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Marulus, Marcus (1450–1524)

  1. Franz Posset

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0862

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Posset, F. 2011. Marulus, Marcus (1450–1524). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Marko Marulić, or Marulich, or Pecinić. Croatian. Born in Split, Croatia, on August 18, 1450 to a noble family. Split then belonged to the Republic of Venice. He attended the local school led by humanist laymen and may have had some training in law as he performed some administrative work in the community while mostly writing historical and religious works in Latin. As a bachelor he lived most of his life at the family estate. He was friends with Italian humanists and was influenced also by the Devotio moderna. He translated the Imitation of Christ (attributed to Thomas à Kempis) into Croatian. As a theological autodidact he worked on his Repertorium prior to 1500, a large collection of excerpts from classical authors, the Bible, and early Christian writers. From 1496 to 1499 he worked on the Instruction on How to Lead a Virtuous Life Based on the Examples of Saints, published in Latin in 1507. This work established his fame throughout Europe, as it was translated into Italian, German, Portuguese, French, and Czech, all prior to 1686. St. Francis Xavier carried this book with him on his mission journeys to the Far East. Further research will have to determine whether excerpts were translated into Japanese by Paulo Yôhô-ken (1510–1599) and his son in the book Sanctos no go-sagyô no uchi nukigakkan dai- ichi (Extracts from the Acts of the Saints, vol. 1), published by the Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, in 1591. His Latin Carmen about the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ (usually part of the Instruction) was edited separately at Erfurt, Germany, in 1514. In 1510 he wrote The Deeds of the Kings of Dalmatia and Croatia, and Fifty Parables, and in 1513 The Life of St. Jerome. His Evangelistarium, a moral-theological compendium of biblical texts, is known in a print of 1516, re-edited in 1519 by the German humanist Sebastian Münster. The Evangelistarium was used by Thomas More and King Henry VIII. In 1518 he wrote On the Humility and Glory of Christ and An Account of Illustrious Men of the Old Testament, and in 1520–1521 on The Last Judgment of Christ. For his epic Judith of 1521 he earned the honorific title “Father of Croatian Literature.” He called upon Pope Adrian VI for help against the Ottoman armies. His Davidias tells the story of the biblical David in verse form, first edited in 1954. His Praise of Hercules was published posthumously in 1524. In it he lets the followers of Hercules compete with the followers of Christ. He was interested in local and national history, being a collector of inscriptions from cities in Italy and Croatia. His overall goal remained the renewal of Christianity, as he admired Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a lay theologian he became one of the great figures of European Renaissance Humanism. He died in Split on January 5, 1524 and is buried in the church of St. Francis.


  • marulus, marcus (1450–1524);
  • devotio moderna;
  • evangelistarium, a moral-theological;
  • goal, for renewal of Christianity