sciences (Miskolc, Hungary)



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How to Cite

Fazekas, C. . (2021). The case of “a crow dressed in borrowed feathers”: Debate of the church historians on plagiarism in the 19th-century Hungary. Studia Historiae Scientiarum, 20, 789–820.