THE BRITISH LIBRARY

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7 posts categorized "Croatia"

23 February 2015

The Champion of Slavonic Peoples: the Andrija Kačić Miošić collection in the British Library

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Andrija Kačić Miošić (1704-1760) was a Franciscan friar, reader in theology and philosophy at religious schools in Venetian Dalmatia, and a national poet. He wrote three works in his lifetime, all printed in Venice: Elementa peripatethica juxta mentem subtilissimi doctoris Joannis Duns Scoti in 1752, a philosophical textbook derived from the works of John Duns Scotus; Razgovor ugodni naroda slovinskoga (‘Pleasant Conversation of the Slavonic People’); and Korabglicza (‘Little Ark’), a collection of biblical stories and Slavonic chronicles from the beginning of the world to his time which was his last work, published in 1760. The most important of these, for which he is best known, is Razgovor ugodni, an epic history of the Slavonic peoples in prose and in 136 epic poems, first published in 1756 with a definitive second edition in 1759.

T.p. V1                             Title page of Razgovor ugodni  (Vienna, 1836). RB.23.b.7396 (vol. 1)

The significance of Razgovor ugodni lies not in its literary merit but in the influence it had on generations of Slavonic people in the Balkans. Kačić Miošić wrote mainly in the Ikavian (ikavica) variant of the Štokavian dialect in Latin script, a language which the common people could read and understand as their own everyday spoken language. The Štokavian dialect became the foundation of the literary languages developed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia in the 19th century.

Razgovor ugodni aimed to instruct and inspire the people of the Balkans by their glorious past and to instil the values of national heroism and confidence in the struggle against the Turks. Kačić Miošić wanted the people to remember who they were and where they came from as the important legacy of their honourable past. His poetry did not aim to achieve literary heights, nor did his prose strive for historical accuracy based on documentary evidence. He drew mainly on the available Latin, Italian and Croatian printed sources, as well as on the scarce historical records, but his true inspiration came from his enthusiasm for the Slavonic peoples, especially his admiration for their common efforts in the long struggle against the Turks in the Balkans over a period of two centuries. Kačić Miošić travelled extensively to learn at first-hand about this struggle from people who had orally preserved their national tradition, myths and legends and passed them on for generations. His poetry celebrates the unity, endurance, dignity and faith of the Slavonic peoples and their allies against their oppressors and laments those who have not yet set themselves free.  

T.p. V2
Title page of Razgovor ugodni: ‘Serbsko-dalmatinske vitežke narodne pjesme’. RB.23.b.7396 (vol.2)

Razgovor ugodni was therefore inspired by the idealised history, folk tradition and myth of the Slavonic peoples which Kačić Miošić presented passionately to his readers in stylized decasyllabic verses modelled on national folk poetry. No book before or since has seen more editions in Croatian literature. It was referred to as ‘the people’s songbook’ and became an all-time favourite, printed in 64 known editions from 1756 to 2011. Kačić Miošić was the first Croatian writer to whom a monument was erected, in Zagreb in 1891. Razgovor ugodni was printed in 12 Cyrillic editions from 1807 to 1939.

FrontCoverV1
Front cover of the volume 1 of the ‘Imperial edition’ of Razgovor ugodni. Vienna, 1836) RB.23.b.7396

In 1836 one Venceslav Juraj Dunder (a pseudonym for Vjekoslav Babukić published the 10th edition of Razgovor ugodni in Vienna as ‘Novo Vandanje’. An elegant and richly decorated two-volume bibliophile copy of this edition named ‘Carsko Vandanje’, (the imperial edition), was beautifully printed on fine paper with gilded edges, and decorated with an ornament on each page. The volumes were bound by C. G. Müllner’s workshop in Vienna in calf leather, blocked in colours with gilt and black tooling with leaf corner-pieces. (For a more detailed description see the British Library database of bookbindings.)  This ‘imperial edition’ was not a complete edition of Razgovor ugodni. It includes 58 poems from the definitive 1759 edition.

MSCyrillicManuscript inscription in Russian with a dedication to Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia. RB.23.b.7396, volume 2

This unique copy of Razgovor ugodni was produced as a presentation copy for Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. In the period of national revivals in 1830-40s Kačić Miošić was celebrated and reprinted as a national poet whose vision was the Slavonic peoples’ interdependence and the common purpose of unity and collaboration for cultural and political progress, freedom and emancipation. It is evident from this presentation copy that Dunder shared Kačić Miošić’s sentiments and his understanding of the mutual Slavonic ties and goals.

MSLatinDunder’s autograph inscription in Croatian dedicated to Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia. RB.23.b.7396, volume 2

There are three manuscript inscriptions in the second volume on ornamented flyleaves. The first is in Russian, dated 24 June 1835 and recommending the book to the Tsar as a learned work created in the “Slavonic homeland.” The second is a Croatian dedication to the Tsar, and the third is Dunder’s six-page discussion of the “Serbo-Illyrian language” and the correct reading of the new orthography.

