On the Acta Historica Series

Sándor László Tóth


Among the forerunners of this periodical the most important is the Acta Historica, which is a long series of publications issued by the history departments belonging to the University of Szeged. Its full name followed the changes of the university itself. From 1957 till 1961 its name was Acta Universitatis Szegediensis, Acta Historica, then from 1962 till 2000 it was called Acta Universitatis Szegediensis de Attila József nominatae, Acta Historica. From 2001, after the unification of different institutions of higher education of Szeged, it has correctly been titled Acta Universitatis Scientiarum Szegediensis, Acta Historica (after Tomus CX). In practice its short form has been used in citatitions, Acta Historica or together with the abbreviated form referring to the university of Szeged, AUSz Acta Historica. It is a still existing periodical, with about 2-3 volumes (tomus) issued annually. It is different from the present periodical in some aspects. On one hand Acta Historica contains just studies or articles, but not reviews. On the other hand its language has generally been - with the exception of some volumes consisting of articles dealing with universal history from the medieval or modern periods - Hungarian. Finally, one can mention, that while this present periodical comprises studies from the different periods of Hungarian and universal history alike (and reviews) the separate volumes of Acta Historica contained articles connected with specific periods of Hungarian or universal history.

The Acta Historica has a long history, since up till now 112 volumes have been published between 1957 and 2001. Its history was profoundly analyzed by Endre Gaál in the "anniversary" volume (tomus C) and in the appendix the content of all the previous 99 volumes (and an additional one which appeared in 1991 without number) can be found.This includes both titles of publications in Hungarian and in foreign languages (the languages of the resumes). Different lists in alphabetical order (list of authors, list of editors, list of history departments) are added to this appendix at the end of the volume. This useful summary helps researchers to find those studies in which they are interested. Since then 10 volumes have appeared in order (tomus CI-CX) and one slightly ahead of (tomus CXIII) two others (CXI and CXII.), which are in print. Among the reviews of Acta Historica mention should be made of László Blazovich's excellent survey (Századok 1982. pp. 1118-1121.), which concentrated on the analysis of 11 volumes of Acta Historica (in the period betwen 1971 and 1980) containing publications on Hungarian medieval history.

Acta Historica had its forerunners too before 1957. When after World War I. Hungary had lost some of its territories (e. g. Transylvania) the University of Kolozsvár moved to Szeged. The city of Szeged supported financially its new, long-awaited university. It funded the scientific researches of the university as well. Series of university publications were named Acta. Different branches of sciences, called "Sectios" could publish volumes. History was not considered an independent "Sectio", so its volumes were produced together with philology (Sectio Philologico-Historica) and later with geography (Sectio Geographico-Historica). Approximately 15 volumes (called fasciculus) appeared between 1924 and 1943 in these volumes. After World War II the old structure of university pulication with some minor changes continued for a while. Historical publications were published in Acta Philologica till 1949. Then, due to political changes, the Communist power prevailed in the field of science as well and the series of Acta were not published between 1951-1955. The Acta were revived in 1955-1956. The reorganization meant some kind of state and university control over the publications, which loosened by the 1980s with the weakening of the ruling Marxist ideology and the Communist state and practically disappeared after 1990, in the new era following the fall of the Communist regime. Altogether, the revival of the Acta series in 1955-1956 can be considered a positive development, since it offered a possibility to publish the results of researches of beginners and eminent scholars alike. In the case of history the revival and rebirth of the university Acta series, brought independence as from 1957 onwards history has its own Acta, called Acta Historica.

The Acta Historica series have had some characteristic features from the beginning up till now. It has been published by the departments of history, forming the History Institute. There has been an editorial board consisting of the chairs of departments and in the case of earlier volumes the copy editor as well. The volumes of the Acta Historica concentrated on definite periods of history, so each volume was connected with a definite department of history. So while, in theory, this series was the common work of the History Institute, in practice the separate volumes were published by different departments. Each year one or two departments could publish Acta according to a certain order or quota agreed between the departments. The actual editor was generally the chair of the department, who was responsible for the scientific quality of the volume. The departments publishing the different volumes were the following: Department of Historical Auxiliary Sciences (since 1984), Department of Medieval and Early Modern Hungarian History, Department of Modern and Contemporary Hungarian History, Department of Universal Medieval History, Department of Modern and Contemporary Universal History. Although they were some changes in the names of departments reflecting the changes in their research and educational activities, these modifications did not basically affect their editions of Acta Historica. The earlier volumes of Acta Historica were printed by the printing press of Szeged, later by JATEPRINT, the printing press of the university.

