Hurdy-Gurdy (Tekerőlant, nyenyere) − A musical instrument of Western European origin. Its earliest depiction comes from the 10th century, its description from the 12th. It was popular in the 18th century France, where it was combined with wind instruments. In the royal courts virtuosos played it with orchestral accompaniment. However, the “instrument of beggars” became archaic by the 19th century. It was already known in Hungary before the 18th century as the musical instrument of the farming communities. Its popular folk nickname was “nyenyere”. Its body was similar to that of the cello; it had no neck. There were 3-4 gut strings (in rarer cases 5) fastened across its resonant box. This was played by a wooden disk, rubbed with resin, rolled across the strings, thereby rubbing it. On the side of the instrument there were one or two rows of keys, with which the height of the middle strings could be adjusted. The musician spins the wheel with his right hand, while he plays the keys with his left. Three methods of playing are known. (1) The quiet: when parlando and/or rubato melodies are played slowly, with much ornamentation, by slow and even spinning of the wheel. (2) Fresh or fast: giusto melodies with laud accompaniment. (3) Pipe up: melodies stop to allow the strings to be heard on their own. – B: 1197, 1020, T: 7684.
Hussar Attire – The Hussar attire included a close fitting, colorful dolman with braiding, sometimes with a cape, embellished also with heavy braiding, worn over one shoulder. After 1802, a less elaborate dolman became fashionable. The headgear, a fur cap, was replaced by the shako in 1767. The Hussar boot extended just short of the knees with the spurs permanently attached to the heels. A leather pouch, heavy with metal ornaments and embroideries, was worn on long straps reaching down to the boot. The best and most impressive Hussar attire was the uniform of the Royal Hungarian Body Guards of the Nobility: bear fur cap with a heron feather, a leopard skin on one shoulder, a white cape, a green dolman with dense silver braiding, red trouser, and yellow leather, spurred boots. Their weapons were the typical Hungarian saber, the club, the axe, or battle-axe, and the lance. The 3-meter long lance had a leaf-shaped iron edge topped with miniature regimental flags, identifying each unit on the battlefield. The defensive weapon was the square-shaped shield. In the 17th century the lance disappeared; and in Rákóczi’s War of Independence (1703-1711), the Kuruc (rebel) armament was the saber, pistol and a short carbine. The heavy saber was replaced by a lighter version with a well-protected hilt. The Hungarian Hussars rode Hungarian horses, which were the descendants of those ridden during the Settlement Era. These horses were small, agile and enduring, smaller than the heavy horses used by the dragoons and the artillery that were bred for carrying heavy loads. The saddle also originated in the East. Its wooden frame had no contact with the horses’ spine. The blanket under the saddle was usually decorated or nicely embroidered. – B: 1078, 1322, 1020, T: 3323.→Hussars; Kuruc.
Hussar Bravado - A daring maneuver by a Hussar unit in the form of a surprise attack, a lightning-fast overrun of a superior enemy force, or a daringly swift action against any military objective and a fast retreat. A memorable bravado took place in 1708, when sixteen Hussars of the István Balogh regiment lurked behind the fortified lines of the Imperial Army and captured the commander, Brigadier General Count Miksa von Starhenberg, In view of the startled pursuers, they swam with their captive across the turbulent River Vág right into Fort Nyitra (now Nitra, Slovakia). Another memorable feat involved Hussar general Count András Hadik, who held the city of Berlin for ransom. – B: 1378, 1020, T: 3323.→Hadik, Count András.
Hussars – The word “Hussar” was first used in a Bulgarian document of 910 AD; another document, dated of 1403, the rank of “Hussar Captain” is mentioned. In a 1481 Latin language document of King Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus, 1458-1490), and another German language document of Emperor Miksa (Maximilian), dated 1510, uses the expression of “Hussar”; and the same name is used in a war report of 1593. The name “Hussar” invariably meant the Hungarian light cavalry. – B: 1078, 1020, T: 3323.
