Prague Minos Guide

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18. - 19. století

Josef Dobrovsky

Leading Czech national revivalist
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He was an advocate of rationalism and belonged to the so-called 1st generation of revivalists. He was an intellectual man of honor who refused to support the national revival with fake documents.
Dobrovsky came from a simple family, his father was a soldier. In 1769 he started studying philosophy in Prague. In 1772 he was preparing for a mission to India as a novice of the Jesuit order, but his trip was cancelled following the abolition of the whole order. After graduation he made a living as a tutor for the count Nostitz, and after a

short time spent in Olomouc as a rector, he returned to Prague and became a private scientist financed by patrons. By the end of the 1790’s he strongly influenced a young generation of Revivalists. Frantisek Palacky was among his students. By the end of his life, Dobrovsky got into arguments with the group led by Josef Jungmann about the authenticity of the manuscript of Zelena Hora. When he publicly proclaimed that the manuscript was a fake, Jungmann definitively cut all communication with him.
Dobrovsky died in Brno 10 years later.


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