  MSInstructions
Dunder’s text on the new Serbo-Croatian orthography which he promoted, RB.23.b.7396, volume 2


Stamp Tsarskoe Selo1Both volumes bear the stamp “Bibliothèque de Tsarskoe Selo” (left) which reveals the book to have been part of the private library of Tsar Nicholas I at Tsarskoe Selo near St Petersburg. It must have left the Russian Imperial Library in or before 1933 as it was advertised for sale on 20-21 June 1933, with other treasures from Austrian and Russian Imperial libraries, by the auction house of Gilhofer and Ranschburg. It is entry no. 227 in the catalogue of the sale (11910.t.27.) and images of the front cover and spine of volume one are shown in plate 21. The book was valued at 160 Swiss francs. The Zagreb daily Obzor reported on the auction and appealed to the public to raise 2000 Yugoslav dinars for the purchase of “the lavish edition” of Kačić Miošić.

Razgovor ugodni was partly translated into Latin by Emericus Pavić (1716-1780), a Franciscan from Buda, in 1764 (Descriptio soluta et rythmica regum, banorum, cæterorumque heroum Slavinorum seu Illyricorum; 9475.b.9.). This translation led to a wider interest in Kačić Miošić’s works. Alberto Fortis’s translations into Italian from Razgovor ugodni introduced Kačić Miošić’s poems to Western readers for the first time during the Romantic period.  

The British Library holds a significant collection of Razgovor ugodni collected over a period of over 160 years, from 1847 to the present day. This comprises nine 19th century editions of Razgovor ugodni, seven in Latin and two in Cyrillic scripts:

Dubrovnik, 1826; RB.31.b.368. A facsimile reprint of an 1801 Venice edition, with an additional poem “Pisma od Napoleona” (Letters from Napoleon);

Vienna, 1836; RB.23.b.7396. The ‘imperial edition’, discussed above;

Zadar 1846; 12264.aa.10.

Zagreb, 1851; 11303.l.25. A inexpensive edition called “Pjesme” (Poems) printed in the spirit of Kačić Miošić to be affordable by ordinary people;

Zagreb, 1862; 12265.cc.6. Another inexpensive edition with Babukić’s introduction revealing that he had prepared Razgovor ugodni for publication in Vienna in 1836 under the pseudonym “V. J. Dunder”

Zagreb, 1876; 11586.df.18. The first of several of Lavoslav Hartman’s (later Kugli and Deutsch, then St[jepan] Kugli) editions;

Zagreb, 1886; 011586.ff.55

The first of the two Cyrillic editions that the library holds (011586.f.74.) printed in Zemun in 1849-50 in two volumes with the title  Србско-народне витежке пјесме (‘Serbian-folk chivalrous poems’), is a selection from Razgovor ugodni.  The other (012265.e.5/81.) was printed in Pančevo in 1890 in the Braće Jovanović bookshop’s popular series Narodna biblioteka (National library) and was presented together with 250 books from this series to the Library by the Serbian Legation in 1920.

There are four 20th-century editions of Razgovor ugodni in the Library of which it is worth mentioning a critical edition of both the  1756 and 1759 editions,  published in Zagreb in 1942 (Ac.741/14.); and a 1946 edition (11588.bb.8.) which was one of 500 Yugoslav books donated by the Yugoslav government to the Library in April 1948.

The Library also holds a critical edition of the 1760 edition of Kačić Miošić’s Korabljica (Little Ark) published in 1945 (Ac.741/14.). We continue to collect works by and about Kačić Miošić as a highlight of our Croatian collections. The most recent acquisitions include a new critical edition of Razgovor ugodni (Zagreb, 2006: YF.2007.a.19001).

Milan Grba, Curator South-Eastern European Collections

Digital versions of Razgovor ugodni

Trieste [i.e. Dubrovnik], 1831 (from the National Library of Austria)

Dubrovnik, 1839 (from the National Library of Austria)

Vienna, 1836 [vol. two only] (from the National Library of the Czech Republic)

Zadar, 1851 (from the University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Zagreb, 1862 (from Harvard University)


Digital versions of Korabglicza

Venice, 1782 (from the National Library of the Czech Republic)

Dubrovnik, 1833 (from the National Library of the Czech Republic) 

 

References

Fortunato Karaman, Andrija Kačić Miošić e i suoi canti. (Pula, 1889). 11840.aaa.25.(6.)

Danilo A. Živaljević, “Andrija Kačić Miošić slovinski pesnik”. Letopis matice srpske, 1892, III, 171, pp. 1-36. Ac.8984.

Vojislav M. Jovanović, “Deux traductions inédites d’Albert Fortis”. Archiv für Slavische Philologie, 1909, Bd. xxx. Hft. 4. Sonderabdruck, [586]-596. 011586.g.94.(5.).

Nikola Žic, “Carsko izdanje Kačićeva razgovora” . Obzor, 1933, 147, p. 3. MFM.MF693

Gašpar Bujas, Kačićevi imitatori u Makarskom primorju do polovine 19. stoljeća. (Zagreb, 1971). Ac.741/19[30]

Francesco Saverio Perillo, Rileggendo Kačić: tra storia e folklore. (Bari, 1979). YF.2004.a.17241

Andriia Kachich Mioshich i bŭlgarite. Editor Rumiana Bozhilova. (Sofia, 2000). YF.2012.a.21898

Stipe Botica, Andrija Kačić Miošić. (Zagreb, 2003). Includes a bibliography of Andrija Kačić Miošić (pp. [269]-319). YF.2005.a.29437

Fra Andrija Kačić Miošić i kultura njegova doba. Editor Dunja Fališevac. (Zagreb, 2007). YF.2008.a.10573







06 February 2015

Love it or hate it!

