|Location||Ba?ka, on the island of Krk|
|Purpose||King Zvonimir's donation|
Ba?ka tablet (Croatian: Baanska plo?a, pronounced [bâ?tanska: plta]) is one of the first monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian recension of the Church Slavonic language, dating from c. 1100.
The inscribed stone slab records King Zvonimir's donation of a piece of land to a Benedictine abbey in the time of abbot Dr?iha. The second half of the inscription tells how Abbot Dobrovit built the church along with nine monks. The inscription is written in the Glagolitic script, exhibiting features of Church Slavonic of Croatian recension, such as writing (j)u for (j)?, e for ?, i for y, and using one jer only (?). It provides the only example of transition from Glagolitic of the rounded Bulgarian type to the angular Croatian alphabet.
An example of Old Croatian used in Ba?ka tablet.
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The scholars who took part in deciphering of the Glagolitic text had to deal with palaeographic challenges, as well as the problem of the damaged, worn-out surface of the slab. Through successive efforts, the contents was largely established before World War I, but remained a topic of study throughout the 20th century.
The original text, with unreadable segments marked gray:
|Original text transliterated to Latin||The same text in modern Croatian||The same text in English|
Az? [v? ime o]tca i s(i)na [i s](ve)tago duha az? opat[?] Dr?iha pisah? se o ledin[n]e ju?e da Z?v?nim[i]r? kral? hr?vat?sk?ï [v?] dni svoj? v? svetuju Luciju i s[vedo]mi ?upan? Desimra Kr?[ba]v? Mra[tin]? v? l(i)c? Pr(i)b?neb?a [s]? posl[?] Vin[od](o)l? [?k](o)v? v(?) Otoc? da i?e to pore?e kl?ni i bo(g) i bï(=12) ap(osto)la i g(=4) eva(n)j(e)listi i s(ve)ta? Luci? am(e)n? da i?e sd? ?ivet? moli za ne boga az? opat? D(o)brovit? z?dah cr?k?v? siju i svoeju bratiju s? devetiju v? dni k?neza kos?m?ta obladaju?ago v?su K?rainu i be v? t? dni Mikula v? Otoci [s? S]vetuju Luciju v? edino
Ja, u ime Oca i Sina i Svetoga Duha. Ja opat Dr?iha pisah ovo o ledini koju dade Zvonimir, kralj hrvatski u dane svoje svetoj Luciji. Svjedo?e mi ?upan Desimir u Krbavi, Martin u Lici, Piribineg u Vinodolu i Jakov na Otoku. Da tko pore?e, nega ga prokune i Bog i 12 apostola i 4 evan?elista i sveta Lucija. Amen. Neka onaj tko ovdje ?ivi, moli za njih Boga. Ja opat Dobrovit zidah crkvu ovu sa svoje devetero bra?e u dane kneza Kosmata koji je vladao cijelom Krajinom. I bija?e u te dane [?upa sv.] Mikula u Oto?cu sa [?upom] svetom Lucijom zajedno.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, I, abbot Dr?iha, wrote this concerning the land which Zvonimir, the Croatian king, gave in his days to St. Lucia. And the witnesses [were] ?upan Desimir in Krbava, Martin in Lika, Piribineg in Vinodol and Yakov in Otok. Whoever denies this, let him be cursed by God and the twelve apostles and the four evangelists and Saint Lucia. Amen. May he who lives here pray for them to God. I, abbot Dobrovit, built this church with nine of my brethren in the days of prince Cosmas who ruled over the entire province. And in those days [the parish of St.] Nicholas in Oto?ac was joined with [the parish of] St. Lucia.
The tablet's content suggests it was inscribed after the death of King Zvonimir in 1089, since abbot Dr?iha describes Zvonimir's donation as an event that happened further in the past ("in his days"). The Church of St. Lucy, described as having been built during the reign of prince Cosmas, indicates an era before the Venetian overlordship on Krk, starting in 1116. This, along with the Romanesque features of the church, dates the tablet in the late 11th or early 12th century, therefore c. 1100.
The meaning of the opening lines is contested. While some scholars interpret the introductory characters simply as Az? ("I"), others believe that letters were also used to encode the year. There is no agreement, however, on the interpretation: 1100, 1077, 1079, 1105 and 1120 have been proposed.
Despite the fact of not being the oldest Croatian Glagolitic monument (the Plomin tablet, Valun tablet, Krk inscription, are older and appeared in the 11th century) and in spite of the fact that it was not written in the pure Croatian vernacular - it has nevertheless been referred to by Stjepan Iv?i? as "the jewel" of the Croatian language and "the baptismal certificate" of Croatian literary culture. It features a vaguely damaged ornamental string pattern, the Croatian interlace (troplet).