Concept

Josef Dobrovský

Summary
Josef Dobrovský (17 August 1753 – 6 January 1829) was a Czech philologist and historian, one of the most important figures of the Czech National Revival along with Josef Jungmann. Dobrovský was born at Balassagyarmat, Nógrád County, in the Kingdom of Hungary, when his father Jakub Doubravský (1701, Solnitz (Czech: Solnice), Bohemia 1764, Bischofteinitz (Czech: Horšovský Týn), Bohemia) was temporarily stationed as a soldier there. His mother was Magdalena Dobrovská (1733, Tschaslawsko (Czech: Čáslavsko), Bohemia 1797). He received his first education in the German school at Horšovský Týn in Plzeň district, made his first acquaintance with the Czech language and soon made himself fluent in it at the Německý Brod gymnasium, and then studied for some time under the Jesuits at Klatovy. In 1769 he began to study philosophy at the University of Prague. In 1772 he was admitted among the Jesuits at Brno and was preparing for a Christian mission in India. However, the entire order was dissolved in the Czech lands in 1773 and Dobrovský thus returned to Prague to study theology. After holding for some time the office of tutor to Count Nostitz, he obtained an appointment first as vice-rector, and then as rector, in the general seminary at Hradisko (now part of Olomouc); but in 1790 he lost his post through the abolition of the seminaries throughout the Habsburg Empire, and returned as a guest to the house of the count. At this time, he wrote some of the most important works in Slavic studies, historiography and philology. In 1792 he was commissioned by the Bohemian Academy of Sciences to visit Stockholm, Turku, Saint Petersburg and Moscow in search of the manuscripts which had been scattered by the Thirty Years' War, and on his return he accompanied Count Nostitz to Switzerland and Italy. In the 1780s Dobrovský participated in the academic life of Prague. In 1784, he helped to set up the Royal Czech Society of Sciences, and in 1818 the National Museum of what was to become Czechoslovakia and eventually the Czech Republic.
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