If we consider the volumes of Acta Historica in statistical terms; so far 112 volumes has been published during 44 years (1957-2001) which means that more than two volumes annually. In these volumes 369 studies appeared altogether, so one can count with more than three studies per volume. Actually there are volumes consisting of only one long study and others consisting of 5-10 shorter studies. It is interesting to note that up to 1995 (I-C vol.) 293 studies were published in all and after 1995 (CI-CX, CXIII) 76 studies. This means about 3 studies (2.93) per volume for the first hundred volumes and about 7 studies (6.9) per volume for the last eleven volumes. So the present tendency is to publish more and relatively shorter publications than previously. These studies have been written by 122 authors including 20 newcamers appearing in the last eleven volumes. The most prolific authors in terms of the number of articles were Gyula Kristó (30), Tibor Wittman (21), Sándor László Tóth (18), Ferenc Makk (17), Ádám Anderle (15), Imre Szántó (11) and Endre Gaál (11). As far as departments are concerned, the Department of Medieval and Early Modern Hungarian History published the most (34 volumes), followed by the Department of Medieval Universal History if we include the Latin American studies (15 + 15 volumes = 30 volumes). The Department of Modern and Contemporary Hungarian History edited 22 volumes, the Department of Modern and Contemporary Universal History issued 16 volumes and the relatively new (from 1984) Department of Historical Auxiliary Sciences edited 7 volumes. A volume has also been published by the recently founded Medieval Hungarian Historical Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (vol. CX). Two volumes belong to the History Institute as a whole (the volume without a number in 1991, and vol. C.). Altogether 17 editors edited these 112 volumes, from which 30 volumes have been written in different foreign languages published by departments dealing with universal history. The summaries of the studies in these volumes are in Hungarian, while the summaries of studies in the other 82 volumes are in different foreign languages. Since 1972 studies published in Acta Historica have been abstracted and indexed in the international bibliographical journal "Historical Abstracts".

It is not easy to characterize a periodical, which has issued 112 volumes so far. The statistics may signify, that many studies have been published on Hungarian medieval history, which became the most distinguished field in the History Institute. For a time medieval or rather early modern universal history (including Latin American studies) played an important part, nowadays contemporary universal history may be regarded as an equally significant area of research. Modern and contemporary Hungarian history always had its role in the researches, as reflected by the number of volumes and studies.

At the end of this introduction I present a list of titles (mostly translated from Hungarian) appearing in the last eleven volumes, which were not included in the list of the anniversary volume. I think the titles of studies show best the wide range of topics represented by the earlier volumes of Acta Historica as well.

Vol. CI. (1995): István Eördögh, Reflections on Marco Jacov's Source-book; István Lagzi, The Number of Poles Who Escaped to the Territory of Hungary during the Second World War, Facts and Data; Enikő A. Sajti, Hungarian-Croatian Interstate Relations (1940-1944); László Karsai: Jewish deportations in Carpatho-Ruthenia in 1944; László J. Nagy: The Forming of the Moroccan National Movement around the Sultan (1946-1952).

Vol. CII. (1995): Sándor László Tóth: The Date of the Hungarian Conquest; Gyula Kristó: When did Géza became prince?; Ferenc Makk: Foreign Sources and Early Hungarian History (X-XIIth Century); Tibor Almási: Remarks on the Privilege of Gölnicbánya given by Ladislas IV and its Confirmation; Ferenc Sebők: The Inter-allied Military Control Committee and the Hungarian Acts of National Defence; Judit Pihurik: On the Analysis of Memoire Literature of the Horthy-Era.

Vol. CIII (1996): Florin Curta: Slavs in Fredegar: Medieval "Gens" or Narrative Strategy?; Gyula Kristó-Imre H. Tóth: On Some Hungarian Aspects of the Russian Annals; Sándor László Tóth: The First Prince: Árpád or Álmos?; Richárd Szántó: Spanish Sources on the Hungarian Raid in 942; Gyula Kristó: A New Source on the Tenth Century Dukedom?; Zoltán Kordé: Some Remarks on the Csaba-problem; László Koszta: Archchapters of Cathedrals and Their Canons in Hungary till the Beginning of the XIIth Century; Tamás Dávid: The Relation between John Capistran and the Confraternity of the Mother of Mercy in Bártfa; István Petrovics: A XIVth Century Mayor in Temesvár: Michael Posztós; Sándor László Tóth: The Outbreak of the Fifteen Years' War and the Porte; József Lele: The Prospects of Transylvania (The Principality of Andrew Báthory, 1599).

Vol. CIV. (1996): Katalin Soós: 1956 and the Austrian Political Parties; László Marjanucz: The Social Motives of Agrarian Socialists in Szentes; Pál Csaba Szabó: Elections of Parliamentary Representatives in the County of Szepes in 1910; Zsolt Giczi: Difficult Years in the History of the Hungarian Lutheran Church (1948-1950); Gyula Belényi: Some Social Consequences of the Policy of Industrialization in the 1950s.

