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Croatian Humanists and the Writing of History in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

  • Michael B. Petrovich

Extract

Modern European historiography was nurtured in the school of Humanism, that attitude of mind, so characteristic of the Renaissance, which broke through the ecclesiastical “fixation” of medieval thought by a renewed appreciation of man and his role in this world. It accomplished this in part by reviving interest in the pagan culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Humanist men of letters looked to the literary and historical works of classical antiquity for their models of outlook and expression, and in these they found both a liberation from medieval modes and a new bondage. Humanism was also cosmopolitan: Humanist poets, scholars, and artists belonged to a Pan-European republic of arts and sciences with an official language of its own—a revived classical Latin. They traveled and mixed freely and lived in each others’ countries.

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References

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1. The first sentence of the standard work by Eduard Fueter reads: “Die neuere Historiographie geht wie andere Gattungen der modernen Literatur vom Humanismus aus ” ( Eduard, Fueter, Geschichte der Neueren Historiographie [Munich and Berlin: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1911], p. 1).

2. Barnes, Harry Elmer, A History of Historical Writing, 2nd ed. rev. (New York: Dover Publications, n.d. [1962]), p. 99.

3. See Viktor, Novak, “The Slavonic-Latin Symbiosis,” Slavonic and East European Review, 32, no. 4 (December 1953): 128.

4. “Die humanistische Historiographie ausserhalb Italiens ist durch die italienischen Geschichtschreiber nicht nur angeregt werden, sondern sie ist ganz und gar von diesen abhangig” (Fueter, Geschichte der Neueren Historiographie, p. 137).

5. Barnes, A History of Historical Writing, p. 114.

6. Fueter, Geschichte der Neueren Historiographie, p. 243.

7. For their names, see the impressive article by Krstić, Kruno, “Humanizam kod Južnih Slavena,” in Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 8 vols. (Zagreb: Leksikografski Zavod, 1955-71), 4: 287–300.

8. For the Latin text and a Croatian translation, see Hrvatski latinisti: Croatia auctores qui latine scripserunt, vol. 1: Is latiniteta 9-14. stoljeća, pisci 15. i 16. stoljeća: Ex momtmentis latinis saec. XV et XVI (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska and Zora, 1969), pp. 670-77.

9. For a discussion of the later, seventeenth-century Croatian Humanist historians, see Michael B., Petrovich, “Dalmatian Historiography in the Age of Humanism,” Medievalia et Humanistica, 12 (1958): 84–103, which deals with a longer span in time, but only with those writers who produced works on specifically Croatian history.

10. Especially in view of the rarity of many of these works, the citations of the first editions of the works by the Croatian Humanist historians discussed here are taken from the authoritative three-volume bibliography, lugoslaviae scriptores latini recentioris aetatis, part 1: Opera scriptorum latinorum natione croatarum usque ad annum MDCCCXLVIII typis edita (Zagreb: Historical Institute, Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1968).

11. For the most authoritative and detailed study of the Chronicle of the Priest of Dioclea in its several versions, including Marulić's Latin translation (with full text given), see Ferdo Šišić, Letopis Popa Dukljanina, Posebna izdanja, book 67, Filosofski i fololoski spisi, book 18 (Belgrade: Srpska Akademija, 1928).

12. For the circumstances surrounding the Florentine edition, see Josip, Torbarina, Italian Influence on the Poets of the Ragusan Republic (London: Williams & Norgate, 1931), pp. 83–84.

13. Miroslav, Kurelac, “Petančić, Feliks,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 6: 474.

14. Iugoslaviae scriptores latini, part 1, fasc. 3, pp. 438-39.

15. Grga Novak, “Dalmacija i Hvar u Pribojevićevo doba,” in Pribojević, Vinko, O podrijetlu i sgodama Slavena; De origine successibusque Slavorum (Zagreb: Jugoslavenska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti, 1951), p. 20.

16. Ibid., p. 17.

17. Mrnavić's plagiarism of Vrančić's biography of Petar Berislavić has been frequently branded, most notably by the learned Italian cleric Alberto Fortis (see Fortis, Viaggio in Dalmaeia [Venice: Presso Alvise Milocco, 1774], pp. 146-47), and by Johann Christian Engel (as cited by Kukuljević-Sakcinski, Ivan in “Ivan Tomko Marnavić,” Arkiv za povjestnicu jugoslavensku, 9 [1868]: 256). For more on Marnavić's propensity for forgery and plagiarism, see Michael B., Petrovich, “How Justinian became a Slav: The Story of a Forgery,” Balkan Studies, 8, no. 1 (1967), especially pp. 19–26.

18. In addition to many references to Matthias Flacius Illyricus by Western writers, there is an especially useful monumental biography of him in Croatian by Mirković, Mijo, Matija Vlačić Ilirik (Zagreb, 1960).

19. Miroslav, Kurelac, “Zavorović, Dinko,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 8: 611.

20. For a description of some of these lost works, see. Kukuljević-Sakcinski, Ivan, “Chronicon breve Regni Croatiae Joannis Tomasich minoritae; Kratak Ljetopis hrvatski Ivana Tomašića malobraćanina,” Arkiv sa povjestnicu jugoslavensku, 9 (1868), especially pp. 3–8.

