Croatian legends -

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Croatian legends -

  1. 1. CROATIAN LEGENDS
  2. 2. 1. The Legends Of Morčići (&quot;Little Moors&quot;) <ul><li>Legends about the &quot;Little Moors&quot; arose from the need explain the origin of a piece of valuable jewelry, unusual in this area -- the face of a black man in a turban.  One legend that explains the origin of the &quot;Little Moors&quot; comes from the 16th century:  &quot;The Turks were at Grobničko Polje. In the city there was fear because from the Turks nothing good could be expected - only pillage and arson. For a long time already there had been news of their attacks in our vicinity, about bloody battles around Senj, in Perušić... All of the men were on the tower. They were stoutly resisting the attacks, [their] strength was less, but sailors from out of nowhere. Women and children were closed up in their houses, praying for salvation, [when] the hand of God directed an arrow shot from the hand of the noble Zrinski to strike the temple of the Turkish pasha. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Seeing that their leader was dead, the Turks fled the field. Meanwhile, heaven also answered the prayers of the women of Rijeka, and [it] was opened and buried the Turks with stones. On the field all that was left was a discarded white Turkish turban. As a commemoration of that victory, the men of Rijeka had their women make earrings that looked like a &quot;little moor.&quot;  </li></ul>
  4. 4. 2. Karolina of Rijeka <ul><li>The most well-known person in the history of Rijeka is a woman, Karolina of Rijeka, who during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, saved the city from destruction, and in negotiations with the British admiral John Leard, used her beauty and charm to advantage.  Karolina Belinić was a married mother of three children, who, according to historical documents, in 1813 convinced the commander of the British fleet to cease the shelling of the city. Historical documents about her ancestry and personal life state:  &quot;Karolina Belinić, born Kranjec, was a married woman and the mother of three children, Alpina, Cattarina, and Rosa, who were all born before the attack of the British fleet on the city. Karolina was married to Andrija Belinić from Lovran, who in his capacity of commander of the Rijeka civil guard also participated in the city's resistance to the British fleet, and for which the city magistrate in 1829 conferred public recognition, thanks to a written confirmation by Commander Nugent.&quot;  </li></ul>
  5. 5. 3. The Myth of Cres <ul><li>In order to establish the origin of the name of the archipelago that include Cres, Lošinj and a number of smaller islands, it is necessary to look back to the mythical period of classical history and culture, to the 3rd century B.C., when Apollonius wrote the following:  &quot;Fleeing before the Colchids, who wanted to take the Golden Fleece and return it to King Aeetes, the Argonauts, under the command of Jason, arrived in the Kvarner. Jason and the King's daughter Medea, who had fallen in love with him, set out for the northern Adriatic with the Golden Fleece. The King's son Absyrtus went chasing after the thieves of the Golden Fleece. Although the voyage took time, he succeeded in catching up with Jason and Medea. But, the deceitful Medea lured Absyrtus into a conversation and led him under the edge of Jason's sword. Jason killed Absyrtus, but Medea dismembered his body and cast the pieces into the sea. From the cut up limbs appeared the group of islands that were named for the hero - the Absyrtides, or the [Cres-Lošinj] islands.&quot;   </li></ul>
  6. 6. 4. The Legend of the Origin of the Bell-ringers <ul><li>When the eruption of Turks or Tartars reached Grobničko Polje, the shepheds at that time did not have anything with which to defend themselves. So, they wrapped themselves in sheep skins, strapped on bells, put on horrible masks, and in one hand they carried an axe, which even today bell-ringers call a balta (in Hungarian). In the other hand they carried a sack with ashes and they began to ring the bells and make noise. The Turks or Tartars became very frightened by these strange, terrible &quot;beasts&quot; and fled without looking back.  When the time for the Carnival drew near they would always ask, &quot;When will that day come when the infidel went crazy?&quot;  In honor of that custom bell-ringers go through the villages, wrapped in bells with terrible masks on their heads, carrying wooden swords or axes, but the bag of ashes - which also served to stimulate fertility - is no longer carried and the ashes are no longer sprinkled in female company.   </li></ul>
