The purpose of this study is to provide a historical overview of the Jesuit libraries in Croatia from their foundation to the present. The first known libraries were at Jesuit high schools, called “colleges,” established during the seventeenth century. This article deals with foundation of libraries at the Jesuit colleges in Zagreb, Varaždin, Požega, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik, emphasizing their role supporting education and the dissemination of knowledge. These libraries were witness to a strong influence of Jesuits colleges on the spiritual, educational, and intellectual life of many Croats. Highlighted in this respect is the famous library of the Jesuit school in Dubrovnik (Collegium Ragusinum). After the suppression of Jesuit order in 1773, the colleges were closed, and their libraries scattered and plundered. Nevertheless, many books survived. Portions of the collections of the former Jesuit colleges are today an invaluable part of the patrimony of the largest Croatian libraries.
Jesuits arrived on Croatian soil in the mid-sixteenth century by invitation, shortly after the founding of the Society of Jesus. In the seventeenth century, they established high schools (called colleges) in several of the region’s cities (Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Rijeka, and Požega). These lasted for almost two centuries and were among the most important pedagogical institutions in Croatia, resulting in outstanding contributions from famous Jesuits in almost all intellectual fields. One of the conditions for obtaining permission to establish a college was the presence of a library. The structure of surviving collections of the former Jesuit libraries places them at the core of the colleges’ educational work. When the Society was suppressed in 1773, their colleges were closed and their books were scattered. However, numerous volumes have been preserved, and they can be found in various places today: in Jesuit residences, as well as in universities, monasteries, and other libraries. Jesuit operations in Croatia were interrupted, but their legacy has not been: the remains of their original book collections provide evidence that the Society’s pursuit of knowledge has been a continuous part of the intellectual history of the region. The importance of Jesuit libraries for Croatian culture was demonstrated on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the National and University Library in Zagreb (nul) in 2007, which commemorated the 1607 foundation by the Jesuits of the first high school in that city. The nul contains many books with “College. Paren. S. J. catalogo inscriptus” written on the title page. Most of these volumes were purchased in Graz and Vienna, since the Jesuits in Zagreb were part of the Austrian Province. Graz was a large printing center, as well as the place where a number of Croatian candidates for the Society of Jesus were educated.
Among the well-known authors who have written about Jesuits in the region, including Gaëtan Bernoville (1889–1960), Thomas Campbell (1790–1858), Jacques Crétineau-Joly (1803–1875), Joseph de Jouvancy (1643–1719), and Carlos Sommervogel (1834–1902), there are also numerous Croats: Francesco Maria Appendini (1769–1837), Franjo Fancev (1882–1943), Mijo Korade (1947–), Đuro Körbler (1873–1927), Tomo Matić (1874–1968), Vladimir Muljević (1913–2007), and Vjekoslav Štefanić (1900–1975), to name just a few. Prominent among the Croatian Jesuits was Miroslav Vanino (1879–1965), who contributed immensely to the study of the history of the Society in the region. His life’s work, the two-volume Isusovci i hrvatski narod [Jesuits and the Croatian People], provides a detailed study of the colleges.1 He also launched the periodical Život [Life] in 1919 and a respected journal, Croatia Sacra, in 1931, as well as helping to start Vrela i prinosi. Fontes et Studia [Sources and Contributions], a publication focusing on the history of Croatian Jesuits at home and abroad (1932–1941, 1981–present). Croatian Jesuits also composed the most significant publication of primary-source material for the history of the Balkan countries, a large work called Illyricum sacrum.2 It is based on the large historical archive (called the “Illyrian library”) collected during the nineteenth century by authors in several Italian cities and the former Roman province of Illyria. Only parts of this trove have been identified in the museums and archives of Padua, Venice, and Zagreb, as well as the Garagnin-Fanfogna library of Trogir.3 This collection, as yet underutilized, is fundamental to the study of history, especially church history, in the Balkan region. A second major compilation of documents related to the history of the Society of Jesus includes the reports or Litterae annuae from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At that time, Croatia was split into two parts: northern, ruled by the Austrian Empire; and southern, ruled by Venetians, with the exception of the independent Republic of Dubrovnik. Croatian Jesuits in the north were consequently under the jurisdiction of the Austrian province, headquartered in Vienna; those in the south under that of the Venetian province, centered in Bologna; and those in the Dubrovnik Republic under that of the Roman province. Therefore the major original sources for the history of the Dubrovnik Jesuits are located in the general curia of the Society in Rome. Some materials can also be found in the state archives of Dubrovnik and the central archives of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb.
