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|Location||Baška, on the island of Krk|
|Purpose||King Zvonimir's donation|
Baška tablet (Croatian: Bašćanska ploča, pronounced [bâʃt͡ɕanskaː plɔ̂t͡ʃa]) is one of the first monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian recension of the Church Slavonic language, dating from c. 1100.
Baška tablet is made of white limestone. It is 199 cm wide, 99.5 cm high, and 7.5–9 cm thick. It weighs approximately 800 kilograms.
The inscribed stone slab records King Zvonimir's donation of a piece of land to a Benedictine abbey in the time of abbot Držiha. The second half of the inscription tells how Abbot Dobrovit built the church along with nine monks. The inscription is written in the Glagolitic script, exhibiting features of Church Slavonic of Croatian recension, such as writing (j)u for (j)ǫ, e for ę, i for y, and using one jer only (ъ). It provides the only example of transition from Glagolitic of the rounded Macedonian type to the angular Croatian alphabet.
The scholars who took part in deciphering of the Glagolitic text had to deal with palaeographic challenges, as well as the problem of the damaged, worn-out surface of the slab. Through successive efforts, the contents was largely established before World War I, but remained a topic of study throughout the 20th century.
The transliterated text, according to Branko Fučić, with restored segments in square brackets, is as follows:
|Original text transliterated to Latin||The same text in modern Croatian||The same text in English|
A[zъ vъ ime o]tca i s(i)na [i s](ve)tago duha azъ opat[ъ] Držiha pisahъ se o ledin[n]e juže da Zъvъnim[i]rъ kralъ hrъvatъskъï [vъ] dni svoję vъ svetuju Luciju i s[vedo]mi županъ Desimra Krъ[ba]vě Mra[tin]ъ vъ l(i)cě Pr(i)bъnebža [s]ъ posl[ъ] Vin[od](o)lě [Ěk](o)vъ v(ъ) Otocě da iže to poreče klъni i bo(g) i bï(=12) ap(osto)la i g(=4) eva(n)j(e)listi i s(ve)taě Luciě am(e)nъ da iže sdě živetъ moli za ne boga azъ opatъ D(o)brovitъ zъdah crěkъvъ siju i svoeju bratiju sъ devetiju vъ dni kъneza kosъmъta obladajućago vъsu Kъrainu i běše vъ tъ dni Mikula vъ Otočъci [sъ S]vetuju Luciju vъ edino
Ja, u ime oca i Sina i Svetoga Duha. Ja opat Držiha pisah ovo o ledini koju dade Zvonimir, kralj hrvatski u dane svoje svetoj Luciji. Svjedoče mi župan Desimir u Krbavi, Martin u Lici, Piribineg u Vinodolu i Jakov na Otoku. Da tko poreče, nega ga prokune i Bog i 12 apostola i 4 evanđelista i sveta Lucija. Amen. Neka onaj tko ovdje živi, moli za njih Boga. Ja opat Dobrovit zidah crkvu ovu sa svoje devetero braće u dane kneza Kosmata koji je vladao cijelom Krajinom. I bijaše u te dane [župa sv.] Mikula u Otočcu sa [župom] svetom Lucijom zajedno.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, I, abbot Držiha, wrote this concerning the lawn which Zvonimir, the Croatian king, gave in his days to St. Lucia. And the witnesses [were] župan Desimira in Krbava, Martin in Lika, Piribineg in Vinodol and Yakov in Otok. Whoever denies this, let him be cursed by God and the twelve apostles and the four evangelists and Saint Lucia. Amen. May he who lives here pray for them to God. I, abbot Dobrovit, built this church with nine of my brethren in the days of prince Cosmas who ruled over the entire province. And in those days [the parish of St.] Nicholas in Otočac was joined with [the parish of] St. Lucia.
The tablet's content suggests it was inscribed after the death of King Zvonimir in 1089, since abbot Držiha describes Zvonimir's donation as an event that happened further in the past ("in his days"). The Church of St. Lucy, described as having been built during the reign of prince Cosmas, indicates an era before the Venetian overlordship on Krk, starting in 1116. This, along with the Romanesque features of the church, dates the tablet in the late 11th or early 12th century, therefore c. 1100.
The meaning of the opening lines is contested. While some scholars interpret the introductory characters simply as Azъ ("I"), others believe that letters were also used to encode the year. There is no agreement, however, on the interpretation: 1100, 1077, 1079 and 1105 have been suggested.
The name Croatia and adjective Croatian are mentioned on the tablet for the first time in the Croatian language. Despite the fact of not being the oldest Croatian Glagolitic monument (the Plomin tablet, Valun tablet, Krk inscription, are older and appeared in the 11th century) and in spite of the fact that it was not written in the pure Croatian vernacular - it has nevertheless been referred to by Stjepan Ivšić as "the jewel of the Croatian language" and "the baptismal certificate"[by whom?] of Croatian literary culture. It features a vaguely damaged ornamental string pattern, the Croatian interlace (troplet).
- Fučić, Branko (September 1971). "Najstariji hrvatski glagoljski natpisi". Slovo (in Croatian) (Old Church Slavonic Institute) 21: 227–254.
- Margetić, Lujo (December 2007). "O nekim osnovnim problemima Bašćanske ploče" [About some general problems regarding the Baška tablet] (PDF). Croatica Christiana Periodica (in Croatian) 31 (60): 1–15. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "The Baška Tablet - "The Jewel"". info.hazu.hr. Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "900 Years of the Baska Stone Tablet (S/S)". posta.hr. Croatian Post. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
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