Category Archives: neo-Latin

A letter to Aldo Manuzio from Dubrovnik, 1500 (?)

Daniele Clario from Parma, a teacher at the school in Dubrovnik from 1482 to 1505, sent a brief letter to the Venetian publisher and printer Aldo Manuzio. Clario requested some books for his colleague “Helius poeta hinc nobilis”; at the time this could have been no one else but the poet laureate Ilija Crijević, Aelius Lampridius Cervinus (1463-1520; at the time, Crijević was teaching at the same school as Clario).
The letter was published in 1888 by Pierre de Nolhac. A digital edition of it, with a commentary identifying persons and books involved, and with a Croatian translation, is available at our Eklogai / Neolatina page (Greek and Latin dictionaries made available there by the wonderful Alpheios Tools service).
Our interest in Clario was refreshed when we found online The Latin Letters of Aldus Manutius, 1483-1500, digitally edited and translated in 2019 by the Neo-Latin Lab team at the Johns Hopkins University. Gratias agimus plurimas!

Latin drama in Croatia, two papers

Part of this summer has been spent in presenting results of analysis (or exploratory data analysis) of our CroALaDrama corpus (Github repo croaladrama), an open collection of records of performances of Latin drama in Croatia (link leads to the analysis site).

Alvarus Luna: title page of a play published in Ingolstadt, 1735; a play with a very similar title was performed in Zagreb in 1693.

In June, Nina Čengić and Neven Jovanović presented a paper at the Japan on the Jesuit stage conference in Vienna.

In August, Neven Jovanović presented at the 17th IANLS Conference in Albacete.

Texts and slides of both papers can be found in the CroALaDrama wiki.

The Neo-Latin drama is research focus of a small, but vibrant community, bringing together scholars from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, USA, Austria, and Japan, and we have been very glad for the support and interest shown for our papers.

New accession to CroALa in 2018: Damjan Beneša, Poemata

Thanks to the masterly efforts of Vlado Rezar, and supported by the research project TeMrežaH (Textual Networks of Early Modern Croatia, PI Lahorka Plejić Poje), the lesser poems of Damjan Beneša (excluding the epic De morte Christi, which Rezar had edited in 2006) appeared in print last year, published by the Književni krug Split, as the first title of its series Kritička izdanja (Critical editions).
We have used the Christmas holidays to reformat Rezar’s XML edition, prepared with the Classical Text Editor, and to produce a CTS-compatible TEI XML edition of Beneša’s poemata. The edition is now included in CroALa sources (published as a Github and Zenodo repository), and in its BaseX edition, in the textgroup urn:cts:croala:benes01.

Damiani Benessae Poemata, ed. Vlado Rezar, Književni krug Split – Marulianum, 2017

New Accession to CroALa in 2018: Jeronim Bartučević

Over the last two months, after a longer hiatus, some new texts have been added to the Croatiae auctores Latini collection. These accessions also tested the algorithms for updating the CTS-compatible version of the sources.
In January we have finally included into CroALa two recently discovered elegies by Jeronim Bartučević, nicknamed Atticus, an esteemed humanist and teacher from the 16th c. Hvar, famous as the addressee of Petar Hektorović’s poem Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje (1556).
Darko Novaković, the editor of the editio princeps (2015), has pointed out that these short poems — a comment on an erotic dream of Bartučević’s friend Mikša Pelegrinović, and an anti-Ottoman appeal to the emperor Charles V — are the first works by Bartučević we are able to read and judge.
Bartučević’s texts are available in the versioned repositories of CroALa (there is a CTS version and a simpler one), and in the BaseX database version of the collection; soon we will update the version under Philologic as well.

Fishpond in Tvrdalj, the Hvar palazzo of Bartučević's friend Petar Hektorović

Scraping XML from CAMENA

CAMENA – Latin Texts of Early Modern Europe was a great project at the University of Mannheim. The project ended in 2011, making available many thousands of pages of Neo-Latin texts, not only by German authors. Some of the texts are available in a machine-readable XML form, though (as the project carefully warns) the texts were not fully corrected, and are therefore to be considered as “raw material”. All material produced by CAMENA is available under a CC-BY-SA Open License.

