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Croatian Cyrillic codices, chronicles, healers' pharmacopoeias,

registers of births, testaments, personal correspondence etc.


There exists a significant number of Croatian Cyrillic codices, chronicles, healers' pharmacopoeias, registers of births, testaments, personal correspondence etc. Especially important is the Poljice Statute of the small Principality in the neighbourhood of Split (1440).

CROATIAN CYRILLIC TESTAMENT OF R. VLADISIC WRITTEN IN THE FAMOUS FORTRESS OF KLIS NEAR SPLIT IN 1436 (TRANSCRIPTION FROM 1448) Here is a Croatian Cyrillic testament of R. Vladisic written in the famous fortress of Klis near Split in 1436 (transcription from 1448).

One of the most famous Franciscan monasteries is the one in Kraljeva Sutiska (or Kraljeva Sutjeska = Royal Gorge):

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS FRANCISCAN MONASTERIES IS THE ONE IN KRALJEVA SUTISKA (OR KRALJEVA SUTJESKA = ROYAL GORGE)

Franciscan monasteries in Kraljeva Sutiska (or Kraljeva Sutjeska = Royal Gorge)


An old and contemporary inscriptions in Croatian Cyrillic in Kraljeva Sutiska (on the left: + V ime Bozje, se lezi Radovan Pribilovic, na svojoj zemlji plemenitoj, na Ricici; bih s bratom se razmenio, i ubi me Milko Bozinic, sa svojom bratijom; a brata mi isikose i ucnise vrhu mene krv nezaimitnu vrhu; Nek (zna) tko je moj mili.

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS FRANCISCAN MONASTERIES IS THE ONE IN KRALJEVA SUTISKA (OR KRALJEVA SUTJESKA = ROYAL GORGE) AN OLD INSCRIPTIONS IN CROATIAN CYRILLIC IN KRALJEVA SUTISKA (ON THE LEFT: + V IME BOZJE, SE LEZI RADOVAN PRIBILOVIC, NA SVOJOJ ZEMLJI PLEMENITOJ, NA RICICI; BIH S BRATOM SE RAZMENIO, I UBI ME MILKO BOZINIC, SA SVOJOM BRATIJOM; A   BRATA MI ISIKOSE I UCNISE VRHU MENE KRV NEZAIMITNU VRHU; NEK (ZNA) TKO JE MOJ MILI.

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS FRANCISCAN MONASTERIES IS THE ONE IN KRALJEVA SUTISKA (OR KRALJEVA SUTJESKA = ROYAL GORGE) AN CONTEMPORARY INSCRIPTIONS IN CROATIAN CYRILLIC IN KRALJEVA SUTISKA

Numerous manuscripts show the parallel use of the Croatian Glagolitic and Cyrillic Scripts (and also the Latin Script), thus proving that they were not opposed to each other among the Croats. One of the oldest such examples originates from Istria (St. Peter in the Wood, 12th century), where in one single word - Amen - all three Scripts are used!

The coexistence and parallel use of these three Scripts - Croatian Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin - is a unique phenomenon in the history of European culture.

According to Croatian researcher Josip Hamm, members of the Bosnian Church (Krstyans) particularly appreciated the Glagolitic Script. Namely, all the important Bosnian Church books,

* Nikoljsko evandjelje (Gospel), Croatian parchment Cyrillic book, copied in around 1400 from older Glagolitic original by Krstyanin Hval (the name was given according to a Serbian monastery Nikolj where the manuscript was found, the book is now held in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin),
* Sreckovicevo evandjelje (Gospel),
* the Manuscript of Krstyanin Hval, 1404 (copied from older Glagolitic original; held in University Library in Bologna since 18th century), the manuscript contains glagolitic letters on two places

THE MANUSCRIPT OF KRSTYANIN HVAL, 1404 (COPIED FROM OLDER GLAGOLITIC ORIGINAL; HELD IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY IN BOLOGNA SINCE 18TH CENTURY), THE MANUSCRIPT CONTAINS   GLAGOLITIC LETTERS ON TWO PLACES


THE MANUSCRIPT OF KRSTYANIN HVAL, 1404 (COPIED FROM OLDER GLAGOLITIC ORIGINAL; HELD IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY IN BOLOGNA SINCE 18TH CENTURY), THE MANUSCRIPT CONTAINS   GLAGOLITIC LETTERS ON TWO PLACES

