Academia operosorum Labacensis

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The Academia operosorum Labacensis (Ljubljana Academy of the Industrious) - a forerunner of the modern Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts - was founded in Ljubljana in 1693, the year of Janez Vajkard Valvasor's death, as an association of 23 scholars, most of whom were of Slovene descent. These included 13 lawyers, six theologians, and four medical doctors.

From the beginning its purpose was to organise scientific work in the fields of law, medicine, philosophy and theology. The members of the Academia adopted the Latin name apes (bees) and the academic tag Nobis atque aliis - operosi. Every year they would organise an annual meeting, as well as four other academic meetings, where they discussed their research. The newly-founded library became an important centre of activity for the "Operosi". In 1701, it was merged with the Academia incoltorum (Academy of Fine Arts) and Academia philharmonicorum (Academy of Music). At the time of its greatest activity, around 1714, it was an international association of 42 members from Carniola and the counties of central Austria assembled under the patronage of the bishop Franz Karl von Kaunitz. The Academia fell into decline in the summer of 1725. It was revived in 1781, thanks to the efforts of Slovene Enlightenment figures. Unfortunately, it was only active for another 20 years or so and thereafter declined again because the members' outlooks and expectations were too much at variance.

The Operosi were very influential in the development of the arts in Ljubljana and throughout the Slovene cultural area.

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