Janez Vesel

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Janez Vesel (a.k.a. Jovan Koseski)

Janez Vesel (12 September 1798 – 26 March 1884), known by his pen name Jovan Koseski (Slovene conventions also include the names Jovan Vesel – Koseski and, less often, Janez Vesel – Koseski or Ivan Vesel – Koseski[Note 1][2]) was a Slovene lawyer and poet.

Life and work[edit]

Born as Janez Vesel in Spodnje Koseze in the Duchy of Carniola in the Habsburg Monarchy (now in Slovenia), Koseski studied law in Graz and Vienna and worked in Trieste for most of his professional life. In his student years, he mostly wrote in German. In 1818, his sonnet Potažba ("The Comfort") was the first sonnet ever printed in Slovene. No further works by Koseski are known until 1844, when he published his ode Slovenja Caru Ferdinandu ("Slovenia to Emperor Ferdinand"), dedicated to Emperor Ferdinand. The poem where he describes the history of the Slovene Lands since the Roman times is widely regarded as his best work. Afterwards, he continued writing and also translating poetry.[3] Vesel was a grandfather of the Austrian-Italian mountaineer and author Julius Kugy. He died in Trieste.

Word Slovenija[edit]

Vesel's 1844 ode was long considered the earliest known printed use of the word Slovenija ("Slovenia"), at the time referring to the Slovene Lands. In the early 1990s, it was found that the word was printed already in 1841 in the book Drevnie i nynešnie Slovene ("The Ancient and Today's Slovenes") by the Russian writer Yuriy Venelin.[4]


  1. ^ The names Janez, Jovan, and Ivan are all variations of the name 'John'.[1]


  1. ^ Keber, Janez. 1988. Leksikon imen. Izvor imen na Slovenskem. Celje: Mohorjeva družba, p. 213.
  2. ^ M.P. 1898. "Ivan Vesel-Koseski, slovenski pesnik" Dom in svet 11(23).
  3. ^ Lukovica municipal site
  4. ^ Rugelj, Just (2004). "Slovenija že od leta 1834" [Slovenija Already from 1834]. Revija SRP (in Slovene) (Zavod za založništvo na področju kulture in umetnosti [Institute for Publishing in the Fields of Culture and Art]) 12 (61/62). ISSN 1580-6499.