The author’s copy of the first edition of János Bolyai’s Appendix, preserved in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, was included in July 2009, on the proposal of the Hungarian Committee of UNESCO, in the UNESCO World Memory Register.

Project leader:
        Dr. Marianne Rozsondai
Prepared by:
        Károly Horányi
        Dr. Béla Mázi
Web edition, English version:
        Dr. Tamás Sajó, studiolum
Spanish version:
        Dr. Antonio Bernat Vistarini,
        Universitat de les Illes Balears,
        Klára Láng

Budapest, 2009


The publication of the images of the documents preserved in the Bolyai Collection of the Library is only possible with the previous permission of the 
© Library of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences.

“I have created a new, different
     universe out of nothing”

– Letter of Bolyai to his father –

God had imprisoned our minds in space.
Those puny things have remained prisoners.
Thought, the hungry bird of prey fought the curse,
but never breached its diamond bars embrace

I’m though a happy bird who manages to cope
By peeking outside through a window of my cage,
from nothing a new universe I learned to stage,
like from spiderwebs prisoners weave a rope.

With new natural laws, past the narrow sky.
I opened up a new infinity past the thinkable;
no king in history has conquered more than I

by stealing the secret treasures of the impossible
Listen Euclid, your laws command you not to plod
beyond your prison; I just laugh at you with God.

Mihály Babits
Translation by Paul Sohar