Hussars, Corps of – A special form of light cavalry. In Hungary the corps of Hussars was first documented in the 14th century. Its origin, however, is centuries older. A document of 1403 mentions the name of a ‘Hussar Captain’, and other documents of 1432 and 1439 speak about the corps of Hussars. King Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus, 1458-1490), in one of his Latin chronicles, named the light cavalry of his army as ‘Hussarones’, those who ride on agile and assiduous horses. Their weapons were long lances, saber and the battle-axe. Their garments were made out of well-tanned fine leather and they wore spurs. In the decisive battle at Schmalkald the Hussars captured the Commander-in-Chief of the allied forces of the Prince Elector John Fredrick of Saxony. In 1686, the Turkish relief force, which came to break the siege of Buda, was beaten back and dispersed by an Imperial cavalry force; its bulk consisted of Hungarian Hussars. Prince Eugene de Savoy, commander of the Imperial Army, stated in his memoirs, that the Hussars simply trampled the enemy underfoot. The Hussars had a decisive role in the War of Independence (1703-1711) of Reigning Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II. His famous generals, Count Miklós Bercsényi and János Bottyán were both officers of the Hussar corps. During the war the Hussar corps developed its famous “esprit de corps”, which is admired even today. While the Hussar regiments of Pállfy and the Forgách and the Nádasdy Hussar regiments achieved great recognition between 1576 and 1608, the fame of the Hussar corps reached its peak between the period of 1712 and 1814. During this period there were Hussar contingents in almost every European army. The Hussar contingents were organized and trained by Hungarian officers to the Hungarian pattern, and the Hussar attire became traditional. In the 17/18th century the pike and halberd were replaced by the carbine and pistol. In World War I, due to the increased firepower, the Hussars’ casualty number was out of proportion and the gradual reduction of the corps became necessary. To remember and honor the Corp’s tradition in Hungary, a museum was established in the Nádasdy castle at Sárvár for the preservation of the Hussar relics. Another well-established collection of Hussar paraphernalia could be found at Fortress Fraknó (now in Burgenland, Austria) in the Esterházy armoury. – B: 1078, 1378, 1020, T: 3323.→ Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus), King; Rákóczi II, Prince Ferenc.
Hussars in the Armies of Europe – After the defeat of Reigning Prince Rákóczi’s War of Independence (1704-1711), the French allies, followed by many European governments, raced to install Hussar regiments in their armies. Before and after the Napoleonic Wars, all the major European armies had installed Hussar units. In many instances the core of the Hussar units was formed by Hungarians, and the organizers were without exception always Hungarian officers. The chronicles of this period are full of Hussar bravados and other valiant deeds carried out by them. In 1795, a memorable feat involved the French Hussars, who crossed the frozen Lake Zuider to capture the Dutch fleet, which intended to align with the English. In 1815, the Russian Czar’s 52 cavalry regiments included 12 Hussar units. There were 16 Hussar regiments in the Prussian and French armies, while the English army had only 4 Hussar regiments. Hussars were part of the Dutch, Neapolitan, Swedish, Danish and Spanish armies. – B: 1378, 1020, T: 3323.
