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Klaić as depicted on a commemorative plaque attached to his former home in Zagreb in 2001
|Born||(1849-06-21)21 June 1849
Garčin, Military Frontier,
|Died||1 July 1928(1928-07-01) (aged 79)
Zagreb, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Klaić was born in Garčin near Slavonski Brod as the son of a teacher. He was raised in German spirit and language, since his mother was German. Klaić went to school in Varaždin and Zagreb. Literature and music were more to his liking in the seminary than history; some of his musical works were performed. He studied history and geography in Vienna. After completing his studies, he taught for more than fifty years, first as a high school teacher, and after 1893 as a professor of general history at the University of Zagreb, where he stayed with short breaks until 1922, when he retired. He died in Zagreb.
Klaić wrote for the weekly Hrvatska lipa of the Croatian Party of Rights and was the editor of Vienac for several years (1882–1889), founded an orchestra and conducted it, promoting Croatian music. In 1892 he started and edited the musical magazine Gusle. He wrote short stories and political articles in the Croatian spirit.
Among his historical works, the special place belongs to the monumental history Povijest Hrvata (History of the Croats), published by Kugli in five books (1899–1911). Unfortunately, Klaić did not manage to finish it. In a text about this book, another famous Croatian historian, Ferdo Šišić, pointed out (1914): "Materials, scientific method and details of Klaić's work surpass all the existing works of this kind in our historiography", while Jaroslav Šidak said that "Klaić's book, despite all of its shortcomings, has still not been surpassed regarding the wealth of information in its presentation of the 15th and 16th centuries".
His granddaughter Nada Klaić was also a prominent historian.
- Prirodni zemljopis Hrvatske (Natural Geography of Croatia, 1878)
- Poviest Bosne do propasti kraljevstva (History of Bosnia, 1882)
- Pripoviesti iz hrvatske poviesti (Tales from Croatian History, 1886–1891)
- Bribirski knezovi od plemena Šubić do god. 1347. (Dukes of Bribir, 1897)
- Povijest Hrvata od najstarijih vremena do svršetka XIX. stoljeća (History of the Croats, 1899–1922)
- Krčki knezovi Frankapani (The Frankopan Dukes of Krk, 1901)
- Život i djela Pavla Rittera Vitezovića (The Life and Work of Pavao Ritter Vitezović, 1914)
- Vjekoslav Klaić at the University of Zagreb website (in Croatian)
- Vjekoslav Klaić biography at Hrvatski biografski leksikon (in Croatian)
| Rector of the University of Zagreb
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