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Archaeological Testimonies of the Existence of Books at the Duke of Ilok’s Palace in Ilok
; Institut za arheologiju, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Puni tekst: pdf (1 MB),
Str. 11 - 29
At a naturally protected position on a large loess plateau along the ancient waterway of the Danube, where present-day Ilok lies, the main forces predetermining the shape of a succession of prehistoric, classical antiquity, mediaeval and new-era agglomerations intersected. The central point of the ongoing life was formed in an area where Central European, Danubian and Mediterranean influences have overlapped to the present day. This is the point from which the author, shedding light on an extraordinarily interesting and significant item, i.e. the finding of the fittings of two liturgical books excavated in the course of systematic archaeological excavations on the site of the Duke of Ilok’s Palace in Ilok, confirms that the cultural standards of this late-Mediaeval town had been extremely high. The liturgical books were intended for the court chapel, which was a part of the impressive uncovered northern wing of the Palace of Duke Nikola of Ilok, King
of Bosnia. Based on the established parallels, they were used in the last quarter of the fifteenth century – during the rule of Duke Lovro of Ilok (1477-1524). The archaeological knowledge of the decorative fittings of the liturgical books associates them with the court and policy of King Matthias Corvinus. At the same time, it suggests indirect close links with Venetian printing houses, and also contacts with Germany. These links were particularly
pronounced in the 1480s, which has been determined with a high degree of probability as the production period of the liturgical books discovered in Ilok and on six other late-Mediaeval sites in Slavonia. According to the Decree on the Standardisation of Liturgical Books, issued in 1479 by King Matthias Corvinus, these books had to be standardised and printed for the needs of dioceses in his Central European Kingdom. All arts and crafts items from Ilok, as well as related examples of fittings of late-Mediaeval liturgical and other books found on related sites (courts, churches, monasteries) within the Drava, Danube and Sava interfluves, bring together the late-Mediaeval Slavonian region, representing it as an active participant in Europe’s historical reality, endangered by the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, they represent clear evidence of the need for religious and, most probably, other kinds of literature in the Drava, Danube and Sava interfluves, which has until recently been observed as a certain spiritual hiatus.
Ilok; Dukes of Ilok (Újlaki) court; late Middle Ages; book fittings; King Matthias Corvinus
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