Zoysa Gigue (Ziga Zois)( Slovenian entrepreneur, naturalist and patron)
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Biography Zoysa Gigue (Ziga Zois)
23.XI.1747 - 10.XI.1819
Gigue Zoysa, Baron Edelstayn, born November 23, 1747 in Trieste. His father was a merchant, plying between Italy and Ljubljana, and his mother was from a famous family of Slovenian owners of metallurgical enterprises. Gigue inherited condition of his father's estate and a metallurgical plant in Carniola. He was one of the richest people in the region.
Zoysa was many-sided man. Through their connections abroad, he maintained a constant exchange of information between Slovenia and the rest of the world.
He was a central figure in the field of literature and culture of the Slovene national revival, which began in the late 18th century. After 1780 he began to gather around the circle of enlightened cultural people. This circle included a prominent art writers and authors of academic and technical literature. Encouraged Zoysa Yuri Yapely and Blaise Kumerdey collect material for a dictionary and begin to create the Slovenian scientific grammar. Supported Zois Anton Tomas Linhart began to write in the Slovenian language, thus helping to strengthen the use of Slovenian language in the theater. Zoysa Linhart also helped in the creation of its first critical history of Slovakia. Under the patronage Zoysa, Valentin Vodnik became the first Slovene national poet. Jernej Kopitar, secretary Zoysa and librarian of his extensive modern library, received from Zhigi support, which enabled him to write the first scientific grammar of the Slovene language.
Zoysa was also well-known naturalist. He created a vast collection of minerals, now located in the Museum of Natural History in Ljubljana. Previously unknown mineral found them, was named after him. As a zoologist, he was among the first who was able to breed in captivity in Europe Proteus (proteus anguinus), to study its habits, and write about it.
Zoysa also interested in mining and metallurgy. He introduced a new organization of labor, employing new technologies in metallurgy, and invented a device for ignition furnaces.
Zoysa had built a wheelchair, which allowed him to move, despite serious illness. He remained active right up until his death Nov. 10, 1819.