Pavel Josef Šafařik

Šafařik, Pavel Josef (päˈvĕl yôˈzĕf shäˈfär-zhēk) [key], 1795–1861, Czech philologist and archaeologist; his name is also spelled Schafarik and Schafřík. Šafařik advanced the theory that the Slavs originally were a composite people with a common language that later had split into separate dialects. In his Slavonic Antiquities (1836–37) he maintained that the Slavs had been indigenous to Europe since the 5th cent. B.C. His theories, though now obsolete, were of great significance in the advance of Slavic studies; they also gave intellectual impetus to Pan-Slavism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Language and Linguistics: Biographies