Early Croatian Historical Topics within Contemporary National Narration

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 2-3, 2009

Original scientific paper

Marko Dragić  ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0001-5362-6814 ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Doris Vrdoljak

pages 21-44

2-3_02_Dragic PDF


This work includes fourteen chapters which historically, ethnologically and anthropologically list and interpret contemporary legends about early and decisive Croatian historical events and personas in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The author dates the early Croatian period from the Croats arriving to the region to the death of Croatia’s greatest king, Dmitar Zvonimir. From this period to today people have narrated, through oral-literary communication, the following: queens Tuga and Buga and their brother Klukas; the saints Dujam, Tripun, Vlaho, Donat and Ivan Trogirski; the blessed Ivan Vladimir; and the king of Duklja. There are also narratives on the cunningness of the inhabitants of the island of Brač who defended themselves against the Saracens, on king Tomislav and on the last Croatian king Dmitar Zvonimir and his son Radovan. These narratives perform both aesthetic and vital functions. Compared to their historical sources, in essence they are the same. However, in the Aristotelian manner, poetry is finer and more historical than history – thus it should be taken more seriously. A multidisciplinary approach to these examples indisputably proves Croatia’s abundant, yet crude history. Every nation has to know its past and learn from it. The general message of traditional Croatian culture and literature stresses that one has to love their own and live in harmony, but also respect others.


Croatian historical narratives; kings; history; saints