Hussite Bible (earlier called the Franciscans’ Bible) – The earliest, almost complete, Hungarian translation of the Bible, only partly preserved; the surviving parts are 18 books from the Old Testament and the four Gospels. These surviving parts can be found in three codices of the 15th century: in the Viennese Codex, the Munich Codex (Tatros Codex), and the Apor Codex. All three codices are only preserved copies of the original translation. It cannot be ascertained for sure whether these represent parts of the whole translated Bible. They were probably the work of Franciscan monks. Allegedly, they could have been the two priests from the Szerémség area of Historic Hungary (now in Croatian and Serbia), who were accused of Hussite heresy emanating from Bohemia: Tamás Pécsi from Kamanca (now Kamenica), and Bálint (Valentine) Újlaki from Belcsény (now Beočin, Serbia) began their work on the translation at Kamanca. After the defeat of the uprising of the Southern District, they fled to Moldavia and took the Bible translation with them. It was here that they completed the it between 1415 and 1440. According to another version, the translator was either a Premonstrian friar or Benedictine monk; the translation could even have been carried out by lay priests. The style of the Hussite Bible is quite archaic, its expressions sound unusual to the present ear (for example Szentlélek, Holy Ghost is translated as Szent Szellet, etc.). The translation contains many such words, which do not occur, or very rarely, in other early extant Hungarian written records, such as: “monnál” (mintegy, mintha), “midenem” (nemde), “csajva” (cserebogár), “gördölet” (mennydörgés), etc. There are also obsolete words, like “valál” (birtok), “megvanal” (meggyógyul) etc. The author of the translation could be regarded as the first language reformer in Hungarian: some of the words can be perceived as the creation of the translator, like “császárlat” (empire, imperium), “czimerlet” (title), “ezerlő” (tribune), “negyedlő” (tetrarch). The translators achieved the greatest language renewal prior to the one in the 19th century. Their unique word formations and expressions number over two hundred; their language is poetic, populistic, yet literary. According to records, the original translation of the Hussite Bible was destroyed in the 15th century, thus its authenticity cannot be proven. – B: 1031, 1136, 1257, T: 7456.→Viennese Codex, Munich Codex, Tatros Codex; Apor Codex; Bible in Hungarian; Codex Literature; Tatros Bible.
Huszár, Adolf (Szentjakabfalva, 18 June 1843 - Budapest, 21 January 1885) – Sculptor. He started as an ironmonger, later he studied with Fernkorn in 1863, and with Gasser from 1867, at the Vienna Academy, Austria. He settled down in Pest; in 1871, his plan for the Baron József (Joseph) Eötvös statue was accepted, and he made the statue, which was acclaimed. His works include the statue of Petőfi, Sándor; Titusz Dugonics, József Bem, Ferenc Deák, Miklós Izsó and Miklós Barabás. He designed the Liberty (Szabadság) statue composition for Arad (now in Romania), but it was actually completed by György (George) Zala. This statue was removed by the Romanian authorities after 1919, but restored in 2004. He was the leading sculptor in Hungary aftewr the Compromise of 1867. – B: 1124, 1031, T: 7103.→Eötvös, Baron József; Petőfi, Sándor; Dugonics, Titusz; Bem, József; Deák Ferenc; Izsó, Miklós, Barabás, Miklós, Zala, György; Compromise of 1867.
Huszár, Gál (Anaxius) (?, 1512? - Pápa, 23 October 1575) – Reformer. Fleeing from the persecution of Miklós Oláh, Archbishop of Esztergom, he fled to Magyaróvár. Here he founded a school and sent out preachers to churches of this region. On the day of Pentecost in 1555, he had a public dispute with two canons of Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia). In 1558, the Ecclesiastical Court of Győr excommunicated him. He received a pastoral call to Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia); but in 1560, Archbishop Verancsics of Eger had him arrested. He escaped from jail and fled to Debrecen, where he lived as a printer, founder of the famous Debrecen Press, and worked there for two years. After that he became the pastor of Komárom, but was forced to flee, being persecuted by Archbishop Oláh. In 1564 he worked in Nagyszombat (now Trnava, Slovakia). He was a pioneer printer of the 16th century. His most important work was his hymnal, one of the oldest Hungarian sources of musical themes. The majority of the hymns and the translation of the psalms were written by him. – B: 0883, 1257, T: 7677.
