Croatia - Great Britain
overview of historical relations - a sketchDarko Zubrinic, 2004.
It is interesting that King Richard the Lion-Hearted (1157-1199) sojourned in Zadar (and not in Dubrovnik as it has been believed). Also Henry of Lancaster, the future King Henry IV, visited Zadar and Dubrovnik during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1392 and 1393. See [Mardesic], p. 134-135.
George Bernard Shaw once visited Kornati, and wrote the following "On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown his work, and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath"
Interesting impressions about the Croats can be seen in ``The Journey'' written by Thomas Watkins, published in London in 1792 (second edition in 1794). He praises Croatian soldiers (Esclavonian soldiers) and sailors. He was enthralled by the beauty of Dubrovnik, its hospitality, competent administration, high level of education and scholarship found among many of its inhabitants. He also cited some of the verses that the Durbovnik poets addressed to him as a guest. Talking about inhabitants of Dalmatia, he stated that they are ``in their attire and manners not unlike highland Scots - bold, honest, simple and so incured to inclement weather that even now, when the snow is 4 inches high, some of them (as I can see from my window) spend the night round a small fire in the open'' (see [Mardesic], p. 186).
It is interesting that Thomas Fink from the University of Cambridge defended his doctoral thesis in physics dealing with - ties! Also a recent monograph has been issued devoted to various applications of ties in science: The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots, by Thomas Fink Yong Mao Fourth Estate: 1999.
Croatian soldiers served in many European armies since the seventeenth century. So in the French army in the 17th century, during the reign of Louis XIII, there was a cavalry composed exclusively of the Croats, called Royal - Cravate, which existed in the period of 1664-1789. These soldiers gave the world something that is today unavoidable in fashion: the tie, called la cravate by the French and by the Germans die Krawatte - the expression was coined from the Croatian name, and mentioned for the first time in 1651. The name entered also
and many other. So when you wear a tie, remember its Croatian origin.
Branko Franolic, London:
The territory of the famous Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa), though somehow disconnected from the main part of Croatia, was able to keep balance with great forces, which always had respect for its economic welbeing and culture, and it remained free due to its numerous diplomatic and economic relations. This earliest Croatian city-state had as many as 85 consulates in various seaports throughout the Mediterranean, and diplomatic representatives in Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Paris and London. Dubrovnik was especially flourishing from the 15th to the 18th century, and was the chief rival to Venice. In the 16th century Dubrovnik had a fleet of 200 larger ships, which grew to 300 in the 18th century. Around 1780 the ships from Dubrovnik were sailed to New York, Baltimore etc. The English word ARGOSY (= Ragusin ship; Ragusa = Dubrovnik) soon after the first Dubrovnik ships arrived in England in 1510, became synonymous with a large, rich cargo ship.
Dubrovnik's 1395 Inusrance Law is the oldest in Europe. It had all aspects of contemporary maritime insurance. This law is three centuries older than Lloyd's insurance, London, which dates from the end of 17th century.
Let us mention the name of Dobric Dobricevic (Boninus de Boninis de Ragusia), Ragusan born on the island of Lastovo, 1454-1528, who worked as a typographer in Venice, Verona, Brescia. His last years he spent as the dean of the Cathedral church in Treviso. His bilingual (Latin - Italian) editions of "Aesopus moralisatus, Dante's "Cantica" and "Commedia del Divino" were printed first in Brescia in 1487, and then also in Lyon, France. We know of about 50 of his editions, the greatest number belonging to the period of 1483-1491 that he spent in Brescia - about 40. Croatia is in possession of 19 of his editions in 30 copies. The greatest number of his editions is in possession of the British Museum, London (22).
first cofee-house in England was
opened in London in the 17th century by a native of Dubrovnik, a
certain Pasque Rosee
(probably distorted form of Raguseo).
Gjuro Baglivi (born in Dubrovnik, 1668-1707) was a professor of anatomy and theoretical medicine in Rome (Sapienza) already at the age of 28, and the Pope's physician. He developed a theory that living fibre was the anatomical and physiological element of all pathological processes (fibral pathology). He also had some essential discoveries in the fine structure of muscles. His collected works written in the Latin language had more than 20 editions, translated into Italian, French, German and English. Acadé Française accepted him as "membre d'honneur". Baglivi was also a member of the Royal Society in London and of the Accademia dell'Arcadia. (founded in 1790 by Anton Mario Lorgna, who was born in Knin!!!)-->
The greatest and most famous Croatian philosopher and scientist Rudjer Boskovic (Boscovich, 1711-1787), was born in Dubrovnik, where he was educated in the Jesuit Collegium. He was a member of the Royal Society of London, a member of St.Petersbug Academy, "membre correspondant" of the French Academie Royale des Sciences, a member of the Accademia dell'Arcadia, a professor at many European universities. Very delicate work on repairing the cupola of St. Peter's church in the Vatican (diameter: 42m) was entrusted to R. Boskovic, a proof that he was a leading European authority for static computations and civil engineering of that time. Upon the request of Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, Boskovic was solving the problem of stability of Royal Library (now National Library) in Vienna.
Boskovic stayed 7 months in England and met many famous scientists there: James Bradley (famous astronomer), George Parker (president of the Royal Academy), Samuel Johnson (Lexicographer), Edmund Burke (philosopher and political writer), Joshua Reynolds (the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts), and others. It is interesting that in England he designed a telescope filled with water in all its components, which was implemented at the Greenwich observatory in 1871, that is, 84 years after his death. He also met Benjmanin Franklin, who showed him some of his electrical experiments, see an article by Branko Franolic.
Boskovic was also a brilliant Croatian Latinist poet. He wrote an extensive scientific epic De solis et lunae defectibus (On Solar nad Lunar Eclipse) published in London in 1760. It contains 5570 Latin verses, and was dedicated to the Royal Society of England whose memeber he was. In the title one can read "Father r. Boskovic, of the Jesuit Order", although at that time it was forbidden for Jesuits to live and work in England. The epic was written in the manner of Roman classics, in dactilus hexameter.
For more information see Latin as literary language among the Croats
When Charles Burney, a well known English musicologist, met Boskovic in Milan, he wrote: ...if all Jesuits were like this father, who uses the higher science and the work of mind to advance science for the happiness of mankind, then it were to be wished that this society were as durable as is this world. Boskovic was buried in the church of S. Maria Podone in Milano.
French astronomer Joseph-Jerome de Lalande wrote the following lines in his book Voyage en Italie:
Le plus grand mathématicen que l'aie connu à Rome est M. Boscovich, alors jésuite: il est né à Raguse en 1711, mais il vint à Rome étant encore fort jeune, et après avoir longtemps professé les mathématiques au collège romain il fut fait professeur à Milan et ensuite à Pavie; mais l'on voyait avec peine des talents supérieurs comme les siens, concentrés dans cette derniére ville; non seulement il n'y a personne en Italie dont les ouvrages soient aussi célàbres dans toute l'Europe que les siens, mais je ne connais pas de géomètre plus spirituel et plus profond que lui. Sa mesure de la terre, son beau traité sur la loi de la pesanteur, ses découvertes sur la lumière et sur diverses parties de la physisque, de l'astronomie, de la géométrie, son poème sur les éclipses, imprimé à Londres, à Venise et à Paris, peuvent doner une idée du nombre et de l'étendue de ses talents; mais il faut l'avoir connu particulérement, pour savoir combien il a de génie, combien son caractère est aimable, sa conversation intéressante, et ses idées sublimes dans tout les genres. En 1773, il a été appelé en France et naturalisé Français. Il est actuellement  à Bassano, occupé à faire imprimer ses nouveaux ouvrages, en cinq volumes.