These vast collections, however, contain very little material concerning the Jesuit libraries. After the Society was suppressed in 1773, special commissions were appointed to inventory the institutions (colleges, residences, and missions), including their libraries. The resulting catalogues are often the main, and sometimes the only, source for the study of the Jesuit libraries. Unfortunately, many important documents, such as historia and diaria of Jesuit houses, have not been preserved, or have been removed from Croatia. Examples include materials from the colleges of Varaždin and Zagreb, which are lost, and the diarium of the Osijek residence, held in Budapest. The removal or destruction of documentary evidence on libraries, whether deliberate or not, facilitated their looting and dispersal. For example, although a portion of the collection from the library of the Zagreb college ended up at the Royal University Library in Zagreb (now the National and University Library), another part was removed to Budapest.4 Other books from Jesuit colleges can be found in various institutions throughout Croatia, including the Zagreb city library. Adding to the difficulties, as the inventories from 1773 and afterwards frequently omit authors’ names, places, and years of the publication of books, determining the contents of the original collections is very difficult. To complicate matters further, as the lists are written entirely in Latin, the exact language of a book listed as held by a library can be difficult to identify: for example, was S. Francisci Salesii Philothea, found in the catalog of the Požega college library, originally written in Latin or French? In rare cases, researchers can discover a large collection of volumes from a given college library in a single place, together with a list of the books. This is the case for the former Rijeka college library; the main part of which is in the Rijeka university library, while the rest resides in the first Croatian gymnasium in Sušak (a section of Rijeka).
Libraries of Jesuit Colleges in Northern Croatia
Upon their arrival in Croatia in the sixteenth century, the Jesuits started their work with the cultural and religious education of the local population; they created schools (both gymnasia and colleges) in the seventeenth century. Opening a library in the colleges was mandatory, as the rules of the Society and the Ratio studiorum required these institutions to set aside a certain amount of money for the acquisition of books. In addition, the regulations prescribed in detail the duties of librarians, as well as the methods of acquiring, storing, retaining, and classifying the volumes.5 Based on the 1610 note “Residentae Zagrabiensis Societatis catalogo inscriptus,” found in some texts in the nul, the Jesuits had a library in their Zagreb residence even before the founding of the city’s college in 1611.6 According to 1611 archival documents from the gymnasium, entitled Collegium Zagrabiensis inscriptus, this “library” began as a small collection of titles used by both the residence and gymnasium. Over time, the collection increased by means of donations. For example, the manuscript history Collegio Historia Societatis Jesu notes that Hungarian historian Nicholas Istvánffy (1538–1615) left a large bequest of books to the Society in Zagreb after his death.7
The Jesuit gymnasium in Zagreb became an academy with the introduction of the study of philosophy in 1663. By 1771, the subjects taught also included theology, canon law, speculative theology, and Biblical studies. New disciplines demanded new books. According to the inventory drawn up after the suppression in 1773, the library held 3,000 titles in at least 5,179, and perhaps as many as 6,000, volumes.8 This library is unique because of the number of books concerning relations between western and eastern churches, as the Eastern Orthodox Church had taken root in some of the regions largely inhabited by Roman Catholic Croats. Among the books on this subject were Hungarian Jesuit Marton Szentivány’s Dissertatio de schismati Graeco, Croatian Jesuit Franjo Ksaver Pejačević’s Controversiae, and his compatriot Ivan Krstitelj Šimunić’s Brevis notitia schismatis Graeci, along with titles by Antun Bačić (Croatian), Krsto Pejkić (Bulgarian), and others.9 The library also contained patristic works, as well as books by more recent saints, and major poets and authors of antiquity—such as would commonly be found in major libraries of the time, and as would be recommended in the Jesuit Constitutions.
Latin classics were widespread in these collections: for example, a Latin edition of Aesop combined with Joachim Camerarius’s Oratione Soluta, found in the Zagreb college catalog in 1679.10 Another edition of Aesop was one of the many books printed locally and owned by the grammar school there: Fabulae Aesopicae lectiores.11 This little volume (only thirty-two pages) was one in a series of school handbooks for studying Latin. The most complete language manual was Flos latinitatis by the French Jesuit François Pomey (1619–1673) and edited for Croatian students by Ivan Galjuf, S.J. (1710–1770). Pomey’s work helped students to learn how to write and speak Latin with clarity and elegance, helping them, according to Vanino, “to attain clean phraseology in translating from Latin into Croatian.”12 Thanks to the Jesuit college libraries in the region, Croats developed a rich translational activity. The 1773 inventory of books at the Zagreb college listed 304 copies of Lexicon Latinum interpretatione Illyrica, Germanica et Hungarica locuples, the dictionary of Croatian Jesuit Andrija Jambrešić (1706–1758).13 That library also had multiple of copies of other multilingual dictionaries, including that by Calepinus, and a number of dramatic works in languages other than Croatian, including Pastor fido by Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538–1612), Giustina, reina di Padova by Cortese Cortesi (d. 1617), and tragedies by Paolo Antonio Valmarana (fl. 1598–1611).14 Rounding out its collection, the college owned dramatic works, indicative of the great importance the Society attached to student theaters. Most of these plays were written in Latin by members of the Society, including Opera comica by Jakob Bidermann, S.J. (1578–1639), Tragoediae sacrae by Nicolas Caussin, S.J. (1583–1651), Tragoediae by Joseph Simons, S.J. (1593–1671), Poesis dramatica by Nicolaus Avancinus, S.J. (1611–1686), and Tragoediae by Christophe Dell, S.J. (1634–1682).15
