Bohuslav Balbín

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Bohuslav Balbín

Bohuslav Balbín (December 3, 1621 – November 28, 1688) was a Czech writer and Jesuit, the "Bohemian Pliny," whose Vita beatae Joannis Nepomuceni martyris was published in Prague, 1670, [1] is in large part responsible for the developed legend of Saint John of Nepomuk. Balbín graduated University of Olomouc.

Balbín was born in Hradec Králové. His entire life was devoted to collecting and editing the materials for Bohemian history, and his researches have often been utilized by the Bollandists. He wrote over thirty works, the most important of which is Miscellanea Historica regni Bohemiae ("Miscellany of Bohemian History", 6 vols., Prague, 1679–87), in which he described the geography, natural history,and chief historical events of his native land. The work includes brief vitae of prominent Bohemians.The sections are

  • Miscellanea historica regni Bohemiae - Bohemian history
  • Liber naturalis - The Nature of Bohemia
  • Liber popularis - The population
  • Liber chorographicus - Topography
  • Liber hagiographicus – Bohemian Saints
  • Liber parochialis – The Parishes
  • Liber episcopalis - The Archdiocese of Prague
  • Liber regalis - Rulers
  • Liber epistolaris - Series of letters
  • Bohemia Docta - Bohemian literature and teaching
  • Liber de seu curialis magistratibus et officiis curialibus regem Boohemiae - Paper on Courts and Offices of the Czech Crown

He also wrote in Latin an "Apology for the Slavic and especially the Bohemian tongue".

Balbinus was the first to edit the ancient vernacular chronicle of the tenth century[2] known as the Life of St. Ludmilla and Martyrdom of St. Wenceslas, which is considered the oldest historical work written in Bohemia by a Bohemian. Balbinus wrote also De archiepiscopis Bohemiae ("The Archbishops of Bohemia", Prague, 1682) and Bohemia Sancta, sive de sanctis Bohemiae, Moraviae, Silesiae, Lusatiae ("Sacred Bohemia, or the Saints of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia" Prague, 1682).

Balbín died, aged 66, in Prague.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ It was reprinted in the Bollandists' Acta sanctorum III, May, pp 668-80.
  2. ^ Introduction to the edition of 1902, Dr. Pekár