Aurél Stein – Hungarian born Eastern researcher

Despite his Hungarian origin, Aurél Stein, a world-known Eastern researcher, has been successful in Britain, but he is remembered for his Hungarian origin and work throughout the world. He died in Kabul in 1943, where his coffin was placed in a Christian cemetery. On the 60th anniversary of his death, his tomb was given a plaque bearing the following inscription:

“Hungary raised him,

England taught him,

Afghanistan welcomed him

On the 60th anniversary of the death of the great Hungarian Eastern researcher”

Aurél Stein was born in Pest-Buda but moved to England at the age of 21 to continue his studies there. The young Doctor of Humanities became interested in Oriental culture at an early age and traveled to India at the age of 24, after studying in Oxford and Cambridge. He started studying local culture in India and received teaching jobs at several local universities.

He started his first expedition in 1900, lasting one year. During the grand tour, he mapped the ruins of the Takla-Makan Desert. The findings that have been discovered and can be viewed today at the British Museum, among others. He led further expeditions to the Gobi Desert and Iran. During one of his expeditions, he discovered thousands of 11th-century scrolls hidden in the Mokao Caves. In the 1930s he could no longer organize new expeditions due to changed political conditions.

István Maróthy in Persepolis

Persepolis is one of the most popular tourist sights in Iran, the loss of the once prosperous city was caused by the conquests of Alexander the Great. Its name means “Persian”. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, thanks to its unique architectural monuments. One of the city’s most prominent buildings is the palace of King Darius I. There is an engraving of István Maróthy on one of the western windows of the palace.

István Maróthy’s engraving was discovered by Ármin Vámbéry on the side of the palace. Maróthy visited the ruins of the city in 1838/39 and wrote his name on the palace wall. István Maróthy was born in Szeged in 1799, where he studied medicine, but also paid special attention to language learning. By the end of his studies, he was fluent in Turkish, Persian and Greek. During his first trip he established a medical institute in Constantinople, which was even visited by the Sultan himself.

He came to Persepolis as a doctor of the Persian army when he was in the Persian Shah’ s service with the army during the Afghan campaign, when he was the chief medical officer of the army. The first listed Hungarian traveler to arrive in Persepolis, and this is also evidenced by the material memory. Finally, due to his illness, he had to return to his home country, where he died in 1845.