Croatian Cyrillic Script
Zubrinic, Zagreb (1995)
The tradition of the
Croatian Cyrillic Script goes back to
the 12th century and lasted continuously until the 18th century, with
sporadic uses even in the 20th century. Of course, there are
incomparably more Croatian
than Cyrillic, not to speak about tremendous Croatian literature in the
since the 15th century. However, it is the fact that the Croatian
Cyrillic represents an important cultural heritage. This Script was in
use among the Croats in Dalmatia (especially in the Split and Makarska
hinterland), in the Dubrovnik region and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is
interesting that some of the Croatian Catholics, who visited the
Vatican in the 17th and 18th century, left their signatures written in
the Croatian Cyrillic, which they call expressly the Croatian script.
Thus, the Croatian
includes the following three major regions:
- Bosnia and
(especially widespread among Bosnian Franciscans),
- the Poljica Principality
(near Split) and Makarska hinterland,
as well as isladnds of the middle Dalmatia (e.g. Brac),
- the region of Dubrovnik,
The name of `Bosančica'
a relatively recent provenance -
it has been created by a Croat Ciro
1889, at that time a very young, 24 years old scientist.
Its rather misleading name suggests that it has been related
exclusively to the territory of Bosnia, which is not true,
since it was used in Herzegovina, Dalmatia and on some Croatian
islands as well.
It is interesting that Croatian Cyrillic, i.e. `Bosancica', can be seen
Croatian texts written in Istria, see below.
The name of `western Cyrillic', which also appears in the literature,
is even more imprecise (`western' with
respect to what?). It seems to be appropriate to call
this version of the Cyrillic script by the national name of
those who used it most and who left the greatest number of
written documents, as in the case of other national versions
(Bulgarian Cyrillic, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian,
Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Russian). There are also
important palaeographic reasons, see [Benedikta
Zelic-Bucan]. Thus the notions
Cyrillic and "Bosancica" are equivalent.
The name of the Croatian
Cyrillic (or Bosancica) had the
- Marko Marulić
harvatsko pismo (Croatian script),
- Paltasic of Split
(16th century): harvatsko pismo,
- Richard Daniel
(in his book "Daniels
Copy-Book: or a Compendium of the most usual hands..., London 1664"):
Alphabetum Illiricum Sclavorum (Illirucum = Croatian, for example
Vat.Illir. documents of the Vatican library all refer exclusively to
Croatian documents), thus Croatian alphabet, see p.50 of Daniels' book.
On the same page you can see Alphabetum
croaticum for the Glagolitic of
the 17th century (see Branko
Franolic: "Croatian Glagolitic printed texts recorded in the British
Library General Catalogue," Croatian information centre, London, 1994
1545 in Rome, an Italian encyclopaedist Giovanni
Batista Palatino presented the
Glagolitic (see [the photo])
Script (see on the right) in the second edition of his book Libro
Nouvo (Libro nel qual s'insegna a scrivere ogni sorte lettera, antica
et moderna...), among 29 scripts
that he designed for printing. He
claims the Glagolitic (which he calls Buchuizza
- bukvica) to be created by St. Jerome, and to be "different from all
other existing Scripts". The Cyrillic is ascribed to St. Cyril.
Palatino also provided a page with tombstone inscription of the Bosnian Queen Katarina
(15th century; buried
in Aracoeli, Rome), written in Croatian Cyrillic, in Latin script
(Croatian language) and in Latin Script (Latin language). The last
sentence is SPOMINAK NJE PISMOM POSTAVLJEN (Monumentum ipsius scriptis
positum - Monument written in her script):
- A short note
about Croatian Glagolitic
and Cyrillic can be found in Viaggio
in Dalmazia by Alberto
Fortis, Venice 1774. The book is
also known to have brought the
famous poem of Asanaginica
- Bosnian Franciscans
(all of them are the Croats): Bosanska
chirilica, bosanska azbukvica,
- Ivan Kukuljević
Sakcinski (outstanding Croatian
intellectual, 19th century): Croato - Bosnian Cyrillic (hrvatsko -
- Ćiro Truhelka, a
Croatian scientist: Bosančica,
- Vatroslav Jagić
Tomislav Raukar (mid 20th century, Zagreb): "Western Cyrillic" (western
with respect to what??). Jagić also used the name of "Bosnian -
- Josip Vrana (in the
sixties of the 20th century): hrvatska ćirilica (Croatian Cyrillic),
- Benedikta Zelić-Bučan
(leading expert for the Croatian
Cyrillic - Bosancica): since the seventies insisting on the name of the
Croatian Cyrillic (she wrote an important booklet entitled "Bosancica
in Middle Dalmatia" (in 1960, of course, in the Croatian language),
- An important and
highly readable book treating the three-script
history of Croatian Middle Ages
(including Croatian Cyrillic) is [Hercigonja],
written by outstanding specialist
in 1994. It should be consulted by anybody wishing to study in more
detail extremely complex history of writing among the Croats.
