CROWN - Croatian World Network - http://www.croatia.org/crown
Miho Demovic 1934-2023 distinguished Croatian music historian and St Paul's shipwreck on the island of Mljet
http://www.croatia.org/crown/articles/11372/1/Miho-Demovic-1934-2023-distinguished-Croatian-music-historian-and-St-Pauls-shipwreck-on-the-island-of-Mljet.html
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić
Published on 03/22/2023
 

Miho Demović, Croatian priest, defended his PhD in Germany (Koeln), dealing with the history of Croatian music in the city of Dubrovnik. He is best known for his numerous musicological studies and monographs dealing with Croatia, especially with Dubrovnik. He initiated scholarly studies of the problem of ubication of the well known shipwreck of St Paul in the 1st century AC (described in the Acts of Apostles of the New Testament), that showed that it occured near the island of Mljet near the city of Dubrovnik, and not on Malta.

The oldest musical notatation in Croatia dates from the 10th century; the Shipwreck of St Paul occured on the island of Mljet near Dubrovnik, and not on Malta


Dr. Miho Demović in the Dubrovnik cathedral during the presentation of facsimile edition of the Missale Ragusinum
from 12th century, kept in Oxford. Left to him prof. Pavica Šperk Šundrica who financed the whole project.

Dr. Miho Demović initiated the publication of facsimile edition of Missale Ragusinum,
important Croatian liturgical book from 12th century

According to the words of Dr. Miho Demović, the Dubrovnik Missal is Croatian cultural monument of zero category.


Miho Demović (a part of his huge musicological bibliography):
  • Velika povijest dubrovačke glazbe, knjige
    • I. (od konca X. stoljeća do velikog potresa 1667. godine),
    • II. (od 1667. do 1808.),
    • III. (od 1908. do 1918.)
    • IV. (od 1918. do 1944.),
    • svezak V. u pripremi,
    Udruga Stara dubrovčka glazbe, Zagreb - Dubrovnik 2016.,
  • Lokrumski misal iz 1072.: najstarija dubrovačka knjiga (uz objavljivanje faksimila "Kotorskog misala od Lođe"), Glas koncila br. 46, 17. studenoga 2019., str. 17.
  • Dubrovački neumatski rukopisi od X. do XII. st., str. 583-668, u Tisuću godina uspostave Dubrovačke (nad)biskupije, Biskupski ordinarijat Dubrovnik, Crkva u svijetu Split, Dubrovnik 2001., ISBN 953-6151-51-0
  • Neumatski fragment beneventanskog pontifikala, Rad JAZU 409, Zagreb, 1988, str. 225-253
  • Povijest crkvene glazbe dubrovačke katedrale kroz vjekove, Udruga "Stara dubrovačka glazba", Dubrovnik, 2013. ISBN 978-953-57889-0-4
  • Glazba u staroj hrvatskoj državi, pp 103-155, in [Prvi hrvatski kralj Tomislav]
  • Glazba i glazbenici u Dubrovačkoj republici od početka XI. do doplovine XVII. stoljeća, Zagreb, 1981. German edition: Musik Und Musiker in Der Republik Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Vom Anfang Des XI. Jahrhunderts Bis Zur Mitte Des XVII. Jahrhunderts, Hardcover, G. Bosse, ISBN 376492229X (3-7649-2229-X)
  • Dubrovacki beneventanski liturgijski priručnik legende i obreda blagdana Svetog Nikole iz XI. stoljeca, Zagreb, 1998.
  • Prva hrvatska crkvena pjesmarica "Pisni", Atanazija Jurjevića iz 1635. g., Udruga hrvatskih himnologa - "Pavao Štoos", Zagreb, 2011. g., ISBN 978-953-56866-0-6
  • Liturgijski recitativi iz starih hrvatskih kodeksa od X. do XII. stoljeća, Zagreb, Kor Prvostolne Crkve Zagrebačke, 2000, ISBN 9005208-5-2, 400526039
  • Najznačajniji zagrebački srednjovjekovni kodeks MR 165 nije napisan u Mađarskoj već u Zadru, Glas koncila, 1982., Zagreb, str. 8.
  • Rasprave i prilozi iz stare hrvatske glazbene prošlosti, Glas koncila, Zagreb 2007., ISBN 978-953-241-075-4
  • Hrvatske crkvene pučke i tiskane pjesmarice s napjevom, Zagreb 2001., ISBN 953-98675-0-9
  • Glazba i glazbenici na području bivše Dubrovačke Republike za vrijeme austrijske uprave (1814.-1918.), Udruga "Stara dubrovačka glazba", Zagreb-Dubrovnik 2015., ISBN 978-953-57889-1-1
  • Anđelko Klobučar / Skladbe za orgulje, Kor prvostolne crkve zagrebačke, Zagreb 2001.

