Academic journal article Serbian Studies

Dositej Obradovic (1742-1811)

Academic journal article Serbian Studies

Dositej Obradovic (1742-1811)

Article excerpt

Dositej Obradovic is one of the most deserving men in Serbian literature. Born in Cakovo, Vojvodina, and orphaned early, he entered the monastery of Hopovo as a monk. He spent all his time reading. His inquisitive mind and wanderlust made him leave the monastery. He traveled through the Balkans, Austria, Russia, Germany, France, and England, tutoring children for financial support, learning foreign languages, and studying philosophy, especially the 18th-century English Rationalists. He became perhaps the most learned man among the Serbs of his time.

After returning to his homeland, he was invited to Belgrade, which had just been liberated from the Turks. Appointed Minister of Education, he put to good use his knowledge and experience by opening schools and by founding a higher school (which eventually became the University of Belgrade), the National Museum, and many other cultural institutions. He died in Belgrade, having seen his efforts toward enlightening his countrymen begin to bear fruit.

Dositej began writing short didactic pieces to combat illiteracy among his people. …

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