Father Bohuslav Balbín, SJ
(1621-1688 )
The Bohemian Pliny



postal card honoring Balbin
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2013, postal card issued by Pressfil (Pre2013/54)

Bohuslav Balbín (December 3, 1621 – November 28, 1688) was a Czech writer and Jesuit, the "Bohemian Pliny." Balbín was born in Hradec Králové. He was graduated from the University of Olomouc. His entire life was devoted to collecting and editing the materials for Bohemian history, and his researches have often been utilized by the Bollandists. His Vita beatae Joannis Nepomuceni martyris was published in Prague, 1670. He is in large part responsible for the developed legend of Saint John of Nepomuk. He wrote over thirty works, the most important of which is Miscellanea Historica regni Bohemiae ("Miscellany of Bohemian History," 6 vols., Prague, 1679–87), in which he described the geography, natural history,and chief historical events of his native land. The work includes brief vitae of prominent Bohemians. He also wrote in Latin an "Apology for the Slavic and especially the Bohemian tongue." Balbín was the first to edit the ancient vernacular chronicle of the tenth century known as the Life of St. Ludmilla and Martyrdom of St. Wenceslas, which is considered the oldest historical work written in Bohemia by a Bohemian. Balbín wrote also De archiepiscopis Bohemiae ("The Archbishops of Bohemia," Prague, 1682) and Bohemia Sancta, sive de sanctis Bohemiae, Moraviae, Silesiae, Lusatiae ("Sacred Bohemia, or the Saints of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia" Prague, 1682). He died, aged 66, in Prague. More