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The Baška tablet

Bašćanska ploča

The Glagolitc alphabet was created by the stylisation of Greek cursive around the middle of the 9th century.
Saint Cyril is mainly mentioned as the author of the Glagolitic alphabet who used this alphabet for his translation of ecclesiastical books into the ancient Slavic language.
The Glagolitic alphabet appears in two variants: rounded and squared. Supposedly these characteristics were developed later. The oldest Croatian monument written in Glagolitic alphabet, the Baška tablet, is partly written in the round variant, but the specific Croatian variant of the Glagolitic alphabet is the squared variant.

It was first mentioned in Croatia in the 12th century and it is most common in coastal parts of Croatia (Istria, the Croatian Littoral, Dalmatia, Zadar and Kvarner island, initially on the islands of Krk, Cres and Lošinj).

In 1851, a young priest from Baška, Petar Dorčić found a large stone tablet inscribed with Glagolitic symbols in the soil of the early Romanic church of St. Lucy in Jurandvor, near Baška. The text written on the tablet was of great interest for scientists of the period. It became an important source of information regarding the development of the Croatian Glagolitic alphabet as well as the Croatian language and culture. It proved the existence of the Croatian state fromits earliest days; mentioning the name of the Croatian king, Zvonimir and marks the northern borders of his kingdom on the island of Krk.

The text on the tablet was partly read in 1865 and completely in 1875. It was believed that the tablet included secret data, but it was later established that the tablet was the certification of the donation of land which king Zvonimir donated to the Benedictine monastery of Saint Lucy. The tablet lists the witnesses of that deed of donation and describes the time in which the donation took place. It can be established from that part of the text that the tablet dates back to 1100. In 1934, the tablet was, transferred to the Academy of Science and Art in Zagreb where it still stands today. A copy of it is also exhibited in the church of St. Lucy. The church and the partly renewed monastery complex today attracts many visitors.
Small copies of the tablet can be bought at the souvenir shops.