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Original scientific paper

Apotropaic Passion of Jesus Christ: Traces of the Circulation of One Form of an Early Modern Popular Devotion to Christ’s Wounds and Blood in Croatian Glagolitic Manuscript Culture

Josip Vučković orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zadru, Odjel za kroatistiku

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page 161-184

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The Passion of Jesus Christ is a popular devotional text created to promote the worship of Christ’s blood and wounds. It originated in the early modern times as an echo of late medieval listing and counting forms of piety. A typical early modern version of the Passion of Jesus Christ consists of Christ’s address to three women mystics who prayed for a revelation of the number of blows and drops of blood he shed during the Passion, a description of devotional practice in honor of the Passion, a list of graces that can be obtained by such devotion, and the attribution of apotropaic properties to its copies. It has been shown that the text was circulated in numerous cultures (e.g., English, Ethiopian, German, Irish, Italian), however, its early modern dissemination in the cultural area of Glagolitic literacy has not been treated. This paper analyzes the surviving Croatian Glagolitic attestations of the Passion of Jesus Christ by situating them in a broader comparative context. The comparison of the Croatian Glagolitic Passion of Jesus Christ with an Italian amulet found in Roccapelago (Emilia-Romagna) revealed that this text appeared in the Croatian Glagolitic cultural area as the result of a trans-Adriatic cultural transfer. Moreover, the paper shows that Croatian Glagolitic writers not only disseminated the Passion of Jesus Christ in codices, but indeed utilized it as a template in the production of textual amulets.


number of Christ’s wounds, popular piety, Croatian Glagolitic manuscript culture, textual amulets, cultural transfer

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