William Thompson-Kelvin, the English physicist (19/20 centuries), once expressed his opinion that his atomic theory is a pure "Boskovicianism." Still earlier, Sir Humphry Davy, professor of physics and chemistry at the Royal Institution in London from 1802 till 1827, mentioned the name of Boskovic on several occasions in his Diary (Commonplace Book), accepting his atomistic theory. The diary is kept in the archives of the Royal Institution in London.
With his theory of forces R. Boskovic was a forerunner of modern physics for almost two centuries. It was described in his most important book Theoria Philosophiae naturalis (Vienna 1758, Venice 1763, London 1922, American edition in 1966).
Werner Heisenberg (Nobel prize for physics in 1932) wrote the following: Among scientists from the 18th century Boskovic occupies outstanding place as a theologian, philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer. His "Theoria philosophiae naturalis" announced hypotheses which were confirmed only in the course of last fifty years. Indeed, see his graph of regions attractive and repelling forces between material points (elementary particles), the closest region being repelling, tending to infinity (nuclear force!; see here; published in his Dissertationes de lumine pars secunda, 1748), and the farthest region is repelling, corresponding to gravitational force:
This graph was since 1763 called the Boskovic curve (curva Boscovichiana).
Robert Marsh, the author of Physics and Poets, credits Boskovic with the idea of FIELD. Faraday and others took the idea from him, see here. He was the first to apply probability to the theory of errors. Laplace and Gauss acknowledged their indebtedness to his work which led to the Legendre principle of least squares in statistics (stating that the best fitting line is the one with the smallest sum of squared residuals).
Portrait of Boskovic by the English painter Edge Pine (London, 1760).
One of the greatest English 20th century novlists Aldous Huxley, in Antic Hay (1923) mentions Boskovic, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Händel. In 1497, a German pilgrim Arnold von Harff wrote in his travel book a short list of 56 Croatian words, as he heard them when talking to citizens of Dubrovnik, with explanation in German. In the 16th century a German pilgrim Konrad von Grünemberg wrote that Dubrovnik is "the most important city in Croatian Kingdom" (die kunglich hobstat in Croattien). In 1506 an English Sir Richard Guylforde wrote that "Dubrovnik is in Sclavonia or Dalmatia, which is a province in Kingdom of Croatia." See [Raukar], pp. 360-362.
Ivan Mane Jarnovic (1740-1804) was an outstanding Croatian violinist and composer of the 18th century, probably from Dubrovnik. He had a true European career - playing, composing and conducting in France (Paris), Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Scandinavian countries, England. Also played the first violin in the orchestra of the Russian empress Katarina II. Jarnovic composed about 50 chamber instrumental pieces, 22 violin concerts (17 preserved), and is known for having introduced the romanza as a slow movement into the structure of the violin concert.
It is little known that
there was the Society of
Dalmatians in England already in
It is interesting that the Dubrovnik merchants had their settlement in the city of Gvendolin in India in the 16th century, where they built the Church of St. Blase in 1653, which exists even today. In Goa in India there existed a strong Dubrovnik colony around the Church of St. Blase. In 1540 there arrived St. Francis Xaver on his mission to India, and later to Japan.
Cornelia Wright (1757-1837), an English writer, in her "Authobiography'' left us important information about Raymund Kunic (Croatian latinist and grecist), whom she met in Rome. She also met Rugjer Boskovic in Paris, whom she admired as a "mathematician and astronomer and as a good Latin poet who like many of his countrymen had the gift of composing Latin verse with facility''. It is very likely due to her acquaintance with Kunic that the first translation of a Croatian poem into English arose (a poem by Ignjat Gjurgjevic, translated into English from its Latin translation).
Faust Vrancic performed a
jump with his parachute
somewhere in Venice in order to test it. This fact
is explicitly stated in a book written by English
bishop John Willkins
(1614-1672), secretary of the
Royal Society in London, only 30
years after the jump. The title of his
book which contains this important testimony about Faust
Vrancic is Mathematical Magic
of the Wonders that may be
Performed by Mechanical Geometry, part I: Concerning
Mechanical Powers Motion, part II, Deadloss or Mechanical
Motions, published in London in
Vrancic also described in his book Machinae Novae the first wind turbine.
Getaldic - Ghetaldus (1568-1626)
born in Dubrovnik,
was the most
outstanding Croatian scientist of his time.
He studied in Italy, England and Belgium.
His best results
are mainly in physics, especially optics, and mathematics.
Among his numerous books let us mention Promotus
Archimedus (Rome, 1603)
and De resolutione et
compositione mathematica (Rome,
in which Getaldic appears as a pioneer of
algebraization of geometry.
His contributions to geometry had been cited by Christian
Huygens and Edmond
Getaldic is the constructor of the parabolic mirror (diameter 2/3 m),
kept today in the National Maritime Museum in London. During his
sojourn in Padova he met Galileo
Galilei, with whom he
corresponded regularly. He was a good friend to the French
Viéte. The fact that
the post of professor of mathematics had been offered to him in Louvain
in Belgium, at that time one of the most famous university centers in
Europe, proves his high scientific reputation.
Ferdinand Konscak (born in Varazdin, 1703-1757), was a Jesuit and a Croatian missionary in North America. In 1752 he discovered that Baja California was not an island, as it had been believed until then, but a peninsula. There is a collection of rocky islets on the north of the Californian bay named in his honour as the Consag Rocks (Consag Rocas, or Roca de Consag, near San Felipe). Denis Diderot and D'Alambert used some of his maps for the French Encyclopedia, see "Encyclopedie", Supplement 5 Carte (Paris 1755-1780), where his name is cited as P. Consaque. Alexander Humbolt used his maps for his "Carte generale... de la Nouvelle Espagne", Paris, 1804, and also Arrowsmith in his "Map of America", London 1805. Konscak spoke various dialects of local Indians, in particular a very difficult dialect of Cochinin Indians. He described a sort of boomerang that Indians used for hunting rabbits. His diaries were printed already during his lifetime (published by Villa-Senor y Sanchez, Ortega-Balthasar and Venegas-Buriel), and after his death translated into many languages. The 1761 copy of Konscak's manuscript about California is held in The British Museum. His work Carta del P. Fernando Consag de la Compania de Jesus, Visistaro de las Misiones de Californias (43 pages) is kept in the British Museum in London, Library of Congress Harper in Washington, John Carter Library in Providence, Library of Pomona College in Pomona, Henry E. Hutington Library in San Marino. His life is described by outstanding american historian Peter Masten Dunne in his monograph Black Robes in Lower California, Los Angeles, 1952. Seven copies of his maps are published by Ernest J. Burrus in his work La obra cartografica, Madrid, 1967.