is the text of Asanaginica from the
above mentioned Fortis' book (transliterated into Latin Script with
ikavian reflex of yat):
se bili u gori zelenoj?
Al su snizi al so labutove?
Da su snizi već bi okopnuli;
Labutove već bi poletili.
Here is the same text in
se bili u gori zelenoj?
Al su snizi al su labutove?
Da su snizi već bi okopnuli;
Labutovi već bi poletili.
in Croatian Cyrillic quickscript (with slight
se bili u gori zelenoi
Al su snizi al su labutovi
Da su snizi već bi okopnuli
Labutovi već bi poletili
of the oldest and most important
Croatian Cyrillic monuments are as follows (here we follow [Benedikta Zelic-Bucan]
- the tablet
of Humac (Herzegovina),
several Glagolitic letters (early 11th century according to Hercigonja;
10/11th century according to Vinko Grubišić),
Cyrillic inscription of the Povlja lintel
(1184) from the
Benedictine monastery in the village of Povlja on the island of Brac
- the Povlja charter
from Povlja on the island of Brac
(1184, copy from 1250), extensive Croatian Cyrillic text having 53
lines, mentioning 250 old Croatian names (the information contained on
the above to web pages is based on the work of Dr. Ivan Ostojić),
- the charter
document of the Bosnian ban (governor) Kulin
inscription of pop Tjehodrag,
century, Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, discovered in 2003, described
Photo below by
courtesy of Slavko Kirin.
- The Evangel
of Prince Miroslav of Zahumlje
from the end of the 12th century), created by Croatian Benedictins,
most probably in the city of Ston on the Peljesac peninsula. It has
been noticed already in the middle of the twentieth century that
miniatures of this evangelistary do not belong to the Byzantine style,
but to the Roman (western) style (Ivan Ostojic in his voluminous
three-volume "History of Benedictins in Croatia").
The language analysis performed by Benedikta Zelić-Bučan,
based on the previous investigations of a Croatian palaeographer Josip
Vrana, shows that it has been written in the Croatian recension of the
Church Slavonic language. This important monument is held in Belgrade
(Narodni muzej), except of one page which is in St. Petersburg.
- the Blagaj
inscription from the Bosnian
Blagaj (second half of the 12th century),
- the Trebinje
inscription of the župan Grdo
Trebinje in Herzegovina (second half of the 12th century). "Zupan"
(country prefect). This very old title is in use in Croatia even today.
- the Croatian
Chronicle (12th-14th centuries);
famous Croatian humanist Marko Marulić
translated it from Croatian Cyrillic into Latin in 1510. The chronicle
was written by Archbishop Grgur of Bar
- Kočerin tablet
from 1410 or 1411 (carved in stone in
Kočerin near Siroki Brijeg), with about 300 Croatian cyrillic letters
(this the largest known text in Croatian Cyrillic appearing on
stecak's); the text is written in ikavian dialect, and starts with
invocation of Holy Trinity:
ime Oca i Sina i svetoga Duha, Amin, se
leži Viganj Milošević...,
the concluding message is indicative:
I molju vas ne
nastupite na me! Ja sam bil
kako vi jeste, vi ćete biti kako jesam ja
("And I ask you not to
step on me, I was like you, and you will be like me")
- the cyrillic
inscription on the stecak
in Brotnice in Konavle
south of Dubrovnik
probably from 15th century (note also
the glagolitic A appearing at the end of the first line), see [Kapetanic, Vekaric,
Stanovnistvo Konavala 1,
Here we provide a
translitartion of the Charter of Ban
Kulin, August 28, 1189,
from Croatian Cyrillic to Latin script, with English translationn
provided by Mr. Marko Puljic, USA. Note the solemn Christian invocation
"In the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (and
other), a proof that Bosnia at that time was a Christain land.