21. Mihovil, Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjizevnosti do narodnog preporoda, 2nd ed. (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1961, p. 66.

22. Rudolf, Maixner, “Beneša, Matija,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 1: 434.

23. Krstic, , “Humanizam kod Juznih Slavena,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 4: 291.

24. Kukuljević-Sakcinski, “Chronicon breve Regni Croatiae,” pp. 3-34.

25. Miroslav Kurelac, “Nikola-Niksa (Nicolaus Marini Andree, Andretic [Ranjina]),” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 7'A3.

26. Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjisevnosti, pp. 83-84.

27. Grga, Novak, “Cindro (de Cindris), Petar,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 2: 380.

28. The most convenient source for the biographies of these Croatian Humanists is the Enciklopedija Jugoslavijc, whose articles have been written by the leading Croatian scholars in the field of Humanism and neo-Latin literature in Croatia. Still another convenient collection is the second volume in the series Pet stoljeca hrvatske knjizevnosti, entitled Hrvatski latinisti: Croatici auctores qui latine scripserunt, vol. 1: Is latiniteta 9-14. stoljeca, pisci 15. i 16. stoljeca: Ex monumentis latinis saec. IX-XIV, auctores saec. XV et XVI. The biographical sketches and commentaries are by the editors, Veljko Gortan and Vladimir Vratovic.

29. Grga Novak, “Dalmacija i Hvar u Pribojevicevo doba,” in Vincentius, Priboevius, De origine successibusque Slavorum (Zagreb: Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1951), p. 26.

30. For Petancic's early life in Dubrovnik, before his departure for Hungary, see Petar, Kolendic, “Feliks Petancic pre definitivnog odlaska u Ugarsku,” Glas Srpske Akademije Nauka, 236, Odeljenje literature i jezika, 4 (1959), pp. 1–22, offprint.

31. For an excellent bioliography of Marulic's works and their various editions, see Josip, Badalic, “Bibliografija Marulicevih djela i radova o zivotu i djelima Marulicevim,” Zbornik u proslavu petstogodisnjice rodjenja Marka Marulica 1450-1950, vol. 39, ed. Badalic, Josip and Majnaric, Nikola (Zagreb: Djela Jugoslavenske Akademije Znanosti i Umjetnosti, 1950), pp. 311–45, especially the section on Marulic's Latin works, pp. 321-28, and works in translation, pp. 328-32.

32. Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjizevnosti, p. 39; also Mirko, Breyer, O starim i rijetkim jugoslavenskim knjigama (Zagreb: Jugoslavenska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti, 1952), p. 14.

33. For the Latin text and Croatian translation of Kozicic-Benja's address before Pope Leo X, see Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 508-13.

34. Petris, , Delia historia diece [sic] dialoghi di M. Francesco Patritio (Venice: Andrea Arrivabene, 1560 ; Petris, , De legendae scribendaeque historiae ratione dialogi decern ex Italico in Latinum sermonem conversi, trans. Stupano, J. N. (Basel: Henricpetri, 1570.

35. Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjizevnosti, p. 72.

36. Valentin, Putanec, “Leksikografija,” Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, 5: 504.

37. Vladimir, Vratovic, “Antun Vrancic; Antonius Verantius (1504-1573),” Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 602–3. Vratovic states that the prayer, entitled Molitvu koju slozi i govori svaki dan, was published in Nauk krscanski in 1699 by I. T. Mrnavic.

38. “Et quam non solum nostrae vernaculae linguae gnari, sed etiam Latini intelligant ” ( “Marcus Marulus domino Papali s[alutem],” in Sisic, Letopis Popa Dukljanina, p. 382).

39. “Illyricas gentes frater Vincentius, alter Livius …” ( “Leonardi Ales Taurinensis Poetae Laureati Tetrasticon,” in Vincentius Priboevius, De origine successibusque Slavorum, p. 112).

40. See the editor's introduction to the 1796 Italian edition, in Iacopo, Morelli, ed., Delle guerre de'Veneziani nell’ Asia dal MCCCCLXX al MCCCCLXXIIII libri tre di Coriolano Cippico (Venice: Carlo Palese, 1796 , not paginated, but see the first two paragraphs.

41. Ibid., paragraph 3.

42. Mirkovic, Matija Vlacic Ilirik, p. 330.

43. Barnes, A History of Historical Writing, p. 37.

44. “S. Broderithi Descriptio cladis Mohacziensis recognita a J. Sambuco,” in Antonius, Bonfinius, Rerum Ungaricarum decades quator cum dimidia, denuo recognita, emendata et aucta (Frankfort: Apud A. Wechelum, 1581).

45. Vladimir, Vratovic, “Ludovik Crijevic Tuberon; Ludovicus Cerva Tubero (1459- 1527),” in Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, p. 321.