The first torpedo was constructed by Ivan Lupis Vukic in the 19th century in Rijeka, where its production had started in 1866 in the Whitehead factory. He was born in the village of Nakovane on the beautiful Peljesac peninsula near Dubrovnik.
born in Vinkovci,
1836-1896) was a
histologist and pathologist and worked in Vienna and New York. He was
the first who described hematoblasts. Emanuel
Klein (1844-1925), a Croatian
Jew born in Osijek,
worked as a bacteriologist and histologist in
London. He described many fine, until that time unknown
structures of human body, and discovered Bacillus
enteritidis sporogenes. He proved the streptococal etiology
Eduard Miloslavic (1884-1952) was a descendant of Dubrovnik emigrants to the USA, born in Oakland, California. His family returned to Dubrovnik in 1889. Ed studied medicine in Vienna, where he became a professor of pathology. In 1920 an invitation came from the Marquette University in Wisconsin, USA, to take the chair of the full professor of pathology, bacteriology and forensic medicine. In subsequent years "Doc Milo", as colleagues called him, inaugurated criminal pathology in the USA. As an outstanding specialist he was also involved in investigations of crimes perpetrated by al Capone gang. He was one of the founders of the International Academy for Forensic Medicine, member of many American and European scientific societies and academies, and also vice president of the Croatian Fraternal Union (CFU) in the USA. In 1932 he moved to Zagreb, where he was a full professor at the Faculty of medicine until 1944, when he moved again to the USA. He was lecturing also pastoral medicine at the Faculty of Theology in Zagreb, and was known as ardent adversary of abortion and euthanasia. In 1940 he was elected member of the prestigious"Medico-Legal Society" in London, in 1941 promoted the full member of the Tzarist Leopoldine Carolingue Academy of Natural Sciences in Germany, and doctor "honoris causa" at the University of Vienna, where he started his scientific career. For his 1943 investigation of the slaughter of 12,000 Polish officers perpetrated by Soviets in the Katyn wood in 1940, see here. By the end of 1944 he moved again to the USA (St.Louis, Missouri), where he was working until his death. It is important to note that after his initiative in 1941 the Faculty of Medicine in Sarajevo was founded in 1944 during the NDH regime.
According to an article published in Vjesnik, December 27, 1992, due to his testimonies related to Katyn wood tragedy, Prof. Miloslavic was sentenced to death in absence by the ex-Yugoslavia.
Filip Vezdin or Wesdin (Paulinus a Sancto Bartolomaeo, 1748-1806), pioneer of European indology, was born in a Croatian village of Cimov (Hof am Leithagebirge) in Lower Austria in Burgenland (Gradisce). He completed his studies of philosophy and theology, Roman languages and English in Linz and Prague. Besides native Croatian he spoke Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and English. As a Carmelitan missionary (with monastic name Paulin of St. Bartholomew) Vezdin was sent to India in 1776, where he learned Sanskrit and several Indian dialects.
For more information see Filip Vezdin (in Croatian)Vezdin is the author of Sidharubam seu gramatica samscrdamica, the first printed Sanskrit grammar in Europe, published in 1790 in Rome. Extended edition was published in 1804 and entitled Vyacarana seu locupletissima samsrdamicae linguae instituio. He wrote numerous works on Indian culture, and in addition to Sanskrit also learned Malayalam, the Malabar coastal language, in which he wrote his works as well. At the request of a local ruler, he wrote an English-Portuguese-Malayalam grammar. His works are kept in Rome, Vienna and Uppsala. The first methodical study of connections between indoeuropean languages is contained in his work De antiquitae et affimitate lingaue zendicae, samscrdamicae et germanicae disseratio, Rome 1798.
Vezdin's best known work is Systema brahmanicum liturgicum, mythologicum, civile ex monumentis Indicis Musei Borgian Velitris, Rome 1791, dealing with literature, mythology and civil order of brahmanic India, customs and the way of life. His most interesting and most popular work is his travel-book Viaggio alle Indie orientali, Rome 1796. He also published two philological studies about connections between Hungarian and Laponian languages. In 1999 Vezdin's image was carved into the white marble memorial plaque in the City Museum of Trivandrum, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. He is considered as one of pioneers of European indology. About twenty of his books were published already during his lifetime. Some of them were translated into German, French, English and Swedish. Vezdin's research gave a great impetus to investigation of culture and civilization of India in Europe. In 1999 the following text was written in the Sanskrit, Malayalam, Croatian and English languages on memorial tablet in the City Museum of Tivandrum, capital of the state of Kerale in India:
Hadvig was a surgeon in Zagreb
completed his studies in Prague in 1791. There exist
documents confirming that already in 1792 he was vaccinating
children in Zagreb against smallpox. He was also teaching
parents about methods of prevention against smallpox.
Historians of medicine claim that the first smallpox
vaccination in Zagreb took place before the earliest known
such vaccination in England, which was considered to be the
earliest in Europe.
Lucic (born in Split 1855,
discovered the first major gusher in Texas,
The Lucas gusher, flowing at the rate of 80,000
to 100,000 barrels per day, blew in in January 1901.
About 50,000 people came to see it.
This meant the earliest massive exploitation of
oil and petroleum in the world.
Antun Lucic, known as Anthony
F. Lucas (F. is after his father
mariner and shipbuilder from the
island of Hvar) believed that the nearby Spindletop
the town of Beaumont, covered a
vast pool of oil. His company
became one of the first oil companies in Texas.
Antun Lucic was a mining engineer who completed his studies at
the Politechnical institute in
Graz, Austria, where also his fellow countrymanNikola
By 1902, as many as 285 wells were operating on
Spindletop Hill and over 600 oil
companies had been chartered.
In this way Captain Anthony Lucas
enabled the United States to surpass Russia as the
world's leading oil producer.
With the Lucas gusher, a black-gold rush began,
and fortune-seekers from all over the world poured into Texas.
Over time, Houston became a center of the oil
industry, and a captive of the British-dominated global oil cartel.
In 1936 The American Institute
for Geological and Metalurgical
Investigations founded a prize
named after him: Antun Lucas
Gold Medal. A museum with 18 m
high granite obelisk was built in honour to
the Lucas gusher in Spindletop. There is also 1,5 m granite monument of
with inscription saying that his
industry and transport,... and changed lives of
people in the whole world.
A very old mention of the name of HORITS, the ancient name of the Croats (Horvat), can be found in the Latin work ``Historia adversus'' Pagano by Paulus Orosius (9th century). Its translation into Old English has been made by King Alfred (871-901). See [Mardesic], p. 130.
In attempts to find Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony inhabited by the British Empire in 1587 on the island of Roanoke (near the Croatoan island, North Carolina, USA), the searchers found a CRO carved in Roman letters on a tree in 1590. Another big tree had a bark peeled off, and carved on it in capital letters was the word CROATOAN.
Pavle Balenovic is known for his deep insight into the behaviour of wild animals in Croatia, in particular of wolves. He studied them during many years in the region of the Velebit mountain. See his beautiful web pages White Paw. He prepared an amazing documentary The Wolf Man - the Diary of Paul Balenovic, about his friendship with the wolf Lik. It was shown by the BBC throughout the world with great success. The name of Lik is derived from LIKA, a Croatian region on the north of Velebit, known for its beauty, its extremely difficult history, and its wolves.
One of the most outstanding Croatian scientist in history was Rugjer Boskovic (1711-1787), also brilliant Latinist poet. He wrote an extensive scientific poem De solis et lunae defectibus (On Solar nad Lunar Eclipse), published in London in 1760. It contains 5570 Latin verses, and was dedicated to the Royal Society of England whose member he was. In the title one can read "Father r. Boskovic, of the Jesuit Order", although at that time it was forbidden for Jesuits to live and work in England. The epic was written in the manner of Roman classics, in dactilus hexameter.
A Croatian Jesuit Mark Antun de Dominis (born as Marko Domnianich on the island of Rab, 1560-1624) ranked among the greatest European philosophers and scientist of his time. His career of a university professor started in Padova. He was especially esteemed in England, where he was invited by king James I. There he lived at the Court of the Archbishop of Cantebury and was appointed to be the Windsor Dean and the king's chancellor.
Dominis arrived to London in December 1616 with a great pomp after his apostasy from Rome. Four days after the spectacular welcome, Dominis was placed fifth place next to King James. This meant, according to the protocol of the time, that he was fifth in the hierarchy of the state. In 1617 he was lecturing in Cambridge and Oxford. In Cambridge he was awarded the title of doctor of divinity. His sermons in London were printed in Italian, English and Latin. His book "The Ecclesiastical State" was printed in Latin in England, with permission of the King.