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Across much of Europe it is carnival time.  Another year of sheer fun and exuberance.  Although its exact timing varies from place to place, the main events usually take place during February. The old, pagan tradition was for evil spirits to be shooed away in anticipation of the new spring cycle.  In later times these rituals were frowned upon by the Christian Church but tolerated when they took place in the period before the beginning of Lent.  A central feature has always been masks and masquerading.  They provided a way for people to try to understand and exert influence on their natural surroundings.  Some also believed that masks had magical powers allowing wearers to connect with their ancestors and with the spirit world. 

Carnival Čoroje Image 1802
Čoroje, a carnival character from the Dubrovnik region in the early 19th century From Notizie istorico-critiche sulle antichità, storia e letteratura de' Ragusei (Ragusa, 1802) British Library 10129.ee.18.

Slovenia and Croatia are two countries where the traditions are preserved and interest remains strong.  Slovenia’s major event is the festival Kurentovanje, held in Ptuj, its oldest city.  Here the central carnival figure in the parades is the Kurent, a high-spirited demon, dressed in sheepskin.  The leather masks of Kurents from different villages will have their own individual features but most are decorated with colourful flowers and ribbons, and with prominent long red tongues.   Attached to the costumes are cow bells and as the Kurents pass through the streets they shake their bodies to sound the bells.

  Carnival Kurentovanje Ptuj 2014
Kurents at the 2014 Kurentovanje in Ptuj.

They also carry sticks with hedgehog skins attached to the tips.  The origin of the Kurent is not completely understood but its purpose appears to have been to chase away winter and bring good fortune to the countryside for the season ahead.  As well as participating in the parades, groups of Kurents visit houses and farms in the area.  Where they are welcomed they will bring good luck, where they are not, they roll themselves on the ground and this means bad luck will follow.  The Kurent has inspired authors and artists alike. 

Carnival France Mihelič Book cover
France Mihelič’s painting of a Kurent. From Milček Komelj, Miheličev Kurent : zgodba o živem mitu. (Ljubljana, 2002.) LF.31.b.6232

For those who cannot attend the carnival itself, the museum in Ptuj castle has an excellent permanent display of masks and costumes. 

In Croatia in more recent times the festive season of carnival has become punctuated by masked balls and parades like the one in the city of Rijeka.  Of its older customs, the best preserved are the Zvončari, the bell men, now included in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Croatian town of Kastav and its surrounding area are home to the Zvončari.  The rich ethnographic history of this area is somewhat comically described in Ivo Jardas’s Kastavština, written in Chakavian dialect.  The Zvončari are best known as performers of pagan carnival magic. 

Carnival Zvončari from village of Veli Brgud2
Zvončari from village of Veli Brgud. © Larisa Afrić

On their visits to neighbouring villages they move in rows of two or three, merging towards each other, sounding their huge bells.  The sound is overwhelming and leaves one with a mixture of feelings, from excitement and fear, to curiosity and thrills.  On their backs they wear long sheep fur while their hats, klobuk or krabujosnica, are the real sign of the spring to come.  Abundantly colourful displays of hand-made, paper flowers are interspersed with fir tree or asparagus branches, and ribbons.  The hats were first introduced after the First World War, when one half of the Kastav region fell under Italian rule and animal-like masks were banned.  This explains why today Zvončari from the west wear hats and Zvončari from the east wear the masks.  Although over the years the nuances of costume went through many a transformation, the custom itself looks like it’s here to stay.   

  Carnival Petar Kurschner Photography
Carnival. © Petar Kürschner Photography, reproduced with permission

Lora Afric, Cataloguer Southern Slavonic Langauges, and Barbara Hawes, Curator Scandinavian Studies

Further Reading:

Niko Kuret, Maske slovenskih pokrajin. (Ljubljana, 1984.)  X.421/27014

O pustu, maskah in maskiranju: razprave in gradiva. (Ljubljana, 2003.)  YF.2011.a.21529

Ivo Jardas, Kastavština: građa o narodnom životu i običajima u kastavskom govoru, in Zbornik za narodni život i običaje, knj. 39. (Zagreb, 1957.) Ac.741/15

Lidija Nikočević, Zvončari i njihovi odjeci. (Novi Vinodolski, Zagreb, Pazin, 2014.) YF.2015.a.2654

Gary Edson, Masks and masking: faces of tradition and belief worldwide. (London, 2005.)  YC.2006.b.904

Masque et carnaval dans la litterature europeenne,  ed. Edward Welch. (Paris, 2002.)  YA.2003.a.11995. 

05 November 2014

Hero of Montevideo: Ivo Lapenna in memoriam

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IVOLAPENNA19664

On 10 December 2014 Esperantists worldwide will be reflecting on the 60th anniversary of the Montevideo Resolution. This resolution in support of Esperanto was passed by the General Conference of UNESCO in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 10 December 1954, and authorised the Director-General “to follow current developments in the use of Esperanto in education, science and culture, and, to this end, to co-operate with the Universal Esperanto Association in matters concerning both organizations”. The Montevideo Resolution would not have been possible without enormous efforts by a great enthusiast for the international language, Ivo Lapenna (photo above with kind permission from the  Lapenna Foundation). 

The conference in Montevideo produced poems about its heroes and anti-heroes in Esperanto (by William Auld, Kalman Kalocsay, Reto Rosetti, Marjorie Boulton  and Geraldo Mattos). Photographs from the conference  and poems about it are to be found here. The “anti-hero of Montevideo” - Danish philologist Andreas Blinkenberg, who opposed the acceptance of the resolution -  lives on forever  in Esperanto poetry and spoken language (blinkenbergo).

