The beginning of Balkan Studies is connected with major territorial, social and political changes in the Balkans in the second half of the 19th century. In the Czech environment, Balkan Studies were mixed up with interest in Slavic issues to a large extent. The founding personality was Konstantin Jirecek (1854-1918), one of the co-creators of Balkan Studies on the international level. Unfortunately, as he did not live in the Czech environment, he did not educate his Czech followers. This task was fulfilled by Jaroslav Bidlo (1868-1937) who integrated Balkan Studies into his concept of the studies of the history of Slavs in Eastern and South-eastern Europe. The development of Balkan Studies strengthened after the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, partly due to political motives. Two followers of Bidlo played a crucial role in the further development: Milada Paulova (1891-1970) in Prague and Josef Macurek (1901-1992), who later established a course in Balkan Studies at Masaryk University in Brno.
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