Dositej Obradovic – Mason, philosopher and educator. He is considered one of the most important representatives of the Serbian and South Slavic Enlightenment. He studied for the Master, but he abandoned the call and went on traveling all over Europe, where he received the ideas of European enlightenment and rationalism.
Dositej Obradovic was born in 1742 or 1743 in Cakov in the Serbian-Romanian town of Tamiski
Banatu. His father’s name was Djuradj by occupation was a merchant. He died around 1748 and left a widow and four young children. Mother dies soon, around 1752, and children are scattered through the family. Little Dositej went to one cousin. The child learned elementary school in the local Serbian school, and since he loved the booka, a coustin wanted to send him to become the priest. Reading sacred texts twisted the brain of a twelve-year-old boy, a dreamer by nature, and on one occasion, he wanted to flee with beggar monks to Turkey, in the desert to enlighten himself. A sober aunt, seeing the sick state of the child’s imagination, in order to keep him from these religious fantasies, took him back to Timisoara.
Literary work and critical review
His first manuscript papers are only the translation or processing of popular practically-moral New Greek and Italian writings. Thus, „Letter“ is a small translation by John the Goldenmouth for Priest Aram’s daughter Jelena from the Kosovo field is lower Knin. At that time (1765) he wrote the first book “in a common Serbian language”, and thus paved the way for its rich and fruitful literary work.“ Christo“translation of one the New Year’s work from the 18th century, „Basna“ is a translation of Ezop, Fedra, Lafonten and Lesing. It’s with fables Dositej added his significant „the moral of the story“, as moral comments of some fables. His main and best works begin to publish since the year 1783.
He first published „Life and Connections“ in which he told his life from birth to thirty-ninth year and followed his biography with reflections on the need for schools and science and the spiritual backwardness of the monks, who he sharply attacked. After that, the press „Hints of common sense“, selected thoughts and advice of learned people with various languages translated. These are moral and polemical views, full of enlightenment thoughts. Then he announces his „Sobranije“, a collection of views from morality and practical philosophy: about patriotism, about love for sciences, about lies, on reading, moderation, etc. There are several moral stories here, such as Marmontel’s „Lauzus and Lydia“, or Irena’s Labriere; there are also several Eastern stories of moral or philosophical tendencies, including Lesing’s comedy „Damon“. He translated from various languages: „Ethics“ from Italian writer Soavia and „Letter.“ educated „by the German Protestant thinker Colikofer.
Dositej’s national program
The first Dosite’s printed work is „Letter to Haralampi“, printed in Leipzig as a call for subscription to „Sons of common sense“. This is his famous program letter, where he premiered his basic ideas. In the form of a letter to one friend, a market merchant, Haralampi (otherwise Serb from Croatia), Dositej exposes that he intends to print a book for people on a simple national language for peasants. He wrote that from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube river there live peoples who are one in spoken language:
“Who does not know that the inhabitants of the Montenegro, Dalmatia, Herzegovinian, Bosniak, Serbian, Croatic, Slavic, Sremski, Backi and Banatski speak the same language? Talking to people who live in the kingdoms and provinces, I understand how much Greek Church, as well as Latin followers, not excluding the Turks, Bosniaks and (H) ercegovce, since law and religion can be changed, but gender and language never. Bosniak and (H) ercegovac Turčin, he is a Turk according to the law, by gender and by language, as whatever his great-grandparents are, so his last grandchildren will be Bosniaks and (H) ercegovci will come, God the world holds. They are called Turks as the Turks rule the country, and as it turns out, the Turks return to where they came, the Bosniaks will remain Bosniaks and it will be what these (h) these were. For all the Serbian folk I will translate the thoughts of the famous and wise people as dvices for all to use.