Missale Romanum Glagolitice

Missale Romanum Glagolitice
Missale Romanum Glagolitice

Missale Romanum Glagolitice is a Croatian language missal printed in 1483. It is written in Glagolitic script and is the first printed Croatian book and one of the first South Slavonic printed books. It is the first missal in Europe not published in Latin script. Its editio princeps, unique in the achieved typographic artistry, was published only 28 years after the Gutenberg bible's 42-lines[1], bears witness of high cultural attainment and maturity of Croatian Glagolites and Croatian mediaeval literature[2].

It is written in Croatian Church Slavonic and printed in Croatian angular Glagolitic. It has 440 pp, in format 19x26 cm. Its principal model in terms of subject and equivalent Glagolitic letters is thought the be the famous codex Misal kneza Novaka ("Prince Novak's Missal"), from 1368. Paleographic and linguistic analysis of the text revealed that the first printed Croatian books was edited by the Croats from Istria. The Missal rituals strictly follow the Latin Editio princeps (Milan, 1474) with slight differences in the order of some rituals.

Date of the printing (22nd February 1483) is shown in the colophon, but the place of printing of still remains to be identified. According to some researchers, it was printed in Venice, but recent research assume suggests that it might have been printed in Kosinj in the Lika region.

Eleven incomplete copies and six fragments have been preserved, five of which are held in Zagreb: two in the National and University Library, and two in the library of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The Franciscan monastery in Zagreb and the Dominican monastery on the island of Brač have one copy each. The other five copies are kept in the Library of Congress in Washington, in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, in the Austrian National Library in Vienna and in the Vatican Library (two copies).


  1. ^ Six years after the first printed book in Paris and Venice, one year before Stockholm, 58 years before Berlin and 70 years before Moscow.
  2. ^ Hercigonja:1984 "Because of the importance of Glagolitic printing in the period from 1483 to 1561...as indisputably the highest attainment of Croatian medieval literature and a crucial event in our entire cultural tradition."; "In the fifteenth century the Croatian Glagolitism reached the highest point in its development, the era of the full maturity of its literary endeavourings. The most prominent results of these endeavourings were indisputably the appearance of the editio princeps of the Croatian Glagolitic Missal on the 22nd February 1483 and the organisation of the Glagolitic printing business during the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries (Kosinj, Senj, Rijeka, Venecija)."


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