46. Ibid., p. 323.

47. Ludovici Tuberonis, Dalmatiae Abbatis, Commentariorum de temporibus suis, book 10, in Schwandtnerus, Ioannis Georgius, ed., Scriptores Rerum Hungaricorum, vol. 2 (Vienna: Ioannis Paulus Kraus, 1746, pp. 331–32 ; also in Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 340- 49, in Latin and in Croatian translation.

48. “Antonius Wrancius de Georgii Utissenii, Fratris appellati, vita et rebus commentarius,” in V erancsics Antal Osszes munkai, vol. 1, ed. Szalay, Laszlo (Monumenta Hungariae Historica, Magyar tortenelmi emlekek [Pest, 1857]), p. 17.

49. See Grga Novak's edition of Vincentiils Priboevius, De origine successibusque Slavorum, entitled Vinko Pribojevic, O podrijetlu i zgodama Slavena (Zagreb: Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1951) with Pribojevic's marginal notes, and Novak's discussion of sources in his introduction, especially p. 26.

50. Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjizevnosti, p. 83.

51. See Vrancic, De situ Transsylvaniae, Moldaviae et Transalpinae in L. Szalay's edition of Vrancic's collected works, Verancsics Antal Osszes munkai, vol. 1, pp. 119-51; see also Vrancic, De itinere et legatione sua Constantinopolitana Antonii Verantii Dialogus (or Dialogus Verancii cum jratre suo Michaele), ibid., pp. 268-88. Both selections are also to be found in the edition by Kovachich, Martinus Georgius, Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum Minores, vol. 2 (Buda: Typis Regiae Universitatis, 1798), pp. 82–114, 15776 , respectively. His Iter Buda Hadrianopolim anno MDLIII was published as an appendix to Alberto Fortis, Viaggio in Dalmazia. It is gratifying to note that Fortis's important book was republished two hundred years later, in 1974 (Munich and Sarajevo: Verlag Otto Sagner and Izdavacko preduzece “Veselin Masleia” ).

52. The best assessment of Pribojevic's work is that by Grga Novak, in his editor's introduction to Pribojevic's De origine successibusque Slavorum, pp. 9-43.

53. “XXVIII. Andronicus Tranquillusnak Verancsics Antal,” in Verancsics Antal Osszes munkai, vol. 7 (Pest, 1865), pp. 50-51. Excerpts may also be found in Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 624-27, in Vladimir Vratovic's Croatian translation.

54. “CVIII. Strada Jakabnak Verancsics Antal,” in Verancsics Antal Osszes munkai, vol. 7, pp. 281-82, 283. Excerpts may also be found in Hravtski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 628-31 ( “V. Antonius Verancius, Episcopus Agriensis, praeclaro viro et antiquitatis studioso Iacobo Stradae S. D.” ) in Zdeslav Dukat's Croatian translation.

55. Mirkovic, Matija Vlacic Ilirik, p. 206.

56. Ibid., especially chapters 14 and 15 passim.

57. “Epistola ad Adrianum VI. Pont. Max.; Maximo Pontifici Adriano VI, M. Marulus Spalatensis humilis ac supplex,” in Hrvatski latinisti, vol. 1, pp. 308-13, excerpts in Croatian translation by Veljko Gortan. The earliest edition of this letter is entitled Epistola domini Marci Marulli Spalatensis ad Adrianum VI. p.m. de calamitatibus occurrentibus et exhortatio ad communem omnium Christianorum unionem et pacem (Rome: Per B.V., 1522), 8 folio pages.

58. In eos, qui beatum Hieronymum Italutn esse contendunt, published in Lucie, Ivan [Lucius], De regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae libri sex (Amsterdam: Apud Joannem Blaeu, 1666.

59. Mirkovic, Matija Vlacic Ilirik, p. 322.

60. Pribojevic, De origine successibusque Slavorum, p. 66.

61. Ibid., part 1, passim, especially pp. 59 ff.

62. Bartholomaeo Hongaro, Georgii [Bartol Djurdjevic], De afflictione tarn captivorum quam etiam sub Turcae tributo viventium Christianorum (Antwerp: Typis Copenii, 1544 , no pagination, but see the last page.

63. Ludovici Tuberonis, Dalmatiae Abbatis, Commentariorum de temporibus suis, book 6, pp. 221-23.

64. Slavko, Jezic, Hrvatska knjisevnost od pocetka do danas 1100-1941 (Zagreb: A. Velzek, 1944), p. 53.

65. Kombol, Povijest hrvatske knjizevnosti, p. 79.

66. Ferdo, Sisic, Prirucnik izvora hrvatske historije (Enchiridion Fontium Historia Croaticae), vol. 1 (Zagreb, 1914), p. 39.

67. The Serbo-Croatian translation of Mavro Orbin, Kraljevstvo Slovena, trans. Zdravko Sundrica (Belgrade: Srpska Knjizevna Zadruga, 1968) must be noted with pleasure. This edition contains very useful studies and commentaries by Miroslav Pantic, Radovan Samardzic, Franjo Barisic, and Sima Cirkovic.

68. Michael Petrovich, “Dalmatian Historiography in the Age of Humanism,” pp. 84-103, passim.

Croatian Humanists and the Writing of History in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

  • Michael B. Petrovich

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