Huszár, Gá1’s Hymnbooks – (1) A hymnbook printed in Debrecen in 1561, entitled Praises and Prayers to God by the Christian Congregation (A keresztyén gyülekezetben való Isteni diczeretec es Imadsagoc). It consists of 107 Hungarian Protestant hymns, 49 with music notes. Attached to it, as an Appendix, with a title page, but no date, is the short, gradual-type service hymnbook of Márton Kálmáncsehi Sánta, comprising 28 hymns (16 with music notes), which the author included in the first part of his later major opus. The whereabouts of Huszár’s first hymnbook remained unknown until 1975. (2) The existence of a newer edition of the above hymnbook of the same length and identical title has been known for a long time. It was first published in 1574, in Komjáti. Apart from the gradual style of the first part it contains a rich collection of Gregorian chants, and has only 15 congregational hymns. The using of keys and the music notes contain hardly any errors. The second part contains the hymns of the 1561 edition, but without music notes. – B: 0886, 1020, T: 7617.→Kálmáncsehi Sánta, Márton.
Huszár, Károly (Charles) (Nüssdorf, Austria, 10 September 1882 - Budapest, 29 October 1941) – Politician, prime minister. Originally he was a teacher, then editor of the journals People’s Party (Néppárt) and the Peoples’ News (Népújság). From 1910 to 1918 he was Member of Parliament representing the People’s Party. In the second and third Friedrich governments he was Minister of Culture and, from 15 August to 24 November 1919, Minister of Public Education. Then from 24 November 1919 to 15 March 1920, he was Prime Minister of the so-called “concentrated government”. He was president of the government, supporter of the Christian National Unity Party (Huszár-Ernszt Party), and Vice-President of the second National Assembly. In 1927 he was appointed president of the National Social Insurance Institute, but resigned his mandate and, on account of his public position, became member of the Upper House. In 1934 he retired from public service. – B: 0883, 1105, T: 7667.→Friedrich, István.
Huszár, Sándor (Alexander) (Kolozsvár, now Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 15 April 1929 - ) – Writer, translator of literary works. After completing his high school studies in 1948, he was a manual laborer. From 1948 he was the editor of the journals Truth (Igazság); and from 1952 of Our Way (Útunk). In the meantime he studied Philosophy at the University of Kolozsvár and acquired a diploma in 1954. From 1959 to 1964 he was manager of the Theater of Kolozsvár. Thereafter he was editor again at the journal Our Way. He was founder and editor of the paper The Week (A hét) in Bucharest. From 1983 he was contributor to the newspaper Forward (Előre), also in Bucharest. In 1988 he retired and he moved to Szeged, Hungary. At the outset of his career he wrote about people of country towns; later he wrote essays and plays. He regards his 12,000 pages of unpublished diary as his main work. His works include Máriskó, short stories, sketches (1958); Kokó, the Clown (Kokó a bohóc); short stories (1966); Memory my Fate (Sorsom emlékezete) essays (1982), and Literature in Fog (Irodalom ködben) essays (1989). He translated numerous works of Romanian writers. He is recipient of the Prize of Romanian Writer Association (1974, 1982). – B: 0875, 0878, 1257, T: 7103.
Huszárik, Zoltán (Domony, 14 May 1931 - Budapest, 15 October 1981) – Film producer. His studies were at the Academy of Theater and Cinematic Art, Budapest. His work had to be discontinued in 1950 owing to his view of the policies of the regime, and could resume it only years later. In the meantime he was surface man, house painter, oil miner, village cultural educator, traveling salesman, and cartoonist. In 1959 he continued his interrupted studies, received his diploma as a field director in 1961, and began his career as an assistant; but he also painted and prepared graphics and book illustrations. His first short film, Elegy (Elégia) (1963) attracted attention with its peculiar form of expression. Subsequent short and feature films were also characterized by a rich, picturesque fantasy world portrayed with poetic refinement. One of the finest creations of Hungarian cinematic art is his Szindbád (1971), an adaptation from the writings of Gyula (Julius) Krúdy. With his lyrical, picturesque representation of atmospheres and fleeting feelings he established the School of Cinematic Art Nouveau. His other films include Amerigo Tot (1969), Hommage to Old Women (Tisztelet az öregassznyoknak) (1972), As you Like It (Ahogy tetszik) (1976), and Csontváry (1979). He died unexpectedly. An exhibition of his works was organized in 1969. He was posthumously awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1990. – B: 0879, 1515, T: 7456.→Krúdy, Gyula.
