Mavro Orbin

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Mavro Orbin (also Mavro Orbini, Mauro Orbin, or Mauro Orbini) (mid-16th century – 1614) was a writer, ideologue and historian from the Republic of Ragusa. His work The Realm of the Slavs influenced Slavic ideology and historiography in the later centuries.

Orbini was born in Dubrovnik (now in Croatia), capital of the Republic of Ragusa, a Slavic populated merchant city-state on the eastern shore of the Adriatic sea. His family drew origin from Kotor in the Bay of Kotor. After becoming a Benedictine monk, he lived for a while in the monastery on the island of Mljet, later in Ston, and in Hungary, where he was the abbot of the monastery in Bačka for a couple of years. Then he returned to Dubrovnik, where he spent the rest of his life.

Like most Dalmatian intellectuals of his time, he was familiar with the pan-Slavic ideology of Vinko Pribojević. He made a very important contribution to that ideology by writing The Realm of the Slavs in Italian, a historical/ideological book published in Pesaro in 1601. This uncritical history of the Slavs was translated into Russian by Feofan Prokopovich in 1723. From then on, the book exerted a significant influence on the ideas of Slavic peoples about themselves and on the European ideas on Slavs.

Like Pribojević, Orbin unifies the Illyric and Slav mythic identities and interprets history from a pan-Slavic mythological position. Since Orbin lived on the very edge of the Croatian and Slavic free lands, he glorified the multitude of Slavic...
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