Hungarian literature, the body of written works produced in the Hungarian language.
A great part of the vocabulary, created for the purpose, is still in use.
A number of sermons by the Franciscan Pelbárt Temesvári, originally written in Latin, have come down in Hungarian translations.
His is a skillful adaptation of the play in the spirit of humanism.
Perhaps the greatest single literary achievement of the Hungarian Reformation was a translation of the Bible by Gáspár Károlyi and others (1590).
This romance was the one original piece in the flow of the mere entertainment literature characteristic of the 16th century, the principal genre of which was the Bálint Balassi (1554–94), who at first imitated Petrarch and various Neo-Latin poets but later displayed originality with a cycle of love poems of great beauty and emotional intensity.
His songs of war, while reflecting the vicissitudes of fighting the Turk at the borders of the Christian world, celebrate nature and individual bravery in almost hymnlike tones.The first continuous example of the Hungarian language is the a short funeral oration written in about 1200, moving in its simplicity.Many translations from Latin were made in the 13th and 14th centuries, but the only one that has survived, and also the oldest extant poem written in Hungarian, is a free version of a poem by Godefroy de Breteuil. The preachers Thomas and Valentine, followers of the Bohemian religious reformer Jan Hus, were responsible for this work, of which the prophetic books, the Psalms, and the Gospels have survived.Pesti made a very readable translation of Aesop’s fables and published a Latin–Hungarian dictionary.Sylvester published the first Hungarian grammar and, to show the adaptability of the vernacular to classical verse forms, wrote the first Hungarian poem in couplets.His writing was characterized by a vigorous and clear, though far from simple, style, use of popular expressions, and solid argument.