By Mirjana Matijević Sokol
Review of Croatian History, Vol.1 (2007)
Introduction: Thomas, the archdeacon of Split, one of the most interesting figures of medieval Croatia, a participant in many of events in public, political and clerical life in Split from the early to mid-thirteenth century, would have remained almost entirely unremembered had he not written a work of historiography that surpassed the customary story-telling of medieval chroniclers, the wellknown “Historia Salonitana” (‘History of Salona’), as it was called by the father of Croatian historiography, Ivan Lučić Lucius, when first presenting it to the scholarly public in 1666.
Information about Thomas’s life has been obtained both directly and indirectly, from the “Historia Salonitana” itself and from other documents. His youth and schooling in Split and Italy are generally the subject of conjecture. Since the “Historia Salonitana”, besides describing the history of the Church in Split up to Thomas’s time, is nonetheless largely a memoir with emphasis on events in which the archdeacon himself participated, there are some data here which can be discerned as autobiographical or biographical notations by Thomas, since he writes of himself in the third person.