It is interesting that Dominis introduced the word "puritan" into English in its modern meaning, which was earlier used only in theological literature and had a very narrow meaning.
His work in physics was cited in I. Newton's book "The optics" published in 1704 (page 147). Among other things he contributed to the explanation of the phenomenon of the double rainbow. His theory of tides was based on the idea of attractive force between the Moon and the Earth, which was later made precise in Newton's theory of gravitation. He also discovered the phenomenon of diffraction of white light (see G. Hund's "Geschite der Physik"). However, his main preoccupation was the problem of European peace and the reform of the Church. In 1618 his work "The Rocks of Christian Shipwrecke" was printed first in Italian, and then in English. It was held an important apologetic work of Protestant theology, and was soon translated into French. It was read throughout Europe.
After six years of stay in England his relation with the Anglican Church and the King himself cooled down, though he had given the Anglican Church one of the most important doctrinal weapons (for more details see [Mardesic], p. 162).
His work "De Republica
Ecclesiastica", which was published in ten books in London, brought him
the anathema of Rome. He was imprisoned by Inquisition and when he
died, the burial of his body was not allowed. It was burnt, together
with his manuscripts, on the square of Campo dei Fiori in Rome, where
Giordano Bruno had been burnt twenty four years earlier.
An extremely interesting biography has Bartol Gyurgieuits (Bartol Jurjevic or Gjurgjevic, born in the region of Turopolje near Zagreb, known for nice wooden churches, 1506 - 1566?), a participant of the tragic battle on the Mohac field in 1526, where he was captured by the Turks and lived as a slave in many parts of the Turkish Empire. After 13 years of slavery he managed to escape. Since that time he traveled a lot throughout Europe, agitating for the creation of a strong union against the Ottoman Empire. His numerous writings in the Latin language were published first in Antwerpen (1544) and then extensively reprinted in many other languages: Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Czech etc. These extremely interesting testimonies about the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire can be found in the libraries of almost all larger European cities:
Most of his writings
contain small dictionaries of the Croatian (which he calls Slavonian),
Turkish, Persian and Hungarian languages. As a part of his "De
afflictione...sub Turcae" (1544) he wrote the first known Croatian -
Latin dictionary (with the basic prayers: Our Father, such as Hail
Mary, Credo), which is also the first known dictionary among the
Croats. He is also the author of the practical Italian - Arabian -
Hebrew - Chaldean dictionary, added to the description of his
pilgrimage to Yerusalem when escaping from the Turkish slavery. It was
written in Italian: "Specchio della peregrinazione delli piu notabili
luoghi della Terra Santa", and the author signed it as Georgievicz de
Croatia. He also mentioned a Croatian Script, which is "different from
any other script in the world" (Glagolitic).
He indicates that the Croatian language is spoken among others on the
Constantinople court of Turkish sultans. Gyurgieuivits' works are also
of interest for the study of Islamic music.
He was not only the first Croatian author, but also the first Slav
author whose writings were popular throughout Europe. For more
information see [Zoric].
The Englishman Hugh Goughe wrote "The Ofspringe of the House of Ottomane" (1570) which is a translation of Gyurgieuits' book "De origine imperii Turcorum". In Goughe's book there is a dialogue in Croatian with a parallel English translation, alongside with two prayers in Croatian (Our father and Hail Mary). Gyugyieuits himself is called the "first Croatian lexicographer" in this book.
Regarding early dictionaries of the Croatian language, let us mention a German knight Arnold von Harf (1471-1505) who visited the Croatian lands along the coast during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1496-1499. His book "Die Pilgerfahrt des Ritters Arnold von Herff von Cöln", published in Köln in 1860, includes a short conversational dictionary of the Croatian language containing 56 words and basic expressions. He also visited the beautiful, strong and freedom loving city of Dubrovnik (as he says), for which he states to be in the Croatian Kingdom - in den Koenynckrijh van Croatijen.
Croatian students studied
at many European Universities, starting from the Early Middle Ages. For
example, Herman Dalmatin
(1110-1154) was our first student who attended lectures of the famous
Thierry de Chartres in Paris in the thirties of the 12th century. Born
according to his own words in the heart of Istria, he wrote about 20
original books and translations, thus contributing a great deal to
natural philosophy and exact sciences in Europe. He traveled a lot, and
besides Latin and Greek mastered perfectly Arabic.
He translated many important books from Arabian into Latin, like Euclid's Elements, Al-Khwarizmi's Tables (continuing the work of Adelard of Bath on both classics), Sahl ibn Bishr's (Arabian scientist of the Jewish origin, 9th century) Sextus astronomicae liber, Abu-Ma'ashar's Introduction to Astronomy, acquainting thus the West with Aristotel's thoughts, and in particular the oldest Latin redaction of Ptolomey's Planisphere (published in Toulouse 1143; in Islamic literature known as `Almagest'). Herman wrote an astrologico - cosmological treatise De essentiis (Béziers, 1143). With his English friend Robert from Ketton he worked on the translation of Kur'an. Herman's translations from Arabic represent an unavoidable ingredient of the so-called `Toledo corpus' of texts on Islam. Its main objective was to resist Islam not by force as the Crusaders did, but by understanding and love. As we know, the Arabic culture was a bridge across which the spiritual heritage of the Ancient Greeks came to the West.
The Croats were also present at the Court of the Andalusian califs in Cordoba (Spain). The body guard for califs was composed of islamized Croats. Among them the most famous were Wadha el-Ameri and Zahair Alameri (11th century). The Croatian kingdom maintained relations with the Califat, so that in 953 the Croatian legation visited Cordoba.
The oldest known map where the name of Croatia appears is El'Idrisi's map of the Mediterranean sea from 1154. The name of Croatia is written as Garuasia. This map was a supplement of El'Idrisi's book "The Joy of Those Who Long to Travel around the World".
Marulic left us many beautiful verses and the epic poem Judita written in the Croatian language, for which he says expressly to be written in the Croatian verses (versi harvatski). Some of his original verses are held in Glasgow (GB). His Judith was translated into English, Hungarian, French, Italian, and some parts into Spanish. Marulic translated from Latin into Croatian the famous "De imitatione Christi" by Thoma de Kempis.
The original Marulic's manuscript of "De institutione bene vivendi" has been stolen from the Croatian National Library in Zagreb around 1980. Any information about this would be appreciated.
According to investigations of a French specialist Charles Béné, Marulic's texts have been used extensively by Thomas More and Henry VIII. It is known that Marulic's "Evangelistarium" that was read by Henry VIII bears many comments by the King. It is considered that two of the king's three literary works were written under the influence of Marko Marulic.
Marulic's poem "Carmen de Doctrina Domini Nostri Jesu Christi pendentis in cruce" was translated into English as "A Dialogue between a Christian and Christ hanging on the Crosse" by Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel (1557-1595).
According to C. Verdiani, Marulic is also the author of the Florence Codex, which contains a biography of St Jerome written in the Croatian language. There he wrote
In Croatian: Jerolim je nass Dalmatin, on je dika, posstenje i slava i svitla kruna hrvatskoga jezika. It is worth mentioning that preserved manuscripts of Marko Marulic show that he also used the cursive glagolitic script.
Marko Marulic sent a dramatic letter to the Pope Hadrian VI, describing an extremely tragic position of the Croats threatened by the onslaughts of the Ottoman Empire and asking for help.
His books were known not only in the whole of Europe, but also in Japan (in the 16th century) and South America. For example, parts of De institutione bene vivendi were translated into Japanese already in 1585.
