One of the most famous Franciscan monasteries is the one in Kraljeva Sutiska (or Kraljeva Sutjeska = Royal Gorge):
old and contemporary inscriptions in
in Kraljeva Sutiska
(on the left: + V ime Bozje, se lezi Radovan Pribilovic, na svojoj zemlji plemenitoj, na Ricici; bih s bratom se razmenio, i ubi me Milko Bozinic, sa svojom bratijom; a brata mi isikose i ucnise vrhu mene krv nezaimitnu vrhu; Nek (zna) tko je moj mili.
Numerous manuscripts show the parallel use of the Croatian Glagolitic and Cyrillic Scripts (and also the Latin Script), thus proving that they were not opposed to each other among the Croats. One of the oldest such examples originates from Istria (St. Peter in the Wood, 12th century), where in one single word - Amen - all three Scripts are used! The coexistence and parallel use of these three Scripts - Croatian Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin - is a unique phenomenon in the history of European culture.
According to Croatian researcher Josip Hamm, members of the Bosnian Church (Krstyans) particularly appreciated the Glagolitic Script. Namely, all the important Bosnian Church books,
Hval's Manuscript, Croatian Post
The first printed Croatian Cyrillic book was The Book of Hours (or the Dubrovnik breviary, or Oficje) published in Venice in 1512, prepared by Franjo Ratkovic from Dubrovnik. One copy is held in Paris in Bibliothèque Nationale. There is also another copy in the Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford (q.14.9); it was probably part of the founding bequest of Christopher Codrington in 1710. It is, admittedly, slightly less complete than the Paris copy, lacking 19 leaves. Many thanks to prof. Ralph Cleminson (University of Portsmouth, UK) for information about the Oxford copy. The third preserved copy is kept in Washington.In 2012 an international conference "Croatian Cyrillic Heritage" (Hrvatska ćirilična baština) has been organized by Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, on the occasion of 500 years since the first printed Croatian Cyrillic book. The book of summaries of lectures: [PDF]. Proceedings from the conference will be published.
Franciscan Museum in Ljubuški, Franciscan seals in Croatian Cyrillic
Many of the Croatian Cyrillic inscriptions are carved on tombstone monuments, called stechak.
According to the Austrian palaeographer Thorvi Eckhardt, the graphics of the Bosancica (Croatian Cyrillic) shows the greatest independence and individuality among all the national Cyrillic Scripts - Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Russian (see her monograph Die slawischen Alphabete, Studium Generale VIII, 1967, p. 467).
She was also the first scholar to indicate the political loading in discussions about the Bosanica. In recent decades Serbian authors have openly monopolized Croatian Cyrillic as an exclusively Serbian Script. For more information see [Benedikta Zelic-Bucan].
A detailed palaeographic analysis of numerous epigraphic monuments found in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, related to inscriptions written in the Croatian Cyrillic, is contained in a monograph of Vinko Grubisic: "Grafija hrvatske lapidarne cirilice", KHR, München-Barcelona, 1978. Some of the characteristics of Croatian Cyrillic are:
There exist many types of the Croatian Cyrillic - both carved in stone and handwritten:
We know of 18 Croatian Cyrillic texts (documents, prayers, letters) that are a part of the famous Bercic collection, held in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg. These texts contain among others also interesting correspondence between Muslim officials in Bosnia and Croats. One of the prayers written in Croatian cyrillic ends with "Amen" written twice: first in the Glagolitic and then in Croatian Cyrillic. Here is an example, provided by the National Library of Russia:
b. Salih, captain of Ostrovitsa and Bihach provinces.
Letter to Pavasovich, serdar of Shibenik and Skradin kapitenias (provinces in Croatia [Šibenik and Skradin are Croatian towns on the Adriatic Sea; D.Ž.). 1135 A.H./1722 – 1723 A.D. 1 f., 305 x 209 mm, paper. Coll. 67. Berchich. No. 62.
The letter is written in cursive bosanchitsa script – a variety of Cyrillic used mainly by the Catholic and Moslem population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. [Cyrillic mentioned Here is Croatian Cyrillic, while Catholic population in Bosnia is Croatian population, as well as a part of Moslem population. D.Ž.]
