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MARKO MARULIC

(Split, 1450. - Split, 1524.)

Croatian Humanist and writer, born to the old patrician family called Pečenić in Split , where he lived and died.

He studied in Padua, and in Split was professionally engaged in the law.

In Croatian literature, he is the main representative of Humanism and religious inspiration; he is known as the father of Croatian literature.

He created prose and poetry in Latin and Croatian, and as Christian Humanist endeavoured to harmonise ancient wisdom and poetics with the prophecies of the Bible and Christian spirituality.

He attained European fame with his works on spiritual and moral matters in Latin; his work De institutione bene Vivendi per exempla sanctorum (On living well from the examples of the saints) went through forty editions and translations (in Basel, Cologne, Antwerp and Paris).

Marulić was the first Croatian poet and one among the great European Humanists, a writer of a genuinely worldwide reputation and importance.

In the story of the Biblical Judith, of whom he wrote an epic, Marulić really spoke of the time in which he lived; his country was a widow, with no king of its own; and his country was besieged by militarily stronger foreigners and opponents of his faith and civilisation (the Ottomans); his land could trust only in God and be saved only by His succour.

Accordingly, Marulić, an engaged and very active citizen of Split sent, because of the danger of being conquered by the Ottomans that loomed over the very walls of the city, an epistle to Pope Adrian VI in Rome in 1522.