‘Huszas’ − A coin, valued at 20 krajcárs, one third of the worth of the old monetary gold unit called pengő-forint; the first round coin, with Hungarian inscription that was minted at Körmöcbánya (now Kremnicka, Slovakia) in 1848, bearing the initial of KB (Körrmöcbánya). The last one was also minted at the same location in 1856. For its high gold content and handy size it became very popular on the Balkan Peninsula, especially in Albania, where it was the accepted currency, called the “Cwanciger” (Zwanziger, from the German name for twenty). Even the Duchy of Walachia (later called Romania) accepted it as an official monetary unit under the same name. This coinage, because the Madonna with Child was represented on it, was called the “Máriás”. – B: 1078,1020, T: 3233.
Huszka, Jenő (Eugen) (Szeged, 24 April 1875 - Budapest, 2 February 1960) − Composer. He finished his musical and legal studies in Hungary. For a year he lived in Paris as an orchestra violinist, then returned to Hungary and worked at the Ministry of Education. He had his first great musical success with the operetta entitled Prince Bob (Bob herceg), which was first performed in 1902. Through his artistic work he broke the hegemony of the English and Viennese rule of operettas and opened up new opportunities for Hungarian composers coming after him. The most popular among his other operettas are Gül Baba, Baroness Lili (Lili Bárónő) and Lieutenant Maria (Mária főhadnagy). He was a highly regarded personality in the Hungarian artistic community and as a violin virtuoso, he was outstanding. He is regarded as the pioneer and classic representative of Hungarian operetta music. An Award, a Memorial Hall and a statue bear his name. – B: 0883, 1078, 1445, T: 7684.→Lehár, Ferenc; Kálmán, Imre; Ábrahám Pál, Jacobi Victor.
Huszti, Péter (Budapest, 4 May 1944 - ) – Actor. His higher studies were at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Budapest (1962-1966). From 1966, he was member of the Madách Theater (Madách Színház). From 1989, he was artistic director of the Madách Chamber Theater (Madách Kamara Színház). From 1974 he is university professor and rector at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Budapest. He was on a Széchenyi Scholarship in 1998. From 1992, he is deputy president of the Hungarian Center of International Theater Institution. From 1993, he is president of the Hungarian British Society; and from 1988 member of the Széchenyi Literary and Artistic Academy. His major stage roles include Peter Abelard in Millar’s Abelard and Héloise; Gynt in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt; title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Iago in Othello; Lear in King Lear; Cyrano in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac; Versinyin in Chekov’s The Three Sisters (A három nővér); Mihály Servét in Sütő’s Star on the Stake (Csillag a máglyán); Higgins in Shaw’s Pygmalion; Lucifer in Madách’s The Tragedy of Man (Az ember tragédiája); Actor in Molnár’s The Guardsman (A testőr); Sipos in the Glass Slipper (Üvegcipő); Tevje in Bock’s Fiddler on the Roof (Hegedűs a háztetőn). His feature films include Black Diamonds (Fekete gyémántok); Boys from the Square (Fiúk a térről); and Sunset at Noon (Naplemente délben). He also did stage management, such as Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (A vágy villamosa); Patrick’s The Tea House of the August Moon (Teaház az augusztusi holdhoz); N. Coward’s A Song at Twillight (Alkonyi dal), and Ayckbour’s Tale with Crème (Mese habbal). Books he authored are Kings in the Tunnel (Királyok az alagútban) (1985), and Memory-test (Emlék-próba) (1995). He is one of the influential actors and pedagogues of the second half of the 20th century Hungarian Theater. He is recipient the Mari Jászai Prize (1974), the Kossuth Prize (1978), the titles of Merited Artist (1982), the Outstanding Arist (2004), and the Prima Primissima Prize (2006) – B: 0874, 1439, 1445, T: 7103.
