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Boleslaus Balbinus

Jesuit historian of Bohemia (1621-1688)

Balbinus, BOLESLAUS, a Jesuit historian of Bohemia, b. December 4, 1621, at Koniggratz, of an ancient noble family; d. November 29, 1688, at Prague. His entire life was devoted to collecting and editing the materials of Bohemian history, and his researches have often been utilized by the Bollandists. He wrote over thirty works, the most important of which is a “Miscellanea Historica regni Bohemia” or “Miscellany of Bohemian history” (6 vols., Prague, 1679-87) in which he described the chief historical events of his native land, its natural history, the genealogies of its nobles, lives of prominent Bohemians, etc. He wrote also in Latin an “Apology for the Slavic and especially the Bohemian tongue”. Balbinus was the first to edit the ancient vernacular chronicle known as the “Life of St. Ludmilla and Martyrdom of St. Wenceslas”, a new edition of which was published in 1902 by Dr. Pektar and is by him held to be a text of the tenth century, and therefore “the oldest historical work written in Bohemia and by a Bohemian”. Balbinus wrote also “De archiepiscopis Bohemim” (Prague, 1682) and “Bohemia Sancta, sive de sanctis Bollemiae, Moravias, Silesim, Lusatiae” (ibid., 1682).

THOMAS J. SHAHAN


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