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  • The Vrbnik Statute, 16th century, National and University Library in Zagreb, Manuscripts and Old Books Collection, R 4003


The Vrbnik Statute (Vrbnički statut) is the oldest legal document of the island of Krk. It dates from the period of reign of the affluent and influential Frankopan dukes, who marked the history of Krk during the Middle Ages. This book of the Vrbnik statutory provisions was written in 1388 in the Croatian language and Glagolitic alphabet, an entire century after The Vinodol Code. The copy held by the National and University Library in Zagreb, under the shelfmark R 4003, is a transcript from the 16th century.

The included statutory provisions were not codified at the same time – the oldest provision dates from 1362, while the most recent is dated 1526. The statute was first published by Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski in 1852, as part of one of the issues of Arkiv za povjestnicu jugoslavensku, a 1851–1875 scientific journal in the field of history, archaeology and art, considered to be the first Croatian scientific journal. Owing to this publication, the statute became the subject of interest to Slavic studies specialists outside Croatia and its surrounding region. Thus, in 1879 in Petrograd, a lawyer and feminist activist Anna Michailowna Jewreinova (1844-1919) published the statute under the title Statut’ ostrova K’rka, accompanied by its Latin and Cyrillic transliterations. In 1890, the statute was published by Franjo Rački and Ivan Črnčić, as part of Monumenta historico-iuridica Slavorum meridionalium, a collection of sources pertaining to the history and legislation of South Slavs issued by the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (JAZU). In 2008, Lujo Margetić re-published the statute, accompanying it with the Latin transliteration and adaptation in the modern Croatian language.