In Požega, a city in the northern Croatian region of Slavonia, Jesuits opened their first gymnasium in 1709, initiating construction of a college in the following year. They began teaching philosophy in the academic year 1760/61 and moral theology in 1761/62. To support these expansions, the library (located on the first floor of the college building) was redecorated and multiple books were purchased. According to Tomo Matić, in the late eighteenth century approximately 1,200 books filled the shelves.16 These volumes had been systematically acquired, as is evident from the historia and diarium of the college, which include dates of purchase for many of the texts. For example, the first two volumes of the monumental Illyricum sacrum were purchased in 1755, quite soon after their publication (vol. 1 in 1751, vol. 2 in 1753). In 1770, the library acquired the all the other volumes of that series then in print.17 Works by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), Lorenzo Giustiniani (1381–1456), Pope Leo the Great (c. 400–461), and Cornelius Lapidus, S.J. (1567–1637) printed in Venice were purchased in 1725, and Istoria del Concilio di Trento by Sforza Pallavicino, S.J. (1607–1667) was acquired after 1735.18 In addition to these Latin texts, the library of the Požega college had a rich collection of books printed in the old Croatian Glagolitic script, a mostly obsolete form of writing. These works were present because several priests from the Diocese of Senj, the only region still using the script for liturgical purposes, taught in the school of moral theology. As in Zagreb, many dramatic works were found in Požega’s library: Lysimachus, a tragedy by Charles de La Rue (1643–1725); Dramata IV by Anton Maurisperg, S.J. (1678–1748); Tragoediae sex by Giuseppe Carpani, S.J. (1683–1762); and Jaddus by Contuccio Contucci, S.J. (1688–1768). Three books of comedies by Molière, found in Požega, can also be attributed to the Jesuit interest in theater.19
Other Croatian regions housed Jesuit institutions as well. In the northwestern city of Varaždin, the Jesuits founded a grammar school in 1636 and a college in 1678; between the two, the Society provided instruction in grammar and humanities. The library of college there was relatively small, a total of approximately one thousand titles. It is notable for other reasons, though: as northwestern Croatia was the region closest to Protestant territories, this collection was comparatively rich in books considered heretical, including by Luther and Melanchthon.20 In southwestern Croatia, the Jesuits opened a gymnasium in Rijeka in 1627; this is considered the origins of the university library in that city. In 1725/26, they began teaching philosophy; in 1727/28, they introduced moral theology. Currently, this collection holds 136 sixteenth-century volumes known to have been owned by the Jesuit college, as they feature the inscription “Collegij Flum. Soc. Jesu” or “Societatis Jesu Collegij Fluminensis.” Among its treasures are Erasmus’s edition of Lucian of Samosata; Cicero’s Officiorum libri tres; Terence’s comedies; Pompeius Trogus’ Iustinus; and an extremely rare book, Libarze od dievstva i dievickoga bitya, by the Benedictine Bazilije Gradić (r. 1584–1585), Bishop of Ston.21 In addition, this library includes books from the college’s mission in Osijek, in northeast Croatia (established in 1688). A gymnasium, with four grades, was opened there in 1728, but closed in 1737 due to lack of funds; the lower gymnasium was reopened in late 1765. The inventory from 1773 shows 230 titles. Most of books on the list, as with other Jesuit libraries, are theological texts, lectionaries and catechisms, patristic works, and volumes of Thomas Aquinas; there were also several dictionaries and a few works of ancient writers.
The Library of the College of Dubrovnik (Collegium Rhagusinum)
Dubrovnik was also known as the Republic of Ragusa. This maritime state, which lasted until the beginning of the nineteenth century, reached its golden age in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Since the education of youth was considered one of key factors for the prosperity of the small but independent republic, authorities invited Jesuits to found a college in the region; the Jesuits agreed to establish a school there for Christians living under Ottoman authority, according to letters from Ignatius of Loyola in 1554 and 1555.22 The region had a large coast on the Adriatic Sea and was of interest to the Society of Jesus as a free, prosperous and Catholic state, under the patronage of Rome, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire. From its shores, Jesuits could conduct missions to other Christians in the surrounding, Turkish-dominated areas. To this end, Nicolás Bobadilla, S.J. (1511–1590), one of the companions of Ignatius, arrived as the first Jesuit in Dubrovnik in 1558; he stayed on for two years. Though they were difficult and dangerous, the Society’s missions in the region continued until 1591, sometimes with tragic end. The first Croatian Jesuit, Bartolomej Sfondrati (1534–1582) from Dubrovnik, perished along with the Franciscan Bishop of Ston, Boniface de Stephanis (1504–1582), on their way through Bosnia to Timisoara in Romania. Many other Jesuits hailing from Italy, Dubrovnik, and Croatia worked in this mission, including Aleksander Komulović, S.J. (1548–1608), a member of the Illyrian Academy in Rome and the author of the first anti-Reformation books in Croatian; Bartol Kasić, S.J. (1575–1650), author of the first Croatian grammar and one of the founders of the Croatian literary language, and Jakov Mikalja, S.J. (1600–1654), the founder of Croatian lexicography, who taught at the Jesuit humanist school opened in Dubrovnik in 1619.23 Although the mission was canceled due to lack of funds, Jesuits continued to operate, even establishing a residence in 1604 and remaining there until 1612.