Hutterites − The re-baptizing sect of Nikolsburg, Germany, founded by Jacob Hutter in 1529. They rejected infant baptism and lived in a communal lifestyle of sharing. They came to the Austrian Moravia from Switzerland and the Rhenish regions during the era of Reformation. From here they eventually reached Upper Hungary (Upland, Felvidék, now Slovakia) and Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania), between 1547 and 1620. At first they came to Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia), Trencsén (now Trencin, Slovakia) and Nyitra (now Nitra, Slovakia), later to Sárospatak and Alvinc. They were adept craftsmen, making all kinds of knives and metal goods and they used the inflammable thatched roof by intermixing it with clay. Their main interest was pottery and they made the most colorful green and blue, painted and glazed faience pieces. Their early works showed Italian influence, but this was later replaced by Hungarian motives. The basically white and blue pottery has flower ornaments. They converted to Catholicism due to pressure during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa. During the 18th century their artistry became an integral part of Hungarian folk pottery. Their trade guild mugs are cherished museum items today, and their works are still widely copied. They gave up their traditional way of life only at the beginning of the 20th century. – B: 1138, 1153, T: 3240.→Habans; Mária Terézia, Empress and Queen.
Hutÿra, Ferenc (Francis) (Szepeshely, now Spišská Kapitula, Slovakia, 1860 - Budapest, 20 December 1934) – Physician, veterinarian. His higher studies were at the University of Budapest, where he earned an MD in 1883. Initially he worked at the Pathological Institute; from 1886 he taught at the Veterinary School (later Academy) in various positions, including as Professor, and later as its Rector. He dedicated his life to the creation of a modern Veterinary Academy. His research on pig-pestilence made vaccination possible against it. He became an internationally recognized scholar of comparative medicine. His works include Causes of the Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals (A háziállatok fertőző betegségeinek oktana) (1888); Pathological Diagnostics (Kórbonctani diagnosztika) (1888); Spezielle Pathologie und Therapie der Haustiere, I, II (Special Pathology and Treatment of Domestic Animals, vols i, ii) (1905), published in English, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Finnish translations. He was recipient of the title Court Counsellor (udvari tanácsos) (1906); member of the Upper House of Parliament (1927), and member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1910, 1921). – B: 0883, 1419, T: 7103.
Hydrogen Bomb – The hydrogen bomb was patented by Edward (Ede) Teller (1908-2003), in 1944. However, due to technical difficulties, the first H-bomb was detonated only on 1 November 1952 by the United States in the Marshall Islands. The strength of the H-bomb, detonated by the USA on 1 March 1954, was equivalent to that of 20 trillion tons of TNT. This made total destruction in a 15-20 km radius, and less severe destruction in a 30-40 km radius. It produced lethal temperatures within a circle of 30-40 km and caused radioactive fallout to several hundred kilometers. – B: 1138, 1379, 1020, T: 7662.→Teller, Ede.
