Ján Hollý

Ján Holly (1785–1849) was a Slovak poet and translator.

He was the first greater Slovak poet, who wrote in Slovak exclusively (his predecessors mostly wrote in various versions of Czech, Slovakized Czech or Latin).


He studied in Skalica, Pressburg (now Bratislava) and Trnava (Nagyszombat). He was a Catholic priest at Madunice (Vágmedence) near Piešťany (Pöstyén), where he wrote all his major works sitting below a big tree.

He was an active member of the Slovak national revival movement.


Nobleminded patriot, proud of historical roots of nation, he appreciated the humanity of Slovaks, their hard-working nature, peaceability, love and respect for freedom.


He wrote poetry, translated ancient poetry to Anton Bernolák's version of Slovak standard language (see History of the Slovak language).

He used the topic of Great-Moravian ruler Svätopluk to encourage the nation.

Major works (big poetic compositions):

  • Svatopluk
  • Cyrilo-Metodiáda
  • Sláv

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