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Otium and Negotium – Marulić on Leisure and Work

Branko Jozić   ORCID icon ; Marulianum Split

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (152 KB) str. 248-258 preuzimanja: 810* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Jozić, B. (2014). Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu. Crkva u svijetu, 49 (2), 248-258. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Jozić, Branko. "Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu." Crkva u svijetu, vol. 49, br. 2, 2014, str. 248-258. Citirano 15.05.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Jozić, Branko. "Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu." Crkva u svijetu 49, br. 2 (2014): 248-258.
Jozić, B. (2014). 'Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu', Crkva u svijetu, 49(2), str. 248-258. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 15.05.2021.)
Jozić B. Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu. Crkva u svijetu [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 15.05.2021.];49(2):248-258. Dostupno na:
B. Jozić, "Otium i negotium – Marulić o dokolici i radu", Crkva u svijetu, vol.49, br. 2, str. 248-258, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 15.05.2021.]

The term otium covers the whole range of meanings, from futile idleness to rest of (public) activities, i.e. time devoted to privacy and study (Cicero’s otium litteratum, otium cum dignitate). Work is generally seen as burdensome and moralistic expressions of biblical-Christian tradition tend to warn of the deleterious effects of idleness. Yet, Augustine expressed awareness that work and leisure need to be balanced and he pointed to their complementarities. However, Benedict is trying to reconcile the ancient times opposites negotium-otium and the medieval vita activa-vita contemplativa with the rule ora et labora. Thomas Aquinas also joined the mentioned thinkers in attaching a greater value to spiritual/intellectual work than to physical work. In two Petrarca’s works (De Vita Solitaria, De Otio Religiosorum) otium is affirmed as a space of freedom from work duties (negotium), dedication to contemplation, a world of individuality, maturity, cognition and creativity, where the time, needed for psychophysical balance, for sublimation of experience and for reaching something truly valuable, is the key term. Contemplative idleness is not passivity or an escape from life, but active socializing with oneself, with the like-minded people, with nature and books. In the life of Marulić one can see a balanced interweaving of these two aspects. On the one hand he held public services and managed the family estate, and on the other he would retreat into solitude to read and study, into the “temple” to meditate, and for two years he retreated into the idyllic seclusion of a cove of Nečujam on the island of Šolta. He would get rid of obligations to devote his attention to himself, to important issues and to his friends. As a moral and didactic writer he passes on the commonplaces of classical and Christian wisdom traditions, presents his arguments and provides examples. He warns of the disastrous laziness, and, though a nobleman, speaks positively about the work, even about that frequently despised, physical work. Work provides what is necessary for life; working we avoid aberration in vices and achieve personal improvement. Everyone needs to work and also needs to impregnate and dignify the time, as a precious but limited opportunity for generating either personal or common welfare, for achieving either material or spiritual good. Using time implies both otium and negotium. Work and leisure, work time and leisure time, are seemingly contradictory in meaning, but functionally they are connected and, as two complementary states, they are qualitatively interdependent. Finally, according to Marulić, they should be directed to the acquisition of virtue.

Ključne riječi
Marko Marulić; otium; negotium; work; leisure; laziness

Hrčak ID: 126141



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