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JIREČEK, JOSEF (1825–1888), Czech scholar, was born at Vysoké Mýto in Bohemia on the 9th of October 1825. He entered the Prague bureau of education in 1850, and became minister of the department in the Hohenwart cabinet in 1871. His efforts to secure equal educational privileges for the Slav nationalities in the Austrian dominions brought him into disfavour with the German element. He became a member of the Bohemian Landtag in 1878, and of the Austrian Reichsrat in 1879. His merits as a scholar were recognized in 1875 by his election as president of the royal Bohemian academy of sciences. He died in Prague on the 25th of November 1888.

With Hermenegild Jireček he defended in 1862 the genuineness of the Königinhof MS. discovered by Wenceslaus Hanka. He published in the Czech language an anthology of Czech literature (3 vols., 1858–1861), a biographical dictionary of Czech writers (2 vols., 1875–1876), a Czech hymnology, editions of Blahoslaw’s Czech grammar and of some Czech classics, and of the works of his father-in-law Pavel Josef Šafařik (1795–1861).

His brother Hermenegild Jireček, Ritter von Samakow (1827–  ), Bohemian jurisconsult, who was born at Vysoké Mýto on the 13th of April 1827, was also an official in the education department.

Among his important works on Slavonic law were Codex juris bohemici (11 parts, 1867–1892), and a Collection of Slav Folk-Law (Czech, 1880), Slav Law in Bohemia and Moravia down to the 14th Century (Czech, 3 vols. 1863–1873).