CAMENA Thesaurus logo

An opportunity to experiment with a large collection of Neo-Latin XML is for us immensely attractive; we can use everything we had learned and developed for the Croatica et Tyrolensia project on other material.

The first step is, however, to collect machine-readable files of CAMENA. As its interface was designed more like a library than a database — perfect for reading, but less suited for other analytical approaches — finding all XML files (or, as will be seen, at least all that we could get) was a time-consuming operation.

We solved it by writing two Python scripts to scrape CAMENA’s index pages for links to their XML. The scripts can be seen as Github gists: Script 1 (which downloads XML files) and Script 2 (which only writes XML links to a file; the links are downloaded by a Linux Bash command such as wget -nd -i ../listthes2.txt).

The other approach — just collecting the links — enabled us to remove duplicates (CAMENA texts sometimes come from the same book, so the links point to thesame document).

There were some links which had to be corrected by hand, however, and some links which we were not able to retrieve at all. We also did not try to download page images (this time).

The textual part of CAMENA which is retrievable in XML consists of four collections (CERA, Historica et politica, Poemata, Thesaurus; the ITALI collection seems to lack any machine-readable XML), with ca. 1751 XML files.

We plan to publish here the full list of CAMENA XML links, and the files themselves.

Papers connected with Croatia in the IANLS 2015 Vienna conference


From the rich programme of the IANLS 2015 conference we have culled abstracts of twelve papers connected with Croatia, or neighbouring regions. Members of the Croatica et Tyrolensia project are strongly represented.

Dominik Bartsch, Lonely walk at Schönbrunn, Vienna  View from Neptune's fountain to Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna.
Dominik Bartsch,
Lonely walk at Schönbrunn, Vienna
View from Neptune’s fountain to Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna.

Continue reading Papers connected with Croatia in the IANLS 2015 Vienna conference

Analysing names in three Croatian epic poems

Gorana Stepanić, project member from the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, works on comparing ways in which three Croatian neo-Latin epic authors – Jakov Bunić from Dubrovnik, Kajetan Vičić from Rijeka, and Josip Čobarnić from Makarska – use names in their poems. All three wrote long narrative religious epics, but each author is some 150 years later than his predecessor; they differ also in their places of origin (though all are along the Adriatic coast), in their social status, and in places where they lived.

The idea is to find all names (named entities) in their poems, lemmatise them, count their occurrences, and categorise: see which names belong to pagan mythology, which are Biblical, which are neither; which names belong to persons, which to places, and so on.

To achieve this, Gorana will be using not only our Croatiae auctores Latini text collection, but also a BaseX XML database of names and occurrences in the poems; one point of entry to this database, a special, sortable query, is on this page.

San Caetano di Thiene

Preliminary results will be published on our blog.


Thinking about Croatian neo-Latin school drama

In philology and literary history, thinking starts from bibliography. Croatica et Tyrolensia now have a working page for browsing material on Croatian neo-Latin drama which Nina Čengić has collected and formatted into XML from the excellent bibliography:
Petranović, Martina and Lucija Ljubić. Repertoari hrvatskih kazališta: Repertoar hrvatskih kazališta : Knjiga peta : Deskriptivna obrada važnijih predstava na hrvatskom jeziku i izvedbi na stranim jezicima hrvatskih izvođača do 1840. godine : na temelju znanstvene literature. Zagreb: AGM, 2012.

Our browsing page (with categories in Croatian) is here:

First results show that there were at least 594 Croatian performances in Latin from the end of the 11th century until 1805.

Latin school drama, a few lines

This is just the first step, however. We intend to analyse and categorise themes of school plays (according to their titles), and to analyse places and times of performancees.