The Society carried out educational work in Dubrovnik for decades before the republic and the Jesuit curia in Rome could reach an agreement on the conditions for establishing a college. Marin Gundulić, S.J. (1596–1647), who was sent to Florence in 1631 to teach Grand Duke Ferdinand ii (1610–1670; r. 1621–1670) the Croatian language, was the first major donor. At the end of his stay in Tuscany, he signed a will and testament (July 29, 1634) in which he left eighteen thousand gold scudi to the Jesuit college in Ancona to establish a presence in Dubrovnik: twelve thousand for the foundation of the college and six thousand for the residence.24 His example was followed by other priests and aristocrats in Dubrovnik, who left both money and property to the Society. The curia estimated that the legacies were insufficient, so the distinguished diplomat and philosopher Stjepan Gradić (1613–1683), the agent of the Republic of Dubrovnik in Rome in that time, appealed to superior general Goswin Nickel, S.J. (1582–1664, r. 1652–1661) in 1657, defending the rights of his hometown to a Jesuit college, and referring to the legacy of Gundulić. Despite this, the college was not established until 1658, when Orsat Ranjina, S.J. (1617–1674) arrived in Dubrovnik as rector.25 However, construction did not begin until 1662. Gundulić’s bequest also included a rich private library in Ancona, which was the foundation of the college’s book collection.26
A catastrophic earthquake in 1667 killed an entire class of students and wounded one teacher, Hector Celio of Trogir, who died from his injuries a year later. It also destroyed the building.27 The reconstruction of the college began as early as 1670, under the leadership of Ardelio della Bella (1655–1737), a renowned preacher, missionary and lexicographer.28 The new church of St. Ignatius was built next to the college, thanks to the legacy of the noblewoman Pera Gundulić (1628–1706); it was completed in 1725. This Baroque complex was a masterpiece, completed by both local and foreign architects and artists, including Gaetano García (fl. 1735–1738), Grga Kraljić (1633–1706) of Brodarevca (Brodanovci), Pietro Passalacqua (1690–1748) of Rome, and Andrea Pozzo (1624–1709) of Trento.29 Many Dubrovnik Jesuits worked in the Collegium Rhagusinum in the eighteenth century, including preacher and missionary Bernard Zuzorić (1683–1762), a rector of the college; poet Vlaho Bolić (1717–1756); rhetorician and dramatist Ivan Lukarević (1622–1709); and historian Ivan Marija Matijašević (1714–1791). Its students became prominent representatives of Croatian Latinism and poetry, such as Rajmund Kunić (1719–1794), and famous physicists, philosophers and humanists, including Ruđer Bošković (Roger Boscovich, 1711–1787). Despite this, the early history of the Jesuit library and college of Dubrovnik is relatively unknown.30 The exception is Alcune memorie di questo collegio di Ragusa, a chronicle composed by Simone Capitozzi, S.J. (1670–1753) and Juraj Bašić, S.J. (1695–1765).31 This volume provides a detailed description of instruction in the Dubrovnik college; only the lower level of studies, encompassing five grades, was taught regularly. Attempts to introduce philosophy and mathematics as compulsory failed, because “the youth in Dubrovnik do not have ambitions for higher level of science,” according to Capitozzi.32
The Jesuits at Dubrovnik had sufficient funds for the regular purchase of books to supplement Gundulić’s private collection. Income from various sources, including Gundulić’s monetary bequest, allowed both for library expansion and for the support of the Jesuits in residence. The college could support fifteen to sixteen young men, but on average there were only eleven in a given year; as a result, a surplus remained that could be used for the church and the library.33 The priority was books for students, followed by those supporting the residents of the college in teaching and expanding their knowledge, particularly in the humanities, philosophy and theology. Texts were also purchased for pastoral and missionary work. A third major source of acquisitions was the donation of books by other benefactors; Capitozzi cited several individuals who bequeathed their entire collections. For example, Đuro Matijašević (fl. 1715–1716) left his valuable manuscripts and printed volumes; Giovanni Bindi Pratese, who taught at the college for one year, and Giuseppe Stefani, who taught for five years, gave art and books on their departure for Italy in March 1725; Giuseppe Paganucci donated works to Superior Raffaele Prodanelli in 1725; Frano Volantić (1660–1741, bishop of Ston 1710–1741), gave two volumes of the valuable work Imperium orientale (by his nephew Anselmo Bandur, O.S.B.) in 1740; and Thomas F. Serafino, longtime church assistant and tailor, bequeathed many texts to the college in 1740 “in segno di amorevolezza” [as a sign of affection].34 In 1661, the Dubrovnik senate granted the college the complete collection of the patrician Nikola Vitov Gučetić (1549–1610), who had willed it to the Republic in hopes that it would open a public library.35 Many of those books were signed by their former owners or those associated with the college, including Gundulić; Nikola Gučetić (1549–1610), Dubrovnik philosopher and statesmen; Arkanđeo Gučetić O.P. (Archangelus Gozeus, 1533–1610), sixteenth-century theologian and bibliophile; and Stjepan Gradić (1613–1683), diplomat, writer and curator of the Vatican Library. Others contain shelfmarks of the Benedictine monastery of St. James in Višnjica, or that of Saint Mary on the island of Mljet (both in the Dalmatia region).
