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Ivan Bunic-Vucic:The Dubrovnik Duke Who Wrote Love Poems

356 years ago, on March 6th 1658, one of the most famous poets and noblemen Dubrovnik has ever had passed away. Ivan Bunic-Vucic came from a noble family named Bunic (de Bona), one of the most well known families in Dubrovnik.

Ivan Bunic-Vucic was a member of the Great Council from 1611 holding several positions in the City Regiment. Consequently, he was elected to occupy the highest position in the Dubrovnik Republic – becoming Duke and was re-elected five times (1642, 1645, 1648, 1651 and in 1657), theus belonging to a small and limited circle of people that had the opportunity to govern the Dubrovnik Republic.

As a descendant of the landowning family, he owned estates on the Pelješac peninsula, in Oskorušno, on the island of Šipan and in Gruž. As his family residence he chose a home close to the St. Blaise church where he lived with his wife and children.

During his early years, while he worked  solely as a poet, Bunic-Vucic wrote a collection of lyrical poems with amorous content called Plandovanja. Later on, in his more mature years he wrote a sacral poem, Mandalijena Pokornica. Due to his works he is considered to be a representative of the baroque style in poetry.

An interesting fact is that Ivan Bunic Vucic was almost of the same age as Ivan Gundulić, another Dubrovnik nobleman known well as a poet. The two were quite similar in regards to their lineage, political and artistic activities. However, due to the fact that Gundulic had passed away some 20 years before Bunic-Vucic, he was never old enough to be elected as a Duke of Dubrovnik Republic.