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Original scientific paper

Antiturcica Iterata – another Look at Croatian anti-Turkish Writings during the Renaissance

Neven Jovanović   ORCID icon ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (813 KB) pages 101-146 downloads: 1.024* cite
APA 6th Edition
Jovanović, N. (2016). Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost. Colloquia Maruliana ..., 25. (25), 101-146. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Jovanović, Neven. "Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost." Colloquia Maruliana ..., vol. 25., no. 25, 2016, pp. 101-146. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Jovanović, Neven. "Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost." Colloquia Maruliana ... 25., no. 25 (2016): 101-146.
Jovanović, N. (2016). 'Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost', Colloquia Maruliana ..., 25.(25), pp. 101-146. Available at: (Accessed 30 July 2021)
Jovanović N. Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost. Colloquia Maruliana ... [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2021 July 30];25.(25):101-146. Available from:
N. Jovanović, "Antiturcica iterata – ponovni pogled na hrvatsku renesansnu protutursku književnost", Colloquia Maruliana ..., vol.25., no. 25, pp. 101-146, 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30 July 2021]

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Croatian writing about the Ottoman threat was both a reaction to the continuous crisis of several states, their societies, and culture, and an attempt to overcome this crisis by developing new ideas and new ways of consolidating the society. It has been claimed that this desperate attempt laid the foundations of modern Croatia. To be able to identify continuities and discontinuities of the so-called Croatian anti-Turkish writings, we have compiled a list of as many such works as possible.
In Croatian literary history, the anti-Turkish writings seem to have first been presented as a group by Mihovil Kombol in 1945. In 1974, Marin Franičević tried to consider together texts from this group written in different languages (Latin and Croatian). In 1983, Vedran Gligo selected and published a canonical collection of sixteen (Latin) »anti-Turkish speeches« from the Renaissance. At the same time, Tomislav Raukar interpreted the anti-Turkish theme as a stimulus to Early Modern Croatia. In 2004, Davor Dukić proposed an imagological interpretation of the anti-Turkish corpus. All researchers, however, worked with a restricted number of texts, and there was not even an estimate of the actual size of the corpus.
To construe a corpus with some pretence to comprehensiveness, we had to establish whether (and to what degree) a text addresses the anti-Turkish theme, whether it could be considered a »Croatian« text, whether it could be considered a literary and a public as opposed to a documentary or a private text). Such considerations led us to exclude some famous texts (such as Judita by Marko Marulić),while including e. g. an Oratio contra Turcam which Ivan Pergošić reprinted from the book by Johannes Avenarius. The fuzzy boundaries between confidentiality and publicity have been demonstrated by the fate of reports by the papal nuntio Antonius Fabregues, whose official dispatches about the Battle of Krbava field have appeared also in print as propagandistic broadsheets.
In our corpus, a Croatian anti-Turkish work is a text urging Christian action against the Turks in defence of Dalmatia, Croatia, Hungary, and Christian Europe as a whole, written by an author significantly connected with Croatia, and calling to arms either by direct appeals or by a more indirect strategy of reporting, celebrating and lamenting events in the Christian-Turkish struggle.
The corpus currently comprises basic bibliographic data on 141 texts written between 1436 and 1600. It exists as a list (see the Appendix to the article) and as a database published by the TeMrežaH project ( We have included data on a few texts that are not preserved, and on texts by unknown authors. Ninety-four texts first appeared as manuscripts, 44 in print (two exist in roughly contemporaneous handwritten and printed versions).
Two texts (poems in Croatian from 1565 and 1596) were first printed almost a hundred years after the events they describe (in 1655). One hundred and four texts are in Latin, 26 in Croatian, nine in Italian; 75 texts are in prose, 66 in verse. An especially active period of production falls in 1493-1548 (when three fifths of all texts in the corpus were written). There are three longer periods of silence, when just a few anti-Turkish texts appear: the years 1504-1509, 1546-1560, 1575-1591. Christian Europe is the central topic in 46 texts, the Kingdom of Hungary in 31, Croatia itself in 20, Dalmatia (and Dubrovnik) in 20, the Levant in 15, the Venetian Republic in 11; this distribution follows the geopolitical situation of Croatian regions during the Renaissance, but Croatia and Dalmatia are treated in about the same number of texts, while the Kingdom of Hungary was thematised significantly more often than Venice.
The texts were written by 61 authors (seven are anonymous), 40 of which wrote just one text; fourteen are known as authors only because of their anti-Turkish works. The five authors with most anti-Turkish texts are Fran Trankvil Andreis, Damjan Beneša, Marko Marulić, Ludovik Paskalić, Ivan Vitez od Sredne. Beneša and Paskalić were absent from the Croatian »canon« of anti-Turkish authors. Four of the authors are not Croatian by birth (Tideo Acciarini, Antonio Fabregues, Francesco Marcello, Bernard Zane), but they were all connected to Dalmatia by office, as teachers, diplomats or Church officials. Most of the authors can be regarded as humanists (17) or priests (24, or 34 including priests serving as diplomats); there were 15 diplomats, five of them lay persons.
The authors whose anti-Turkish writings appear during the longest chronological span are Fran Trankvil Andreis from Trogir (53 years), Mavro Vetranović from Dubrovnik (writing in Croatian over 45 years), and Frano Božićević Natalis from Split (35 years). A chronological analysis also reveals two main generations of anti-Turkish writers. The first one was active during 1500-1535, and the second during 1520-1570. Among the authors those from Dalmatia and Dubrovnik prevail; they belong mostly to the civic patriciate, to the lesser nobility, or even to the general citizenry.
A synoptic analysis of dates, genres, authors and contexts suggests a discontinuity in the corpus of Croatian anti-Turkish writings: some time after 1530-1540 public speeches and appeals disappear, to be replaced by administrative reports to the authorities of the Habsburg empire, by sensational testimonies about travels or battles, and by highly individual »grassroots« entreaties, often, seemingly, without significant political support, often without the benefit of print or of larger print runs. The discontinuity may be connected with the agony of the Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia (after the Battle of Mohács), and with the gradual disappearance of the generation of Croatian humanists that had tried to play significant roles in this kingdom.

Renaissance; Croatia and the Turks (Ottomans); literary corpus; anti-Turkish writings

Hrčak ID: 157717



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