Izvor za ovaj popis je ovdje, na samom kraju stranice:






Ignjat Đurđević, 1675-1737, Croatian writer, poet, historian and
benedictine monk at the Veliko jezero (Great Lake) abbey on the island of Mljet, Croatia.

Drawing in Ignjat Đurđević's book from 1730 indicating that the shipwreck of St Paul
happened on the island of Mljet, and not on Malta.
It is described in the New Testament (Acts of the Apostles, chapters 27 and 28).

Description of St Paul's shipwreck on the island of Mljet.
Note a drawing of St Paul throwing a poisonous snake into the fire.


Saint Paul the Apostle had shipwreck on Croatian island of Mljet, and not on Malta. This is the subject of the monumental book written in elite Latin language by Ignjat Đurđević, published in Venice in 1730. Ignjat Đurđevic was Croatian Baroque writer from the city of Dubrovnik. The island of Mljet is not far from Dubrovnik.

Until recently it was believed that the first person to identify the location of Saint Paul's shipwreck near Mljet was the father of European historigraphy, the Greek emperor and historian Constantine Porphyrogenitus (905-959) who, describing the south Dalmatian islands in his work "On Administering the Empire", wrote the following:

Another big island is Mljet. It was described by Saint Luke in the Acts where he calls it Melita. Saint Paul was there bitten by the viper but he shook it off into the fire where it was burned.

However, scholars have recently discovered new information in The Geography of distinguished Armenian scholar Ananias of Shirak, written between 592-636 AD, which confirms that Saint Paul stayed in Dalmatia following a shipwreck that happened on the Adriatic island of Melita (Mljet).




The bendictine Abbey of Sv. Marija (St Mary) on an islet on Veliko jezero (Great Lake) near the island of Mljet. Photo by Nikola Piasevoli.


The island of Mljet in Croatia was called Melita in Ancient times.

The island of Mljet is one of Croatian National parks.

Great Lake (Veliko jezero) on the island of Mljet



After Porphyrogenitus (10th century), the 16th century Italian historian of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Serafino Razzi, Dominican and for a while Vicar of Capitular of the Ragusan Metropolitan see, claimed that St Paul's shipwreck occured on the island of Mljet. He set forth the following:

At the end of this presentation on the island of Mljet, I shall tell you that many serious writers think that this Ragusan Mljet was the very island where Saint Paul the Apostle escaped after the shipwreck and there he was bitten by a viper as written in chapter 28 of the Acts. One of them is the honorable cardinal Gaetano.

Razzi thought that the shipwreck couldn not have taken place in Malta because Malta was situated in the African, instead of in the Adriatic Sea.

Đurđević claimed at the beginning of his book the following

I say and I claim that before the chivalrous Hospitaller Order of St John moved to African Melita, the glory of Saint Paul's shipwreck site had been granted, without any hesitation or doubt, to Illyrian Melita.

It is interesting that while Malta was under the Spanish government, Đurđević was supported in his views by both English and French scholars. However, when Malta came under the English protectorate, the circumstances changed and the English writers stood up for the Maltese option. Something similar happened to the French writers when Malta was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte.


The following important scholarly book dealing with the shipwreck
of St Paul the Apostle on the Adriatic island of Mljet has been published in 2015:


Zlatko Pavetić (ed): The Journey of Paul the Apostle to Rome led over the Croatian Island of Mljet (Melita) / Put apostola Pavla za Rim vodio je preko hrvatskog otoka Mljeta (Melite), Proceedings of the academic conference held on Mljet (Melita) 15 October 2011 / Zbornik radova znanstvenog skupa odranog na Mljetu (Meliti) 15. listopada 2011., Zagreb, 2015., ISBN 978-953-58133-0-9, 356 pp, in English and Croatian, hard cover, with color photos and maps

Those interested inpurchasing this book can write to
zlatko.pavetic@zg.t-com.hr


Selected articles from the Proceedings:

Dr Miho Demović: PREFACE

Dr Miho Demović: FOLLOWING HIS SHIPWRECK, ST PAUL THE APOSTLE SAILED TO ROME ON AN ALEXANDRIAN SHIP FROM THE ANCIENT HARBOUR OF POLAČE ON MLJET IN THE YEAR 61 A. D.

Dr Miho Demović: THREE FAMOUS SHIPWRECK SURVIVORS FROM DUBROVNIK



St Paul visited Croatian island of Mljet on his journey to Rome

Miho-Demovic: Two millenia of St Paul's shipwreck near the Croatian island of Mljet

Ignjat Djurdjevic St Paul was on the island of Mljet in the Adriatic for three months


Dr. Antun Ničetić o plovidbi svetoga Pavla, Vatikanski Radio 7. kolovoza 2012., [MP3]



The spine of the book represents the Mljet viper. It is probably the unique such book in the world.


Books dealing with the Shipwreck of St. Paul on the island of Mljet (and not on Malta)

Ignjat Đurđević: Sveti Pavao apostol brodlomac (St Paul the Apostle Castaway), Miho Demović (ed), Dubrovačke knjižnice, 2008., 360 pp. (Ignjat Đurđević's 1730 book translated from elite Latin into Croatian by Jozo Marević, with extensive foreword by Dr Miho Demović in Croatian and English), ISBN 978-953-97952-3-0

Miho Demović: Ignjat Đurđević i dubrovačka tradicija o svetopavloskom brodolomu u vodama hrvatskog otoka Mljeta, Uvodna studija, Zagreb 2008. / A STUDY ACCOMPANYING CROATIAN TRANSLATION OF THE ĐURĐEVIĆ'S BOOK ON SAINT PAUL'S SHIPWRECK ON THE ISLAND OF MLJET

Zlatko Pavetić (ed): The Journey of Paul the Apostle to Rome led over the Croatian Island of Mljet (Melita) / Put apostola Pavla za Rim vodio je preko hrvatskog otoka Mljeta (Melite), Proceedings of the academic conference held on Mljet (Melita) 15 October 2011 / Zbornik radova znanstvenog skupa odranog na Mljetu (Meliti) 15. listopada 2011., Zagreb, 2015., ISBN 978-953-58133-0-9, 356 pp, in English and Croatian, hard cover, with color photos and maps

Those interested in purchasing this book can write to zlatko.pavetic@zg.t-com.hr

Selected articles from the Proceedings:

Dr Miho Demović: PREFACE

Dr Miho Demović: TWO MILLENIA OF DUBROVNIK TRADITION OF SAINT PAUL'S SHIPWRECK IN THE WATERS OF CROATIAN ISLAND OF MLJET, Conclusion and Summary

Dr Miho Demović: FOLLOWING HIS SHIPWRECK, ST PAUL THE APOSTLE SAILED TO ROME ON AN ALEXANDRIAN SHIP FROM THE ANCIENT HARBOUR OF POLAČE ON MLJET IN THE YEAR 61 A. D.

Dr Miho Demović: THREE FAMOUS SHIPWRECK SURVIVORS FROM DUBROVNIK

V. Palunko: Melita, otok brodoloma sv. Pavla jest otok Mljet u Dalmaciji, s talijanskog preveo i uvodnu studiju napisao dr. Niko Kličan, ur. Miho Demović, Zagreb 2009. (naslov talijanskog izvornika, Vicko Palunko: Melita del naufragio di S. Paolo e isola Meleda in Dalmazia, Spalato 1919.)

Predavanje dr. Mihe Demovića u Pomeni na otoku Mljetu, traje 17 min.:





Dr. Miho Demović, distinuished Croatian scholar, looking at the island of Mljet on the left. Photo by D.Ž.




Island of Mljet, Croatia, paradise on the Earth. Photo by Nikola Piasevoli.


Mrs. Pavica Šperk Šundrica, a financial supporter of the project, and Dr. Miho Demović, initiator of the project,
in the Convent of Minor Brothers (Samostan Male Braće) in Dubrovnik, June 30th 2015. Photo by D.Ž.


The problem of incorrect attribution of St. Paul's Shipwreck to Malta is discussed in the following book published in 1861 by rev. Neale, who was an Anglican priest:

J. M. Neale: Notes, Ecclesiological and Picturescue, on Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, Styria, with a visit to Montenegro [PDF1] or [PDF2], London 1861.

We provide pages 161-163 of this book:







Many thanks to Mr. Juraj Lokmer for his kind information about this book.