In the Royal Library of Stockholm
(Kungliga biblioteket) there is a huge Czech book Gigas
from the 13th century, which in the 14th century was in Prague. It was
due to the Croatian
glagolites in Prague
that the Croatian glagolitic alphabet had been written on the inner
part of the cover page. I express my gratitude to Mr. Zdenko Naglic,
Göteborg, for this information. Here is the photo of the table
Glagolitic Script in Gigas
One can clearly see that the table is written on a separate vellum leaflet, subsequently glued to the page of Gigas Librorum. The photo of the page of on which one can see the table of the Glagolitic Script can be seen on the internet page of the Royal Library in Stockholm. My gratitude goes to Mr. Nenad Hancic-Matejic for information about the web adress. Undersigned on the glagolitic leaflet is Opat Divich, hardly readable. The same name can be seen on the neighbouring leaflet, glued on the same page to the right, containing the table of Croatian Cyrillic, signed lisibly with the name of the same Opat Divinic. Especially interesting is the last character in the first line: it is the Croatian Glagolitic djerv!Croatian glagolites in Prague since 1348.
Austrian royal envoy Jerolim Zadranin writes a letter in Croatian Cyrillic on 11 February 1543 from Constantinople to Croatian Ban (governer) Baćan and other Croatian dignitaries to be in peace with neighbouring Turks (Carski poslanik Jerolim Zadranin piše hrvatskom ćirilicom banu hrvatskom Baćanu i ostalim poglavarima 11. veljače 1543. u Carigradu, da budu u miru sa susjednim Turcima:)
There are legal documents written in Croatian cyrillic which mention the Croatian name, as well as the surname Harvatić derived from Croatian name (Harvat = Hrvat = Croat):
Godine 1552. tijekom ispitivanja svjedoka u vezi parnice kneza Nikole Zrinjskoga s knezom Petrom Keglevićem poradi Selca, u dokumentu pisanom hrvatskom ćirilicom, spominje se kao jedan od svjedoka Varban Harvatić. Vidi Acta croatica, str. 252.An important leaf containing Croatian Cyrilic text written in 1543-1563, as well as (to a minor extent) Croatian Glagolitic and Latin, can be seen in the so called Klimpeh Missal (Klingenbacher Missale, printed in 1501):
Hvala samomu Bogu :č:f:m:g:
Otče naš ki jesi na nebeseh sveti se ime tvoje pridi kraljevstvo tvoje budi volja [tvoja]
kako na nebi tako i na zemlji kruh na vsagdanji daj nam ga danas i od-
pusti nam duge naše kako i mi odpušćamo dužnikom našim i unevedi nas
u napast [na] izbavi nas od nepriazni amen
1564 Cancio de reureccione
Kristuš je gore ustal naše grehe odapral i ke je on tu ljubil sobum je je
gore uzel kirieleišon aleluja aleluja
Bog vsamogući ustal je gore s mertvih hvalmo Bog s veseljim s veselemi
pesnami krieleišon aleluja
Vu grobi je ležal trideset i šest or potom toga gore ustal koga je otac
zobudil kririeleišon aleluja aleluja
Kristuš gore ustal si nam na peldu dal si ar bihmo i mi ustajali
s tobom prebivali krielešon aleluja aleluja
Stupi doli na pakal dobre osloboditi hude ondi ostaviti velike
muke tarpeti kririeleišona aleluja
Maria prečista nebeska si roža moli za nas gospodina svojega
sina slatkoga krireleišon aleluja
Finis per me Georgium Vuković de Jastrebarska 1561
Gaudet puer Inonorificabilitudinetitacionitatibus
Veseli se dite velkim počtenje jest
Zdravo budi božju pop Juray Simanić
Prvi dél No-
va tom su vsi četiri Evan-
gelisti i Apustolska d’jan’ja iz’
mnozih’ jazikov’ v sadašnji općeni i
razumni H’rvatski jazik’, po Antonu
Dalmatinu i Stipanu Istrijanu, s po-
moću drugih’ bratov’, verno st’l-
mačeni, i s ciruličskimi
slovi najp’rvo sada
This is again stressed on the same page in German - Crobatische Sparch:
The books were printed in Konzul’s and Dalmatin’s Croatian-Urach Cyrillic script, see Alojz Jembrih [PDF1], [PDF2]. The whole edition was prepared by Anton Dalmatin and Stipan Istrian, as well as by other brethern. The same book was published in Croatian Glagolitic Script in 1562/63, prepared by the same persons. Reprints of these books have been published in 2008 by the Theological Faculty "Matija Vlačić Ilirik" in Zagreb, where you can find more information.