When St. Francis Xaver arrived to Kogoshima in Japan in 1549, he also brought Marulic's "De insitutione bene vivendi". According to bishop Hamao from Yokohama, president of Japanese Bishop's Conference and of Asian Caritas, the formation of earliest Japanese Christians had been very probably based on the spirituality of Marulic. See here (in Croatian). It is interesting that in Berlin a monument of Marko Marulic was set up in 2000. In the Library of Congress, Washington, a symposium was held devoted to his work.
Antun Vrancic (lat Antonius Verantius, hungarized name Antal Verancsics, born in Sibenik in 1504) studied in Padova, Vienna and Krakow. After spending almost 20 years as a secretary and diplomat at the court of Ivan Zapolja, he continued his career at the court of Ferdinand I Habsburg in 1549. As the king's envoy he had a delicate task to negotiate with the Turks (he spent altogether 6 years as a diplomat in Turkey). Together with a Flamish diplomat Busbeck he discovered the Ankara plate (Monumentum ancyranum, held in the National Museum in Vienna), which is quite important for understanding the history of the Roman Empire, especially during the time of the Emperor Augustus. As a diplomat he traveled to France, Italy, Poland, England (on a diplomatic mission to the court of King Henry VIII), Turkey etc., and was exchanging letters with Erasmus of Rotterdam. In Krakow, Poland, he published two collections of poetry in the Latin language ("Elagiae" and "Otia").
of Antun Vrancic by outstanding Croatian
Antun Vrancic, that is, Antal Verancsics, is in Hungarian literature usually described as Hungarian, which is no surprise. The same for Faustus Verancsics, his very famous relative.
A significant Croat, born on the island of Hvar, very little known even among the Croats, was Ivan Franje Bjundovic (Giovanni Francesco Biondi, 1573-1645). After having met Sir Henry Watton, English ambassador in Venice, with whom he shared the same interests as a lawyer and literature fan, he journeyed to England and carried confidential messages to King James I. Obviously, he was considered a competent scholar and diplomat, since James himself entrusted him with important diplomatic missions.
Bjundovic wrote a trilogy in Italian: "Eromena", "La danzella desterrada" and "Il Corlabo", which had several editions. Their English translations enjoyed exceptional popularity, as well as German and French. His most important work is "History of the English Civil Wars", with his name appearing as Sir Francis Byondy. It was published in three volumes, where he described the Wars of the Roses. It was first published in Italian (L'istoria della Guerre civili d'Inghilterra) and printed in Venice in 1637-1644. Its English translation started to appear in 1641.
An important monograph describing Diocletian's Palace in Split is "Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia" written by Robert Adam in 1764, with his main associate Ch.L. Clerisseau. The author, an outstanding Scottish architect, mentions the beauty of Split and its favorable position and climate, stating that ``in the whole of the wide Roman Empire, not a single region could offer Diocletian a more marvelous place to withdraw to for a life of peace''. He designed several buildings in the style of Diocletian's palace (Syon House in Middlesex, Kedleston in Derbyshire, Adelphy Palace in London). Influences of his book can be seen even in St. Petersburg in Russia and in Virginia in the USA.
The octagonal Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian was transformed into the Christian church of St Dominius (Dujam) already in the 7th century, representing very probably the oldest cathedral in the world. According to Danish scientist Ejnar Dyggve, St Dominius (Dujam), the earliest known bishop of Salona (4th century), originated from Syria or Mesopotamia. Local Split tradition also confirms this.
Julije Klovic, or Don Giulio Clovio de Croatia (1498-1578), is regarded as the last great representative of the classical European miniature. His works decorate many famous galleries: Uffizi in Florence, Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, Galleria Sabanda in Torino, Bibliothek der Albertina in Vienna, Louvre in Paris, Towneley Public Library and Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (which is in possession of "Officium Virginis", 228 pages, his most famous and the best masterpiece, containing 30 valuable miniatures by his hand), the British Museum and Soane's Museum in London, Windsor Castle (Royal Library). His pupil was El Greco, who portrayed him in his work "Expelling merchants from the temple" (together with figures of Rafael, Michelangelo and Tizian, appearing on the bottom left of that work), now kept in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (The William Hood Dunwoody Fund).
Among his friends let us mention Michelangelo. Klovic used to sign himself as
GEORGIVS JVLIVS CLOVIVS CROATAHis grave is situated near Michelangelo's Moses in the the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, and bears an inscription "Pictor de Croatia".
Andrija Medulic (Andrea Schiavone, Andrea Meldola de Hiadra), (~1500-1563), a painter born in Zadar or Nadin, started his artistic career in Sibenik and continued in Venice. His works of art are scattered throughout Europe: Zadar, Sibenik, Zagreb, Venice, Milano, Florence, Naples, Torino, Verona, Paris (Louvre), London, Oxford, Richmond, Dublin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Dresden, St. Petersburg, Belgrade. Medulic influenced Tintoretto, who stated that any true painter must possess at least one of his masterpieces. As Klovic, he also influenced El Greco, a famous Spanish painter of Greek origin. Medulic's paintings in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen
Ivan Mestrovic... His sculptures can be seen in London (Tate Gallery), Florence (in "Uffizi"), Torino, Rome, Prague (in Hradcany), Budapest, Chicago (Chicago Indians, Grand Central Park, see a postcard on the right from 1939), South Bend (Indiana, USA), Rochester (Minnesota, USA), Baton Rouge (Louisiana, USA) etc. He also carved a monument of the most outstanding Slovak writer Martin Kukucin (Matej Bencur) in Punta Arens (Patagonia, Argentina). Matej Bencur spent a part of his life in Croatia on the island of Brac and wrote a book about the life of the Croatian emigrants in South America. ...
Kristian KREKOVIC (Bosnian Croat, 1901- Palma de Mallorca 1985), pintor Croata - Peruano:
Oscar Nemon (1906-1985), outstanding sculptor and medallist, was born in Croatian town Osijek, and has Jewish roots (Oscar Neumann). Having obtained his baccalaureate in Osijek, in 1923 he moved to Vienna. He was inspired and supported by Ivan Mestrovic, a great Croatian sculptor.
In 1931 Nemon made a portrait of Sigmund Freud in person, for which Freud said to be "...a very good and astonishingly lifelike impression of me". After a short stay in Paris, having obtained bursary from his native city of Osijek, he went to Brussels in 1925, to study at the Academie des Beaux Arts. He stayed in touch with Osijek, and made for the city the monument "June Victims", commemorating the murder three Croatian members in the ex-Yugoslav Parliamnet in Belgrade in 1928, among them Stjepan Radic. In Burssels he made busts of King Albert I, Queen Astrid, and Auguste Vermeylen, a notable historian of the Flemish School of Painting.
Oscar Nemon portraying Sigmund Freud in 1931, source
In 1938, due to the Nazi invasion of Belgium, he fled to England, and lived in Oxford. During the WWII a larger part of his family perished in the Holocaust, including his mother and brother. In subsequent years he made sculptures of many distinguished persons, like Winston Churchil (in 1965, upon the invitation of the British Government, and on the occasion of his death), Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mother (upon her request), Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Viscount Montgomery (of Alamein), Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, etc. It is interesting that Winston Churchil in return made his amateur sculpture of Oscar Nemon.
His obsession was an architectural utopian project of Universal Center of Ethics, and in this respect he seems to be similar to his compatriot Kristian Krekovic. In 1981 he made a bronze relief for Canterbury Cathedral. His last major work was a National Air Force Memorial for the city of Toronto, Canada, unveiled by The Queen in Toronto in 1984.
For his exceptional achievements the University of St. Andrews in 1977 conferred Oscar Nemon an Honorary Doctorate of Letters. On the occasion of his death, a memorial retrospective exhibition of his works was organized in 1985 in Croatia, in his native city of Osijek.
