Konstantin Josef Jireček

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Konstantin Josef Jireček

Konstantin Josef Jireček (Bulgarian: Константин Йозеф Иречек, pronounced [jiretʃek]; 24 July 1854, Vienna – 1918, Vienna), son of Josef Jireček (1825–1888) and Božena, a daughter of Pavol Jozef Šafárik (1795–1861), was a Czech historian, politician, diplomat, and Slavist. He was the founder of the Bohemian Balkanology (or Balkan Studies) and Byzantine studies. Jireček was minister in the government of the Principality of Bulgaria.


He entered the Bulgarian service in 1879, and in 1881 became minister of education at Sofia. In 1884 he became professor of universal history in Czech at Charles University in Prague, and in 1893 professor of Slavonic antiquities at the University of Vienna.

The bulk of Konstantin's writings deal with the history of the southern Slavs and their literature. They include a History of the Bulgarians (Czech and German, 1876), History of Serbs, The Principality of Bulgaria (1891), Travels in Bulgaria (Czech, 1888), etc. He mostly wrote in German.

Carl Patsch succeeded Jireček at the Vienna University.


Jireček Point on Smith Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Konstantin Jireček.

In Bulgaria, Mount Jireček, the third highest peak of the Rila mountain range, as well as two villages, also bear his name.

In fiction[edit]

Konstantin Jireček appears as a minor character in one of Aleko Konstantinov's satirical feuilletons centred on the fictional character of Bay Ganyo where the protagonist visits him in Prague, looking for shelter and discussing politics.

See also[edit]

Famous Quote

Konstantin Jireček “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

Other Balkanologists


External links[edit]