Born July 8, 1809, in Krapina; died Apr. 20, 1872, in Zagreb. Croatian social and political figure, poet, and one of the leaders of the Illyrian movement, in which he represented a liberal current.
In 1835, Gaj began publishing the newspaper Novine hrvatske (renamed Ilirske narodne novine in 1836) and a literary supplement called Dánica hrvatska, slovenska i dalmatinska (renamed Dánica ilirska in 1836). He disseminated the idea in these publications of the national and cultural rapprochement of the South Slavs. He also urged political reunification and autonomy of the Croatian lands within the Hungarian kingdom, which was in turn part of the Hapsburg monarchy. In 1840 and again in 1867, Gaj visited Russia, where he became acquainted with the Slavophiles of Moscow. He lost his political influence during the Revolution of 1848-49. Gaj was one of the creators of the national literary language of the Croats (based on the stokavian dialect). He wrote the lyrics and music of the song “Croatia Has Not Yet Perished,” published in 1835.
WORKSKratka osnova hrvatsko-slavenskoga pravopisanja. Buda, 1830.
REFERENCESKhorvat, I. Ljudevit Gaj. [Belgrade] 1960.
Leshchilovskaia, I. I. Illirizm: K istorii Khorvatskogo natsional’-nogo Vozrozhdeniia. Moscow, 1968.
I. I. LESHCHILOVSKAIA