Category Archives: Texts

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!

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.

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.

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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.

CroALa, a Christmas edition

A new edition of Croatiae auctores Latini is available. At the moment, the collection contains 451 documents and almost 5.5 million words (5,452,609 to be exact). Moreover, we have a new server (, a new landing page, and search pages which are in the process of redesign. Though the process of moving home is not quite complete yet, the new site is functional.

CroALa also includes few more texts, among them Mors Smail-agae Čengić, Ivan Baković’s 1957 Latin translation of the poem by Ivan Mažuranić, two works on Turks from 1545 by Bartul Đurđević / Bartolomej Georgijevic, and a 1864 translation of the death of Ugolino from Dante’s Inferno by Vlaho Getaldić.