Born: August 18, 1450 in Split
Died: January 5, 1524 in Split
Marulić is the author of the first piece of Croatian literature written in the Croatian language, titled “Judita” (Libar Marka Marula Splićanina) – a book by Marko Marul from Split which tells the history of the holy widow Judith, composed in Croatian verses. It was published for the first time in 1521 in Venice, and was re-published several times after that. The preface of this epic poem explains Marulić’s idea to write in Croatian so that everyone that doesn’t know Latin can understand it.
Marulić was born into a distinguished aristocratic family and raised with strict Christian morals. As a young man, he gained a rich humanistic education and had various municipal duties as judge, examiner of notary entries and executor of wills in Split.
During his life, he achieved European popularity with his work based on Christian morality, written in Latin: De institutionem bene vivendi i Evangelistarium. This particular work was familiar to King Henrik VIII and is one of the most valuable pieces in the British Library.
Marulić’s works written in Croatian confirm the maturity of the Croatian literary tradition and the possibilities to create works of great artistic value in the mother tongue. This is why he is considered the ‘father’ or creator of Croatian poetry, and his work “Judita” the most mature literary expression of Croatian cultural heritage.