After the suppression of the Jesuits and consequent closure of the college, some of the volumes were taken away and sold at auctions in Italy. Others remained divided among three collections in Dubrovnik. First, the manuscripts were saved from destruction thanks to Ivan Marija Matijašević (1714–1791), a former Jesuit, who transferred them to the library of Dubrovnik’s Franciscan monastery, where they can be found today.36 Second, some of the books remained in the gymnasium, which was restored to the Society in 1854, and then transferred to state control in 1868. That collection, which in the meantime had grown thanks to new donations, was divided into the old and new teachers’ libraries. The former, containing about 5,300 books from the defunct Jesuit college, became the core of the Dubrovnik library, founded in 1936 and opened in 1941. This then split in 1950 into the public library and the scientific library, the latter containing the Jesuit collection.37 Thirty-five incunabula (out of total of seventy-seven owned by the scientific library) have handwritten tags that indicate affiliation to the former Jesuit college; five of them belonged to Marin Gundulić. These are largely Roman classics and popular authors of the sixteenth century, including Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, the oldest completely preserved incunable in Croatia.38 There are works of Cicero, Horace, Plautus, and Petrarch, as well as a real rarity, the De natura celestium spiritum quod angelus vocamus of Juraj Dragišić, O.F.M. (Georgius Benignus, 1445–1520), the Srebrenican Renaissance poet and philosopher.39 In addition, the scientific library holds thirty-five manuscripts from the Jesuit collection. Among these are the fourteenth-century Dragomirov Osmoglasnik, autographs by poet and historian Ignjat Đurđević (1675–1737), a Latin epic about the death of Christ by poet Damjan Beneša (1476–1536), and an autograph of Kristiade by the poet and dramatist Džono Palmotić (1606–1657).
The third library holding books from the Collegium Rhagusinum is housed in the Society’s current residence in Dubrovnik. The collection is located in the north wing of the church of St. Ignatius, in the Jesuit complex on Bošković Square in the Old Town.40 Presumably, this location was the site of the original college library. As the institution grew during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, expansion became necessary. The ceiling was removed and the room was connected to the attic, providing for extensive shelving (filled with an estimated forty thousand books). Blaž Čavec, S.J. (1933–1987), who made shelves and furniture for the library, created several print catalogs before his untimely death.41 The shelfmarks are a combination of Arab-Roman and Arabic numerals corresponding to the horizontal and vertical series of books on the shelves. Despite a few mistakes (in some places, different works by a single author received an identical shelf mark), Čavec’s inventories are useful aids. Some of the library’s catalog cards, too, contain helpful information, occasionally including the designation cr (Collegium Ragusinum).42 Marica Šapro-Ficović’s study of this institution’s travails includes an analysis of book lists.43 Volumes were classified into thirty-six subject areas:
- 1.Sacra scriptura
- 2.Patristica et dogmatica
- 3.Theologia moralis
- 4.Ius canonicum
- 6.Orationes panegiricae
- 8.Ascetica – meditationes
- 9.Maria ss
- 10.S. Joseph
- 13.Ss. Cor. Iesu
- 14.Menologium et Hagiologia S.J.
- 16.Historia ecclesiastica
- 17.Historia S.J.