HVAL'S MANUSCRIPT, CROATIAN POST

Hval's Manuscript, Croatian Post

* the Manuscript of Krstyanin Radosav, 15th century (which contains three Glagolitic notes), held in the Library of De Propaganda Fide in Rome, etc. are based on Croatian Glagolitic Church books. For more information about Bosnian Krstyans see [Leon Petrovic].
The first printed Croatian Cyrillic book was The Book of Hours (or the Dubrovnik breviary, or Oficje) published in Venice in 1512, prepared by Franjo Ratkovic from Dubrovnik. One copy is held in Paris in Bibliothèque Nationale. There is also another copy in the Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford (q.14.9); it was probably part of the founding bequest of Christopher Codrington in 1710. It is, admittedly, slightly less complete than the Paris copy, lacking 19 leaves. Many thanks to prof. Ralph Cleminson (University of Portsmouth, UK) for information about the Oxford copy.

Many of the Croatian Cyrillic inscriptions are carved on tombstone monuments, called stechak.

According to the Austrian palaeographer Thorvi Eckhardt, the graphics of the Bosancica (Croatian Cyrillic) shows the greatest independence and individuality among all the national Cyrillic Scripts - Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Russian (see her monograph Die slawischen Alphabete, Studium Generale VIII, 1967, p. 467).

She was also the first scholar to indicate the political loading in discussions about the Bosanica. In recent decades Serbian authors have openly monopolized Croatian Cyrillic as an exclusively Serbian Script. For more information see [Benedikta Zelic-Bucan].

A detailed palaeographic analysis of numerous epigraphic monuments found in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, related to inscriptions written in the Croatian Cyrillic, is contained in a monograph of Vinko Grubisic: "Grafija hrvatske lapidarne cirilice", KHR, München-Barcelona, 1978. Some of the characteristics of Croatian Cyrillic are:

* the existence of unusually many ligatures on epigraphic Croatian Cyrillic monuments, obviously under the influence of Glagolitic script;

In the aforementioned Grubisic's book (p. 108) you will find a table of 50 interesting Cyrillic ligatures (click on left and rigth): ab (2), av (2), ai (2), al, amin', am, ao, ap, ar, al, vi, gi, gr, ez, iv, iy, in, ime, ish, jni, mc, ne, oe, oni (3) ni (3) pis, pl, pr, pa, rime, tv, tg, ti, til, ca ce, et, ma vi, am, ti mi. This is a unique characteristic of Croatian Cyrillic;

*absence of tildes, contrary to Cyrillic scripts of other nations (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Russian);

* among all Cyrillic scripts only Croatian Cyrillic has the numerical value for CH (i.e. for chrv) equal to 1000, the same as in the Glagolitic script (see Grubisic's monograph, p. 116).

A DETAILED PALAEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF NUMEROUS EPIGRAPHIC MONUMENTS FOUND IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, RELATED TO INSCRIPTIONS WRITTEN IN THE CROATIAN CYRILLIC, IS   CONTAINED IN A MONOGRAPH OF VINKO GRUBISIC: "GRAFIJA HRVATSKE LAPIDARNE CIRILICE", KHR, MÜNCHEN-BARCELONA, 1978. A DETAILED PALAEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF NUMEROUS EPIGRAPHIC MONUMENTS FOUND IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, RELATED TO INSCRIPTIONS WRITTEN IN THE CROATIAN CYRILLIC, IS   CONTAINED IN A MONOGRAPH OF VINKO GRUBISIC: "GRAFIJA HRVATSKE LAPIDARNE CIRILICE", KHR, MÜNCHEN-BARCELONA, 1978. -b

There exist many types of the Croatian Cyrillic - both carved in stone and handwritten:

* a small table of Croatian Cyrillic letters,
* the Croatian Cyrillic legal document written in the city of Makarska (on the Croatian littoral) in 18th century.

We know of 18 Croatian Cyrillic texts (documents, prayers, letters) that are a part of the famous Bercic collection, held in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg.

