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Why Marulić’s Repertorium Matters?

Darko Novaković

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 115 Kb

str. 9-24

preuzimanja: 1.131



Ever since Ferdo Šišić reported in 1923 on the discovery of an unknown manuscript by Marko Marulić in the Biblioteca nazionale centrale in Rome (2651, ms. Ges. 522), his claim that this work was a “collection of quotations from various authors” has been left unchallenged and his conclusion that works of that kind are not worth publishing has remained without response. The lack of interest in the manuscript as a whole is best illustrated by the fact that for more than seventy years it has been quoted under the alternative and descriptive title: Multa et varia ex diversis auctoribus collecta quae maxime imitatione digna videbantur — and not under the name Repertorium given by the author, which was accidentally misplaced by several folios in the course of bind-ing.
As the original title suggests, the Repertorium is a reference work, a reminder which offers an assortment of thought by various authors, which the writer considered worth of special record. The companion is clearly laid out: at its base is a lexicon of over three hundred entries (in Marulić’s terminology: dictiones) set in alphabetical order, each one accompanied by relevant excerpts which the writer found in one or another of his forty sources (auctores). Given a different scope and basic themes of each source Marulić could not find in all of them quotational support for every single heading and therefore the number of entries is under twelve thousand, which would be the nominal product of the number of authors multiplied by the number of entries.
The importance of the Repertorium could be asserted from several points of view. Firstly, it is not a simple “collection of quotations”, since Marulić seldom quotes verbatim: on the contrary, he modifies the original text and tries to convey the essence of the information which he finds noteworthy. In other words, in the majority of cases he does not give integral quotations but rather their various adaptations, which regularly include condensation and lexical, syntactic or stylistic reshaping. Given that Marulić’s typical intervention amounts to the shortening of text, it is of interest to note that certain entries, namely from the Scriptures, are accompanied by commentary and some even merit an allegorical interpretation.
Secondly, the importance of the Repertorium lies also in the fact that its vast content embraces motifs and common places which appear in Marulić’s own texts. This makes the parallel study of the Repertorium and Marulić’s own literary texts a solid base for establishing a reliable chronology of his oeuvre.
In order to accomplish this task it is necessary to determine with certainty the date of the manuscript and to identify the editions which Marulić used to create his Repertorium. To date we have identified just over one half of the sources: Strabo: Treviso 1480 (HC *15089); Aemilius Probus (= Cornelius Nepos): Venice 1471 (HC *5733); Pseudo-Plinius De viris illustribus: Venice 1477 (HC *2136) or Florence 1478 (H 2137); Plutarch Apophthegmata: Venice 1471-2 (HC 13139); Quintilian Declamationes: Venice 1482 (HC 13658); Pomponius Mela: Venice 1477 (H 11015); Jerome Epistulae: Parma 1480 (HC *8557); Seneca De philosophia morali: Venice 1490 (HC *14593); Plato: Venice 1491 (HC *13063); Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Treviso 1480 (H *6239); Alexander of Aphrodisias Problemata: Venice 1488-9 (HC add. *658); Pseudo-Aristoteles Problemata: Venice 1488-9 (HC add. *658); Plutarch Problemata: Venice 1488-9 (HC add. *658); Aulus Gellius: Venice 1489 (H *7522); Plutarch Vitae: Venice 1491 (HCR 13129); Diogenes Laertius: Venice 1493 (H *6203); Curtius Rufus: Venice 1494 (HC *5885); Polybius: Venice 1498 (HC *13248); Valerius Maximus (= M. Sabellico): Venice 1498 (HC *14055); Pliny the Younger: Panegyricus: Venice, around 1500 (HR 13120); Jerome Commentaria: Venice 1497-8 (H 8581); Eusebius De praeparatione euangelica: Venice 1501; Basil the Great Opera: Rome 1515.
Regardless of possible minor corrections to the list, the following general conclusion can be drawn: Marulić began to compile his Repertorium in the early eighties and continued adding annotations throughout his life (last entries can be dated after 1515 with certainty). Clearly his work on the Repertorium spanned more than three decades — from the time of his first literary attempts to the time when his De institutione and Euangelistarium attained international recognition.
Insofar as we know the Repertorium is Marulić’s longest autograph. Given the time frame outlined above, this means that we are able to follow the development of his handwriting from the age of thirty to the age of nearly seventy. Therefore the Repertorium is also the most valuable witness to Marulić’s own orthographic practice, the only manuscript with reliable time parameters to monitor changes in his spelling. With this in mind we can conclude, for example, that his use of certain doublets is defined by pretty clear time limits: in the excerpts from Pliny the Elder to Cicero
(i.e. until early eighties) he uses spelling foelix, whereas later on he uses felix; until Jerome’s Commentaries (1497-8) he uses caritas, thereafter he uses charitas; for heretics he first used the form hÿretici, changing it in the eighties to heretici. Likewise, we can find proof in the Repertorium that from the very beginning Marulić used majuscular e caudata (E), which — due to intervention of the publishers — regularly disappeared without trace in the print. (The volumes of the Opera omnia published so far are no exception in this respect).
The hitherto identified editions also furnish us with a list of the most prominent humanists from whom Marulić may have learned the art of translation and whose style he may have imitated: Guarino da Verona and Gregorius Tifernas (Strabo), Francesco Filelfo (Plutarch), Giorgio Valla (Alexander of Aphrodisias), Lap/p/o Birago (Dionysius of Halicarnassus), Ambrogio Traversari (Diogenes Laertius), Niccolò Perotti (Polybius), Lorenzo Valla (Thucydides, Herodotus), Georgius Trapezuntius (Eusebius). Finally, the identification of these editions should facilitate the search — now practically abandoned — for the very books which once belonged to Marulić’s own library and which, given his known practice, could contain very interesting marginalia.

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