Here is an interesting monument from central Bosnia with inscription for which it is difficult to decide is it Croatian glagolitic, cyrillic, or something else:
We illustrate some of numerous very interesting monuments of Croatian Cyrillic from the Makarska area, see [fra Karlo Jurisic].
It is interesting that in the franciscan convent in Makarska a baptismal parish register is preserved from 1664, written in Croatian Cyrillic, see [fra Karlo Jurisic, pp. 152-153]:
In the same monograph one can find an extremely interesting example of official correspondence with Turkish officials in Herzegovina written in Croatian Cyrillic in 1498, dealing with the destiny of franciscans in Zaostrog, see [fra Karlo Jurisic, pp. 200-201].
In the town of Zagvozd behind the beautiful mountain of Biokovo one can see a lovely Catholic church of all Saints with Croatian Cyrillic inscription from 1644:Here is a fascinating example of Three Script character of Croatian Middle Ages (that is, parallel usage of Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin scripts). You can see a part of the main text written in Croatian Cyrillic, and at the end, near the cross, AMEN written in Latin, Croatian Cyrillic, and Glagolitic (deeply moving text written by Bare Pifrovic in 1636, in which he thanks God for having learned these three scripts):
You can listen to the text, narrated by Stjepan Bahert, drama artist: Glagoljski zapis don Bare Pifrovica iz okolice Zadra. In 1636. Croatian glagolitic priest Bare Piforovic wrote in the Registry of Dead from the parish of Petrcane near the city of Zadar the following lines in the Croatian Cyrillic: "Ja, dom Bare Pifrovic, to pisah krvaski, curilicu i latinski..." (Me, don Bare Pifrovic, wrote this lines in Croatian, in Cyrillic and Latin...). See [Hercigonja, Glagoljaštvo i glagoljica].
In the beautiful Franciscan monastery on the islet of Visovac on Krka river there is an inscription on the grave of fra Stipan Skopljanin (+ Visovac, 1609.) in the Croatian Cyrillic:
Photo from [Bogovic and Jurisic, p. 112]
|Nek se znade
in vikario g.
l(ita) n(a) 1610.
The above Croatian Cyrillic inscription can be seen inside the parish church of the village of Ravno, Eastern Herzgovina, not far from Dubrovnik. The following text is taken from www.rb-donjahercegovina.ba (follow the link for the photo):
THE TABLET IN THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY IN RAVNO. This tablet is set up in the Church of the Nativity of our Lady in Ravno, written in Croatian Cyrillic script (bosancica), testifying that Bosko and two men named Nikola Anrijasevic restored this Medieval church in 1579. The tablet was written by Fra. Bazilio, who calls himself "Ravjanin" (a man of Ravno) and was probably in the monastery in Slano. The Bishop blessed the church on 6th June 1579.
Original text in Croatian (line by line):
Nikola i Nik
ola Andriaš, na slavu Boga i Sv(e)te
Gospe. I Blago(slo)vi
Biskup nakon 1.
5.7.9. godina poroda
Isusova. Na s(v)e(toga) žuna.
Pisa fra Bazilio Ravnanin.
Parish church in the village of Ravno in 2007, damaged in 1991 when the Greater Serbain agression on BiH started.
Village of Ravno, Eastern Herzegovina, not far from Dubrovnik.
We provide several documents published in Croatian Cyrillic in Eastern Herzegovina, not far from Dubrovnik, see [Dubljani]:
A Croatian Cyrillic text written by inhabitants from Ravno, Dracevo, Drijenjan, Grmljan, Velican, Dubljani and other parts of Popovo, written 1688, admitting Leopold I as their protector. See [Dubljani, p. 91].
Representatives of Orahov Do,
Cesljar, golubinac, Kijev Do and Belinic
sending letter to emperor Leopold I asking him for protection in 1688. See [Dubljani, p. 92].
Representatives of Ravno, Cvaljin, Velican, and Dubljani sending a letter to Leopold I in 1690. See [Dubljani, p. 94].
