Today, I´m more than proud to present you this great man in every word meaning as this day is the 295. anniversey of his birth. He is quite lucky to belong to those slovak historical characters, about who children are still learning in school and so he is still remembered. And I´d like you, to know about him even more than some good friend could tell you :)
Two Slovaks from Terchová
Adam František Kollár was born this day, again, in 1718 in Terchová (small village in central Slovakia now, formerly Terhely, Turózs county in Kingdom of Hungary). There have been born two great personages of our history in Terchová: A.F. Kollár and Juraj Jánošík (my post) who was hanged on a rib exactly 3 years and a month before Kollár´s date of birth. Two completly different (maybe even opposite) men as an image of Slovak nation. And now you can finally compare them on my blog. But anyway, he was born to the family of lower nobleman Matej Kolárik and his wife Regína Koláriková (born Myslovská).
"Slovak I am and Slovak I´ll be"
If you have a chance to see some wrintings of his name, most of the time there is not used the slovak equivalent of it. What you can find is, in Latin Adamo Francisco/ Franciscus or German Franz or Hungarian Ferenc, all as Slovak František. Slovak language wasn´t officialy codified nor accepted in that time. Again, what is nice, that he was very proudly admitting his Slovak origin and developed studying of Slavic history (Slovaks belong to the group of Slavic nations).
As he is generally called "Slovak Socrates" the education is very important thing to talk about. In 1723 he moved to Banská Bystrica. First, he attended slovak jesuit colleges in Banská Bysrica, Banská Štiavnica and Trnava. This was all in Upper Hungary, now country of Slovakia. Then, in 1740 he started to study in Vienne. Philosophy, laws, classical and oriental languages. But he was learning all his life, thanks to it, he spoke 27 languages.
In years 1742 - 1745 he worked as a professor of jesuit high school in Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš. His career went on and he became a scribe of Imperial - Royal Library in Vienna in 1748. Then, very clever Kollár was named a second custodian and then the first custodian of IR Library in 1758. In this positions Adam´s work couldn´t end. He, for example, in 1756 completed and published Turkish Grammar Institutiones Linguae Turcicae from Fr. Mesganien - Meninski, or, he made a systematic catalogue of teological prints of the library. In years 1761 - 1762 he also published a collection of unknown documents, annals and chronicles, what get him in line with other well known scolars in the world.
In 1763 he developed his plans for establishing a Hungarian (Kingdom of Hungary) University of Sciences and also published "Hungaria et Attila, seu de oringinbus gentis Hungariae" (Hugary and Attila, or about the origin of hungarian nation) by Mikuláš Oláh (Hungarian (again not today´s Hungary but Kingdom of Hungary) arcibishop and humanist intellectual of 16. century). Still, he was lecturing and translted Urbar by Maria Theresa (register of vassals´ obligations towards lords) to slovak language, as I mentioned above, the language wasn´t official (the official language of Kingdom of Hungary was hungarian) but it was a laguage of Slovaks, living in upper Hungary (now Slovakia) and without the translation they couldn´t understant it, as hungarian/ german laguage was total lingo for them. In this period, he also finished "De ortu, progressu et incolatu nations Ruthenicae in Hungaria" about history of Carpathian Ruthenians and their church life.
His star was rising. In 1772, after the death of prefect Gerard van Swieten, Kollár was appointed as a chief of IR Library and from it, it took him only 2 years to became a director of IR Library, member of Iperial - Royal Court Study Commission - board of education and culture, director of all gymnasiums in the realm and, fianlly, Councilor at the Court of, herself, Maria Theresa!
What a man, ha? :D And this still isn´t the end! Just wait for PART TWO!!