Grgo Martić

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Grgo Martić
Monument in Zagreb

Grgo Martić also known as Grga Martić (1822 – 30 August 1905) was a Bosnian Croat friar and writer from Herzegovina.

Martić was born in Rastovača village near Posušje, Eyalet of Bosnia, Ottoman Empire and was educated in Zagreb and Pest. He was ordained on Christmas Day, 1844. He served for three years in Kreševo and Osova.

From 1851 to 1879 he served as a parish priest in Sarajevo. He performed the majority of his life's work in Bosnia, in the Franciscan monastery in Kreševo.[1][2][3]

During his early life Grga Martic was a Serb nationalist and romanticist, before switching to a more moderate view.[4] In 1842 he wrote that the language of the Herzegovinins is just a mere dialect of Serbian, and recommending the introduction of the native language, he also wrote "Prođimo se kojekakvih mješarija, nego Srbin Srbima srpski srpstvujmo" recommending the usage of a clean shtokavian eastern Herzegovinian in ecclesiastical service.[5] He nationally declared himself as a Serb and in 1858 wrote that his speech is "Bosnian, that is Serbian".

Martić worked as a writer and translator, translating works by Homer and Goethe into the Croatian language. At the time of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he was also politically active and fought for the Roman Catholic Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his youth he was a supporter of Illyrian movement.[1][2] Later he became the supporter of unification of BiH with Croatia.

Martić opened a school in Kreševo in 1847 and a gymnasium in Sarajevo. His best-known literary work was Osvetnici, an epic about the struggle against Ottoman rule.

Martić made contributions to Albanian culture: while Albanian writer Gjergj Fishta attended Franciscan schools in Bosnia, he met Grga Martić and Croatian writer Silvije Strahimir Kranjčević who at that time lived in Bosnia. Martić and Kranjčević awakened literay instinct in Fishta.[6]

A monument in his honor stands in front of a church in Posušje. The monument holds an open book in which is inscribed: "Teško domu bez ljubavi bratske, ko i Bosni bez zemlje Hrvatske" ("It is difficult for a home without the love of brothers, like Bosnia without the land of Croatia").

A commemorative stone cross with a plaque stands in the village Rastovača noting his birthplace, his life and his work. His life has also been commemorated with a postage stamp from Bosnia and Herzegovina.[7] School in Posusje have name in his honor.

Literary works[edit]

  • Slavodobitnica svijetlomu gospodaru Omer-paši (epic poem, 1852.)
  • Narodne pjesme bosanske i hercegovačke (with Ivan Frano Jukić), I (1858.)
  • Osvetnici, I-III (ep, 1861/65.), IV (1878.), V (1881.), VI (1881.), VII (1883.)
  • Početni zemljopis za katoličke učionice u Bosni (epic poem, 1884.)
  • Narodne pjesme o boju na Kosovu godine 1389. (1886.)
  • Obrana Biograda godine 1456. (ep, 1887.)
  • Pjesnička djela fra Grge Martića, 1-7 (1888.)
  • Pjesnička djela fra Grge Martića, I (1893.)
  • Zapamćenja/1829.-1878., po kazivanju autorovu zabilježio janko Koharić (1906.)
  • Izabrani spisi (1956.)


  1. ^ a b "Fra Grgo Martić (1822. - 1905. Biography" (in Croatian). Retrieved 16 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography: O fra Grgi Martiću" (in Croatian). Retrieved 16 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Biography: Fra Grgo Martić" (in Croatian). Retrieved 16 March 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ V. Novak, Magnum Tempus, pp. 282
  6. ^ Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)
  7. ^ "STAMP: Father Grgo Martić". Retrieved 16 March 2009.