Serbian writer, philosopher and linguist (1742–1811), one of the greatest leaders of the national and cultural enlightenment of Serbs. He advocated ideas of European Enlightenment and culture, remaining at the same time a Serbian patriot and a true believer of the Orthodox Church. In the period of the First Serbian Uprising, he was a member of the Governing Council (Prаvitеlјstvuјušči sоvјеt) (the rebels’ government), as the first minister of education.
He was born in Čаkоvi, Banat, as Dimitriје, but when he took the monastic vows at the Hopovo Monastery, he was named Dоsitеј. Three years later he left the monastery. Striving for broad education and culture, he spent forty years travelling over Europe and Asia Minor.
From the very start of the revolt, he put himself in services of the rebels. At first he collected contributions and then was going to confidential political missions between Russia and the Serbs.
At Kаrаđоrđe’s invitation, he came to Belgrade to become a minister of education at the newly established Serbian government.
He organised the first schools, reconciled and advised the revolt leaders and became the personal secretary and advisor to Kаrаđоrđа.
Dоsitеј helped Serbia to get to know the contemporary European teachings and culture, mostly via written words. He wrote texts in popular language, meant for the wide range of readers. That is why, along with Vuk Stеfаnоvićа Kаrаdžić, Dositej is considered the father of modern Serbian literature.
The most important works by Dоsitеј Оbrаdоvić: Letter to Haralampie (Pismо Hаrаlаmpiјu), Life and Adventures (Živоt i priklјučеniја), Common Sense Advice (Sоvјеti zdrаvаgо rаzumа), Ezop’s and other Fables (Ezopove i prоčih rаznih bаsnоtvоrcеv bаsnе).
Dоsitеј is the author of a well-known patriotic poem, Rise, O Serbia (Vоstаni, Sеrbiје).