JURAJ STARJANIĆ’S LATIN SCRIPT ČAKAVIAN MISSIVE TO ZADAR’S DOMINICAN NUNS ABOUT RELIGIOUS DISCIPLINE

Author:
Amir Kapetanović
Email:
akapetan@ihjj.hr
Summary
This paper describes and brings a reprint of a Latin script Čakavian missive written by the Dalmatian provincial Juraj Starjanić (1555), which was sent to Zadar’s Dominican nuns as a warning about religious discipline. This fascinating testimony to the history of Croatian culture and Croatian (church) history, especially to that of the city of Zadar, has only been published once, in 1952, according to a transcription by Šime Ljubić done in a strange manner (aside from errors in transcription, Starjanić’s old Latin graphy was mixed with modern Croatian). The original of the missive was apparently considered lost at the time it was published according to Ljubić’s transcription. In this version not even the surname of the signatory was fully preserved, requiring authorship to be determined indirectly (Zaninović) and without the aid of the original document. Today, the original missive is a part of the Berčić collection (fund 67) in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg. Starjanić’s warning and order is doubtlessly a reflection of the processes and discussions that were underway at the time, and which concern the life within the Dominican order and the Church in general (the Council of Trent). The text is a valuable record of communication in the Croatian language within a church order on the eastern Adriatic coast. The Latin alphabet in which the text is written does not differ significantly from that used in Dalmatia up until then, and the language of the text can be identified, with a fair degree of certainty, as the Čakavian literary language characteristic of the part of the Adriatic coast to the south of Zadar.
Key words
Juraj Starjanić; Dominicans; Čakavian Croatian; literary language; missive; Latin script; Ivan Berčić
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