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Hodinka, Antal/Hodynka, Antonii

Hodinka, Antal/Hodynka, Antonii (pseudonyms: Sokyrnyts’kyi Syrokhman, Sokyrnyts’kyi Syrotiuk, Tonii Romanuv) (b. February 7, 1864, Ladomirov [Hungarian Kingdom], Slovakia; d. July 15, 1946, Budapest, Hungary) — Hungarian historian, ethnographer, and professor of Rusyn origin. Although born in a *Presov Region Rusyn village, at a young age Hodinka’s family moved eastward to the *Maramorosh county village of Sokyrnytsia, where he was raised and from whose name he created his most popular pseudonym when writing about Rusyn history. Hodinka studied at gymnasia in Sighet and Uzhhorod (1871-1882), and briefly at the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary and Central Theological Seminary in Budapest (1883-1886). Unlike his father, Roman Hodynka, Antal did not seek ordination as a Greek Catholic priest. While a seminarian in Budapest he attended lectures in Slavic philology and then worked (1888-1889) at the Hungarian National Museum, where he was responsible for systematizing that institution’s collection of Slavic manuscripts.

In 1889 Hodinka received a fellowship from the Austrian Historical Institute in Vienna, where he studied diplomatic relations, paleography, and Slavic philology under the direction of the renowned Slavist Vatroslav Jagic and wrote a dissertation on the medieval history of Serbia (Ph.D., 1891). He then worked as a librarian and archivist (1892-1906) for the Imperial and Royal Fidei-Commissum Library, during which time he uncovered and published Slavic manuscript sources dealing with the arrival and settlement of Magyar tribes in central Europe. A fellowship from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences allowed him to go to Rome (1895-1896), where he compiled a catalogue of that city’s archives and libraries. He rose rapidly through Hungary’s academic establishment: visiting associate professor (privat-docent, 1905) at the University of Budapest, professor (1906) at the Law Academy in Bratislava, and head of the Department of Hungarian History (1918) at the University of Bratislava. After World War I, when the university in Bratislava was evacuated to post-Trianon Hungary, Hodinka became head of the Department of World History at the University of Pecs, a post he held from 1923 until his retirement in 1935. He also served as dean of the philosophical faculty (1918-1919, 1926-1927) and rector (1932) at Pecs and was elected as a corresponding (1911) and then full member (1933) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His last “administrative” post was as honorary chairman (1941-1943) of the *Subcarpathian Scholarly Society in Uzhhorod.

Hodinka is best known in Hungary as a leading figure in the Geitesgeschichte school of historiography and as the author of numerous Hungarian historical and publicistic works. He did not forget his native land, however, and for the German and Hungarian editions of the multivolume thematic encyclopedia, The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures, he informed the empire’s reading public about the life and culture of Carpatho-Rusyns in a general survey, “Die Ruthenen/A Rutenek” (1900), with illustrations by another native of Subcarpathian Rus’, Ignatii *Roshkovych. Hodinka’s major scholarly work dealt with the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo, for which he wrote in Hungarian a monumental 856-page history, A munkacsi gorog-katholikus puspokseg tortenete (1910), and compiled a collection of 527 documents covering the period 1458 to 1715, A munkacsi gorog-szertatasu puspokseg okmanytara (1911). He also published a short history of the landed estate and city of Uzhhorod (Adalekok az ungvari var es tartomanya es Ungvar varos tortenetehez, 1917) and a Rusyn-language socioeconomic history of Subcarpathia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Uttsiuznyna, gazdustvo y proshlost’ iuzhnokarpats’kykh rusynuv (1923; repr. 2000), which also appeared in Hungarian, English, and French. Throughout his career Hodinka continued to search and transcribe documents about Rusyn history from a wide variety of archives in Hungary and abroad; only a small portion were published, the remainder are in the Manuscript Division of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Hodinka was also interested in language. In particular, he wished to demonstrate the richness of the Rusyn vernacular and its ability for use in scholarly publications. In this regard, he compiled a collection of Rusyn folksongs, “Sto nashykh spivanok,” published posthumously as Pisni nashykh predkiv (1993), and in 1922 completed a 7,500-entry dictionary of Rusyn verbs, which also appeared posthumously (Hlaholnytsia: sbyrka vsikh hlaholov pudkarpats’ko-rusyns’koho iazyka/Ruszin-magyar igetar (1991). In all these works Hodinka accepted the view that Rusyns form a distinct nationality that belongs to the sphere of central European culture.

Bibliography: Steven Vardy, “Antal Hodinka,” Magyar tortenelmi szemle, III, 2 (Buenos Aires, 1972), pp. 266-274; Istvan Udvari, “Hodinka Antal eletrajza es muvei,” in Antal Hodinka, Ruszin-magyar igetar (Nyiregyhaza, 1991), pp. ix-xxiii; Ishtvan Udvari, “Antonii Hodynka—doslidnyk istorii rusyniv,” in Istvan Udvari, ed., Hodinka Antal valogatott keziratai (Nyiregyhaza, 1992), pp. 3-14; Istvan Udvari, “Antal Hodinka—Forscher der ruthenischen Geschichte,” Studia Slavica Savariensia, I, 2 (Szombathely, 1992), pp. 66-78; Istvan Udvari, ed., Dolgozatok Hodinka Antal tiszteletere (Nyiregyhaza, 1993); Istvan Udvari, Hodinka Antal emlekkonyv (Nyiregyhaza, 1993).

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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