Jakub Jan Ryba (1765—1815) was the greatest figure among the Czech teachers of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. He was a pedagogue, musician, composer and writer. He expressed his views on the one hand in his moralizing songs for schools and in his Funeral Songs, on the other hand in his poetry and prose with a purpose. Ryba was acquainted ¡with old Czech literature as well as with classical Latin philosophy, so that even mutual parallels are to be found in his views. He wanted to re-educate a backward people, he fought against superstition and expounded in a natural way the phenomena of nature. The question of morality was the focus of his reflections, and therefore according to him a good Christian is neither a bigot nor a dogmatist, but a law-abiding citizen, tolerant in questions of religion, nationality and race. He passed through several phases of development, from a baroque-feudal thinker to enlightened rationalism and further to the early romanticism of our national revival. Thus he met with many contradictions but his endeavour always was: to educate a worthy member of human society in a progressive spirit.