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Markus Hansiz

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Hansiz, MARKUS, historian, b. at Volkermarkt, Carinthia, Austria, April 25, 1683; d. at Vienna, September 5, 1766. He was only fifteen when he entered the Society of Jesus at Eberndorf. He was ordained a priest in 1708 and became on the completion of his studies professor of humanities at Vienna. From 1713 to 1717 he taught philosophy at Graz, and from 1717 devoted himself entirely to the study of history. His interest in the “Anglia Sacra” of Wharton, the “Gallia Christiana” of Sainte-Marthe, Ughelli’s “Italia Sacra”, and other similar treatises, together with the advice of the scholarly librarian, Bernardo Gentilotti, determined him to execute a comprehensive “Germania Sacra”. For this purpose he examined numerous libraries and archives, and published (1727-1729) histories of the Church of Lorch and of the Sees of Passau and Salzburg: “Germaniae Sacrae tomus primus: Metropolis Laureacensis cum episcopatu Pataviensi chronologice proposita” (Augsburg, 1727), and an “Archiepiscopatus Salisburgensis chronologice propositus” (Vienna, 1729). This work took him to Rome, where he profited by his intercourse with Muratori and Maffei.

Despite the composition of divers short treatises, chiefly canonical and dogmatic, he did not lose sight of his main purpose, but gathered assiduously his materials for his history of the Dioceses of Ratisbon, Vienna, Neustadt, Seckau, Gurk, Lavant, and for the secular history of Carinthia. It is true that the only result of his industry published by him on these subjects was a preliminary inquiry into the earliest periods of the See of Ratisbon: “Germaniae sacrae tomus tertius. De episcopatu Ratisbonensi” (Vienna, 1754). His copious notes are preserved in the Hofbibliothek at Vienna. Contrary to the Salzburg tradition he maintained, in his second volume, that St. Rupert first founded this see about the close of the seventh century; this aroused opposition. The third volume also involved him in controversy with the canons of St. Emmeram, from which he emerged with honor. With advancing age he ceased personal researches, but induced his younger brethren in the Society, at Graz and Klagenfurt, to take up and carry on his labors. With the same end in view he communicated, only a short time before his death, with the learned prince abbot, Gerbert of St. Blasien, the result being that the Benedictine Fathers, Emil Usserman, Ambrosius Eichhorn, and Trudpert Neugart, took charge of the work for the Dioceses of Wurzburg, Chur, and Constance. Hansiz was a genuine historian; he combined with great learning and thoroughness of method a discerning mind and an uncompromising love of truth, and he possessed the gift of an attractive style.



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