Some web pages wrongly indicate that Nemon was born in (ex) Yugoslavia, which at that time did not exist. Nemon was born in Croatia, then a constituent of Austria-Hungary.
Ivana Brlic Mazuranic (1874-1938) is a very well known name among Croatian children. She wrote beautiful books of Croatian fairy tales, the most famous being Price iz davnine (Tales of Long Ago) that appeared in Zagreb in 1916. It was translated from Croatian into English by F.S. Copeland under the title:
and published in 1924. in London by George Alen & Unwin Ltd (260 pp, hardcover). These stories have become popular worldwide due to recent fantastic flash-art presentations, initiated by Helena Bulaja, Zagreb. See for example Neva, music and animation by Ed Beals. Books of Ivana Brlic Mazuranic were translated into all major world languages (more information in Croatian). Except in English, there exist also translations into
...Une des toutes dernieres productions originales de Croatia Film, "Lapitch - Le petit cordonnier", tiré d'un conte de Ivana Brlic Mazuranic, femme écrivain croate du XIXe siecle, est actuellement le produit phare de l'école : avec plus de 300 000 cassettes vidéos vendues rien qu'en France, commercialisées par TF1 Vidéo, il représente la production audiovisuelle croate la plus recherchée sur marché international. (source: Ambassade de Croatie en France).
A special importance
have about 150 Pre-Romanesque Croatian churches (9th to 11th century),
mostly along the coast. About 15 of them are well preserved (some of
them completely destroyed during the Greater Serbian aggression in
1991-1995). Probably the best example of old Croatian church
architecture is the Pre-Romanesque Chapel of Holy Cross in Nin built
around 800 AD (Sveti Kriz; see on the right; on the left is the small
church of Sveti Nikola). The British architect Thomas Graham Jackson
called it in 1887 the smallest
cathedral in the Christianity,
because of its monumental architectural conception.
The hilly area around the town of Ilok, is known since Ancient times as "Delicium Mundi", due to high quality white wines from their wineyards. The most famous is TRAMINAC, known as Royal Wine. It was served during the coronation of Queen Elisabeth, and is still represented in the Queen's collection of wines. The town of Ilok suffered very much during the Greater Serbian aggression on Croatia in 1990s.
is interesting that a table of the Glagolitic Script was included as
early as in 1664 in a book prepared by Richard
Daniel and published in London.
It represents a catalogue of various Scripts in use in the Christian
world. The Glagolitic Script presented there is called expressly the Croatian
hand or Alphabetum
Charvaticum. The book contains
also the table of Croatian glagolitic
quick-script, which Daniel calls
- Bosnian cyrillic (many thanks
to Professor Ralph
Cleminson for this information).
The book is entitled
Croatian Glagolitic books in United Kingdom: London, Cambridge, Oxford
If you live in Berlin, Germany, then you can see the beautiful Berlin Missal (218 vellum leaves, i.e. 436 pages written by Bartol Krbavac in 1402), held in Staatsbibliothek (SBB-PK, Ms. Ham. 444). In 1624 a Zadar archbishop sent it to Congregatio di Propaganda Fide in Rome in order to prepare printed glagolitic books there. It is known that since 1808 the book was in Kensington House in London. As a part of the so called Hamilton Collection (named according to a Scottish collectioner Hamilton) it arrived from London to the Berlin State Library in 1882, where it is also today.
Missal of Pavao Modrusanin, Venice, 1528 (one copy in Odessa, Cambridge, London, Prague, two in St.Petersburg, 3 in Zagreb)
The New York Missal, 1400-1410 (Pierpont Morgan Library, until 1966 in London)
The New York Missal, 1400-1410
written in the region of Zadar or Lika-Krbava,
now in the possession of the Pierpont
Morgan Library in New York.
Reprinted by Verlag Otto Sagner Verlag (Munich) in 1977 with an
introduction by Henrik Birnbaum (USA).
According to Marin Tadin, Oxford Bodleian Glagolitic Missals (from Canconici collection) have large initials that are of considerable artistic merit.
Frangepanibus (or Bernardin
Frankapan, 1453-1529), a
survivor of the battle
of Krbava in 1493, delivered a
distressing address to the State Senate in Nuremberg, Oratio
pro Croatia, Nurenbergae in Senatu Principum Germaniae habita,
imploring western potentates for help. Bernardinus was one of the most
distinguished members of the family of Frankapans, which had been
linked for centuries with the destiny of Croatia. He concluded his
appeal by quoting Horace: "Et tua res agitur, paries quum proximus
ardet" ("You are concerned when your neighbour's house is burning").
Prince Philip and the Baska tablet
When Britain's Queen Elisabeth II and Prince Philip paid a visit to Zagreb in 1970s, they were invited to see the Gallery of the Yugoslav (now Croatian) Academy of Sciences and Arts. According to protocol, the visit was to last no more than 15 minutes. While leaving the main entrance hall, Prince Phillip (about 2m tall), surrounded by many people, accidentally turned his head, and noticed the huge Baska tablet (800 kg), exhibited in the Academy as one of the most important Croatian cultural monuments. The Prince, led by Academician Grga Novak, and accompanied by a long cortege of the diplomats and representatives of Yugoslav culture and politics of the day, approached this innocent monument, and asked: "What is this?" By the time scholars finally satisfied His Royal Highness's famous curiosity, protocol was in complete havoc.
Information supplied by Academician Petar Strcic, witness to this event, director of the Archives of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
In addition, we might mention Mateja Matejic, Professor Emeritus of Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio, USA, who was to state in his lectures and books that the Baska tablet represents - a Serbian cultural monument! When he was once asked by an outstanding Croatian specialist of international reputation how he could claim this, he answered with a further gross indirection: "Serbian is an abbreviation for Serbo-Croatian."
Queen Elisabeth II, Prince Philip, and Princess Margaret during their stay in Croatia in 1972 also visited the town of Djakovo. The Djakovo stud, mentioned for the first time in 1506, is among the oldest in Europe.
Photos from CROWN
Petar Hektorovic, a well known Croatian poet, nobleman, connoisseur of Latin language and classical literature, wrote his Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje in 1568, which is the first realistic epic poem of Croatian Renaissance literature. It provides four folk tunes accompanied with musical notation. The book has been translated from Croatian into English in 1979 by Edward Dennis Goy under the title Fishing and fishermans' conversation.
Ivan Mane Jarnovic (Italianized name Giornovichi, 1740-1804) was an outstanding Croatian violinist and composer of the 18th century, probably from Dubrovnik. He had a true European career - playing, composing and conducting in France (Paris), Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Scandinavian countries, England. Also played the first violin in the orchestra of the Russian empress Katarina II. Jarnovic composed about 50 chamber instrumental pieces, 22 violin concerts (17 preserved), and is known for having introduced the romanza as a slow movement into the structure of the violin concert. His life is described in a novel Jarnowick by G. Desnoisterres - Le Brisoys, Paris 1844, and in a collection Scènes de la vie d'artiste by P. Smith (Une leçon de Jarnovic, Paris, 1844).
Our folk music is of great beauty and variety. Some of its themes were used by famous European composers, like Bedrich Smetana and Joseph Haydn, who spoke Croatian. Joseph Haydn (1738-1803) was born in a Croatian ethnic enclave in Burgenland (Gradisce) in Austria. For example the main theme of his London symphony no 164 in D major (movement IV) is based on the well known Croatian traditional song "Oj, Jelena, Jelena, jabuka zelena" (Oj, Jelena, Jelena, my green apple). Also the final of his Es major symphony is based on the Croatian folk song "Divojcica potok gazi" (A little girl treads on a brook). And even the following song that is widely known in Croatia - "Nikaj na svetu lepsega ni, nego gorica kad nam rodi..." (There is nothing more beautiful in the world than a fruitful hill) was exploited by Haydn (I learned this on a wonderful 11th birthday party of my dear friend Ema Tolic).