Ivo Lapenna was born on 5 November 1909. A native of Split (then the part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), he received a very good education and in 1933 gained his PhD in Law in Zagreb and later became a professor of International Law at Zagreb University. During the Second World War Lapenna worked for the Resistance Forces. In 1949 he emigrated from Yugoslavia to Britain via France, became a British citizen in 1962, and worked as a professor of law in London. He was also a qualified teacher of the cello.

IVOLAPENNAVIOLONCHELIST21Ivo Lapenna playing cello (With kind permission from the Lapenna-Foundation)

The British Library holds books written and edited by Ivo Lapenna in various languages. The oldest of these was published in Croatian in Zagreb, then in Yugoslavia: Ujedinjene Nacije (‘The United Nations’; Zagreb, 1946; 8012.aa.23). Books about law in English followed in the 1960s: State and Law: Soviet and Yugoslav theory (London, 1964; 8184.d.47/1) and Soviet penal policy: A background book (London, 1968; X.208/864). By the time of writing the last book Ivo Lapenna held the title of “Reader in Soviet Law, London School of Economics and The School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London”.

Lapenna learned Esperanto as a teenager in 1928 and was an energetic and outspoken promoter of the language all his life. In 1955 he became General Secretary of the Universala Esperanto Asocio (UEA/World Esperanto Association) and between 1964 and 1974 served as its President. He was not re-elected during the 59th World Congress of Esperanto  in Hamburg in 1974, which created a lot of friction amongst Esperantists. Lapenna himself called the events in Hamburg “the communist putsch”. His colourful and complicated personality continues to provoke discussions in the Esperanto world up to the present day. Although Esperanto was planned by Zamenhof as a “neutral language” for all, the World Esperanto Association was functioning in the real world, and during the Cold War tensions amongst various national Esperanto associations sometime rose very high. Even the article about Ivo Lapenna in the Esperanto-language Vikipedio  gives a warning about the “non-neutrality of the article”.  

There are, however, a few things that all Esperantists do agree about Lapenna: he was an outstanding orator and the first author of a book about the art of oratory in Esperanto. His Retoriko (‘Oratory’; Paris, 1950) was republished several times (the British Library holds the second and third editions: Rotterdam, 1958; X5/5240 and Rotterdam, 1971; YF.2011.a.24046). An example of one of Ivo Lapenna’s presentations in Esperanto is available here. 

BOOKSBYLAPENNAMost of the books written and compiled by Lapenna, among them the monumental encyclopedic work (written in collaboration with Ulrich Lins and Tazio Carlevaro) Esperanto en perspektivo: faktoj kaj analizoj pri la internacia lingvo (‘Esperanto in Perspective: Facts and Analyses about the International Language’; London-Rotterdam, 1974;) are in Esperanto and about Esperanto. The British Library Esperanto Collections  hold the following books:

Elektitaj paroladoj kaj prelegoj (‘Selected Talks and Lectures’; two editions: Rotterdam, 1966; YF.2005.a.664; and Rotterdam, 2009; YF.2010.a.877);

Kritikaj studoj defende de Esperanto (‘Critical Studies in Defence of Esperanto’; Copenhagen, 1987; YF.2006.b.2670);

Hamburgo en retrospektivo : dokumentoj kai materialoj pri la kontraŭneŭtraleca politika konspiro en UEA (‘Hamburg in retrospective: documents and materials about the anti-neutrality political conspiracy in the UEA’; 2nd edition; Copenhagen, 1977; YF.2008.a.11937);

La Internacia Lingvo: faktoj pri Esperanto (‘The International Language; Facts on Esperanto’; London, 1954; F9/8716);

Aktualaj problemoj de la nuntempa internacia vivo (‘Current Problems of Contemporary International Life’; Rotterdam, 1952; YF.2010.a.16344).

Some of his books were translated into other languages. The whole bibliography of the original works and their translations is available in: Concise Encyclopedia of the Original Literature of Esperanto  by Geoffrey Sutton (New York, 2008; YC.2008.a.12495).

After his retirement Ivo Lapenna moved to Denmark. Even the date of his death – 15 December 1987 – the year of the 100th anniversary of La Unua Libro  – is linked to the love of his life, Esperanto: Zamenhof was born on 15 December. Books and pamphlets in his memory appeared soon after his death: Memore al Ivo lapenna (‘Ivo Lapenna in Memoriam’; Copenhagen, 1988; YF.2010.a.9052);  Eseoj memore al Ivo Lapenna (Essays in memory of Ivo Lapenna; Copenhagen, 2001; awaiting shelfmark). In 1984 the Lapenna Foundation was created in Copenhagen, aiming to keep alive the memory of Ivo Lapenna’s outstanding life, to promote the international language Esperanto, and to contribute to respect for human rights worldwide.


Olga Kerziouk, Curator Esperanto Studies

04 June 2014

Marko Marulić and the Croatian Latin Heritage

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The Balkan Day Seminar at the British Library on 13 June will celebrate among others the life and literary accomplishments of Marko Marulić (Marcus Marulus Spalatensis, 1450-1524)  who was the central figure of a humanist circle from Split and the most highly-praised Croatian personality of his time. Marulić has remained an inspiration to many generations in Croatia up to the present day, an author of considerable international influence and standing.

Marulić wrote mainly treatises on Christian morality drawing on the scriptures, and as a lay person of wide interests he found inspiration for his work in ancient scholarship and in humanist literature. Marulić’s significant and long-lasting legacy consists of Latin and Croatian epic poetry.

De Institutione
 Title page of De institutione bene uiuendi per exempla sanctorum  (Basle, 1513), British Library 1412.f.30. (1.).

De institutione bene uiuendi per exempla sanctorum (‘Instructions on How to Lead a Virtuous Life Based on the Examples of the Saints’), is a collection of moral tales and anecdotes from the Old and New Testaments. The first edition was printed in Venice in 1507. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was printed in 15 known editions, giving proof of the popularity of this book. The above is a title page of the printer Adam Petri’s exquisite 1513 edition.

Euangelistarium
Title page of Euangelistarium (Cologne, 1529) 843.k.13.

Euangelistarium (Evangelistary) is a seven-book treatise on Christian ethics, considered as Marulić’s main theological work and printed in 15 known 16th century editions. The copy pictured above, printed by Eucharius Cervicornus in Cologne in 1529, belonged to Henry VIII and contains his manuscript notes; it came to the British (Museum) Library as part of the Old Royal Library.

Henry VIII notes_one page
Henry VIII’s annotations in his copy of the Evangelistary (843.k.13.), with marginal notes and a drawing of a pointing hand to highlight the printed text, which reveals the king’s interest in theology

De Humilitate
Title page of Marulić’s De humilitate et gloria Christi (4805.b.28.)

De humilitate et gloria Christi (‘Christ’s Humility and Glory’) is Marulić’s third major work on moral theology, printed with the aim of providing useful examples for a virtuous life. The copy pictured above  was printed in Venice by Bernardino Vitali in 1519.

Latin was used in the Croatian lands until the mid-19th century, when the vernacular gradually replaced it in administration and as a literary language. Šime Jurić’s Latin bibliography, Iugoslaviae scriptores Latini recentioris aetatis: Pars 1, Opera scriptorum Latinorum natione Croatarum usque ad annum MDCCCXLVIII typis edita (Zagreb, 1968-71, ZF.9.b.735), lists over 4500  Croatian Latin works and works about Croatia to 1848. Croatiae auctores Latini, a digital collection of Croatian Latinists and Latin texts about Croatia, provides information on about 180 authors and Latin texts from a 10th-century epitaph to Ton Smerdel’s collection of poems Pontes lucentes (Zagreb, 1962, 11566.a.10.) and Ivan Golub’s Latin poems published in 1984. Over 50 Croatian Latin writers of all periods are represented in the British Library collection in the original and in subsequent editions and reprints.

‘Carmen de doctrina Domini nostri Iesu Christi pendentis in cruce’ (‘A Dialogue between a Christian and Christ hanging on the Cross’) is a poem originally printed in the first edition of Marulić’s De institutione (Venice, 1507) and reprinted afterwards in all the Latin editions as an appendix. It was translated into English by Philip Howard (St Philip Howard), 13th earl of Arundel (1557-95)  and serves as an introduction to his translation of An Epistle in the person of Christ to the faithfull soule by Johannes Justus Lansperger, which was secretly printed in England some time before 1595; the British Library’s copy (1019.c.35.) is pictured below. 

Carmen de doctrina

In the late 15th and early 16th century poetry evolved in Croatian  in addition to  Latin. Marulić is the author of the first printed secular work in Croatian, an epic, Judita, based on the Book of Judith, ‘u versih hrvacki složena’ (‘in Croatian verses’), printed in Venice in 1521. Judita is written in the Ikavian variant of the Čakavian dialect (čakavsko-ikavski). Marulić wrote this epic for people who couldn’t understand Latin: ‘Tuj historiju čtući, ulize mi u pamet da ju stumačim našim jazikom, neka ju budu razumiti i oni ki nisu naučni knjige latinske aliti djačke.’  

A digital version of Judita (Venice 1522, 2nd edition) is available from the Croatian National and University Library digital heritage.

Autograph
Vita Divi Hieronymi (Life of St Jerome) is an autograph work by Marulić dating from 1507. This is the title leaf of a codex on fine vellum which comprises 42 folios held in the British Library (Add. MS 18.029).

For further information about Marulić, his bibliography and digital versions of his works, visit The Marulianum Marko Marulić Institute in Split, Croatia. For the British Library’s holdings see our Marulić catalogue.

Milan Grba, Lead Curator Southeast European Studies


References:

Marko Marulić, Judita. S drvorezima i inicijalima iz drugog izdanja, 1522. Predgovor napisao M. Kombol. Tekst Judite i tumač Marcela Kušara revidirao V. Štefanić. (Zagreb, 1950) 11588.g.10.

Branko Franolić, Works of Croatian Latinists recorded in the British Library General Catalogue. 2nd, enlarged ed. (Zagreb, New York, c1998). 2719.e.3669.

A. Clarke, ‘Henry VIII and Marko Marulić’s Evangelistarium’ Colloquia Maruliana 20 (2011), pp. 167-175.  ZF.9.a.2999

M. Grba, ‘Marko Marulic and the British Library’ Colloquia Maruliana 20 (2011), pp. 197-226.


30 May 2014

A collection of Primož Trubar Slovenian and Croatian Protestant books in the British Library

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Trubar_portrait
Woodcut portrait of Primož Trubar by Jacob Lederlein printed in Trubar’s translation of the New Testament, (Tübingen, 1582; 2nd edition, British Library C.110.b.7.).

