DOBROWSKY, JOSEPH (1753-1829), Hungarian philologist, was born of Bohemian parentage at Gjermet, near Raab, in Hungary. He received his first education in the German school at Bischofteinitz, made his first acquaintance with Bohemian at the Deutschbrod gymnasium, studied for some time under the Jesuits at Klattau, and then proceeded to the university of Prague. In 1772 he was admitted among the Jesuits at Brünn; but on the dissolution of the order in 1773 he returned to Prague to study theology. After holding for some time the office of tutor in the family of Count Nostitz, he obtained an appointment first as vice-rector, and then as rector, in the general seminary at Hradisch; but in 1790 he lost his post through the abolition of the seminaries throughout Austria, and returned as a guest to the house of the count. In 1792 he was commissioned by the Bohemian Academy of Sciences to visit Stockholm, Abo, Petersburg and Moscow in search of the manuscripts which had been scattered by the Thirty Years' War; and on his return he accompanied Count Nostitz to Switzerland and Italy. His reason began to give way in 1795, and in 1801 he had to be confined in a lunatic asylum; but by 1803 he had completely recovered. The rest of his life was mainly spent either in Prague or at the country seats of his friends Counts Nostitz and Czernin; but his death took place at Brünn, whither he had gone in 1828 to make investigations in the library. While his fame rests chiefly on his labours in Slavonic philology his botanical studies are not without value in the history of the science.
The following is a list of his more important works, Fragmentum Pragense evangelii S. Marci, vulgo autographi (1778); a periodical for Bohemian and Moravian Literature (1780-1787); Scriptores rerum Bohemicarum (2 vols., 1783); Geschichte der böhm. Sprache und ältern Literatur (1792); Die Bildsamkeit der slaw. Sprache (1799); a Deutsch-böhm. Wörterbuch compiled in collaboration with Leschka-Puchmayer and Hanka (1802-1821); Entwurf eines Pflanzensystems nach Zahlen und Verhältnissen (1802); Glagolitica (1807); Lehrgebäude der böhm. Sprache (1809); Institutiones linguae slavicae dialecti veteris (1822); Entwurf zu einem allgemeinen Etymologikon der slaw. Sprachen (1813); Slowanka zur Kenntniss der slaw. Literatur (1814); and a critical edition of Jordanes, De rebus Geticis, for Pertz's Monumenta Germaniae historica. See Palacky, J. Dobrowskys Leben und gelehrtes Wirken (1833).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)