ime oca i s(i)na i
Ja ban’ bos’n’ski Kulin’
prisezaju tebЪ kneže
Kr’vašu i v’sЪm’
prijatelj’biti vam’od’selЪ i do vЪka i
dr’žati s’vami pravu vЪeu dokolЪ
V’si Dubrov’čane kire hode po mojemu vladanju
tr’gujuće, gdЪ si kto hoće krЪvati godЪ si kto mine
vЪrov’ i pravim’
dr’žati je bez’v’sakoje z’ledi
raz’v’Ъ što mi k’to da
voljov’ poklon’. I da im’ne bude
od’moih’čest’nikov sile I do kolЪ u mene
im’s’vЪt’i pomoć’ jajire i sebЪ
bez’ v’sega z’loga i primis’la.
pomagaj i sie s(ve)t(o) evan’đelie.
Ja Radoje dijak ban pisah’siju knjigu poveljov’
banov’ od’ roždstva
H(risto)va hiljada i s’to i os’m’deset i
av’gusta u d’vedesete i deveti
d’n’, usЪčenie glave Jovana
the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I, Kulin, ban of Bosnia, swear to be a true friend to you, o prince
Kr’vash, and to all Dubrovnik
from now on and forever, and to keep true peace with you, and true
faith, as long as I am alive.
All Dubrovnik people who go through my domain trading, wherever anyone
wants to move or wherever anyone passes, I will in true faith and with
a true heart keep without any damage, unless someone of his own will
gives me a gift, and let there be no violence against them by my
officers, and as long as they are in my lands I will give them advice
and help as I would to myself, as much as I am able, without any evil
help me God and this
I Radoje the ban’s clerk wrote this document by the command
the ban, one thousand and one hundred
and eighty and nine years from the birth of Christ,
the month of
August, the twenty-ninth day, [the day of] the beheading of John the Baptist.
is interesting that in 2012 a monument dedicated to
Ban Kulin was errected in the city of Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
containing this text, but with indicated boldface parts deleted,
obviously aiming to deny the Christian roots of Ban Kulin. For more
information see here.
Humac Tablet (Humačka ploča), kept in the Franciscan Museum in
According to academician Eduard Hercigonja, it dates from 11th century.
Kočerin tablet from 1410 or 1411, kept in the Franciscan Museum in
Ljubuški, Bosnia and Herzegovina
There exists a
significant number of Croatian Cyrillic
codices, chronicles, healers' pharmacopoeias, registers of
births, testaments, personal correspondence etc.
is the Poljice
small Principality in the neighbourhood of Split (1440).
parvi od kneza
u ime Gospodina Boga - amen.
The Poljica statute, a famous Croatian Cyrillic legal document. This is
a version from 1665, kept in the National and University Library in
Zagreb. The oldest preserved version is from 1440., and it is known to
have been based on even older manuscripts.
Here is a Croatian
Cyrillic testament of R. Vladisic written
the famous fortress of Klis near Split in
1436 (transcription from 1448).
of the most famous Franciscan monasteries is
the one in Kraljeva
Sutiska (or Kraljeva
old and contemporary inscriptions in
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.
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.
to Croatian researcher Josip
Hamm, members of the Bosnian Church
(Krstyans) particularly appreciated the Glagolitic Script. Namely, all
the important Bosnian Church books,
are based on Croatian Glagolitic Church books. For more information
about Bosnian Krstyans see [Leon Petrovic].
first printed Croatian Cyrillic
book was The Book of Hours
the Dubrovnik breviary, or Oficje)
published in Venice in 1512, prepared by Franjo
One copy is held in Paris in
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. The third preserved copy is kept
In 2012 an international conference "Croatian Cyrillic Heritage"
(Hrvatska ćirilična baština) has been organized by Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts, on the occasion of 500 years since the
first printed Croatian Cyrillic book. The book of summaries of
Proceedings from the conference will be
Franciscan Museum in Ljubuški, Franciscan seals in Croatian
Many of the Croatian
Cyrillic inscriptions are carved on
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
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;
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).
