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18. - 19. století

Josef Jungmann

Czech philologist, lexicographer and a revivalist
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He was a leading figure of the so-called second generation of revivalists and as such greatly contributed to the National Revival movement of the Czech people.
He studied law at the Faculty of Arts in Prague but dropped out of school before graduating, following which he started a career as a private teacher. In 1800 he started working in the Litomerice high-school as teacher of Czech and was the first teacher of this language in Bohemia and Moravia.
The core of his activity as a revivalist was the creation of Jungmann’s school of poetry and science, which included personalities such as Frantisek Palacky, Jan Evangelist Purkyn and more. By way

of this school he endeavored to create his lifetime work, which was a five volume Czech-German dictionary that became one of the basic standards used to create written Czech.
After the discovery of the Manuscripts (of Dvur Kralove and of Zelena Hora) he quarreled with his role model, Josef Dobrovsky, because he defended their authenticity, although he most probably knew they were fakes. But his motives were in favor of the Czech people’s interest. Jungmann was also an excellent translator, who translated for example Milton’s Paradise Lost as well as several pieces by Goethe. By the end of his life he became dean of the Prague University.


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