Dr. Marinka Šimić:
On the island of Brac there is a famous glagolitic convent of Blaca built in the 16th century:
Its interesting library keeps among others old Croatian Cyrillic manuscripts, like this one:
In fact, on the island of Brac near Split we know of six Glagolitic convents, founded by Glagolitic Catholic priests from Poljica, near the mountain of Mosor, who had to escape to the island during the Turkish onslaughts. These convents kept not only Croatian Cyrillic books, but also Croatian Glagolitic and Latin books.
An interesting remain from Draceva Luka Glagolitic eremitage, kept in the Dominican Convent in the town of Bol on the island of Brac, is a wardrobe bearing Glagolitic inscriptions describing the color of dresses of priests. Also a remain of the first Croatian printed book (incunabulum) from 1483, printed in the Glagolitic script, is kept there, originating from Draceva Luka on the island of Brac.
There are several additional convents of the Poljica Glagolitic Catholic origin founded in 15.-16. st.:
Edo Pivcevic: The Poljica Statute
Croatian nobles were familiar not only with the Croatian Glagolitic Script, but also with Croatian Cyrillic. We can illustrate this with the following text signed by Petar Zrinski (1621-1671) outstanding Croatian statesman and writer. It is contained in the "Libar od Spominka" (Book of Remebrances) written by Katarina Zrinska (1625-1673).
U ime BogaPrisvitli gospodine daemo na znane vašoi milosti da se ženi Gargo sin Jurja Bušlete a uzima Anticu ženu pokoinoga Luke Arlića iz daržave prisvitloga gospodina arhibiskupa i ucinil san navišćenja kako zapovida sveta mati crikva i nije se našla nijedna zaprika koja bi mogla zabraniti svetomu matremoniju a sada pozdravla vaše prisvitlo gospodstvo.
U Nadinu na 6 maja 1723
Ponizni sluga vaše milosti don Ivan Milišić kurat od Nadina
Anto Ivić: Matične knjige
Župe Ivanjska 1729.-1779.
(monografija), Banja Luka - Sarajevo 2017. g., 422 str., ISBN 978
9958999192 (The Registries of the Roman Catholic Parish of Ivanjska
near Banja Luka from 1729 to 1779)
U knjizi su prezentirane najstarije sačuvane matične knjige krštenih i
umrlih župe Ivanjska od 1729. do 1779. godine. Pisane su bosanicom na
hrvatskom jeziku te latinskim jezikom i pismom. To su najstarije
matične knjige koje su sačuvane na prostoru današnje Bosanske Krajine.
Župa Ivanjska bila je jedna od 30 katoličkih župa koje su postojale
polovicom 18. stoljeća na području Apostolskog vikarijata u otomanskoj
Bosni. Prostirala se na prostoru od sjevero-zapadno od Banja Luke do
rijeke Save. U matičnim knjigama je zabilježeno 1311 različitih
prezimena i prezimenskih inačica. Knjiga sadrži kazalo prezimena i
kazalo zemljopisnih pojmova. Nakon uvoda, u prvom poglavlju knjige
objašnjena je metodologija transliteracije i transkripcije teksta ovih
Anto Ivić: Matične knjige Župe Banja Luka
1753.-1814. (monografija), Banja Luka 2017. g., 434 str., ISBN
978-9926-8145-0-2 (The Registries of the Roman Catholic Parish Banja
Luka from 1753 to 1814)
U knjizi su prezentirane najstarije sačuvane matične knjige župe Banja
Luka. Započinju 1753. godine, a pojedini svesci se završavaju 1792.
(matice vjenčanih), 1793. (matice umrlih) i 1814. godine (matice
krštenih). Pisane su bosanicom na hrvatskom jeziku te latinskim pismom
i jezikom. Nakon demografske katastrofe u Bečkom ratu, župa Banja Luke
bila je jedna od 30 katoličkih župa koje su postojale polovicom 18.
stoljeća na području Apostolskog vikarijata u otomanskoj Bosni. U
matičnim knjigama su zabilježena 1163 različita prezimena i prezimenske
inačice. Knjiga sadrži kazalo prezimena i kazalo zemljopisnih pojmova.
U predgovoru je opisana sudbina ovih matičnih knjiga u proteklih 30
godina. U prvom poglavlju knjige objašnjena je metodologija
transliteracije i transkripcije ovih matičnih knjiga.
Table of Cyrillic Script sent in 1997 to D.Ž. by Benedikta Zelić Bućan (1918-2013, Split)
For more information see