Špoljarić on politics, patronage and intellectual culture at the Hungarian court

The volume 38 of Građa za povijest književnosti hrvatske (Materials for Croatian literary history), published by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, appeared recently. The long-awaited volume presents an impressive selection of writings by past Croatian authors in Latin, Italian, Croatian, and German (including Croatian translations and paraphrases from Italian and Latin); most of the texts are edited from manuscripts, and appear in critical editions. The earliest work in this volume is the Navicula Petri, a short theological treatise composed during summer of 1463 by Nicholas bishop of Modruš, and edited by our own Croatica et Tyrolensia postdoc, Luka Špoljarić. For the blog, Luka has provided a summary of his contribution.

Remains of the city of Modruš on a drawing from the 17th century.
Remains of the city of Modruš on a drawing from the 17th century.

Politics, Patronage and Intellectual Culture at the Hungarian Court in the First Years of Matthias Corvinus’ Reign: Nicholas of Modruš and Peter’s Barge (Study, Critical Edition and Translation)

The article presents a new critical edition accompanied by a facing Croatian translation of Peter’s Barge (Navicula Petri), a theological treatise on the problem of physical evil composed by Nicholas bishop of Modruš (ca. 1425–1480). Nicholas was a Croatian Renaissance prelate who enjoyed close contacts with the court of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490) before embarking on a successful career at the papal Curia. The edition is based on the sole extant witness of the text, preserved as part of a fifteenth-century miscellany located in the Archive of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (AHAZU) under shelfmark II.b.3. Two earlier editions of the work (Veličan 1999; Hrkać 2006) are not only marred by errors in transcription, but have moreover failed to recognize two major scribal errors and have thus included not the end of Peter’s Barge but the end of Leonardo Bruni’s Short Oration before Pope Martin V, the work which follows in the manuscript. The critical edition presented here corrects the transcription errors of previous editions, includes for the first time the ending of the work which can be found two folios further in the manuscript, and establishes the original sequence of
this final portion of the text.

Continue reading Špoljarić on politics, patronage and intellectual culture at the Hungarian court

Implicitne godine u bibliografiji hrvatskih latinista

Nina Čengić, postdoktorandica koja se pridružila projektu Croatica et Tyrolensia početkom ove godine, izvještava o svome prvom zadatku.

Određivanje vremena u kojem je neki tekst nastao važan je element filološkog istraživanja. Osim unutrašnjih elemenata koji nam otkrivaju kronološke podatke o djelu, postoje i vanjske odrednice koje ukazuju, često jednoznačno i vrlo jasno, kada je ono nastalo. Među njima se nalazi i godina izdanja: egzaktan podatak, zatvoren za višestruke interpretacije, kostur kronologije mnogih istraživanja

Digitalna bibliografija hrvatskih latinista (radni naziv: croalabib) predstavlja korpus s velikim brojem jedinica za koje je godina izdanja važna i ključna sastavnica. Klasičan bibliografski pristup (npr. onaj Bibliografije hrvatskih latinista Šime Jurića i suradnika) priznaje kao pouzdane samo one datacije koje su na naslovnici izdanja navedene u impresumu. Zato 1442 jedinice nose kod Jurića oznaku sine anno. Ipak, i one se mogu datirati, te smo zapise uspjeli obogatiti 1181 naknadno uspostavljenom datacijom.

Continue reading Implicitne godine u bibliografiji hrvatskih latinista

Croatica et Tyrolensia and the Colloquium Marulianum XXV (Split, 19-23 Apr 2015)

One of the central scholarly activities of Croatica et Tyrolensia is inviting researchers of Croatian and Tyrolean neo-Latin literature to think about similarities and differences between the two corpora. To this end, twelve Croatian and Austrian authors have prepared position papers which will be discussed in a few days, at a two-day Croatica et Tyrolensia conference in Split. The conference follows immediately after the traditional Colloquium Marulianum, a yearly gathering of scholars interested in Croatian (especially Dalmatian) Renaissance, organised by the Split Literary Circle and its Marulianum center.

The Colloquium Marulianum XXV will take place in Split, on 19-21 April 2015, while the Croatica et Tyrolensia conference is scheduled for 22-23 April; remember that 22 April 1501 is the date of Marulić’s dedicatory letter in his epic in Croatian, Judita, and (because of that) the memorial Croatian Book Day.