There exist many types of
the Croatian Cyrillic - both carved
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. Here is an example,
provided by the National Library of Russia:
b. Salih, captain of Ostrovitsa and Bihach provinces.
Letter to Pavasovich, serdar of Shibenik and Skradin kapitenias
(provinces in Croatia [Šibenik and Skradin are Croatian
the Adriatic Sea; D.Ž.).
1135 A.H./1722 – 1723 A.D. 1 f., 305 x 209 mm, paper.
Coll. 67. Berchich.
The letter is written in cursive bosanchitsa script – a
of Cyrillic used mainly by the Catholic and Moslem population of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
[Cyrillic mentioned Here
is Croatian Cyrillic, while Catholic population in Bosnia is Croatian
population, as well as a part of Moslem population. D.Ž.]
In the Royal Library of Stockholm
(Kungliga biblioteket) there is a huge Czech book Gigas
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
Glagolitic Script in Gigas
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
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 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.
See a stone
fragment (1640) from Modrus in Lika,
inscribed with letters in Cyrillic and
Austrian royal envoy Jerolim Zadranin writes a letter in
Cyrillic on 11 February 1543 from Constantinople to Croatian
(governer) Baćan and other Croatian dignitaries to be in peace with
neighbouring Turks (Carski poslanik Jerolim Zadranin piše
hrvatskom ćirilicom banu hrvatskom
Baćanu i ostalim poglavarima 11. veljače 1543. u Carigradu, da budu u
miru sa susjednim Turcima:)
- The first sentence
reads (Prva rečenica glasi): Izveličeni
gospodo, bani Hrvacki!
- ...da imam vam
Slovinskim i Hrvackim
- .. ne samo za Hrvatsku
ali Slovinsku zemlju
- ...podložnikom u
Požegi, Slovinie i Hrvatih
See Acta croatica,
There are legal documents
written in Croatian cyrillic which
mention the Croatian name, as well as the surname Harvatić
derived from Croatian name
(Harvat = Hrvat = Croat):
1552. tijekom ispitivanja
svjedoka u vezi parnice kneza
Nikole Zrinjskoga s knezom Petrom Keglevićem poradi Selca, u dokumentu
pisanom hrvatskom ćirilicom, spominje se
kao jedan od svjedoka Varban Harvatić.
Croatian Protestants published The New Testament in 1563 in Urach,
Germany, in two volumes (1000 copies of each):
va tom su vsi četiri Evan-
gelisti i Apustolska
mnozih’ jazikov’ v sadašnji općeni i
jazik’, po Antonu
Dalmatinu i Stipanu Istrijanu, s po-
moću drugih’ bratov’, verno st’l-
mačeni, i s ciruličskimi
slovi najp’rvo sada
the sixth line of the above
title page of Vol I, we can see that the
book was printed in Croatian language - Hrvatski
is again stressed on the same page in German - Crobatische
The books were printed
in Konzul’s and
Dalmatin’s Croatian-Urach Cyrillic script, see Alojz Jembrih [PDF1],
The whole edition was prepared
by Anton Dalmatin and Stipan Istrian, as well as by other
brethern. The same book was published in Croatian Glagolitic
Script in 1562/63, prepared by
the same persons. Reprints of
these books have been published in 2008 by the Theological
Faculty "Matija Vlačić
Ilirik" in Zagreb, where you can
find more information.
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].
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.
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:
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
You can listen to the
text, narrated by Stjepan Bahert, drama
zapis don Bare
Pifrovica iz okolice Zadra. 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:
Photo from [Bogovic and Jurisic,
|Nek se znade
in vikario g.
l(ita) n(a) 1610.
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
(follow the link for
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):
Nikola i Nik
ola Andriaš, na slavu Boga i Sv(e)te
Gospe. I Blago(slo)vi
Biskup nakon 1.
5.7.9. godina poroda
Isusova. Na s(v)e(toga) žuna.
