The Davidiad

Print edition: € 59.00

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About this book
  • DOI: 10.54179/2401
  • Published: 2024/4
  • Language: Latin text with facing English translation
  • Pages: 544
  • ISBN: 99789464753134
  • Specifications: LYNX, vol. 4 – Hardback, rounded spine, sewn, dust jacket, reading ribbon

Marko Marulić was born in 1450 in Split, at that time part of the Venetian empire, where he was first schooled in the Liberal Arts.

He compiled a collection of excerpts from classical authors, the Bible, and early Christian writers, and earned fame with his Instruction on How to Lead a Virtuous Life Based on the Examples of the Saints. His epic poem in Croatian about the Old Testament heroine Judith (1501, first published in 1521) makes him the Father of Croatian literature. He wrote mostly in Latin, and both his prose and his verse are steeped in the tradition of Christian humanism. Writing until his last days, Marulić died in 1524.
The Davidiad is Marulić’s ultimate masterpiece, written between 1510 and 1517. It tells the biblical story of King David in elegant Latin hexameters resounding with the echoes of Vergil, Ovid, early Christian poets, and contemporary humanists. It was never published during his lifetime, and was considered lost for centuries. The poem’s unique autograph manuscript resurfaced in the Biblioteca Nazionale of Turin a century ago, having survived the famous 1904 fire that destroyed many of the library’s manuscripts.
This volume contains a new readable Latin edition and the first ever complete English translation – in unrhymed iambic pentameter – of the Davidiad, along with the Tropological Commentary which Marulić himself wrote about his epic story of David.