DUKA, Theodor

DUKA, Theodor (Tivadar Duka). 22.6.1825 — 5.5.1908. Hungarian Physician in India and the U.K. Son of Francis D., a landowner, and Johanna de Szeghy. Educated in Sárospatak and Eperjes, studied law at Budapest. Active in the 1848 Hungarian revolution, escaped to Germany and in 1850 came to England as a refugee. Now he studied medicine in London. M.D. 1853. From 1854 to 1874 served in Bengal Army, first as an assistant surgeon, until 1862 in Monghyr. After a furlough in England and Hungary, from 1866 Civil Surgeon of Simla, an important position. In 1868-70 in medical charge of Lawrence Asylum in Kasauli hill-station, then Civil Surgeon of Darjeeling In 1874 he retired as Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel and returned to London and continued his studies there. Often visited Hyngary. Married 1855 Miss Taylor, two sons.

While in India, he started to study the life of his compatriot Csoma de K. and wrote his biography. He was himself interested in Oriental Studies and learned Persian, but heavy official duries restricted further scholarship. Eager supporter of missionary work.

Publications: “Some Remarks on the Life and Labours of Alexander Csoma de Körös”, JRAS 1884; “An Essay of the Brāhūī Grammar, after the German of the late Dr. Trumpp”, JRAS 1887 (76 p.); “The Ugor Branch of the Ural-Altaic Family of Languages”, JRAS 1889, 583-647.

Life and Works of Alexander Csoma de Körös. 1885 (also appeared in Hungarian, together with his Hungarian translation of Csoma’s minor writings).

Sources: Bethlenfalvy 1980, 15; E. Leumann, ZDMG 1914, 457; A. Stein, In memoriam Theodor Duka. 35 p. Oxford 1914 with photo.

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