Pisa fra Bazilio Ravnanin.
church in the village of Ravno
in 2007, damaged in
1991 when the Greater Serbain agression on BiH started.
Village of Ravno, Eastern Herzegovina, not far from Dubrovnik.
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,
Representatives of Orahov Do,
Cesljar, golubinac, Kijev Do and Belinic
sending letter to emperor Leopold I asking him for protection in 1688.
Representatives of Ravno,
Cvaljin, Velican, and Dubljani sending a letter to Leopold I in 1690.
- Jezik boljunskih natpisa,
kulturno proljece, Godisnjak,
godiste V, 2007., str. 175 - 189
(condensed version [PDF])
natpisi stolackog kraja, in Stolacko
kulturno proljece, Godisnjak za
povijest i kulturu, godiste VII,
2009., str. 119-146
- Jezik srednjovjekovnih
kamenih natpisa iz Hercegovine,
Matica hrvatska, Sarajevo 2009.
(250 pp) ISBN978-9958-830-34-1
the island of Brac there is a famous
glagolitic convent of Blaca
built in the
interesting library keeps among others old
Croatian Cyrillic manuscripts, like this one:
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.
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.
Glagolitic quicscript book found
in a Glagolitic convent near
Murvica, near famous Zlatni rat, on the island of Brač, see [Batelja,
Apokalipsa u Zmajevoj Špilji]
There are several
additional convents of the Poljica
origin founded in 15.-16. st.:
- one on the island of
Čiovo: Prizidnice (on the south-east
of the island),
- one on the island of
Šolta: Gospa u Borima (eastern part of
the island, north of the G. Sela),
- six on the island of
Brač: except the mentioned convents of
Blaca, Dračeva Luka and Zmajeva špilja (Dragon's Cave), also
Silvio i Stipančić (near the village of Murvice by the famous Zlatni
nobles were familiar not only with the Croatian
but also with Croatian
Cyrillic. We can illustrate this with the following text signed by Petar Zrinski
Croatian statesman and writer. It is contained in the "Libar od
Spominka" (Book of Remebrances) written by Katarina
The following book issued by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
deals with medical recepies texts from the 18th century
Croatian Cyrillic Script in the region of Poljica near the city of
Pećina (eds.): Knjiga od likarije,
obrada dviju ljekaruša pisanih hrvatskom ćirilicom, HAZU,
2010. (facsimile and transliteration, scholarly studies by Ante Nazor,
Ante Nazor J., and Marinka Šimić) ISBN 978-953-154-922-6
Some Croatian nobleman and a part of aristocracy used among others
Croatian Cyrillic Script: these refer to families of Frankapan,
Keglević (on Croatian north!), Peranski, Kačić, Petar Kružić, Nikola
- oko 1550.
svjedoka o pravdi kneza Nikole Zrinjskoga s knezom Petrom Keglevićem
poradi Selca (hrvatskom
U Beču. Knez
Gašpar Keglević piše svojemu otcu Petru, kako je
poslove u Beču obavio (hrvatskom
Museum of the town of Grude (BiH), Chronicle of fra Stjepan Vrljić from
1716, written in Croatian Cyrillic.
The first and the last sentences are the Latin Language.
In Dei Nomine Amen. ... Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed nomini tuo ad
In the archives of the Nin Bishopric (Nin is a town at the Croatian
coast, not far from the city of Zadar) the following document dating
from 1723 has been discovered, written in Croatian Cyrillic Script:
The document was written by don Ivan Mišlić, a Catholic
priest in Nadin, and deals with a marriage in Nadin in 1723.
transliteration from Croatian
Cyrillic into Latin script:
Prisvitli gospodine daemo na znane vašoi milosti da se ženi
Gargo sin Jurja Bušlete a uzima Anticu ženu pokoinoga Luke
Arlića iz daržave prisvitloga gospodina arhibiskupa i ucinil san
navišćenja kako zapovida sveta mati crikva i nije se
zaprika koja bi mogla
zabraniti svetomu matremoniju a sada pozdravla vaše
U Nadinu na 6 maja 1723
Ponizni sluga vaše milosti don Ivan Milišić kurat
We owe our gratitude to Mr. Ivica Glavan, University of Zadar,
for sending us this interesting document.
