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Inscriptions on the Island of Molat between 1479 and 1899

Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Publication Date
  • Economics


The author deals with the inscriptions on the island of Molat from the earliest one dating to 1479 to the year 1899. Up to now this problematic, which is in most part based on field work, has had no systematic elaboration excepting some fragmentary examples. Going by the presentation of the epigraphic evidence one notices a scarce production of inscription which is due to the slow demographic and economic development of the island. Analyzing the use to which epigraphic monuments were put one notices that they were most frequent on gravestones. In addition to this type of inscriptions there is to be found a smaller number of inscriptions on cistern crowns, portals, altars, oil-storage stone basins and church bells. Two types of writing are represented on these artifacts. The Latin script is the more frequent one while the Glagolithic script is to be found in two cases from the XVIth and the XVIIIth century. Italian, or its Venetian dialect, is characteristic during the rule of Venice, during the Ist Austrian administration, the French occupation and the IInd Austrian administration up to the sixties of the XIXth century when we witness the development of Croatian national consciousness and the Croatian language wholly replaces the official Italian language. It is especially essential to emphasize the Croatian inscription in the “cakavian” dialect engraved with Latin letters from the XVIIIth century. Only one inscription in Latin dating from the XIXth century has been registered. The quality with which the epigraphic monuments were executed and the choice of material manifest the ambience of a provincial environment. This was conditioned by the economic power of those making the orders which was not great. The epigraphic monuments reflect the humble way of life of the island people throughout the past centuries in small settlements such as those on the island of Molat.

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