These texts contain among others also interesting correspondence between Muslim officials in Bosnia and Croats. One of the prayers written in Croatian cyrillic ends with "Amen" written twice: first in the Glagolitic and then in Croatian Cyrillic.
In the Royal Library of Stockholm (Kungliga biblioteket) there is a huge Czech book Gigas Librorum from the 13th century, which in the 14th century was in Prague. It was due

to the Croatian glagolites in Prague that the Croatian glagolitic alphabet had been written on the inner part of the cover page. I express my gratitude to Mr. Zdenko Naglic,

Göteborg, for this information. Here is the photo of the table of Croatian Glagolitic Script in Gigas Librorum:

THE TABLE OF CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC SCRIPT IN GIGAS LIBRORUMT

One can clearly see that the table is written on a separate vellum leaflet, subsequently glued to the page of Gigas Librorum. The photo of the page of on which one can see the table of the Glagolitic Script can be seen on the internet page of the Royal Library in Stockholm. My gratitude goes to Mr. Nenad Hancic-Matejic for information about the web adress. Undersigned on the glagolitic leaflet is Opat Divich, hardly readable. The same name can be seen on the neighbouring leaflet, glued on the same page to the right, containing the table of Croatian Cyrillic, signed lisibly with the name of the same Opat Divinic. Especially interesting is the last character in the first line: it is the Croatian Glagolitic djerv!

THE TABLE OF CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC SCRIPT IN GIGAS LIBRORUMT

The year near the name is indicated as 1360-1366, showing that the origin of both leaflets is related to Croatian glagolites in Prague since 1348.

Here is an interesting monument from central Bosnia with inscription for which it is difficult to decide is it Croatian glagolitic, cyrillic, or something else:

HERE IS AN INTERESTING MONUMENT FROM CENTRAL BOSNIA WITH INSCRIPTION FOR WHICH IT IS DIFFICULT TO DECIDE IS IT CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC, CYRILLIC, OR SOMETHING ELSE:

We illustrate some of numerous very interesting monuments of Croatian Cyrillic from the Makarska area, see [fra Karlo Jurisic].

VERY INTERESTING MONUMENTS OF CROATIAN CYRILLIC FROM THE MAKARSKA AREA

VERY INTERESTING MONUMENTS OF CROATIAN CYRILLIC FROM THE MAKARSKA AREA

VERY INTERESTING MONUMENTS OF CROATIAN CYRILLIC FROM THE MAKARSKA AREA

VERY INTERESTING MONUMENTS OF CROATIAN CYRILLIC FROM THE MAKARSKA AREA

 

It is interesting that in the franciscan convent in Makarska a baptismal parish register is preserved from 1664, written in Croatian Cyrillic, see [fra Karlo Jurisic, pp. 152-153]:

 

IT IS INTERESTING THAT IN THE FRANCISCAN CONVENT IN MAKARSKA A BAPTISMAL PARISH REGISTER IS PRESERVED FROM 1664, WRITTEN IN CROATIAN CYRILLIC, SEE [FRA KARLO JURISIC, PP.   152-153]

In the same monograph one can find an extremely interesting example of official correspondence with Turkish officials in Herzegovina written in Croatian Cyrillic in 1498, dealing with the destiny of franciscans in Zaostrog, see [fra Karlo Jurisic, pp. 200-201].

In the town of Zagvozd behind the beautiful mountain of Biokovo one can see a lovely Catholic church of all Saints with Croatian Cyrillic inscription from 1644:

 

IN THE TOWN OF ZAGVOZD BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN OF BIOKOVO ONE CAN SEE A LOVELY CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS WITH CROATIAN CYRILLIC INSCRIPTION FROM 1644

IN THE TOWN OF ZAGVOZD BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN OF BIOKOVO ONE CAN SEE A LOVELY CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS WITH CROATIAN CYRILLIC INSCRIPTION FROM 1644

IN THE TOWN OF ZAGVOZD BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN OF BIOKOVO ONE CAN SEE A LOVELY CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS WITH CROATIAN CYRILLIC INSCRIPTION FROM 1644

 

Here is a fascinating example of Three Script character of Croatian Middle Ages (that is, parallel usage of Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin scripts). You can see a part of the main text written in Croatian Cyrillic, and at the end, near the cross, AMEN written in Latin, Croatian Cyrillic, and Glagolitic (deeply moving text written by Bare Pifrovic in 1636, in which he thanks God for having learned these three scripts):

HERE IS A FASCINATING EXAMPLE OF THREE SCRIPT CHARACTER OF CROATIAN MIDDLE AGES (THAT IS, PARALLEL USAGE OF GLAGOLITIC, CYRILLIC AND LATIN SCRIPTS). YOU CAN SEE A PART OF   THE MAIN TEXT WRITTEN IN CROATIAN CYRILLIC, AND AT THE END, NEAR THE CROSS, AMEN WRITTEN IN LATIN, CROATIAN CYRILLIC, AND GLAGOLITIC (DEEPLY MOVING TEXT WRITTEN BY BARE   PIFROVIC IN 1636, IN WHICH HE THANKS GOD FOR HAVING LEARNED THESE THREE SCRIPTS)

 

In 1636. Croatian glagolitic priest Bare Piforovic wrote in the Registry of Dead from the parish of Petrcane near the city of Zadar the following lines in the Croatian Cyrillic: "Ja, dom Bare Pifrovic, to pisah krvaski, curilicu i latinski..." (Me, don Bare Pifrovic, wrote this lines in Croatian, in Cyrillic and Latin...). See [Hercigonja, Glagoljaštvo i glagoljica].