In 2014, a monumental monograph [Kujundzic]
has been published about a little known and very importyant Croatian
medical book, dating from the mid 18th century. It contains as many as
1700 medical recepies, writen in Croatian Cyrilic Script (poljičica).
While the original text contains 406 readable pages, the scholarly
study was published in 2014 on 756 pp. This extensive and important
monument of Croatian language and culture dates from about 1750, and
originates probably from the region of Poljica, that is, from the
region between Split and Omiš, arround the mountain of Mosor. The
language of the text is close to contemporary Croatian štokavian, based
on older čakavian Croatian speech. The vocabulary is ikavian: misec (mjesec - moon), bilo (bijelo - white), mliko (mlijeko - milk), liči (liječi - cure), imišaj (izmješaj - mix), cviće (cvijeće - flowers), slip (slijep - blind), vitar (vjetar - wind), medvid (medvjed - bear), odića (odjeća - clothing), svića (svijeća
- candle), etc. Sources of some of the recepies are explicitly
mentioned. For example, the name of distingushed Catalonian scholar
Arnaldus de Villanova is mentioned in the book as Rinalod s Novog Sela
(in the recepy no. 912). The name of Plinius is mentioned in 35
recepies, of Dioskurid in 25, while the name of Plato is mentioned in
17 recepies. The book has been discovered in 1920/21 in the village of
Budimir near Trilj dating from around 1750, and is probably a copy of
an even older book.
An illustration of Croatian Cyrillic script:
Hrvatska ćirilica - Croatian Cyrillic.
August Šenoa: Seljačka buna, predgovor. Napisao Nenad Hančić, 2015.
For more information see
- [fra Karlo Jurisic]
- [Maric, Simic, Skegro]
- Benedikta Zelić Bučan: Bosančica ili hrvatska ćirilica u srednjoj Dalmaciji,
novo prošireno izdanje, izdao Državni arhiv u Splitu, kompjutorski slog
Redak, Split 2000., 1-135 str. + 4 lista s tablama. Prikaz dr. don
Slavka Kovačića: [PDF]
Sveti Križ na Čiovu 1970.
- Marko Rimac, Ivan
Botica: Hrvatska ćirilica u glagoljskim
matičnim knjigama zapadno od Krke, u [Galović
Az grišni diak Branko pridivkom Fučić], str. 521-550
- Ivan Kosić: Croatian Cyrillic manuscripts in the
Old Book Collection Fund at the National and University Library in
Zagreb, Slovo, Vol. 56-57, 2008,
- Milka Tica: Stećci od
Zgošće do Ledinca,
naklada Jurčić, Zagreb 2011.
ćirilični molitvenik iz 1512.
(Croatian Cyrillic Prayer Book From
1512), with commentary of Anica Nazor, published by HAZU (Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts), Matica Hrvatska, NSK (National and
University Library), Zagreb, 2013, ISBN: 978-953-154-212-8
- Ivica Vigato:
Glagoljica i hrvatska ćirilica u Spisima
Ninske Biskupije, Slovo Rogovsko, br. 2, 2014., str. 15-17
- Grozdana Franov
Živković: Dopisivanje mletačkih i turskih
vlasti u 17. st. dva pisma iz 1642. i 1643. na hrvatskoj ćirilici,
Slovo Rogovsko, br. 2, 2014., str. 18-20
- Kristijan Juran:
Hrvatska ćirilica (bosančica) u spisima
Šibenske biskupije (1), Slovo Rogovsko, br. 2,
- Kristijan Juran, Marin Banović i Mihovil Šetka: Hrvatska ćirilica
(bosančica) u spisima Šibenske biskupije (2), Slovo rogovsko, br. 3,
Zadar 2015., str. 50-51.
- Nikola Kujundžić (ed.): Velika sinjska ljekaruša, Farmaceutsko-biokemijski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, HAZU, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 2014. (description of the book: [PDF])
- Grozdana Franov-Živković: Ženidbeni spisi iz arhiva Ninske
biskupije: dopisivanje župnika Slivnice i Smiljana (Lika) na
hrvatskoj ćirilici (bosanici), Slovo rogovsko, br. 3, Zadar 2015., str.
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