Vol. CV. (1998): György Kukovecz: Church and Religion in the History of Cuba; Beáta Varga: The Cossacks and Their Historical Role in the Ukrainian Struggle for Independence; Mária Tandori: The Regency Crisis and its Constitutional Consequences, England 1788-89; István Eördögh: The Answer of the Capuchins: no Brasil and no Second Empire (1840-1889); Enikő A. Sajti: The Economic and Cultural Situation of the Hungarian Minority in Yugoslavia 1918-1941.

Vol. CVI. (1998): Sándor Csernus: The Development and Main Features of the Historiography in French; György Galamb: The Date of Cardinal Juan Torquemada's Reprobationes; Alfréd Márton: The Relationship of Military Escort and the Old Turkic Title "Buyruq" in the Steppe of the Early Middle Ages; Szabolcs Polgár: The Defence Systems of the Dwellers and Their Neighbours in the Middle Ages; János Sáringer: On the Hungarian Origin of Henry of Portugal; Tibor Schäfer: The Ethnogenesis of the German Peoples; Richárd Szántó: The Estate Structure of Derbyshire in the XIV-XVth Centuries; Géza Szász: The Development of the county of Toulouse (IX-Xth c.); István Zimonyi: On the Westward Migration of the Pechenegs

Vol. CVII. (1998): Andrea Horváth: The Christian References of the Battle at Mursa; Sándor László Tóth: The Personality of Levedi and Árpád; Ferenc Makk: Megas Arkhon; Gyula Kristó: On the Date of the Szeged Hospes Privileges; Ferenc Sebők: Comments on the Hungarian Military System in the Jagellonian Age; Gábos Hajnóczi: The Hungarian Edition of Leon Battista Alberti's on Painting (1435-36); György Szabados: The Jesuit Beginning of Our Byzantinology; Judit Pihurik: Hungary's Participation in World War II as Described in Contemporary Memoires; Zoltán Serfőző: The Inflation in 1945-46 and the National Assembly.

Vol. CVIII. (1999): László Marjanucz: The Behaviour of the Authorities of Szeged towards the Immigrating Jews at the Turn of the 18-19 Century ; Csaba Pál Szabó: The Unification of the Counties of Krassó and Szörény; Zsolt Giczi: An Exchange of Views and its Antecedents. Opinions on the Possibility of Catholic-Protestant Unity in the volumes 1937-1938 of the Periodicals Hungarian Review and Protestant Review; Gyula Belényi: On the Long-range Consequences of the Year of Change. The Penetration of the Eastern European Social Organization Model into Middle Europe.

Vol. CIX. (1999): Zoltán Kosztolnyik: German Political Developments in the Background of Tenth-Early Eleventh Century Hungarian History; Gyula Kristó: Some Data on the Foreign Relations of Charles Robert as a Young King; Zoltán Kordé: The Sekler Reeves of Charles Robert. Data on the History of Aristocracy during the Reign of Charles I; István Petrovics: Contribution to the Trading Activity of Medieval Temesvár; Zsolt Hunyadi: "Et iugiter famulantibus regi sempiterno..." Remarks on a Forgery Issued by the Székesfehérvár Convent of the Knights of St. John; Sándor Papp: The Peace Treaty of Sultan Murad II and Polish -Hungarian King Ladislas I in 1444; Sándor László Tóth: The Vilayets in Ottoman Hungary.

Vol. CX. (1999): Gyula Kristó: The Date of Birth of Saint Stephen; György Szabados: About King Imre's Lifetime; Ferenc Piti: Relics of Royal Charters of the Árpád Era in Documents Dating from 1339; Ildikó Tóth: Difficulties of Execution (A Charter of Justice from the Year 1331); Sarolta Homonnai: Reform Endeavors of the Benedictine Order in the XIVth Century.

Vol. CXIII. (2001): Teréz Olajos: Annales Alemannici a. 863: "Gens Hunorum" Hungarians of Etelköz or Avars or Bulgarians; Gyula Kristó: Anonymous on the IXth Century Bulgarian Princes of the Carpathian Basin; Sándor László Tóth: The Dignitaries of the Hungarian Tribal Federation between 870-950; Ferenc Makk: Etelköz - Mesopotamia; Boglárka Weisz: Relief from Custom Duties Given to Seculars by Andrew II; László Balogh: When did Kuthen the Cuman Prince Proceed to Hungary?; Tibor Almási: The Szádeczky's Charters from the Arpadian Period; Ferenc Sebők: Armies in Late Medieval Europe and Hungary; Zoltán Serfőző: The Inflation in 1945-46 and the Social Democrat Party.