- 18.Societas Jesu
- 19.Historia profana
- 23.Historia naturalis
- 24.Litteratura latina
- 25.Litteratura graeca
- 26.Litteratura italica
- 27.Litteratura germanica, anglica
- 28.Litteratura gallica
- 29.Litteratura croatica
- 30.Physic., mathematic., astronomia
- 31.Apologia, cathecetica
- 34.Exercitia spiritualia
This list offers insight into the subjects of study in the old Jesuit college, and perhaps at the later gymnasium as well. The incunabula, a special feature of this inventory, consist mainly of theological and philosophical works, including books by Augustine, Cyprian, Pope Leo iii, Giles of Rome, Jerome, and others, printed in Venice and Florence.45 According to Šime Jurić, who took an census in 1990 of Jesuit incunabula in Croatia, the library of the Dubrovnik residence today holds ten early printed books, among them two editions of Chronica Hungarorum by Janós Turóczy (Johannes de Thwrocz, 1435–1488/89) and the very valuable Evangelium of the Franciscan Bernardin Splićanin (d. 1499), the oldest surviving printed text in the Croatian language.46 However, these incunabula were removed from the Dubrovnik residence at the beginning of the 1990s due to the threat of war; they were transferred to the Juraj Habdelić Library at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Society of Jesus (ffdi) in Zagreb.47
The collection also contains a variety of titles in classical and religious literature, printed from the sixteenth century onwards, such as works of Cicero, Quintilian, Ovid, and Lactantius; older Christian writers, including Eusebius, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Chrysostom; and some books by Jesuits, including Francisco de Boja (1510–1572) and Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621). There are several different editions of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius and of the Imitatio Christi by Thomas à Kempis. This section also includes a significant number of texts on dogma, for example the works of Serafino Capponi, Bartolomé de Medina, and others; biographies of saints (mostly of Ignatius); and patristic works, published in the leading printing centers of that time (Venice, Paris, and Antwerp).48 A number of volumes were entitled Contra heresias opera, without further identifying information, reflective of the centrality of combatting “heresies” to the Jesuit mission. In addition to the reference literature—a large number of dictionaries and lexicons—a substantial part of the collection consists of works on local history. The library of the residence also abounds with works from the first printing houses in Dubrovnik (opened in the late eighteenth century).
Jesuit Libraries in Croatia Today
Jesuit libraries in the past were vast in number, mission, and scope. They supported the most important cultural and educational institutions of that time, including the order’s colleges run. Unfortunately, the suppression of the Society was to many of these schools a coup fatal, from which they have never fully recovered. However, their collections are still kept in Jesuit residences and other, larger libraries as valuable treasures and witnesses to the past. Currently, Jesuit libraries in Croatia are vital educational and research institutions. As an example, the gymnasium in Osijek has a library 130 meters square in size, serving about 250 students and staff, with a full-time librarian and holdings of about seven thousand books, periodicals, and multimedia items. The largest contemporary Jesuit library in Croatia is the Juraj Habdelić Library at the ffdi, founded in 1989.49 This institution owns about 150,000 books and 2,400 journal titles, along with a significant collection of rarities (from the fifteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries), numbering more than 2,500 books and twenty-five incunabula. Library users are mainly students and professors of the ffdi and the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus (fti), but since the 1999 transfer to its new building, it is fully open to the public. The entire collection is catalogued and can be searched online.50 In addition, libraries are found in the houses of the Croatian province of the Society, in the cities of Zagreb (four sites), Split, Osijek, Rijeka, Opatija and Dubrovnik (Croatia); Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Prizren (Kosovo); Bogisici (Crna Gora/Montenegro) and Beograd (Serbia). While Jesuit residences and parishes are easily searchable on the web, these libraries have no online presence. Therefore, a short survey aiming to collect at least some data on the Croatian residences’ libraries was conducted in 2013.51 The results, though incomplete, show that all of these residences are well-stocked collections of varying sizes. Unfortunately they are beset with problems, including a dearth of professional librarians; failure to safeguard and maintain books, some of which are in bad condition; insufficient classification or cataloguing of materials; and deficiencies in digitization and other forms of storage and access. The problem of the shortage of librarians has been recognized as most crucial, but it is hardly a surprise, given the slow decline in the number of Jesuits more generally. As of January 1, 2014, the Croatian province of the Society of Jesus numbers 143 Jesuits, including 106 priests, seventeen brothers, fifteen scholastics and five novices.52 However, respondents showed a strong interest in modernization of the libraries. They believe that maintenance and accessibility of their collections can be improved with the implementation of computerized library programs.
Croatian Jesuits have achieved prominence in cultural and scientific development at home and abroad through number of activities, including scholarly pursuits. Jesuit libraries in Croatia have played an important historical role in the pursuit of knowledge in the region, primarily in the colleges in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, but also in Požega, Rijeka,Varaždin, Osijek, and Dubrovnik. The library of the college in this last city (the Collegium Ragusinum) played an especially important educational role in the history of the Republic of Dubrovnik, making major contributions to the development of Croatian intellectual life. Croatian Jesuits and their libraries had a turbulent history; as elsewhere, when the Society was suppressed, the colleges were closed and their collections were looted and dispersed. However, a number of books survived, and today they form a most valuable part of the largest Croatian libraries. The remains of the early Jesuit libraries, in the Society’s institutions or elsewhere, are witnesses to the strong, continuous presence and influence of Croatian Jesuits on the spiritual, educational, and cultural life of the nation. The pursuit of knowledge in which the Society of Jesus engaged is a lasting legacy, continuously preserved in the libraries of the Jesuits, and in all institutions that house their books.