Primož Trubar (or Primus Truber, 1508-1586) was the founder of the Slovenian literary language, a Protestant priest and a leader of the Protestant Reformation in the Slovenian lands. Trubar was the author of the first printed book in the Slovenian language, a Catechism and Primer (Tübingen, 1550) intended for the education of all Slovenians.

Trubar’s literary and cultural legacy will be celebrated at the forthcoming Balkan Day seminar at the British Library on 13 June 2014.

As a Protestant priest Trubar believed that religious books should be written in a language that people could read and understand. He based the Slovenian literary language on the central Slovenian dialect spoken in his birthplace near Ljubljana, the provincial capital of Carniola. Trubar’s literary engagement becomes all the more important knowing that before him the Slovenian literary tradition was virtually non-existent and the German language was progressively introduced in administration and in church services in place of Latin. Trubar’s literary and educational activities aimed at the Slovenian people had achieved a long-term impact on the Slovenian national written heritage and cultural tradition during and long after the suppression of Protestant church activities in the Slovenian lands.  

New Testament_1557
Title page of Trubar’s New Testament (Tübingen, 1557-77; C.110.e.6.), featuring the emblem of Trubar’s Tübingen printer Morchart: a lamb standing on a defeated dragon, holding a ‘Victoria’ banner.

The image above is a title page of Trubar’s main work, a translation of the New Testament, which he accomplished over a period of 20 years from 1557 to 1577. Trubar used Latin for the Slovenian alphabet which most people could read and write. The only differences between Latin and Slovenian scripts were the new characters in the Slovenian Latin script for Slovenian sounds which did not exist in Latin and German languages. On the title page above, sh represents Slovenian sounds š and ž.

Trubar’s total output as an author, translator and editor consists of 26 Slovenian books; his last work was printed posthumously in 1595. His heterogeneous work included catechisms, primers, poems, prayers, devotional books, parts of the Old and New Testaments, theological interpretations, and a book of Protestant regulations. His opus is nearly a half of the total Slovenian Protestant book production of about 56 books. The Slovenian and Croatian Protestant books which survived the Counter-Reformation period are very rare today,  preserved in  only a small number of copies.

The British Library holds 13 of Trubar’s most important books, including the complete New Testament and the Catechism (Tübingen, 1575; C.110.b.6.) in Slovenian Latin, and in the Croatian Cyrillic and Glagolitic  alphabets. Some of Trubar’s books (C.110.a.15.(1- 4)) came to the Library in 1753 as part of the foundation collection of Sir Hans Sloane, but the majority were acquired in the 1840s and the last acquisition of an original edition by Trubar, a complete New Testament in Cyrillic (Urach, 1563, C.51.e.8.), a valuable and extremely rare book, was in 1953.

The Library’s collection of Trubar’s books is also very important for the study of Croatian Protestant literature and culture in the 16th century. Baron Hans von Ungnad, Freiherr von Sonnegg (1493-1564), a former provincial governor of Styria (Štajerska in Slovene), established a Bible Institute with a printing press in Urach near Tübingen (1560-1564). Trubar was appointed as a director of the Institute which employed nine people. Its  main aim was to produce Protestant books and to spread the Gospel to people of all faiths in Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and as far as Constantinople. To achieve this goal Trubar employed two Croatian Protestants, Stjepan Konzul Istranin (1521-1579) and Antun Dalmatin (d.1579), who translated his religious works into Croatian in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets. To complement this South-Slavonic enterprise, two Serbian Orthodox monks from Serbia and Bosnia, Matija Popović and Jovan Maleševac, were employed to proofread the Cyrillic script of Konzul’s and Dalmatin’s translations.

Glagolitic
 A Glagolitic alphabet presented in four slightly different forms for study and spelling of the alphabet (Urach, 1561, C.110.a.15.(3.))

Cyrillic
A Cyrillic alphabet presented in four slightly different forms for study and spelling of the alphabet (Urach, 1561, C.110.a.15.(2.))

The British Library holds nine items from the Urach press in Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts, all the Konzul and Dalmatin translations of Trubar’s works: Catechism and Primer (1561, C.110.a.15(1-4)), translations of Liturgical Epistles and Gospels (1562, C.65.l.9.), a compilation from the Augsburg Confession (1562, C.27.e.8. and C.27.e.10.), and the translation of the New Testament (1563, C.24.a.18. and C.51.e.8.). The books of the Urach press which bear the Tübingen imprint are of great bibliographic rarity and, although printed in about 25,000 copies, only about 250 are known to have survived to the present day in some 50 European collections.

Tabla za dicu
 The title page of Trubar’s Primer which included a small catechism, Tabla za dicu, in Dalmatin’s translation and transcription into Cyrillic in the Ikavian (ikavica) variant of the Čakavian dialect of the Croatian language in Cyrillic script, considered also as Western Cyrillic.

Istranin and Dalmatin
Trubar’s collaborators ‘STEPHAN, CONSUL, ISTRIANUS : 41:’ and ‘ANTONIUS, DALMATA, EXUL’; images from from the binding of of the 1563 Urach New Testament (1563, C.24.a.18.).

