Šimun Kožičić and His Printing House in Petar Kolendić’s Research

Anica Nazor; Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, Zagreb
Literary historian Petar Kolendić (1882–1969) published two tributes to Šimun Kožičić: Zadranin Šimun Kožičić i njegova štamparija na Reci (Šimun Kožičić from Zadar and his Printing House in Rijeka) and Najstariji naš bukvar (Our Oldest Elementary Reader). Both were published in: Južni pregled (Southern Review), year IX, Skoplje 1934, pp 61¬71; 198¬201). In the first tribute, the author presented in brief Kožičić’s life. He recorded that Kožičić, with many bishops “from our parts”, arrived to Rome in 1512, when the (ecumenical) Fifth Council of the Lateran was held “with the main aim to create a frame of mind against the Turks”, with the intention to offer necessary information in person. In the first session held on 10 May 1512, Kožičić had the opportunity to hear Bernardin Zane, the Archbishop of Split, address this matter; consequently, he held his own first speech at the Council on 27 April 1513. He held his second speech – according to Kolendić’s words – “probably in agreement with Prince Bernardin Frankopan” in the autumn, on 5 November 1516, outside the Council session, before Pope Leo X and his cardinals. Kolendić states that no typographic note accompanied the publications of both Kožičić’s speeches, but that they took place “with surety in Rome”. Well¬known facts are that Kožičić was forced to leave Modruš, that he barely managed to escape from the Turks, that he stayed in Vinodol, and that, around 1529, he withdrew to Rijeka where he opened his Glagolitic Printing House. He travelled to Venice to acquire printing inventory for his Printing House. Kolendić establishes which xylographs and letters Kožičić acquired there, and shows that Kožičić’s letters differ from the Glagolitic letters produced by Andrea Torresani or the Printing House Francesco Bindoni et Maffeo Pasini, who had before Kožičić published the Glagolitic Breviary (1493), Elementary Reader (1527) and Missal (1528). In order to establish who were the printers Kožičić mentioned in several of his editions as štampaduri, i.e. printers (… štampan v Rici… Dominikom i Bartolomeom z Breše štampaduri: printed in Rijeka… by Dominik and Bartolomeo from Brescia, printers), Kolendić used both literature and direct addressing experts and specialists. It was incomprehensible to him whether both the printers came from Brescia, as it might be understood from Kožičić’s stylisation. He hence turned to Prof. Karl Paser, expert on Brescian printers of the earliest years of the 16th century, who told him that no printer by the name of Dominik was known in Brescia at that time. Kolendić therefore concluded that Kožičić’s words z Breše štampaduri referred only to the wandering printer Bartolomeo Zanetti, a native of Castrezzato near Brescia. The following four editions published by Kožičić were known to Kolendić: Oficij rimski (The Roman Office) – prayerbook; Misal (The Missal); Knjižice krsta (Books of the Cross) – small book of rites; and Knjižice od žitija rimskih arhijerejov i cesarov (Little Book of the Lives of Roman Pontiffs and Emperors). He introduced a small ritual into literature (“remained unknown to bibliographers”). He quoted the titles and imprints of all four editions, and did so in the Cyrillic script as it was customary in his times (Glagolitic texts had been transcribed in the old¬Cyrillic script). Kolendić states that Šafařík mentioned “a Glagolitic Elementary Reader, which was said to have been published around 1531 in Rijeka, in possession of Professor Zupan who gave it as a gift to Maksimilijan Vrhovac, Bishop of Zagreb”; Kolendić however concludes that “this Elementary Reader had never existed”. In a special tribute (Our Oldest Elementary Reader), Kolendić analyses the luxurious Glagolitic Elementary Reader of 1527 printed by the famous Andrea Torresani, and believing that the reader was not adequately known, gave bibliographers ground to “construct” Bishop Kožičić’s Elementary Reader of 1531, which had never existed. Kolendić’s opinion was accepted, and hence Kožičić’s Elementary Reader was no longer mentioned in bibliographical works. Many years after Kolendić had written that Kožičić’s Reader never existed, it was proved otherwise. The unique exemplum was preserved at the today’s Russian National Library in St. Petersburg. At first, it was considered that it had arrived there as a part of a rich collection of Glagolitic manuscripts and printed books owned by Ivan Berčić from Zadar; yet, it was proved that the way to St. Petersburg was a different one and that together with the Reader, the unique exemplum of Kožičić’s booklet Od bitija redovničkoga knjižice (Books on the Life of Priests), of which Kolendić had no knowledge either, also reached the same destination. Though otherwise known to be a trustworthy author, Kolendić was misled to conclude that Kožičić’s Reader did not exist due to the fact that he had been well familiar with the Glagolitic Elementary Reader of 1527, while he had had no opportunity to see Kožičić’s Reader. If he had seen it, he would have – despite the fact that it included no imprint – noticed the typographic symbol of Kožičić’s Printing House, the sign he knew very well from the other editions. Kolendić’s research nevertheless represents a valuable and a concrete tribute to the knowledge of both Kožičić himself and his Printing House in Rijeka.
Key words
Šimun Kožičić; Petar Kolendić; Glagolitic Elementary Reader from Rijeka; Glagolitic Printing House
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