Andrija Jambrešić, Lexicon Latinum interpretatione Illyrica, Germanica et Hungarica locuples: in usum potissimum studiosae (Zagreb: Academicis Societatis Jesu, 1742).
Jakob Bidermann, Ludi theatrales sacri, sive, Opera comica posthuma (Munich: Schell, 1666); Nicolas Caussin, Tragoediæ Sacræ (Paris: Sebastianus Chappelet, 1619); Joseph Simons, Tragoaediae Quinque (Lüttich: Hovius, 1656); Nicolaus Avancinus, Poesis dramatica (Cologne: J.W. Friessem junior, 1675). There is no evidence of the printing of works by Jesuit Christophe Dell (1634–1682) in catalogs of national and university libraries in Europe, United States, and Canada. However, he is mentioned as an author of school plays in Nigel Griffin, Jesuit School Drama: Supplement No. 1 (London: D.S. Brewer, 1986).
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, Ludi theatrales sacri, sive, Opera comica posthuma ( Jakob Bidermann Munich: Schell, 1666) ; Nicolas Caussin, Tragoediæ Sacræ(Paris: Sebastianus Chappelet, 1619); Joseph Simons, Tragoaediae Quinque(Lüttich: Hovius, 1656); Nicolaus Avancinus, Poesis dramatica(Cologne: J.W. Friessem junior, 1675). There is no evidence of the printing of works by Jesuit Christophe Dell (1634–1682) in catalogs of national and university libraries in Europe, United States, and Canada. However, he is mentioned as an author of school plays in Nigel Griffin, Jesuit School Drama: Supplement No. 1(London: D.S. Brewer, 1986).
Pietro Sforza Pallavicino, Istoria del Concilio di Trento scritta dal P. Sforza Pallavicini della Compagnia di Jesu, ora Cardinale della Santa Romana Chiesa (Rome: Biagio Diversin and Felice Cesaretti, 1664). The specifics of the remaining books are unknown.
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, Istoria del Concilio di Trento scritta dal P. Sforza Pallavicini della Compagnia di Jesu, ora Cardinale della Santa Romana Chiesa ( Pietro Sforza Pallavicino Rome: Biagio Diversin and Felice Cesaretti, 1664). The specifics of the remaining books are unknown.
Charles de La Rue, Lysimachus tragedie, qui sera representée sur le theatre du College de Clermont de la Compagnie de Jésus (Paris: S. Benard, 1677); Anton Maurisperg, Dramata IV (Styria: Joseph Grünenwald, 1730); Giuseppe Carpani, Tragoediae sex (Rome: Palladis, 1745); Contuccio Contucci, Jaddus, tragaedia Contucii Contucci (Rome: A. de Rubeis, 1730). The titles by Molière are not identified.
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, Lysimachus tragedie, qui sera representée sur le theatre du College de Clermont de la Compagnie de Jésus ( Charles de La Rue Paris: S. Benard, 1677) ; Anton Maurisperg, Dramata IV(Styria: Joseph Grünenwald, 1730); Giuseppe Carpani, Tragoediae sex(Rome: Palladis, 1745); Contuccio Contucci, Jaddus, tragaedia Contucii Contucci(Rome: A. de Rubeis, 1730). The titles by Molière are not identified.
Martin Luther, Parvus catechismus pro pueris in schola (Wittenberg: Rhau, 1529); Luther, Catechismus maior (Frankfurt: Egenulph, 1545); texts identified as Biblia Lutheranica in 8 vol. (unclear; the original was published in six parts in Maintz in 1534); Novum germanicum testamentum haereticum, which must be Martin Luther, Das Newe Testament Deutzh (Wittenberg: Melchior Lotther, 1522); Confessio protestantium in 12 vol., probably Luther, Confessiones fidei (Wittenberg: Frischmut, 1539); Morales theologia haeretica in 8 vol., unidentified; and Philip Melancthon, Loci communes rerum theologicarum, seu Hypotyposes theologicae (Basel: Adam Petri, 1521).
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, Parvus catechismus pro pueris in schola ( Martin Luther Wittenberg: Rhau, 1529) ; Luther, Catechismus maior(Frankfurt: Egenulph, 1545); texts identified as Biblia Lutheranica in 8 vol. (unclear; the original was published in six parts in Maintz in 1534); Novum germanicum testamentum haereticum, which must be Martin Luther, Das Newe Testament Deutzh(Wittenberg: Melchior Lotther, 1522); Confessio protestantium in 12 vol., probably Luther, Confessiones fidei(Wittenberg: Frischmut, 1539); Morales theologia haeretica in 8 vol., unidentified; and Philip Melancthon, Loci communes rerum theologicarum, seu Hypotyposes theologicae(Basel: Adam Petri, 1521).