Program of both conferences is available as a PDF booklet here.

RSA Berlin 2015: Špoljarić o renesansnim kanalima informiranja

I drugi suradnik projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia priredio je kratak prikaz svojeg izlaganja na godišnjem skupu Američkog društva za renesansu u Berlinu 2015. Postdoktorand Luka Špoljarić s Odsjeka za klasičnu filologiju Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu govorio je o privatnim kanalima informiranja u renesansnom Rimu, na primjeru pisama Francesca Maturanzija iz 1473. i 1474, s vijestima o tijeku sukoba s Osmanlijama (The Ottoman Wars and Personal Information Networks in Renaissance Rome: Francesco Maturanzio’s Letters from Rhodes, 1473-74).

OttomanJanissariesAndDefendingKnightsOfStJohnSiegeOfRhodes1522” by w:Fethullah Çelebi Arifi (historian, poet and painter) and/or w:Matrakçı Nasuh (painter of landscape) and/or other painters at the court of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent – Süleymanname MS. H. 1517, f. 149a, Topkapi Lib. Istambul; scanned from reproduction in “A story of history” by Arnold Toynbee. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Izlaganje, zamišljeno kao studija slučaja iz područja istraživanja projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia, održano je 27. ožujka 2015. na Sveučilištu Humboldt u Berlinu, u sklopu 61. godišnje konferencije Američkog renesansnog društva (Renaissance Society of America), na sesiji posvećenoj kolanju vijesti u renesansnom Rimu (News between Manuscript and Print in Renaissance Rome). Predsjedavala je prof. Jill Kraye s Instituta Warburg u Londonu, a slušalo je dvadesetak ljudi, uglavnom specijalista iz područja novolatinske filologije i povijesti renesansnog Rima. Na sesiji je izlagala i prof. Margaret Meserve sa Sveučilišta Notre Dame o žanru govora in obedientia koje su pred papama držali poslanici raznih europskih država.

Dok je izlaganje Meserve bilo posvećeno jednom primjeru službenog kanala kojim su informacije stizale u renesansni Rim, moje je izlaganje govorilo o jednom primjeru privatnog kanala: o pismima koje je perugianski humanist Francesco Maturanzio slao s otoka Roda u Rim hrvatskom biskupu i intelektualcu, te svome zaštitniku, Nikoli Modruškom, u vrijeme dok se osmanski sultan Mehmed II spremao za završni obračun s važnim kršćanskim saveznikom na istoku, vladarom turkmenskih Aqquyunlu plemena, Uzun Hasanom.

Upozorio sam na ta, dosad neobjavljena i široj znanstvenoj zajednici nepoznata, pisma želeći analizirati kako njihov sadržaj tako i način na koji je Maturanzio skupljao i humanistički oblikovao informacije na Rodu i slao ih dalje u Rim, ali obraćajući i pozornost na adresata pisama, Nikolu Modruškog. Naime, i Maturanzijeva pisma i drugi povijesni izvori potiču na promišljanje uloge biskupa Nikola u transmisiji informacija o Osmanlijama na papinskoj kuriji.

Analizom Maturanzijevih pisma Modruškom predstavljene su i istraživačke metode i ciljevi projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia, koji se bavi i rekonstrukcijom i analizom intelektualnih mreža hrvatskih humanista.

Rad na temelju ovoga izlaganja, koji će u prilogu sadržavati i izdanja pisama (koja će biti uključena i u zbirku CroALa), na engleskom jeziku, i bit će ponuđen na objavljivanje relevantnom međunarodnom časopisu koji se bavi poviješću renesanse.

Stepanić i Georgius Huszthi u Berlinu

Suradnici projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia sudjelovali su na godišnjem kongresu Američkog društva za renesansu (Berlin, Sveučilište Humboldt, 26.-28. 3. 2015). Kolegica Gorana Stepanić napisala je za blog kratak osvrt.