Sir William Henry Hadow, renowned English scholar and musicologist (1859-1937), lecturer in Oxford, editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Music (1901-1905), and a leading influence in English education at all levels in the 1920s and 1930s, wrote a booklet entitled
in 1897 in London (published by Seely and co. limited; reprinted in 1972 by Freeport, New York). This and other references related to Joseph Haydn can be found at The Library of Congress Citations:
Here we reproduce the concluding paragraph of Haydn's short biography presented by MusicaClassica:
A distinguishing trait of Haydn's works was his frequent use of Croatian folk music for his melodic material. Wrote W. H. Hadow: "The Croatian melodies are bright, sensitive, piquant, but they seldom rise to any high level of dignity or earnestness. They belong to a temper which is marked rather by feeling and imagination than by any sustained breadth of thought, and hence, while they enrich their own field of art with great beauty, there are certain frontiers which they rarely cross, and from which, if crossed, they soon return." Even many of Haydn's original melodies are characterized by typical rhythmic and melodic qualities to be found in the Croatian folk songs. However, as Franze Bellinger has added, "Haydn's speech, like that of every genius, was not only that of his race, but of the world." To these Croatian characteristics, Haydn added his high inspiration and sensitivity, and produced a type of melody which, for the most part, is unmistakably his.
Haydn is a common Croatian family name. In the Croatian telephone book you can see the names of Hajdin, Hajdina, Hajdinjak, Hajdinac, Hajdinovic: 63 families in the Zagreb county, 91 families in Medimurje and Varazdin counties, 65 families in Primorsko-Goranska county; and altogether 320 families in the whole Croatia (1999). There is a village of Hajdine near Vrbovsko in Croatia, on the main road to Rijeka. The name Hajdin (= hajda's) is derived from hajda = buckwheat.
Parents of Franz Joseph Haydn are Mathias Haiden and Anna Maria Haidin, as can be seen on their grave in the Rohrau cemetary even today. This is stated by outstanding Croatian musicologist academician Lovro Zupanovic in his afterword to the book of [Kuhac, pp 305-306]. Academician Zupanovic stated also the following:
For those who can read Croatian, here is what academician Zupanovic wrote (see [Kuhac, pp 305-306]):
Mr Andjelko Nedo Paveskovic (living in Monte Carlo, from Poljica near Split) wrote several very interesting articles about Haydn:
Let us add that the melody for the German national anthem, composed by Joseph Haydn, is based on a very old Croatian folk song ("V jutro rano se ja stanem, rano pred zorom...", see the Oxford Music Dictionary). It is also significant that Haydn himself named the song Volkslied, before it became the anthem. Compare the Croatian folk song
with the German national anthem:
See also sheet music taken from Austrian - American Magazine, March 2002. For more details see Hadow's analysis from his monograph A Croatian Composer; notes towards biography of Joseph Haydn (London 1897).
Ivan Padovec (1800-1873), born in the beautiful baroque town of Varazdin (known for its festivals of baroque music) was a guitar virtuoso, who gave concerts in Zagreb, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Hamburg, London, in Poland, Russia etc. He constructed a ten string guitar. Also, he published his Teoretish - praktische Guitar - Schule in Vienna in 1842.
Illma de Murska (born as Ema Puksec in the town of Ogulin, 1834 - 1889) was an opera diva of international fame. She sang in Italy, Spain, Hungary, and her most fruitful period was in Wiena, Austria. She also sang in Berlin, Hamburg, Paris and London, and had tours in Australia, Russia, USA and New Zealand.
ZAGREB SOLOISTS... In the last 50 years they had more than 3500 concerts, among others in the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall (London), in Carnegie Hall (New York), Musikverein (Viena), in Mozarteum (Salzburg), in Hercules (Münichen), in Tonhalle (Zürich), in Teatro Real (Madrid), in Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), in Salle Pleyel (Paris), in Santa Cecilia (Rome), in Cajkovski concert hall (Moscow), in Opera House (Sydney), in Festival Hall (Osaka), in Coliseo (Buenos Aires), in Victoria Hall (Singapuru). They also had solemn concerts at the General Assembly of the UN.
Lovro von Matacic, one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century (1899-1985), started his career in 1919 as conductor of orchestras in Osijek, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Riga, and in Zagreb in 1932. From 1942-1945 he was conductor of the Vienna Opera. After 1945 he was imprisoned by the Yugoslav communist regime, and together with Croatian poet Tin Ujevic and painter Kristian Krekovic sentenced to confiscation of all movable and immovable property. In 1950's he became organizer of Festivals in Dubrovnik and Split. In 1956 Matacic moved to Germany to conduct East Berlin Opera and the famous Dresden Staatskapelle, then conducted at Bayreuth in 1959, and from 1961 to 1966 was Gereralmuikdirektor in Frakfurt. He was also guest conductor in Vienna Opera, Milan Scala, in Chicago, Naples, Palermo, Rome, London, Cleveland, Tokio, Prague, etc., and was elected the honorary director of the Japanese Orchestra in Tokio. From 1970 to 1980 he was conductor and artistic director of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and almost simultaneously from 1973 to 1979 had the same role in the Monte Carlo Orchestra.
Lovro Matacic is laureate of
Andjelko Klobucar (1931), organ player and church music composer, played throughout Europe, including the church of Notre Dame in Paris, Westminster Abbey in London, Basilica of St. Maria degli Angeli in Assisi.
Mia Slavenska (born in Slavonski Brod, 1914-2002), became ballerina of the Zagreb Opera (1930-33), studied also in Vienna, and joined the Paris Opera in 1933. In London she danced with Anton Dolin before joining the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1938-42). She later formed her own company, Ballet Variante.Iin 1953 she established the Slavenska-Franklin ballet company with Frederic Franklin. In 1950's she was primabalerina of the Metropolitan Opera. By the end of her career she was teaching in Los Angeles, California. Slavenska starred in a wonderful French film, La Mort du Cygne (1938).
Bunjevci Croats in BackaPere Tumbas - Hajo (1891-1967), conductor, composer, and the famous tamburitza player, was very active among Backa Croats in Subotica, which was his birthplace. His greatest success was the sensational triumph at the "International folklore festival" in Langolen in England in 1952, where his reduced 4 member orchestra (normally 7 players) and 8 dancers won the first prize, among 16 best folklore groups of the world (including the Russian balalayka group and Spanish flamenco players). The administrative authorities in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade never gave him opportunity again to show his brilliant tamburitza play outside of former Yugoslavia. Despite this, the Croatian Tamburitza society from Pittsburgh, directed by Walter Kolar, performed throughout the USA many songs arranged or composed by Hajo. In the journal The Tamburitzan, directed by Walter Kolar (Pittsburg), Hajo has been represented as the most famous tamburitzan.
When he died, the funeral march gathered all tamburitzans from Subotica and its environs, young and old, amateurs and professionals. Hundreds of players escorted legendary Hajo with soft, trembling sounds of their instruments.
Even the historical names of many officials in the Ottoman Empire reveal their origin (Hirwat = Hrvat or Horvat, which is a Croatian name for Croat): Mahmut-pasa Hirwat (= Hrvat), Rusten-pasa Hrvat, Pijali-pasa Hrvat, Sijavus-pasa Hrvat etc. In the 16th century a traveler and writer Marco A. Pigaffetta wrote that almost everybody on the Turkish court in Constantinople knows the Croatian language, and especially soldiers. Marco Pigafetta in his "Itinerario'' published in London in 1585 states: "In Istanbul it is customary to speak Croatian, a language which is understood by almost all official Turks, especially military men."
The letter sent by Petar Zrinski to his wife Katarina (in Croatian) just a day before his death is one of the most deeply moving texts ever written in the Croatian language. It was very soon translated and published in
Petar Zrinski to his wife Katarina
My dear soul!
According to a report of the British Naval Intelligence Division from 1944, the Croatian "Roman Catholic clergy, following the example of monsignor Stepinac, the Zagreb Archbishop, energetically protested against ustasha persecutions of Serbs and Jews, as well as against government's attempts for forced conversion to Roman Catholicism" (written by experts from Oxford and Cambridge in 1944, with note `only for official use'). See Stefan, pp. 127-131.
An extremely valuable account on the terrorist methods of the Pan-Serbs in Yugoslavia between the two WWs has been written by Henri Pozzi, a brave French diplomat (his mother was English) and a close witness, in his book Black Hand over Europe, London, 1935. "Black hand" is the name of the Pan-Serbian secret terrorist organization, very close to the Royal court in Belgrade. It was the "Black hand" that organized the assassination of the Austrian archduke Ferdinand Habsburg in Sarajevo in 1914, which meant the beginning of the First WW.
The book contains an important article The Story of the Black Hand and the Great War by a Montenegrin intellectual Voislav M. Petrovich, p. 243-267. He committed suicide in London in 1934 after a violent campaign instituted against him and threats of the Black Hand. It is interesting that Petrovich had published a Serbain grammar in London in which he succeeded in getting the English Press to use the word "Serbia" instead of "Servia".
One of outstanding Croatian emigrants was Ante Ciliga (born in Istria, Segotica near Vodnjan, 1898 - 1992) who spent 6 years in Russian concentration camps: 1930 - 1936. His book Au pays du grand mensonge, Paris 1938 (In the land of great lie) revealed the truth about stalinist concentration camps to the world audience. It is probably the first anti-stalinist book, translated into many languages, including Japanese. He also spent one year (1942/1943) imprisoned in the Jasenovac concentration camp. Other books: The Russian Enigma, London 1940, Il labirinto jugoslavo, Rome 1983.
By the end of the Second World War the remaining parts of the NDH Army together with many civilians began to withdraw to Austria, and in the battles until 15 May 1945 they surrendered to the Yugoslav Army, which surrounded them. Many people who flew to Austria in mid-May 1945, were sent back by the British military authorities (who had jurisdiction over a part of Austria) to the Yugoslav partisans. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civil captives were killed after the capitulation. The symbol of the Croatian tragedy is the slaughter of Croats near the city of Bleiburg in Austria. Those who were not killed immediately, were forced to walk up to 700-800 km. (the infamous "death marches") with mass executions on the way, organized mostly by Serbian partisan officers. These death marches are known among the Croats as "krizni put" (Way of the Cross). Many sites of mass executions were discovered throughout Croatia and Slovenia after democratic changes in 1990.
The Lipik Orphanage and Colonel Mark Cook© by Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb (1999)
The Lipik Children's home was the first object to be destroyed by Serbian forces in 19 August 1991. The shelling of the city of Lipik and Pakrac started at 05.30 with the shelling of orphanage, which had 80 children, aged between 3 and 16, sleeping at the time. They took refuge in a cellar for 7 days until they could be evacuated. The orphanage consisted of three buildings, including kitchen and dining room, classrooms and recreation rooms, and all were badly damaged and gutted by fire.
In October 1991 the largest Lipizzaner horse-farm in Croatia, situated near the town of Lipik, was bombed with napalm bombs.
Colonel Mark Cook, the Commander of the British Contingent of the UNPROFOR in Croatia, supported by his family in Great Britain and together with British soldiers, initiated helping to rebuild the orphanage.
The Lipik Orphanage (Djecji Dom) was opened in December 1993. Here we should acknowledge also very important help in the reconstruction of the city of Lipik offered by Italian government.
Here are some excerpts from appeal of Colonel Marc Cook and his numerous supporters from Great Britain and other countries.
Here is a list of some of the donators, whose names are indicated on slates exhibited on walls of the renewed building:
Mark Cook, Caroline Cook, H.R.H. Prince Hassan of Jordan, Cargilfield School, Breaside School, Sherborn Girls School, Letzebuerger Initiativ für Kroatien, Hall Grove School, Hrvatska Malteska Sluzba, Dan Eldon, Baroness Chalker, Paula Dumas - Dimmel, Mohammed El Fayed, Gerge Perinovic, Mladen Grbin, Stjepan Mandorelo, Anton Jurgens Charitable Trust, Peter Praxmarer, Suganya Lee, John Redwood, Bryan Sparrow, Sherborn Boys School, Tony Pratt, Brian Douglas, Marica Topic, Ros Hardie, Caro Brewster, Margaret Mc Lean.
Numerous volunteers, as a rule very young, are offering their generous help in everyday work with orphans. Here are some of their impressions taken from the Guest Book of The Lipik Orphanage.
Testimony of prim. dr. Fuad Secerbegovic about saving Bosnian children from chetnik persecutions during WW2
It is interesting that the first railway-track from Lipik to Vienna was built in 1861 by Henry D'Heureux - Gibel, a French enterprise dealing with exploitation of oak trees. Already in 1894 the town was electrified. In 1866 Lipik had 228 inhabitants: 222 Roman Catholics, 3 Pravoslavs, and 3 Jews.
The town of Lipik is known for its very rich Recreation and Health Center, built already in the 19th century. It had
All of this was either destroyed or seriously damaged during Serbian shelling and bombing (including napalm bombs) in 1991.
Numerous Croatian artists, above all those gathered within the association HLD SPEKTAR from Zagreb, donated altogether hundreds of their works of art to the future gallery of the town of Lipik. Many of them are exhibited in the Lipik Orphanage. Some artists from abroad also donated their works, like Janet Q. Treloar, London.
The champion of the Tournament of Cities (the future UEFA cup) in 1967 was "Dinamo", winning against Leeds (England) in the finals.
Goran Ivanisevic, Wimbledon, 2001 (three times Wimbledon finalist)
Veljko Rogosic was named International Long Distance Swimming Federation World Champion four times between 1971 and 1974. In 1998 this outstanding sportsman entered the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Rogosic swam La Manche (38 km) in 2004 at the age of 63!
Many of the early European expeditions to the western shore of the Atlantic finished with shipwrecks. So was the case with some ships from Dubrovnik in the 16th century. It is interesting to mention that the Croatan Indians in the USA could possibly be the descendants of the saved Croatian crew, as authenticated by their name, brown hair, blue eyes and some of the words in their language. Two large islands appear on the Molineaux map of Virginia, USA (1599), with the names Croatoan and Croatamonge (see [Eterovic], p. 30).
An American writer John Lawson in his 1714 chronicle wrote that among Croatan Indians of that time there was a legend of a 16th century shipwreck with mariners who saved themselves and stayed with Indians.
In attempts to find Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony inhabited by the British Empire in 1587 on the island of Roanoke (near the Croatoan island, North Carolina, USA), the searchers found a CRO carved in Roman letters on a tree in 1590. Another big tree had a bark peeled off, and carved on it in capital letters was the word CROATOAN.
Captain Mate Dulcic Hraste-Pucetov from the island of Hvar obtained a silver jug from the British Governement as a recognition for saving the boat "St. Croix". Gilted inside, 14.5 cm high and with diameter of the opening of 8.5 cm, the jug bears the the following inscription see [Mate Milicic et al., p 68]: