Junije Palmotić

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Junije Palmotić
Born 1606
Died 1657
Nationality Republic of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik)
Other names Junius Palmotta
Occupation writer, poet and dramatist
Notable work
  • Pavlimir
  • Captislava
  • Bisernica
  • Danica
  • Kristijada

Junije (Džono) Palmotić, (also Giunio or Junius Palmotta) (?1606 - 1657) was a Croatian baroque writer, poet and dramatist from the Republic of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik). He was a member of the Palmotić noble family.

Alongside Vinko Pribojević and Juraj Križanić, he was an early pioneer of the ideas of Slavic unity.[1] He was a Ragusan patrician, member of the Palmotić noble family. Palmotić's parents were Džore (Georgius) Palmotić and Ora (Uršula) née Gradić, who was related to the Gundulić family. Ore was close cousin of Dživa, the mother of great poet Ivan Gundulić, which made Junije his nephew. Ore and Džive were the daughters of two Gradi's (brothers Pavlo and Miho). He had an older brother Džore and younger Ivan, who died young in his childhood.

Little is known about his schooling, but he may have attended city school as it was mandatory for male nobles. It is known that he attended a private school opened in 1619 by the Jesuits and whose lecturers included, in the next few generations, Ivan Gradić, Ignjat Tudišević, Marin Gundulić, Ivan Dražić and Bartol Kašić. As Palmotić's teachers in that school, Stjepan Gradić especially mentions Ignjat Tudiševuć and a Sienese Italian, Camillo Gori.

Aged 18, he became a member of the Great Council in the Republic of Ragusa. He began to write while still young, writing in continuation of the tradition of Ivan Gundulić inspired by Ovid, Virgil, Tasso and Ariosto. Although influenced by the Latin literary tradition, Palmotić wrote in his native Croatian language, as well as translating libretti from Italian.[2] He also translated the Christias di Girolamo Vida, the Christiade, an 'Illyrian' poem in 24 verses, that was posthumously published in Rome in 1670.

Although his poetry was melodramatic and dealt primarily with mythological topics, his drama focused on contemporary Dubrovnik, particularly the life of the aristocracy.

His nephew Stjepan Gradić, ambassador and Vatican librarian, wrote about his life, supplying precious material to future biographers.

All the works of Palmotić were published by the end of the 19th century by the Croatian Cultural Association.


Palmotić's notable works include [1]:

  • Pavlimir
  • Captislava
  • Bisernica
  • Danica
  • Kristijada (dedicated to the queen Cristina from Sweden)

Four of his important dramas are Pavlimir, Danica, Bisernica and Captislava. Narratives connected with the founding of Dubrovnik inspired his Pavlimir. This is a sort of Ragusan "Aeneid," Pavlimir corresponding to Aeneas. He comes from abroad, founds the city of Dubrovnik, marries the beautiful Margareta, whom he discovers there, and becomes otac slovenskog naroda (the father of the Slavonic people). The Danica is a dramatized episode from Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso" (IV-VI), transplanted and acclimatized to the Bosnian and Ragusan soil. Danica is the enslaved daughter of the Bosnian king, Ostoja. She was saved by the Ragusan knight Matijas, who later became the ban of Croatia. Some motifs of this play are akin to Shakespeare's comedy "Much Ado About Nothing." Captislava is less historic and more fantastic; the chief rdles are played by ghosts and nymphs. Captislava (read: Tsaptislava) is the daughter of the King of Captat (Tsaptat (Cavtat) or Epidaurum). She is in love with the Hungarian prince, Gradimir, but the father wants her to marry a Serbian prince. A nymph helps her in this cabal, and she elopes with the Hungarian prince, while her sister marries the Serbian prince.2 The Bisernica is still more fantastic. It is virtually the continuation of the Captislava, and almost all important roles are played by vilenice (nymphs) and vilenici (dragons).

In addition to these four dramas, in which Palmotta celebrated the exploits of Slavic heroes, he wrote several imitations based on Latin and Italian sources. Thus the material for his Allina was taken from Ariosto, and for the Armida from Tasso. The mythological play Atalanta is based on Ovid's "Metamorphoses" (bk. X), and the NatecaAe Ujata i

'On the text of this drama, see the article of R. Brandt, "Prinos k tekstu Palmotta Captislave," in the Grada za povest knizevnosti hrvatske, IV (1904), pp. 150 ff.


Further reading[edit]

  • Rafo Bogišić, ed. (1995). "Ljetopis Junija Palmotića". Junije Palmotić, Izabrana djela. Stoljeća hrvatske književnosti. Zagreb: Matica hrvatska. pp. 33–41. 
  • (1802) Notizie istorico-critiche sulle antichita storia e letteratura de' Ragusei, Author Francesco Maria Appendini, pg. 235 *[2]