Konstantin Jireček

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Konstantin Jireček

Konstantin Jireček (full name Konstantin Josef Jireček ) (born June 24, 1854 in Vienna , † January 10, 1918 ibid) was an Austrian politician, diplomat, historian and Slavist of Czech origin. He was the founder of Bohemian Balkan Studies and Byzantine Studies, and from 1907 to 1918 first chairman of the Institute for Eastern European History at the University of Vienna .


The son of the historian Josef Jireček and the daughter of Pavel Jozef Šafárik continued in part the work of his maternal grandfather. He was born and raised in Vienna, where he attended the Theresian Gymnasium (1864–1872). Even as a schoolboy he showed great interest in foreign languages (French, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, Italian, Russian, English, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek). In 1872 he became a student at the Philosophical Faculty of Prague University . There he studied history and modern philology . The French historian Ernest Denis and the Bulgarian Pischurka family were among his friends . In 1874 Jireček went on a study trip to Croatia and Serbia and published several essays on the history and regional studies of the Slavic Balkan countries. In 1876 his first big book was published - "History of the Bulgarians", which was dedicated to the period from the establishment of the Bulgarian state to the submission to the Ottoman rule. The book by the 22 year old historian caused a sensation. The reason for this was that this year the interest of the European public turned to the outbreak of the Bulgarian struggle for freedom ( April Uprising ), but at the same time little was known in Europe about the Bulgarian people. For his dissertation on the history of the Bulgarians , Jireček was awarded a doctorate in philosophy in 1876. The next year he completed his habilitation with a thesis on the military road between Constantinople and Belgrade .

After the end of the Russo-Turkish War in the Balkans , he helped set up the administration, the school system and the economy in the newly founded Principality of Bulgaria .

In 1879 he was appointed to the government there and was Foreign Minister from May to July 1881, and then Minister of Science until 1882. In 1884 he was appointed director of the National Library in Sofia . During his stay, in addition to government business, he devoted himself to research in Balkanology and Byzantine Studies . He published the results in numerous studies and monographs .

From 1884 to 1893 he taught as a full professor at the Charles University in Prague , after which he was professor of Slavic philology at the University of Vienna until his death in 1918.

The Jireček line is named after him, as is the Konstantin Jirecek Medal, which is awarded in recognition of achievements in Southeastern European research and for cultural relations with Southeastern Europe . Since 2010 he has also given its name to Jireček Point , a headland on the northeast coast of Smith Island in Antarctica.


Most of his works were published in German . Most of his publications dealt with the history of the peoples of the Balkans.

  • Dějiny bulharského národa , 1876, German: History of the Bulgarians . Prague 1876. (Reprint: Olms, Hildesheim / New York, NY 1977, ISBN 3-487-06408-1 / Textor, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 3-938402-11-3 ).
  • The old Bohemian poems of the Grünberger and Königinhofer. Handwriting in the original text and in German translation . Prague: Rivnac, 1879.
  • The trade routes and mines of Serbia and Bosnia during the Middle Ages: historical-geographical studies . Prague: Publishing House of the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences, 1879
  • Some remarks about the remains of the Pechenegs and Cumans as well as about the so-called Gagauzi and Surguči peoples in today's Bulgaria . Prague: Publishing House of the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences, 1889.
  • The military route from Belgrade to Constantinople and the Balkan passes . Prague: Tempsky, 1877.
  • The Principality of Bulgaria, its soil structure, nature, population, economic conditions, intellectual culture ; with 42 pictures and a map. Prague u. a .: Tempsky [u. a.], 1891; Leipzig: Freytag, 1891.
  • Poselství republiky Dubrovnické k císařovně Kateřině v roce 1771 . Prague, 1893.
  • The Christian element in the topographical nomenclature of the Balkans . Vienna: Gerold, 1897
  • State and society in medieval Serbia. Studies on the cultural history of the 13th – 15th centuries Century . Vienna 1912 (photomechanical reprint Leipzig: Zentralantiquariat der DDR, 1974)
  • History of the Serbs , 1911–18, unfinished. Vol. 1 to 1371 ; Vol. 2 1371-1537 . Gotha: Perthes, undated (reprint Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1967).


Web links

Wikisource: Konstantin Jireček  - sources and full texts

Notes and individual references

  1. Other members of the Jireček family were also involved in historical research. His brothers Josef and Hermenegild published works with their brother. His uncle Hermenegild Jireček was a well-known Slavic legal historian.
  2. a b c d e f g Georg Stadtmüller: History of Southeast Europe . Munich, 1976 pp. 409-410.
  3. Batewa, Mimi: Viktoria Pischurka (1857-1919), in: Lom-Press of December 7, 1994, p. 6
  4. Krastjo Pischurka: Origin and family history up to the grandchildren generation, January 2013, p. 9 ff.
  5. At the time, that was part of the History of the Orient department . Konstantin Josef Jireček: The military route from Belgrade to Constantinople and the Balkan passes. A historical-geographical study. Verlag von F. Tempsky, Prague 1877 (habilitation thesis, German) ( TPDF text for download )
  6. Information on terms of office for Проф. Константин Йосиф Иречек on the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed on April 2, 2016.
  7. There he gave, among other things, the lectures: "History of the Orient" , "About the Fourth Crusade and the Latin Empire in Constantinople" and "About the geography of the Balkan Peninsula" .