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Tribute to the father of Slovakian geology, Professor Ján Pettko, who was born in Horná Drietoma two hundred years ago

Author(s): Jozef Michalík

Journal: Acta Geologica Slovaca
ISSN 1338-0044

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2012;
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Johannes Pettko was born on November 11th, 1812, in Horná Drietoma. Trenčín. He was the son of tabular judge Daniel Pettko and Kristina Hradská, the daughter of a Lutheran priest. He grew up with his brothers Zigmund and Peter and his sister in the picturesque Drietoma valley on the border of Trenčín and Wallachia counties. The beautiful scenery of the White Carpathian Mountains with their vast mysterious forests and hamlets, where gypsum, and sandstone building blocks and millstones were mined, proved a rich source of inspiration for his boyhood dreams. From his childhood, he listened to tales of ghosts, witches and forest voodoo, and he was fascinated by rumours of caves and treasures which were thought to be hidden somewhere deep under these Drietoma hills. Johannes and his brothers were first educated by their father, and later they attended elementary school in Trenčín. When he was nine, he transferred to the high school in Győr. Talented students, whose parents could afford it in those times, attended studies of either law or theology. Johann also graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Bratislava (Pressburg, 1828–1833), where he studied rhetoric, philosophy and theology. He continued his study of philosophy and law at the Academy in Prešov (1833–1835), and worked as a justice probationer in the Trenčín County Council Office. At that time, in addition to his native Slovak language, he fluently mastered Latin, in which he was educated by his father, Hungarian which he learned in Győr, German language spoken at the Lyceum in Bratislava and also French and English...
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