Bedrich Hrozný

Hrozný, Bedřich


Born May 6, 1879, in Lysá nad Labem; died Dec. 12, 1952, in Prague. Czech Hittologist and researcher of the history of the peoples and languages of the ancient East. Academician of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

In 1897, Hrozny began the study of Semitology and the theology and history of the ancient East at the University of Vienna; in 1919 he became a professor at the University of Prague. The first period of his scholarly activity was associated with his studies of Sumerian mythology and the culture and economy of ancient Babylonia and with the analysis of cuneiform texts in the Sumerian and Accadian languages. The second period began with his work (1915) that expounded the principles for the interpretation of Hittite cuneiform texts. On the basis of the method of combination, based on the correlation of ideograms with alternate phonetic spellings in the same or analogous contexts, Hrozny established the meaning of a number of words and forms in the Hittite language and, guided by these results, discovered the Indo-European affinity of Hittite. He provided a detailed account of the Indo-European character of the Hittite language in a monograph published in 1916. In subsequent years he published a series of historically significant Hittite texts with translations and commentaries. His edition of the Hittite legal code published in 1922 remains a masterpiece to this day. He provided the first complete translation of the inscriptions of King Anittas, the oldest example of Hittite cuneiform.

Hrozný wrote a general work on the history of the ancient East, which contains interesting ideas explaining the ethnogenesis of the peoples of Southwest Asia, although some of his conclusions are rather subjective, particularly those in the sections devoted to Crete and India.


“Die Lösung des hethitischen Problems.” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orienl-Gesellschaft, 1915, no. 56.
Die Sprache der Hethiter, fases. 1–2. Leipzig, 1916–17.
Code hittite .... Paris, 1922.
Les Inscriptions hittites hiéroglyphiques. Prague-Paris-Leipzig, 1933–37.
Nejstarŝi dë jiny Předni Asie, Indie a Kréty, 4th ed. Prague, 1949.


Dunaevskaia, I. M., and D. G. Reder. “B. Groznyi.” Vestnik drev-nei istorii, 1953, no. 3.
Matous, L. B. Horozny: Leben und Forschungswerk eines tschechischen Orientalisten, übers aus dem Tschechischen. [Prague] 1949.
Cihař, V. “Bibliographie des travaux de B. Hrozny.” Archiv orien-tálni, 1949, vol. 17.
Rona, J. P. La obra de F. Hrozny en el dominio indoeuropeo. Montevideo [1957].