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Slovo : časopis Staroslavenskoga instituta u Zagrebu, No.34 Rujan 1984.

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Historical, social and cultural-environmental conditions of the origin and development of croatian glagolitic printing (on the occaison of the 500th anniversary of the editio princeps of the 1483 Missal)

Eduard Hercigonja

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (53 MB) str. 17-61 preuzimanja: 287* citiraj
Hercigonja, E. (1984). Povijesni, društveni i kulturnoambijentalni uvjeti nastanka i razvoja hrvatskoga glagoljaškog tiska (u povodu 500. obljetnice prvotiska Misala 1483). Slovo : časopis Staroslavenskoga instituta u Zagrebu, (34), 17-61. Preuzeto s

Historical, social and cultural-environmental conditions of the origin and development of croatian glagolitic printing (on the occaison of the 500th anniversary of the editio princeps of the 1483 Missal)
In the fifteenth century the Croatian Glagolitism reached the highest point in its development, the era of the full maturity of its literary endeavourings. The most prominent results of these endeavourings were indisputably the appearance of the editio princeps of the Croatian Glagolitic Missal on the 22nd February 1483 and the organisation of the Glagolitic printing business during the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries (Kosinj, Senj, Rijeka, Venecija). Suprisingly, in our philology this phenomenon, regardless of its exceptional cultural and historical significance, has been considered - with minor exceptions - as something marginal as late as about thirty years ago. It has been neglected and usually only incidentally mentioned (or even undervalued) in syntethic literary-historical works. There were no crtical editions of any of the 19 preserved works of early Glagolitic printing (printed between 1483 and 1561) although some of these works are rarities of high value (or even unique copies). This unique complex has not become the subject of intensive studies from the literary-historical, cultural-historical, linguistic, stylistic, graphic nor typographically-technological aspects. This attitude of Jagić, Šurmin, Murko, Prohaska, Bogdanović, Ježić, Cronia, Kombol and others is obviously the result of the unhistorical and disorted notion of Croatian Glagolites as an illiterate, poor and socially inferior class of our mediaeval society. By inertia, this notion prevailed in our sciece for about a hundred years without any attempts at critical study and investigation of the sources. Consequenly, Glagolitic literature was laso negated: it was called "literacy", "pre-literary period", "introductory period" was considered as something colourless, undefined, which has neither "aestetic aspiration" nor does it reach "aestethic realization". Recent investigation has, however, thoroughly changed such opinions. By analizing the relevant authentic documents, it has been proved that the mediaeval national Glagolitic clergy in villages and fortified settlements (kaštel) was, in the entire area from Istria and Kvarner over Primorje to middle Dalmatia, and from the coast over the Krbava and Lika hinterland to the river Kupa, from a social and economic point of view an important feudal force with the material and intellectual potential corresponding to that of the Latin clergy in Dalmatian towns. It has been as late as the sixteenth century, after the defeat of the Croats in the battle of Krbava (1493) and the tragic diaspora of the Croats who fled from the Turks to the neighbouring countries (Italy, Hungary, Austria), that the period of the decline of Glagolitism started. Glagolitism begins to stagnate in the newly created circumstances, neverthless it persits stubornly till the nineteenth century. This Glagolitism, from the period of its decline - methodically completely unjustifiably - became the measure of the whole Glagolitic history and even the history of mediaeval phase when the Glagolitic sphere was a propulsive factor in the economic, social and cultural life of its enviroment. The social reputation and, for the most part the prosperous material position of the mediaeval Glagolitic monasteries, chapters and parishes as well as of some Glagolitic priests and religious brotherhoods corresponded to the intellectual potential, which manifested itself in the creation of a unique, independent spiritually, creative cultural atmosphere and the development of educational, literary, calligraphic and miniaturistic activities. In distinction from the older historico-philological conceptions, the more recent research has evaluated the literary activities of the Croatian mediaeval Glagolites (in the liturgic and non-liturgic stratum) as a corpus of aesthetically adequate texts and the Croatian mediaeval Glagolitism is considered to be in important chapter in the history of Croatian literature as a whole (the development of the literary language, stylemathics, rimary), an organic part of the literary process as well as a stylistic formation which has become the horison of experioence to the following phase of the literary diachrony: the Renaissance creativity of the Čakavian Dalmatian and Dubrovnik in the sixteenth century. The Glagolitic literature was at the same time an important factor of spiritual integration of the politically and administrativly disunited Croatian territory and an element of preservation to the ethnic identity. In the context of this new judgement of the vaues created in the literary field by mediaeval Glagolitism, we have to evaluate by new and different standards the Glagolitic publishing business and its organization as well as the appearance of the first incunabulum in Croatia and in Slavic South: the Glagolitic Missal of 1483 unique in the achieved typographic artistry, published only 30 years after Gutenberg's 42-line Bible. Being among the first in Europe to acept printing, the Croatian Glagolitism has once more proved its maturity, adaptability and foresight. The Glagolites were open to all positive cultural and literary stimulations from the outside (and at the same time uncompromising in cherishing their Slavic script their national language and the tradition of their liturgic languages). The Glagolites have realized that the future belongs to the press and they felt the possibilities offered by this new medium. The study of their printing business shows that it has - regardless of different officinae - been in a way subjected to a unique ides: a common Glagolitic program which considered the priority of needs and the functionally of editions. Therefore, liturgic codexes (missals, breviaries) were printed first followed by non-liturgic manuals, relugious fiction and primars and then again by litrugic codexes...etc. The practical purpose and the dimensions of the book were also considered - for example, manuals were printed in a smaller, practical format. Good organization of the printing business (which required considerable material means) as well as the quality of editorial, proof reading and typographical work in our printing offices and in Venetian editions deserves our attention. Presently the work on reprinitng certain editions of early Glagolites (6 reprint editions form 1971) is intensified as compared to the situation of about 15 years ago. The first monographic study of the language, (orto)graphy, model and author's translation technique of a book from the early Glagolitic printing period (Knižice od' žitiě rimskih' arhierěov' i cesarov', prepared by bishop Šimun Kožičić, Rijeka 1531) as well as a critical edition of the text (translation without reprint) have been published as late as 1984. Because of the importance of Glagolitic printing in the period from 1483 to 1561 (i. e., until Brozić's Breviary, which marks the end of independ, individual Glagolitic printing - which is to be continued by Roman propaganda in the seventeenth century), as indisputably the highest attainment of Croatian mediaeval literature and a crucial event in our entire cultural tradition, an exact, systematic and complex study of this corpus from all mentioned aspects, sholud not be left to lag behind once more. It has to be regarded as an urgent and pressing task of our mediaeval studies.


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