Žídek, Pavel

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ŽÍDEK, PAVEL (1413–1471), Czech scholar and the first individual of Jewish origin to contribute to Czech culture. Žídek was baptized in his youth and raised as a Hussite but, while studying at Vienna, embraced Catholicism and became a priest. An outstanding scholar, he received doctorates at three universities, earning renown as well as enmity through his learned disputations at Prague, Breslau, and Cracow. Žídek's quarrelsome disposition drove him from place to place until he found refuge at the court of the progressive Czech king George of Podebrad. Žídek's one surviving work is his Správovna ("Administration," 1908), a book of suggestions to the king, which prescribes everything from the monarch's attire to the principles of good state administration. Žídek piously concludes that the king should join the Catholic Church, thus uniting all the Christians of his kingdom.


P. Váša and A. Gregor, Katechismus dějin české literatury (1925); J. Staněk, Dějiny literatury české (1925). add. bibliography: J. Hrabák, Dějiny české literatury iii (1961)

[Avigdor Dagan]