Wenceslaus Hajek

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Lithograph, about 1861

Wenceslaus Hajek of Libočan (Czech: Václav Hájek z Libočan; German: Wenzeslaus Hagek von Libotschan; Latin: Wenceslai Hagecii, Wenceslai Hagek a Liboczan; died 18 March 1553) was a Bohemian chronicler, author of the Annales Bohemorum (Kronyka Czeská or Kronika Česká in modern Czech).

A scion of a noble family based in Libočany, Hajek was ordained priest of the Kostelec parish near Budyně nad Ohří in 1520. One year later, he became a chaplain in Zlonice. Hajek initially was a member of the Bohemian Unity of the Brethren, who later converted to Catholicism. In 1524 he served as a preacher at the St. Thomas' Church in Prague Malá Strana; from 1527 as a dean of Karlštejn Castle and a priest in Tetín. In May 1533, he was appointed royal administrator of the Vyšehrad Chapter. Hajek reached the peak of ecclesiastical career when he became provost of Stará Boleslav Chapter, however, he fell from grace shortly afterwards and retired to Prague.

His famous Annales cover the History of the Czech lands from the legendary early medival rulers Lech, Czech, and Rus up to the coronation of King Ferdinand I in 1526. They were translated into German by Johann Sandel (1596), and were extensively studied by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). Long considered one of the best sources of Bohemian history, modern criticism has found it to be quite inaccurate, although still useful for information about Czech literature traditions of the time.

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References[edit]

  • PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Hájek of Libočan, Wenzel". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.  This work in turn cites:
    • Palacky, Würdigung der alten böhmischen Geschichtschreiber (Prague, 1830–69)

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