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Ivan Gundulic
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Poet
    (January 8, 1589-December 8, 1638)
    Born in Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Also known as Gianfrancesco Gondola
    Most prominent Baroque poet from the Republic of Ragusa (as Dubrovnik was then called)
    Elected to the Great Council of the Republic of Ragusa (1608)
    Appointed knez (governor) of Konavle, an area southeast of Dubrovnik (1615, 1619)
    Wrote the poem collection 'Pjesni pokorne kralja Davida' (1621), the poems 'Tears of the Prodigal Son' (1622) and 'Osman' (1626), and the plays 'Dubravka' (1628) and 'Arijadna' (1633)
    Died of a fever caused by a rib infection in Dubrovnik
    Even though he wrote several poems and staged melodramas popular in Dubrovnik in his time, only his top works were published.
    At first, he wasn't satisfied with his works and called them 'Seed of Darkness'.
    He died before he could finish cantos 14 and 15 of 'Osman', and it wasn't until 1844 when Ivan Mažuranić wrote them that the poem was finally completed.
    He was controversially claimed by Serbian scholars on the basis that he wrote in the Shtokavian dialect, which Serbian is based on as well as standard Croatian, though the latter has other dialects as well.
    The dialect he wrote in became the basis of standard Croatian.
    Thanks to his literary achievements, particularly 'Osman', Dubrovnik gained the nickname of the 'South Slav Athens'.
    Bono recited the famous line 'Oh beautiful, oh precious, oh sweet Liberty' from 'Dubravka' at a charity concert for Bosnian children. (1995)
    His portrait is shown on the observe of the 50 Croatian kuna banknote, issued in 2002.
    The fact that there is a statue of him in Dubrovnik, where there are few statues of its famous residents, shows how much he is held in high regard in the city.

Credit: Big Lenny


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