Tradition and people

Famous people

Marin Držić (1508–1567) is considered the finest Croatian Renaissance playwright and prose writer. Držić’s works cover many fields: lyric poetry, pastorals, political letters and pamphlets, and comedies. While his pastorals (Tirena, Venera and Adorn and Placer) are still highly regarded as masterful examples of the genre, the pastoral has, as artistic form, virtually vanished from the scene.
However, his comedies are among the best in European Renaissance literature. As with other great comedy writers like Lope de Vega, Ben Jonson or Molière, Držić’s comedies are full of exuberant life and vitality, celebrating love, liberty and sincerity and mocking avarice, egoism and petty tyrants — both in the family and in the state.
The gallery of young lovers, misers, cuckolds, adventurers, senile tyrants, painted with the gusto of buoyant idiom that exemplifies richness of the Croatian language in the Renaissance period has remained the pillar of Croatian high comedy theatre ever since.

Marin Getaldić (2 October 1568, Dubrovnik – 11 April 1626, Dubrovnik) was a scientist from the Republic of Dubrovnik. A mathematician and physicist who studied in Italy, England and Belgium, his best results are mainly in physics, especially optics, and mathematics. He was one of the few students of François Viète.
Getaldić was the constructor of the parabolic mirror (66 cm in diameter), kept today at the National Maritime Museum in London. He was also engaged in politics and was the envoy of the Republic of Dubrovnik in Constantinople in 1606 as well as the member of the Great and Small Council, the political bodies of the Republic.
Two significant localities in Dubrovnik are associated with the name of Getaldić: Bete’s Cave, named after Marin’s nickname, where he conducted experiments with igniting mirrors; and Pozvizd, a key strategic tower in Ston fortification system which he was commissioned to build by the authorities of the Republic of Dubrovnik in 1604.

Ivan Gundulić (8 January 1589 – 8 December 1638; Nickname: Mačica) is the most celebrated Croatian Baroque poet from the Republic of Dubrovnik. His work embodies central characteristics of Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation: religious fervour, insistence on “vanity of this world” and zeal in opposition to “infidels.” Gundulić’s major works—the epic poem Osman, the pastoral play Dubravka, and the religious poem Tears of the Prodigal Son (based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son) are examples of Baroque stylistic richness and, frequently, rhetorical excess.
In September 1995 Luciano Pavarotti, who organized a grand charity concert almost every year in his hometown of Modena, Italy, held a concert on behalf of the children of Bosnia & Herzegovina, particularly the War Child Foundation and its efforts in Mostar. That night started late and went well into the next day in presence of Italian TV cameras and surrounded by thousands. Many musicians and celebrities were involved in the show including Princess Diana, Brian Eno, Michael Bolton, Meatloaf, Zuccero, Nenad Bach, The Edge, and Bono, who recited at the end of the title song (Miss Sarajevo) the famous Ivan Gundulić verses: ”O lijepa, o draga, o slatka slobodo” (Fair liberty, beloved liberty, liberty sweetly avowed).

Ruđer Josip Bošković (18 May 1711 – 13 February 1787) was a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian, Jesuit priest, and a polymath from the city of Dubrovnik who studied and lived in Italy and France where he also published many of his works.
He is famous for his atomic theory and made many important contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position. In 1753 he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon.
Bošković applied himself to practical engineering projects, including several discussions of architectural repair or stability, including repairs to St Peter’s Dome, the stability of the Duomo of Milan, repairs to the library of Cesarea di Vienna and a report on the damage to sectors of Rome in June 1749 due by a whirlwind.
His atomic theory, given as a clear, precisely-formulated system utilizing principles of Newtonian mechanics inspired Michael Faraday to develop field theory for electromagnetic interaction. For his contributions to astronomy, the lunar crater Boscovich was named after him.