Švejk, you bastard, you Himmellaudon, hold your tongue! Either you're a cunning blackguard or else you're a camel and a fat-headed idiot. You're a real object lesson, but I tell you you'd better not try anything on me!
The Good Soldier Švejk
Jaroslav Hašek, 1923
Já bych prosím radej ne.
Herman Melville, 1853
In 1348, Charles IV, king of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, created a university in Prague so "the loyal inhabitants of our realm, incessantly hungering after the fruits of learning, may not be constrained to beg for alms abroad, but may find set in our own realm a table of refreshment." 1 Soon after its creation, "the university was next only to Paris and Oxford in its reputation." 2
Since its founding, the university, specifically the philosophical faculty--one of the four original faculties established in 1348--has been the spiritual and intellectual center of Czech society. The radical religious and political ideas that have shaped the society's identity and determined its fate were either born or refined in the university. Conse