In the beautiful Franciscan monastery on the islet of Visovac on Krka river there is an inscription on the grave of fra Stipan Skopljanin (+ Visovac, 1609.) in the Croatian Cyrillic:

Nek se znade
ovdi leži
m.o.p.f. Sti-
pan Skoplan-
in vikario g.
biskupa bos(ne)
l(ita) n(a) 1610
.

IN THE BEAUTIFUL FRANCISCAN MONASTERY ON THE ISLET OF VISOVAC ON KRKA RIVER THERE IS AN INSCRIPTION ON THE GRAVE OF FRA STIPAN SKOPLJANIN (+ VISOVAC, 1609.) IN THE CROATIAN   CYRILLIC:

Photo from [Bogovic and Jurisic, p. 112]

THE ABOVE CROATIAN CYRILLIC INSCRIPTION CAN BE SEEN INSIDE THE PARISH CHURCH OF THE VILLAGE OF RAVNO, EASTERN HERZGOVINA, NOT FAR   FROM DUBROVNIK. THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS TAKEN FROM WWW.RB-DONJAHERCEGOVINA.BA (FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE PHOTO):       THE TABLET IN THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY IN RAVNO. THIS TABLET IS SET UP IN THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY IN RAVNO, WRITTEN IN CROATIAN CYRILLIC   SCRIPT (BOSANCICA), TESTIFYING THAT BOSKO AND TWO MEN NAMED NIKOLA ANRIJASEVIC RESTORED THIS MEDIEVAL CHURCH IN 1579. THE TABLET WAS WRITTEN BY FRA. BAZILIO, WHO CALLS   HIMSELF "RAVJANIN" (A MAN OF RAVNO) AND WAS PROBABLY IN THE MONASTERY IN SLANO. THE BISHOP BLESSED THE CHURCH ON 6TH JUNE 1579.

The above Croatian Cyrillic inscription can be seen inside the parish church of the village of Ravno, Eastern Herzgovina, not far from Dubrovnik. The following text is taken from www.rb-donjahercegovina.ba :

THE TABLET IN THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY IN RAVNO. This tablet is set up in the Church of the Nativity of our Lady in Ravno, written in Croatian Cyrillic script (bosancica), testifying that Bosko and two men named Nikola Anrijasevic restored this Medieval church in 1579. The tablet was written by Fra. Bazilio, who calls himself "Ravjanin" (a man of Ravno) and was probably in the monastery in Slano. The Bishop blessed the church on 6th June 1579.

Original text in Croatian (line by line):





Gradi Bosko
Nikola. I Nik
ola. Andrias. Na slavu. Boga. i Sv(e)te
Gospe. I Blago(so)vi
Biskup. Nakon 1.
5.7.9. godina. poroda
Isusova. Na. se(stoga) zuna.
Pisa fra Bazilio. Ravnanin.




PARISH CHURCH IN THE VILLAGE OF RAVNO IN 2007 (DAMAGED IN 1991 WHEN THE GREATER SERBAIN AGRESSION ON BIH STARTED).

Parish church in the village of Ravno in 2007 (damaged in 1991 when the Greater Serbain agression on BiH started).

We provide several documents published in Croatian Cyrillic in Eastern Herzegovina, not far from Dubrovnik, see [Dubljani]:

A CROATIAN CYRILLIC TEXT WRITTEN BY INHABITANTS FROM RAVNO, DRACEVO, DRIJENJAN, GRMLJAN, VELICAN, DUBLJANI AND OTHER PARTS OF POPOVO, WRITTEN 1688, ADMITTING LEOPOLD I AS THEIR PROTECTOR. SEE [DUBLJANI, P. 91]

A Croatian Cyrillic text written by inhabitants from Ravno, Dracevo, Drijenjan, Grmljan, Velican, Dubljani and other parts of Popovo, written 1688, admitting Leopold I as their protector. See [Dubljani, p. 91]

 

REPRESENTATIVES OF ORAHOV DO, CESLJAR, GOLUBINAC, KIJEV DO AND BELINIC SENDING LETTER TO EMPEROR LEOPOLD I ASKING HIM FOR PROTECTION IN 1688. SEE [DUBLJANI, P. 92].