Desiderius Erasmus, Luciani opuscula, Erasmo Roterodamo interprete. Toxaris, sive de amicitia (Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1516); Marcus Tullius Cicero, M. T. Ciceronis officiorum libri tres summa cura nuper emendati, Commentantibus Petro Marso, Francisco Maturantio, & Ascensio (Venice: Venturinus Roffinellus, 1542); Publius Terentius Afer, P. Terentii Afri comoediae sex (Venice: Manutius, 1545); Marcus Junianus Justinus, Justinus Ex Trogi Pompeii Historiis externis Libri XXXIII (Lyon: Sebastianus Gryphius, 1546); Basilije Gradić, Libarze od dievstva, i dievickoga bitya, v komse tomace sua kolika poglauita miesta staroga, i nouoga sakona, koia od dieustua gouore, i ono seto sueti naucitegli, u mnosieh librieh pisciu [Treatise on Virginity and the Virginal State: With Special Regard to those Virgins Who Wish to be Grateful to the Heavenly Bridegroom: and All Those Who Desire to Lead a Chaste Life, and Live Happy and Content in the Service of God] (Venice: Domenico & Gio. Battista Guerra Fratelli, 1567). Gradić, also called Basilio Gradi, is variously identified as Italian or Dalmatian; the text was published in a Italian as well: Trattato della verginità et dello stato verginale. Molto a proposito alle vergini che desiderano farsi grate al celeste sposo: et a tutti quelli che vogliono menar vita casta, et vivere lieti et contenti nel servitio di Dio (Rome: Bonfadino et Diani, 1984).
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, Luciani opuscula, Erasmo Roterodamo interprete. Toxaris, sive de amicitia ( Desiderius Erasmus Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1516) ; Marcus Tullius Cicero, M. T. Ciceronis officiorum libri tres summa cura nuper emendati, Commentantibus Petro Marso, Francisco Maturantio, & Ascensio(Venice: Venturinus Roffinellus, 1542); Publius Terentius Afer, P. Terentii Afri comoediae sex(Venice: Manutius, 1545); Marcus Junianus Justinus, Justinus Ex Trogi Pompeii Historiis externis Libri XXXIII(Lyon: Sebastianus Gryphius, 1546); Basilije Gradić, Libarze od dievstva, i dievickoga bitya, v komse tomace sua kolika poglauita miesta staroga, i nouoga sakona, koia od dieustua gouore, i ono seto sueti naucitegli, u mnosieh librieh pisciu[Treatise on Virginity and the Virginal State: With Special Regard to those Virgins Who Wish to be Grateful to the Heavenly Bridegroom: and All Those Who Desire to Lead a Chaste Life, and Live Happy and Content in the Service of God] (Venice: Domenico & Gio. Battista Guerra Fratelli, 1567). Gradić, also called Basilio Gradi, is variously identified as Italian or Dalmatian; the text was published in a Italian as well: Trattato della verginità et dello stato verginale. Molto a proposito alle vergini che desiderano farsi grate al celeste sposo: et a tutti quelli che vogliono menar vita casta, et vivere lieti et contenti nel servitio di Dio(Rome: Bonfadino et Diani, 1984).
Aleksandar Komulović, Nauch Charstianschi za Slovignschi Narod, v vlaasti iazich/Dottrina Christiana per la natione illirica nella propria lingua (Rome: F. Zanetti, 1582); Bartol Kašić, Institutiones linguae Illyricae (Rome: Aloysius Zannettus, 1604); Jakov Mikalja, Blago jezika slovinskoga illi slovnik u komu izgorarajuse rjeci slovinske latinski, i diacki. Thesaurus linguae illyricae sive dictionarium illyricum. In quo verba illyrica italice, et latine redduntur (Loreto: Seraphini, 1649); Mikalja, Grammatika talianiska un kratho illi kratak nauk za naucitti, latinski jezik (Loreto: Seraphini, 1649). Miroslav Vanino, Isusovci i hrvatski narod II [Jesuits and Croats, ii] (Zagreb: Filozofsko-teološki institut Družbe Isusove, 1987), 5.
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, Nauch Charstianschi za Slovignschi Narod, v vlaasti iazich/Dottrina Christiana per la natione illirica nella propria lingua ( Aleksandar Komulović Rome: F. Zanetti, 1582) ; Bartol Kašić, Institutiones linguae Illyricae(Rome: Aloysius Zannettus, 1604); Jakov Mikalja, Blago jezika slovinskoga illi slovnik u komu izgorarajuse rjeci slovinske latinski, i diacki. Thesaurus linguae illyricae sive dictionarium illyricum. In quo verba illyrica italice, et latine redduntur(Loreto: Seraphini, 1649); Mikalja, Grammatika talianiska un kratho illi kratak nauk za naucitti, latinski jezik(Loreto: Seraphini, 1649). Miroslav Vanino, Isusovci i hrvatski narod II[Jesuits and Croats, ii] (Zagreb: Filozofsko-teološki institut Družbe Isusove, 1987), 5.