Academic journal article Medium Aevum

M. Maruli Delmatae Davidias

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

M. Maruli Delmatae Davidias

Article excerpt

M. Maruli Delmatae Davidias, ed. M. Marcovich, Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 3 3 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006). xxii + 236 pp. ISBN 90-04-14963-5. euro125.00. This beautifully produced book represents the critical edition of the Christian heroic epic Davidiad by the Croat humanist Marco Marulid of Split (1450-1524). This magnum opus contains 6,765 Latin hexameters and is divided into fourteen books, with approximately 500 verses in each. Marulic dedicated his poem to Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461-1523), a powerful patron of the arts, Bishop of Porto, and Patriarch of Aquilea. The author failed to secure the cardinal's imprimatur, obviously because of some supposedly heretical or slightly unorthodox elements in his typological interpretation of the biblical narrative, and the poem remained unpublished. What is more, the author's autograph was considered irretrievably lost until it was rediscovered in 1922 in a manuscript in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin (cod. G VI 40). The poem relates the history of King David and follows the Old Testament chain of events. Each book is preceded by a short argumentum which outlines the biblical story and provides scriptural references. It would be safe to assume that the audior's intention was to establish the Davidiad as an epic poem that blends classical, biblical, and Christian traditions. Marulic was clearly under the influence of audiors such as Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, but he leaves no doubt as to where his true allegiance lies (XIV.401-27). His sentiments become evident in the prose tropological interpretation that follows immediately after the end of the poem itself (fol. 137' of the manuscript, plate 11 of the 2006 edition). The two texts could be read autonomously but they were meant to be understood as one whole. …

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