Hydrology of Hungary – The surface waters of the Carpathian Basin belong almost entirely to the drainage area of the largest river of Central Europe, the Danube, the largest and only left-bank tributary of which is the River Tisza with its highly fluctuating water levels. The right-bank tributaries of the Danube within Hungary are the Rivers Rába, Répce, Marcal, Sárviz, Sió (draining the surplus water from Lake Balaton) and the Dráva. The more important right-bank effluents of the Tisza are the Bodrog, Sajó and Zagyva rivers, while its left-bank tributaries are the Szamos, Kraszna, the three branches of the Körős (Sebes, Fehér, Fekete - Fast, White and Black) and the Berettyó; the largest left-bank tributary of the Tisza is the River Maros. The crustal movements of prehistoric times had largely determined the direction of the river valleys. Hungary is well provided with surface waters. By means of the Danube and its tributaries, an average of 114 cubic kilometers of water arrives per year. Added to this is the annual 58 cubic kilometer precipitation, all together amounting to an average 172 cubic kilometer water-flow over the surface. However, this rich water supply is not distributed evenly: significant large areas have weak water supplies. The greatest project of modern water supply management is the damming plant at Tiszalök, built in the late 1940s; and the 97 km long Eastern Main Canal connected with it, mainly serving the irrigation of the dry areas of the Hortobágy and the Hajdúság, as well as the Western Main Canal built later on. The total length of the irrigating and draining canals amounts to 25,000 km. Of all the standing waters in the Carpathian Basin, one of the largest lakes in Europe, Lake Balaton, with its 598 km2 water surface, has an outstanding primary importance: it is situated southeast of Budapest, rich in attractive scenery and an increasingly international place, offering various water-sports-oriented recreational and vacation areas. The southern part of Lake Fertő, southeast of Vienna, Austria, with its 82 km2 water surface and 60 km length is significant: in 1990 it was declared a protected area in the form of a national park. Lake Velence, 50 km southwest of Budapest, a reed covered, shallow lake is being developed now into a resort area. – B: 1051 T: 7456.
Hymn – A derivative of the Latin hymnus, which comes from the Greek hymnos, derived from hydein, to sing. The Latin word hymnus is unknown in pre-Christian literature. For it the word carmen is used by the classic authors, so that hymnus is specifically a Christian derivative from the Greek. Christian hymn literature flourished mostly during the Middle Ages. Hymns differ from Gregorian chants in that they are metric psalms. It was St Hilary (Hilarius), Bishop of Poitiers (ca 317-367), who brought the Greco-Oriental hymns from Syria, translated them into Latin and introduced them into the Western Church as a form of adoration; the former used Greek, the latter the Latin language. Later these originally Latin hymns were translated into the vernacular and soon the hymns were sung in national languages as well. The Hungarian hymn literature started with King István I (St Stephen, 997-1038). In Transylvania they were associated with King László I (St Ladislas, 1077-1095), and to a lesser extent with St Elisabeth of Hungary (1207-1231).
The so-called “Magnificat” is also an extended hymn, which has a melody more solemn and inspiring than the psalms. National Hymns differ in their purpose. Some of them resemble a military march, while others, like the former Austrian “Gott Erhalte”, or the English “God Save the King”, are solemn and dignified, more like the ecclesiastic church hymns, because they start with God’s invocation. Such is the Hungarian National Anthem (Himnusz). It has its Biblical roots in the Book of Isaiah (about the blessing of abundance); from Psalm 35 (about the protecting arm); and from Jesus’ saying about the “acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4: 19). Its lyrics are based on the poem of Ferenc (Francis) Kölcsey, and was set to music by Ferenc (Francis) Erkel. Most other national hymns (anthems) are without any religious connotation. The French “Marseillaise” is such a hymn. The national anthems are internationally recognized; they are played at ceremonies and other festive occasions, or at sport competitions, to honor the events and nationality of the victors.
As to the history of Hungarian church hymns, there are some oustanding collections, such as the Psalterium of Buda, the Hymnarium of Csíksomlyó, and the Vesperale of Lelesz. There are hymns written in honour of the saints of the Árpád Dynasty of Hungary e.g. on St István, the Gaude mater Hungaria, Ave beate rex Stephane; of St Imre, the Plaude parens Pannoni; on St Elisabeth of Hungary, the Gaude felix Hungaria, and of St László, the Regis regum civis ave, Ladislaus honoratur; or the Benedictionale of Esztergom from the 11th century; the Hartvik-Agenda from the 11th century; the Codex Albensis from the 12th century, and the Pray-Codex from the 12th century. – B: 0942, 7617, 1020, T: 3233, 7617.→Codex Literature; Kölcsey, Ferenc; Erkel, Ferenc.