The Croatian Glagolitic Rule of St. Benedict

The Croatian Glagolitic Rule of St. Benedict

By Marija-Ana Dürrigl

Croatian Medical Journal, Vol 44:1 (2003)

Introduction: Croatian medieval culture held a specific position between the East and West, where Central Europe meets the Mediterranean. It partly inherited works belonging to the common Slavic tradition, but it was also open to influences from the Latin West from very early on. Indeed, the Latin language was “the mother tongue” of Croatian medieval literacy.

Texts from a wide range of fields (liturgy, law, epigraphy, literature, and education) were written in the Glagolitic alphabet. Creating an alphabet and literary language for the Slavic peoples was a magnificent cultural achievement of the Thessalonikan brothers SS Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century. In its specific “angular” form, the Glagolitic alphabet has been the fundamental part of written culture, which clearly defined and delineated the Croats as an individual ethnic entity throughout the Middle Ages. However, the striking “otherness” of the alphabet should not create the impression that Croatian Glagolism (glagoljaštvo, in Croatian) was excluded from contemporary European cultural and intellectual movements.

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