  7. 7. 5. Picok - The legend of the roosters (Đurđevac) <ul><li>The legend dates back to the time of the Turkish invasions on the Đurđevac fortress. When Ulama-beg encountered unexpected resistance and was unable to defeat the Đurđevac soldiers, he decided instead to siege the town, in order to starve the army and the population. He might have succeeded, but the wise and clever people of Đurđevac outwitted him.  Thinking that the town still had so much food that they could fire roosters from cannons and mock them in that manner, Ulama-beg backed down from his siege and retreated from the battlefield. As a curse, Ulama-beg called the people of Đurđevac picok or roosters. And this play ends with the lines:  </li></ul>
  8. 8. … the rooster… <ul><li>&quot; And you there, feathered heroes, who battle with roosters, you shall carry the name of ROOSTER forever! You children will be called ROOSTERS and you grandchildren will remain ROOSTERS!&quot;  The legend tells of the courage and cleverness of the people of Đurđevac who are proud of their history, their nickname and their rooster that even today is the most common heraldic symbol of this region.   </li></ul>
  9. 9. 6. The legend of St. Anastasia, virgin and martyr (Zadar) <ul><li>During the rule of the Emperor Diocletian (3-4th century) and his cruel persecution of the Christians, a young girl from a respectable patrician's house was married to the Roman patrician Publius. Her fate would be no difference from the fate of other women who lived in arranged marriages without love, had she not meet and become delighted with the &quot;new&quot; idea of love and faith of a Roman knight - later the martyr St. Chrysogonus.  </li></ul>
  10. 10. The saint <ul><li>Due to her desire for virginity and accepting the &quot;new pagan faith&quot;, she was long locked away in the house. After her husband's death, she joined St. Chrysogonus and went to Aquileia, where they visited the prisoners and tortured Christians, and there, unfortunately, she was present for his martyrdom. According to the legend, she died a martyr's death in her hometown of Sirmium, and her head was cut off and her body cast into the sea near the Italian island of Palmaria. Relics found in the 5th century were taken to Constantinople and in 804, the Frank Bishop Donat of Zadar received them from Emperor Nicifore I as a sign of reconciliation between Byzantium and Zadar.   </li></ul>
  11. 11. 7. Legend about Zagreb <ul><li>A well known Zagreb phrase says that &quot;the only thing lovelier than Zagreb itself are its women&quot;, giving a lovely compliment to both the city and its female citizens. However, it is worthwhile adding that the women of Zagreb are - older than Zagreb!  Or at least one of them is. One legend says that the name of the city originated like this: an old city ruler, tired and thirsty, ordered the young girl Manda to bring water from the source. The ruler said &quot;Mando, dear, zagrabi!&quot; (zagrabi - scoop it). And hence the name of Zagreb and the name of the well Manduševac...  </li></ul>
  12. 12. Manduševac <ul><li>Unverified and unreliable, like most legends, but in any case sweet and significant, like some type of pre-answer to the eternal question: why are the women of Zagreb so charming and lovely? Well, likely because the first of them, the one that according to the legend was there when the city received its name, was just that. Namely, she must have been, for the ruler to so nicely and tenderly call her, &quot;Manda, dear, scoop it...&quot;  And even today, they say that the loveliest things in Zagreb are the old town and young women. This is no longer a matter of aesthetics, as this saying has set the coordinates from which to observe Zagreb: old and young, where old and young are intertwined at every step...  </li></ul>
  13. 13. 8. How the fairies built the Arena <ul><li>In ancient times, Istria was populated by fairies. They would dance by night in the meadows and forest glades, sometimes they would reveal themselves to ordinary people, but they never did anyone any harm. The fairies of Istrian legend can bestow luck on a person, and they are also often builders. The stories tell that the fairies built the Arena in Pula. They carried stones all night from the Učka mountains, lay them round and round in a circle and so row by row their city, Divić-grad, came into being. But since fairies are creatures of the night, they could only build until the first cock crowed. </li></ul>
  14. 14. … cont. <ul><li>The construction of the Pula Arena, on the foundations of an older amphitheatre from the time of Caesar Augustus, was actually ordered by Caesar Vespasian in the second half of the first century. Vespasian's Arena was dedicated to his great love, a woman from Pula, Antonia Cenida. Built in an elliptical shape, 132 metres along its longer axis, 105 metres along the shorter, more than 32 metres high, the Pula Arena probably provoked awe in anyone visiting Istria. So it was too with the Slavs who, like others, considered it a wonder. So the Arena got its common name, Divić-grad - ‘grad' meaning ‘city', while ‘divić' means ‘wonder' and has no etymological connection with ‘divice', fairies.  </li></ul>

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