Valentin Vodnik

by Snezana from Ljubljana

What is he?

He was a Slovenian priest, journalist and poet from the late Enlightenment period.

His childhood?

He was born on 3rd February 1759, in Ljubljana and died on 8th January 1819 in Ljubljana. His family was commercial farm family. He went to elementary school in Ljubljana, then he went to study to his uncle in a monastery in Novo mesto. In high school (1769-1775) he was more interested in poetics and rhetorics in Novo mesto. He also learnt to play the organ he studied philosophy and theology.

How did he started his career?

He started his career as a priest. He worked in Ljubljana and in several places in Slovenia. In the year 1793 he worked at Koprivnik above Bohinj, where he came into contact with Žiga Zois, who helped him later get transferred to Šentjakob in Ljubljana, where in 1797 he become a professor at a high school. In the time of the Illyrian provinces he was enthusiastic over the French and their recognition of their natural rights of nations. Under the new authorities he saw an opportunity that the Slovenian language would be valid in schools. He tried to introduce Slovenian as a study language in high school in Kranj. He became the principle and school supervisor. After the Austrians returned, his position went because the Austrians had resented his cooperation with the French. And so he retired early. He died in Ljubljana completely isolated from the outside world.

His successes!

His work is varied. He issued the first Slovenian newspaper Lublanske novices which were published twice a week in 1797 – 1800. In 1799 he published a cooking book Kuharske bukve, in 1818 Babništvo, a guide for midwives for childbirth. He was also collecting material for German-Slovenian-Latin dictionary. For the Slovenians he is important because he wrote the alphabet for first classes and the grammar.

Why is he my hero?

He is my hero because he created the first Slovenian newspaper and wrote some great poems. And he knew some great people of his time and became friends with them.

Page created on 12/14/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/14/2009 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

Valentin Vodnik - Wikipedia
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