(José Jiménez Aranda, Robinja na prodaju, 1892)


Godišnja skupština Američkog društva za renesansu (Renaissance Society of America) skup je duge tradicije, sjajne reputacije i izuzetno velikih brojaka. Konferencije obuhvaćaju panele s referatima, plenarna predavanja renomiranih stručnjaka, posebne kulturne priredbe i izložbe knjiga renomiranih svjetskih izdavača s područja ranonovovjekovne humanistike. Održavaju se uglavnom u Sjedinjenim Državama, no svake pete godine organizacija priređuje kongres na Starom kontinentu.

I ovogodišnja je berlinska konferencija, šezdeset prva u nizu, nastavila s tradicijom velikog broja sudionika. U historijskim zgradama starog i prestižnog berlinskog Humboldtova sveučilišta u tri je dana održalo preko 2700 referata. Svjetski stručnjaci za najrazličitije aspekte – poprilično široko shvaćene – renesanse izlagali su rezultate istraživanja u sklopu 894 tematski organizirana panela, koji su se paralelno izvodili u desecima sveučilišnih dvorana u pet dnevnih sesija.

Na berlinskoj je konferenciji sudjelovalo i dvoje suradnika projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia: Luka Špoljarić, poslijedoktorand na projektu i fellow na Odsjeku za klasičnu filologiju Filozofskog fakuteta u Zagrebu te mea parvitas, Gorana Stepanić, docentica na Odjelu za humanističke znanosti Sveučilišta Jurja Dobrile u Puli.

Naslov je mojeg izlaganja bio Georgius Huszthi and the Muslim Other: Expressing Identities in a Sixteenth-Century Latin Ottoman Captivity Report. Pokazala sam kako se u latinskim memoarima prema turskom i muslimanskom svijetu određuje jedan manje poznat humanist s područja današnje sjeverne Hrvatske, Georgius Huszthi (poznatiji kao Juraj Hus). U tursko je ropstvo Huszthi odveden 1532, te je u Osmanskom Carstvu proveo desetak godina.

Tema je američkim domaćinima bila izuzetno zanimljiva i odlično se uklopila u panel o odnosu prema Drugome u tekstu, koji je organizirala doktorandica s Kalifornijskog sveučilište Berkeley, Elisabeth Ashcroft Terry, posebno zainteresirana za paralelan fenomen, odnos ranonovovjekovne španjolske književnosti prema maurskom stanovništvu.

Ostali referati panela, o tretmanu muslimana i židova u propovjedima njemačkog franjevca J. Wilda (Paul Strauss, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) te o demonima u renesansi (Justine Walden, Yale University) upotpunili su sliku o tretmanu dijaboliziranog protivnika u ranonovovjekovnoj tekstualnoj propagandi.


Miscere quadrata rotundis

Can we compare two sets of neo-Latin texts? An experiment is underway. In our case, the sets are very unequal, and deliberately so: Croatiae auctores Latini (CroALa) has over 450 documents, and Latinitas Tyrolensis (LatTy) just 18 so far. There is now a page with a comparison of authors: about 190 in CroALa (of 1471 currently in our database), 12 (of 2377) in LatTy. There are also some telling charts about how the canon of Croatian Latin writers relates to the actual numbers of these writers over time.

But even more interesting than the numbers is the realization that there are several hidden categories of authors (and authorship) in our collections. It is easy to speak about “authors” when we do history of literature, but the term is not very precise. A literary corpus necessarily includes the anonymous, listed as one group though there were many people who did not sign their names on texts they wrote. There are also documents (and books, and manuscripts) containing many texts by many authors (the varii). There are texts written by people who were most definitely not – in case of CroALa – of Croatian origin (alieni): they were guests, immigrants, or simply living at the time when the notion of “national identity” fit only very roughly with what we today consider as such. Finally, there are texts by authors about whom we don’t know much except their names (the ignoti). All of them are “authors” – but how to count them?

The page linked above is produced by the BaseX RESTXQ and XQuery scripts, querying data in four of our databases: the Croatian texts, the Tyrolean texts, a Croatian neo-Latin prosopography, a Tyrolean prosopography of the same.