Josef Dobrovsky

Picture of Josef Dobrovsky

Date of Birth: 08/17/1753

Age: 75

Place of birth: Raab (Hungary)

Citizenship: Czech Republic


Born near Raab (Gyor) in Hungary, where he served his father, a sergeant Dragoons Austrian army Jakub Doubravsky; Joseph`s mother tongue (surname Dobrovskij received due to an error in the documents) was a German. The family often due to new appointments father moved from city to city. He studied at the German school in Bishofteynitse (Horsovsky Tyn), where he met with the Czech language. He learned to speak freely on it from 10 years of age (1763) in the Augustinian school in the city Doychbrod (German Brod, now Havlickuv Brod), then studied with the Jesuits in Klattau (Klyatovy) in 1767-1769 and at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University since 1769. The university attracted the attention of teachers success in the theological disciplines and the ability to participate in discussions. In 1772 in Brunn entered the novitiate of the Jesuits, ready to send a missionary to India, but in 1773 the bull of Clement XIV order was dissolved, and Dobrovskij returned to Prague, where he continued his studies already at the theological faculty.

After graduating from the University, for a long time (1776-1786) was a teacher of mathematics and philosophy for children Prague patron and supporter of the ideas of the Enlightenment, the president of the Czech gubernatoriuma Count Bedrich Jan Nostic. During this period (from 1779) under the influence of another frequent guest Nostitz, Franz Peltslya, and who taught his children Dobrovsky (who began the scientific activity as a biblical scholar) began exploring the Czech antiquities and literature. Then appointed vice-rector of the seminary in Gradishte (now part of Olomouc), Moravia; in 1786 he took holy orders, and in 1789 became rector. Dobrovskij participated in the debate on the position of the clergy, of celibacy and was a supporter of the Church and legal reforms of Joseph II. In addition, he criticized the rationalist point of view, the cult of St. John of Nepomuk. But again his spiritual career is quickly interrupted due to external causes: in 1790 in the entire Habsburg monarchy decree of Leopold II seminaries were closed, and Father Josef Dobrovsky returned to Prague House Nostitz, doing private teaching and research in social work. In 1792, the Prague Royal Society of Science has sent it to the collection and study of Slavic manuscripts stolen from Prague by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War, in Stockholm, Turku, St. Petersburg and Moscow; scientist visited on the way back as Warsaw and Krakow.

Within a short period of stay in Russia Dobrovskij could be found around 1000 ancient manuscripts. He worked in the libraries of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Alexander Nevsky Monastery, in the meeting of the Holy Synod (which by decree of Catherine II in 1791 were collected ancient manuscripts from monasteries throughout Russia) and in private collections, including the Moscow meeting of Count AI Musin-Pushkin. In 1793 also made a scientific journey through Hungary, Austria and Italy; constantly visited a working trip to the Czech Republic and Moravia. He has published a report on the Swedish-Russian mission: