Josif Pančić

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Јосиф Панчић
Josif Pančić
Josif Pančić
BornApril 17, 1814
Ugrini, Austrian Empire (now Croatia)
DiedFebruary 25, 1888(1888-02-25) (aged 73)
Alma materUniversity of Budapest
Known fordiscovery of Serbian Spruce
Scientific career
Author abbrev. (botany)Pančić

Josif Pančić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јосиф Панчић; April 17, 1814 – February 25, 1888) was a Serbian botanist, doctor, a lecturer at the Great School in Belgrade and the first president of the Serbian Royal Academy. He extensively documented the flora of Serbia, and is credited with having classified many species of plants which were unknown to the botanical community at that time. Pančić is credited for discovering the Serbian Spruce. He is regarded as the father of Serbian botany.[1]


Early life and studies

Information board to Pancic and his spruce tree at the site it was discovered.

Pančić was born in Ugrini, near Crikvenica, at the time part of the Austrian Empire (now Croatia), the fourth son of Pavel Pančić and Margarita. The Pančić family was of Serb and Bunjevac origin.[2][3] According to tradition, the Pančić family hailed from Herzegovina and settled in Ugrini in olden times.[4] After finishing elementary school in Gospić, he went on to the lyceum in Rijeka, and then continued classes in the Regia Academica Scientiarum in Zagreb (1830). He graduated in 1842 in Budapest in medicine. In addition to other courses, Pančić attended botany courses, taught by the then renowned botany professor, Joseph Sadler (Sadler József).[5] Later, recalling those early lectures, he wrote:[1]

“And since the first course in botany I started to love botany and decided to become a botanist..."


Josif Pancic, a monument in the Academy Park on the Student Square in Belgrade
Mausoleum of Josif Pančić on Pančić's Peak

He was acquainted with the Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić in Vienna who wrote him a letter of recommendation to the Serbian authorities in order to fulfill his wish to settle in the Principality of Serbia and to study its nature. In May 1846 he arrived in Serbia and worked as a physician in rural Serbia. In 1853, he moved from Kragujevac to Belgrade when he was appointed as one of six professors (Konstantin Branković, Jovan Sterija Popović, Đura Daničić, Matija Ban, and Dimitrije Nešić) at the Belgrade Lyceum of the Principality of Serbia. In 1853, he introduced Mineralogy with geology at the Lyceum.[6]

He extensively documented the flora of Serbia and is credited with having classified many species of plants that were unknown to the botanical community at that time. His most significant discovery was the Serbian Spruce, which he had discovered near Zaovine on the Tara Mountain in 1875. During the Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78), he was the Chief Physician of the Belgrade Hospital.

He is said to have "fell in love" with Kopaonik, which he visited 16 times between 1851 and 1886.[citation needed] Pančić was named the first president of the Serbian Royal Academy formed on April 5, 1887. He requested opening of the Botanical garden "Jevremovac" in Belgrade.

Pančić died on February 25, 1888, in Belgrade while working. A mausoleum of Josif Pančić on Kopaonik was erected in 1951 by the Academy, the University of Belgrade and the Hikers union, with the inscription:

Honoring Pančić's request, we moved him here to rest forever. We also announce his message for the Serbian youth: "Only with a thorough understanding and analysis of the nature of our country will they show how much they love and honor their homeland".


Pančić portrait on 10 Yugoslav dinars note, 1994

A research society has been named after him, Josif Pančić Biological Research Society (Biološko istraživačko društvo "Josif Pančić"). He was depicted on the 10 dinara note printed in 1994. He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs. In 1951 the highest point in the Kopaonik mountain range was changed from Milan Peak to Pančić's Peak.[citation needed]


Selected works

  • Die Flora der Serpentinberge in Mittel-Serbien (1859)
  • Pisces Serbiae (1860)
  • Zur Moosflora des nordöstlichen Banates (1861)
  • Arena mobilis in Serbia eiusque flora (1863)
  • Flora agri Belgradensis methodo analytica digesta – "Flora u okolini Beogradskoj po analitičnom metodu" (1865)
  • Šumsko drveće i šiblje u Srbiji (1871)
  • Flora Principatus Serbiae – "Flora knez̆evine Srbije ili vaskularne biljke, koje y Srbije divlie rastu" (1874)
  • Eine neue conifere in den östlichen Alpen (1876)
  • Flora u okolini Beogradskoj po analitičnoj sistemi (1878)
  • Elementa ad floram principatus, Bulgariae (1883)
  • Nova graca za flora knez︠h︡evine Bugarske (1886)


  • His name is mostly written as Serbian Josif Pančić (Јосиф Панчић), and also rendered Croatian Josip Pančić (Јосип Панчић).


  1. ^ a b Vasić, Olja. "Josif Pančić and the new Fora of Serbia" (PDF). Flora Mediterranea. 23: 209–214. ISSN 2240-4538. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  2. ^ Jovan Erdeljanović (1930). O poreklu Bunjevaca. Srpska Kraljevska Akademija. p. 146. Панчићи, Паншни у Суботици, од 1686 год. (Оашса 1891 24; види и 5гађ. II Окт. 37, Иеуеп 1896 83, 123); кат. Панчићи у Хрватском Приморју (М. Милићевић: Поменик зна- менитих људи, Београд 1888, с. 497; Јегеппс 161) и прав. у ...
  3. ^, Буњевачка презимена: Обрадов(ић) – Паштровић "ПАНЧИЋИ / ПАНЧИНИ – у Суботици, од 1686.год.; католици Панчићи у Хрватском Приморју и православни у Славонији."
  4. ^ Josif Pančić, Budislav Tatič, Božidar P. M. Ćurčić (1998). Sabrana dela Josifa Pančića: Život i delo Josifa Pančića. Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva. p. 13. Проф. др Љубиша М. Глишић ЖИВОТ И РАД ВЕЛИКОГ НАУЧНИКА И РОДОЉУБА др ЈОСИФА ПАНЧИЋА Према предању, Панчићи су пореклом из Xерцеговине и од давнина су се доселили у село Угрине, које се налази на ...CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Stevanovic et al. 1999.
  6. ^ Miomir Komatina (31 March 2004). Medical Geology: Effects of Geological Environments on Human Health. Elsevier. pp. 359–. ISBN 978-0-08-053609-5.
  7. ^ IPNI.  Pančić.


  • Nikola Diklić. "Josif Pančić" (PDF). Lives and work of the Serbian scientists. 1: 3–61.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Post established
President of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Succeeded by
Čedomilj Mijatović