Info Panel
Homepage  /  Works about Marulić  /  Miscellae Marulianae / Žarko Muljačić

Miscellae Marulianae / Žarko Muljačić

The writer attempts to explain three etymological puzzles, also interesting in view of semantics and textual linguistics (these not being the last puzzles that will arouse the curiosity of analysts interested in the epic Judita, which Marulić finished on April 22nd 1501 and which was published for the first time twenty years later in Venice in 1521, and in his other writings in Croatian). The words in question are plita (turn-up on a sack that protects bed cover), sandalj (a group of small flat transportation crafts, called sandalo in Italian, noun, m.g. or similar; the poet probably coined this word with the help of a very productive suffix – je, omitting in the next step „for the love of the rhyme“ – the ending vocal – e) and oloprastic word quitto!, interpreted by previous glossary writers as an appeal to be qiet, whereas the writer of this text recognizes it as the Italian word cito (quickly), used here within the comparison between the teacher lecturing in Latin in elementary school and Assyrian general (known as Holoferno in the Bible): both are encouraging their „subordinates“, who hesitate, to answer their question (in the first case school question, and in the other strategic-political) for different reasons (lack of knowledge versus moral ans intellectual obtuseness). Its unusual penmanship could indicate that Marulić wasn¨t totally ignorant of the future erasmic proposals aimed at renewing of classical pronunciation of the Latin language.
Although in his epic Marulić wasn’t obliged to follow the Biblical narration in detail, the comparison of his epic and the version he could have found in a Venetian publication of the Bible (from 1489) which he owned (which includes a comment, partly linguistical, about three times ampler thn the Bible text itself), as well as of texts of three more Bibles (one in Latin and two translated in Croatian, from 1536/1999, 1592/1994 and 1968) proved useful not only for explanation of some linguistical unknowns in Croatian language, but also for understanding of „heroisation“ of his poetical discourse. I’d like to add that the second crux etymologica doesn’t originate from Judita, but from one „anti-Turkish prayer“ in Croatian, composed by MaruliĆ after 1517, i.e. after the annexation of Egypt by the Ottoman Empire (including Jerusalem). The crusade to which the poem invites, hoping that it would be organized by the Pope, never happened (so the transportation vessels from Naples remained in their moorsings, instead of taking part in disembarking in the Nile Delta).

Abstract: Muljačić, Ž. Miscellae Marulianae. // Čakavska rič : Polugodišnjak za proučavanje čakavske riječi 30, 1-2(2002), 54-54.