Representatives of Orahov Do, Cesljar, golubinac, Kijev Do and Belinic sending letter to emperor Leopold I asking him for protection in 1688. See [Dubljani, p. 92].

REPRESENTATIVES OF RAVNO, CVALJIN, VELICAN, AND DUBLJANI SENDING A LETTER TO LEOPOLD I IN 1690. SEE [DUBLJANI, P. 94].

Representatives of Ravno, Cvaljin, Velican, and Dubljani sending a letter to Leopold I in 1690. See [Dubljani, p. 94].

Dr. Marinka Simic:

* Jezik boljunskih natpisa, in Stolacko kulturno proljece, Godisnjak, godiste V, 2007., str. 175 - 189
* Srednjovjekovni natpisi stolackog kraja, in Stolacko kulturno proljece, Godisnjak za povijest i kulturu, godiste VII, 2009., str. 119-146

 

On the island of Brac there is a famous glagolitic convent of Blaca built in the 16th century:

ON THE ISLAND OF BRAC THERE IS A FAMOUS GLAGOLITIC CONVENT OF BLACA BUILT IN THE 16TH CENTURY

Its interesting library keeps among others old Croatian Cyrillic manuscripts, like this one:

ITS INTERESTING LIBRARY KEEPS AMONG OTHERS OLD CROATIAN CYRILLIC MANUSCRIPTS


In fact, on the island of Brac near Split we know of six Glagolitic convents, founded by Glagolitic Catholic priests from Poljica, near the mountain of Mosor, who had to escape to the island during the Turkish onslaughts. These convents kept not only Croatian Cyrillic books, but also Croatian Glagolitic and Latin books.

FUCIC DRACEVA LUKA ORMAR 18ST

FUCIC DRACEVA LUKA ORMAR 18ST ODICA

 

An interesting remain from Draceva Luka Glagolitic eremitage, kept in the Dominican Convent in the town of Bol on the island of Brac, is a wardrobe bearing Glagolitic inscriptions describing the color of dresses of priests. Also a remain of the first Croatian printed book (incunabulum) from 1483, printed in the Glagolitic script, is kept there, originating from Draceva Luka on the island of Brac.

CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC QUICSCRIPT BOOK FOUND IN A GLAGOLITIC CONVENT NEAR MURVICA, NEAR FAMOUS ZLATNI RAT, ON THE ISLAND OF BRAC, SEE [BATELJA, APOKALIPSA U ZMAJEVOJ ŠPILJI]

Croatian Glagolitic quicscript book found in a Glagolitic convent near Murvica, near famous Zlatni rat, on the island of Brac, see [Batelja, Apokalipsa u Zmajevoj spilji]

There are several additional convents of the Poljica Glagolitic Catholic origin founded in 15.-16. st.: * one on the island of Ciovo: Prizidnice (on the south-east of the island),
* one on the island of Solta: Gospa u Borima (eastern part of the island, north of the G. Sela),
* six on the island of Brac: except the mentioned convents of Blaca, Draceva Luka and Zmajeva spilja (Dragon's Cave), also Dutic, Silvio i Stipancic (near the village of Murvice by Zlatni rat).

Edo Pivcevic: The Poljica Statute


Croatian nobles were familiar not only with the Croatian Glagolitic Script, but also with Croatian Cyrillic. We can illustrate this with the following text signed by Petar Zrinski (1621-1671) outstanding Croatian statesman and writer. It is contained in the "Libar od Spominka" (Book of Remebrances) written by Katarina Zrinska (1625-1673).

CROATIAN NOBLES WERE FAMILIAR NOT ONLY WITH THE CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC SCRIPT, BUT ALSO WITH CROATIAN CYRILLIC. WE CAN ILLUSTRATE THIS WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT SIGNED BY PETAR   ZRINSKI (1621-1671) OUTSTANDING CROATIAN STATESMAN AND WRITER. IT IS CONTAINED IN THE "LIBAR OD SPOMINKA" (BOOK OF REMEBRANCES) WRITTEN BY KATARINA ZRINSKA (1625-1673).

 

 

 

 

© by Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb (1995)

Source: www.CroatianHistory.net

 

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