Dukhnovych, Oleksander

Image - Presov: Oleksander Dukhnovych monument.

Dukhnovych, Oleksander [Duxnovyč], b 24 April 1803 in Topol'a in the Prešov region, d 30 March 1865 in Prešov. (Portrait: Oleksander Dukhnovych.) Pedagogue, writer and publicist, Greek Catholic clergyman, canon of the Prešov consistory, Transcarpathian community and cultural leader. Dukhnovych devoted himself to defending Transcarpathia from Magyarization, and in 1848 he was severely persecuted for this. He began his cultural work by collecting Ukrainian folk songs, which were published by Yakiv Holovatsky in 1878. In 1850 he founded the Prešov Literary Society, which engaged in cultural and educational work, such as publishing calendars and popular books. Dukhnovych wrote a number of patriotic poems, in particular ‘Ia rusyn buv, ies'm i budu’ (I Was, Am, and Will Be a Ruthenian), which in 1919–38 was adopted as the national anthem of the Transcarpathian Ukrainians. He also wrote a play in the vernacular—Dobroditel’ perevyshchaet bohatstvo (Virtue Is More Important than Wealth, 1850). His numerous articles appeared in such periodicals as Zoria halytska (Lviv), Vistnyk (Vienna), Tserkovnaia hazeta (Budapest), and Slovo (Lviv). Dukhnovych was known for his elementary school textbooks (Knyzhytsia chytal’naia dlia nachynaiushchykh [Reader for Beginners], 1847), catechism, prayer book (Khlib dushi [Bread for the Soul]), and pedagogical articles. He wrote in the vernacular with an admixture of Church Slavonic. One of Dukhnovych's works in Latin was translated into Russian and published in Saint Petersburg in 1877 under the title Istoriia Priashevskoi eparkhii (History of the Prešov Eparchy); it also appeared in English as The History of the Eparchy of Prjasev (Rome 1971). Transcarpathian Russophiles of the Dukhnovych Society exploited his name in 1922–38 for their anti-Ukrainian campaign. Dukhnovych's works were published in two volumes in Bratislava-Prešov in 1967–8.

Mashtaler, O. Pedahohichna i osvitna diial’nist’ O.V. Dukhnovycha (3Kyiv 1966)
Mykytas’, V. Haluzka mohutn’oho dereva (Kyiv 1971)
Rudlovchak, O. Bilia dzherel suchasnosti (Bratislava 1981)
Mushynka, Mykola, and Sopolyha, Myroslav (eds). Oleksander Dukhnovych i nasha suchasnist': Materialy mizhnarodnoï naukovoï konferentsiï, Priashiv, 20–21 chervnia 2003 r.. Vol. 23 (2005) of Naukovyi zbirnyk Muzeiu ukraïns'ko-rus'koi kul'tury u Svydnyku

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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