The Library also holds a significant collection works about Trubar and Slovenian Protestant books and culture in the 16th century, acquired over a period of 170 years from 1844 to the present day. The collection includes works about Trubar in Slovenian, German and other languages; reprints and facsimile and bibliophile editions of Trubar’s works; and other primary source materials such as correspondence; there are transcriptions into modern languages and translations, collections and anthologies, fiction and poetry, biographies and bibliographies, exhibition catalogues,and anniversary books including the most recent celebration of the 500th anniversary of Trubar’s birth in 2008.

Milan Grba, Lead Curator of Southeast European Studies

References:

Bibliography of Trubar’s works in German and Slovenian.

Digital versions of Trubar’s books and further references from the Memmingen city archive.

Digital version of Trubar’s posthumous book published by his son in 1595 from the Slovenian Digital Library.

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19 May 2014

Christian Doctrine for Slavonic People: an early Bosnian and Herzegovinian printed book

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Nauk_t.p_C38e40
Nauk krstjanski za narod slovinski
(Venice 1611) British Library C.38.e.40.

Nauk krstjanski za narod slovinski (‘Christian Doctrine for Slavonic People’) is an early Bosnian and Herzegovinian printed book, printed in Venice in 1611 by the Bosnian Franciscan Matija Divković (1563-1631). The book is a compilation from the catechisms published by Jacobus Ledisma (1519-1575) and Roberto Bellarmino, translated from Latin into Bosnian, arranged and interpreted by Divković. Divković’s typographical achievements and his Christian Doctrine will be discussed at the forthcoming Balkan Day seminar at the British Library on 13 June 2014.

On the title leaf above Divković explains that he wrote his book to be useful for both clerics and lay people. Under the image of the resurrected Christ, the imprint gives the place and the year of printing, the name and address of the printer, “Pietro-Maria Bertano by the church called Santa Maria Formosa”. The title leaf bears the ownership stamp of the British Museum Library, now the British Library, dated 10 January 1849, the date of purchase from the London bookselling firm of Rodd. This is the only known copy in Britain and the only edition from Bertano’s press in the British Library.  

Jesus preaching_C38e40

The image above shows Jesus preaching to his apostles. The text on this leaf and the rest of the Christian Doctrine identifies Divković’s book as a typical work of the Counter-Reformation aimed at the revival of the Roman Catholic Church.

Here Divković explains that he translated the sacred texts into a “real and true Bosnian language” and further on he mentions “Slavonic language as in Bosnia Slavonic is spoken”. For Divković Bosnian, Slavonic and “our language”, the term he uses throughout the book, are synonyms for one language which is spoken by the people in Bosnia.

The Cyrillic alphabet in the book  is printed, in Divković’s words, using “Serbian characters” but Divković’s Cyrillic has at least ten specific characters of this minuscule Cyrillic alphabet, sometimes referred to as Bosnian Cyrillic (Bosančica); for example Divković uses a vertical rectangle symbol for the Cyrillic character ‘в’ (v).  

Divković writes mainly in the Jekavian (jekavica) variant of the Štokavian dialect with some Ikavian (ikavica) words added to it. In the Italian imprimatur printed in the Christian Doctrine the language and the alphabet are referred to as Illyric: “in lingua Illirica, & carattere Illirico di Fra Mattheo de Bossna”.

Divković’s Štokavian dialect was widely spoken in the lands which are today Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, representing one linguistic entity between Slovenian in the west and the Bulgarian  in the east.

Sto cudesa_t.p_C38e40

The above image shows Divković’s other work Sto čudesa (‘One Hundred Miracles’) bound together with the Christian Doctrine but foliated separately. The British Library has an intact copy in octavo format (Venice, 1611; C.38.e.40.). Both parts of the book have numerous misprints, which is understandable since Divković had his Cyrillic letters moulded in Venice by printers who didn’t know the language or the alphabet. A list of corrections is given at the end of the volume.

The One Hundred Miracles is Divković’s free translation of Johann Herolt’s  Sermones Discipuli de tempore et de sanctis, cum exemplorum promptuario, ac miraculis Beatae Mariae Virginis.

Annunciation_C38e40

Divković’s book contains 12 woodcuts, 10 in Christian Doctrine and two in One Hundred Miracles. The  image of the Annunciation shown here is printed on the verso of One Hundred Miracles’s title leaf which has the motif of a stork feeding with the inscription “Pietas homini tutissima virtus” (Piety is the surest virtue of man).

Divković’s significance lies in the fact that his works have been widely researched and studied as part of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian, Croatian and Serbian written heritage to the present day. Most recently, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first imprint, the Bosna Srebrena Cultural and Historical Institute in Sarajevo published a critical edition of Christian Doctrine and One Hundred Miracles transcribed into Croatian as Nauk kristijanski za narod slovinski and Sto čudesa aliti zlamen'ja Blažene i slavne Bogorodice, Divice Marije. This critical edition was published together with a facsimile of the edition of Divković’s book printed by Pietro-Maria Bertano in Venice in 1611.

The language of his book, the Štokavian dialect, became the basis of the literary languages developed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia in the 19th century.  In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Divković’s importance goes beyond the religious doctrine and church teachings that he spread in his homeland. His main legacy is his reputation as the first Bosnian typographer who printed the first Bosnian book in the language spoken by the people in Bosnia and in an alphabet that anyone in Bosnia could read.  

