1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Schafarik, Pavel Josef

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SCHAFARIK (Czech, Šafařík), PAVEL JOSEF (1795-1861), Slavonic philologist, was born of Slovak parents at Kobeljarova, a village of northern Hungary, where his father was a Protestant clergyman. His first production was a volume of poems in Czech entitled The Muse of Tatra with a Slavonic Lyre (Levocza, 1814). In 1815 he began a course of study at the university of Jena, and while there translated into Czech the Clouds of Aristophanes and the Maria Stuart of Schiller. In 1817 he removed to Prague and joined the literary circle of which Dobrovsky, Jungmann and Hanka were members. From 1819 to 1833 he was head master of the high school at Neusatz in the south of Hungary. There he studied Servian literature and antiquities, acquired many rare books and manuscripts, and published a collection of Slovak folk-songs in collaboration with Kollar and others (1823-1827). In 1826 his Geschichte der slawischen Sprache und Literatur nach allen Mundarten appeared at Budapest (2nd ed., 1869). This book was the first attempt to give anything like a systematic account of the Slavonic languages as a whole. In 1833 he returned to Prague, where he spent the remainder of his life. There he published his Serbische Lesekörner oder historisch-kritische Beleuchtung der Serbischen Mundart, and in 1837 his great work Slovanské Starožitnosti (“Slavonic Antiquities”). The “Antiquities” have been translated into Polish, Russian and German; a second edition (1863) was edited by J. Jireček. In 1840 he published in conjunction with Palacký Die ältesten Denkmäler der böhmischen Sprache. In 1837 poverty compelled him to accept the uncongenial office of censor of Czech publications, which he abandoned in 1847 on becoming custodian of the Prague public library. In 1842 he published his Slovanský Národopis, in which he sought to give a complete account of Slavonic ethnology. He was also for some time conductor of the “Journal” of the Bohemian Museum, and edited the first volume of the Vybor, or selections from old Czech writers, which appeared under the auspices of the Prague literary society in 1845. To this he prefixed a grammar of the Old Czech language, Počátková staročeské mluvnice. In 1848 he was made professor of Slavonic philology in the university of Prague, but resigned in 1849. He was then made keeper of the university library. In 1857 he published Glagotitische Fragmente in collaboration with Höfler; but in the same year, as a result of overwork, ill health and family anxieties, he became insane. He was nevertheless continued in his appointment until his death in 1861.

Schafarik's collected works, Sebrané Spisy, were published at Prague, 1862-1865; his Geschichte der südslaivischen Literatur was edited by Jireček in 3 vols. (1864-1865).