Nauk_small_C52a7

Divković is the author of four books; all are compilations from Christian literature popular in his time. The above image is a title-leaf of Christian Doctrine known as a “little Christian doctrine” (mali Nauk) printed in Venice 1616. The current research has identified 25 editions of this hugely popular small (16°) format of the work.

The British Library holds a copy printed by Marco Ginami (Venice, 1640-41; C.52.a.7.). It consists of 15 different religious works in prose and verse collected in one volume; one of them is Christian Doctrine, shown here as a constituent part of the work that bears the same title. This copy is one of two copies known to be in existence in Britain. It was acquired in 1889 from Nikola Batistić, a theology scholar and professor from Zadar, Croatia.

References

Đorđe Đorđević, „Matija Divković: prilog istoriji srpske književnosti XVII veka“. Glas Srpske kraljevske akademije LII (1896), LIII (1898), pp. [30]-139 and [1]-135. Ac.1131/3.

Ralph Cleminson. Cyrillic books printed before 1701 in British and Irish collections :a union catalogue. (London, 2000). 2708.h.903.

Matija Divković. Nauk kristijanski za narod slovinski : Sto čudesa aliti zlamen'ja Blažene i slavne Bogorodice, Divice Marije. Uvodna studija, rječnik i tumač imena Nauka kristijanskoga Darija Gabrić-Bagarić, Dolores Grmača, Maja Banožić. Uvodna studija, transkripcija, rječnik i tumač imena Sto čudesa Marijana Horvat. (Sarajevo, 2013) YF.2014.a.10503.

Matija Divković. Naūk karstianski za narodʹ slovinski /ovi naūkʹ Izdiačkoga iezika ispisa, privede i složi ū iezikʹ Slovinski Bogoćliūbni Bogoslovat︠s︡ʹ P.O. fra Matie Divkovićʹ.  (Sarajevo, 2013) YF.2014.a.10504  [Facsimile of the 1611 edition printed in Venice]

Milan Grba, Lead Curator South-East European Collections

Milan Grba, Lead Curator South-East European Collections - See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/european/bulgaria/#sthash.Rl0UhLIL.dpuf

03 July 2013

Chiaroscuro of a Croatian master

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On 1 July 2013 Croatia  joined the European Union. One of the events in the Welcome Croatia Festival  held in the run-up to 1 July was Neven Jovanović’s lecture at the BL on Croatian Latin Heritage (3 June), where I picked up Flora Turner-Vučetić’s Mapping Croatia in United Kingdom Collections.

Turner-Vučetić shows very effectively how many Croatian artists are hidden under Italian names, one among them Giulio Clovio,  more correctly Juraj Julile Klović (1489-1578), and points out his illuminations in the Stuart de Rothesay Book of Hours (British Library Add. MS. 20927).

Clovio portrait BT
Portrait of Giulio Clovio (Juraj Julile Klović) by El Greco. Picture from Wikimedia Commons)

 But there is another British Library connection: the Rt Hon. Thomas Grenville. As is well known, the politician and diplomat bequeathed his collection of over 20,000 volumes of printed books to the British Museum Library in 1846, thanks to the Machiavellian machinations of Anthony Panizzi. What is less known is that he also donated fifty-nine manuscripts (now Add. MSS. 33733-33791). 

Add. MS  33733 is a volume illustrating a Spanish text on the Triumphs of Charles V over Suleiman the Magnificent, Pope Clement VII, Francis I, the Dukes of Cleves and Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hesse.  Grenville bought it some time before 1817, in London (as he did all his books).  The binding is by Charles Lewis,  whom Grenville often employed: presumably he made for Grenville, it incorporates a magnifying glass.
Clovio Charles V BT
Charles V triumphing over his enemies (BL Add. MS  33733)

Grenville died on 17 December 1846; on 28 January 1847, Assistant Librarian W. B. Rye, with the help of eight Museum attendants and three of Grenville’s servants, set about transferring the 20,240 volumes from Grenville’s home at 2 Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, to Great Russell Street. They numbered the shelves, put the books on trays and placed them in a horse-drawn van which had been fitted with planks to form shelves. Each van was accompanied to the British Museum by an attendant who walked close behind it.  There were twenty-one vanloads. The book-move took five days. 

Rye took the most valuable item, the Clovio manuscript, in a cab: an indication of the importance which attached to it. Modern scholarship has downgraded it to the work of a pupil or follower of Clovio. One wonders if Clovio suffered a dip in appreciation after Grenville’s time: the British Library online catalogue  has five books on him from 1733 to 1894, nothing from 1895 to 1961, and thirteen from 1962 to date.

Grenville is not famous for his love of manuscripts, or for his love of visual culture in general, though he did have a Valuable and Unique Collection of Rare Oriental, Sevres, Dresden, Berlin and Chelsea Porcelain (auctioned at Christie & Manson, 15 June 1847).

The Clovio MS is rarely mentioned in the accounts of Grenville’s library, which focus on the printed books. Like the Croatian identity of Juraj Julile Klović, it has stayed in the shadows. Until now.

References:  Barry Taylor, ‘Thomas Grenville (1755-1846) and his books’, in Libraries within the Library: the Origins of the British Library’s Printed Collections, ed. Giles Mandelbrote and Barry Taylor (London, 2009), pp. 321-40 [BL shelfmark YC.2010.a.1356]

Barry Taylor, Curator Hispanic Studies