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Monday, February 6, 2023

Dalmatin’s Bible from 1584 was handed over to NUK on the Reformation Day at the initiative of Prime Minister Janez Janša

At the initiative of Prime Minister Janez Janša, the National and University Library (NUK) received a copy of the Dalmatinova Biblija (Dalmatin’ Bible) this week, which has so far been kept at Brdo Castle near Kranj. NUK has placed a copy of the Bible among other works of the collection of Protestant prints, which are among the library’s greatest treasures, the government said.

A copy of the Bible, translated and published in 1584 by Jurij Dalmatin, was taken over by the director of NUK Viljem Leban and the head of the Department of Protection and Restoration at NUK Andreja Kozjek, the government’s communication office announced today.

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(Photo: Vlada RS)

NUK keeps several copies of the Dalmatian Bible from 1584. Among their most important former owners and annotators are Jurij Rain from Strmol, Doroteja Bohorič, Leopold Maksimilijan Rasp, Žiga Zois, Jernej Kopitar, Ivan Vrhovnik and Tomo Zupan. Rain’s copy also contains Dalmatin’s personal dedication.

»The copy from Brdo is excellently preserved. It is bound in alum skin. It has a blindly imprinted portrait of Luther on the front cover and a portrait of Melanchthon on the back cover,« the government office said.

A copy of the Bible received by NUK was, according to the existing sources, originally owned by Baron Adam Egkh from Brdo Castle near Kranj. In this now protocol building, which in the past changed many owners, among whom were also Barons Zois, the Bible was probably kept right from its publication in 1584. In gratitude for the support of the Protestant provincial estates, it was received as a gift by Adam Egkh, grandson of Baron Janez Jožef Egkh, a friend of Trubar and a member of the commission that reviewed his works in order to determine whether they were in accordance with the Augsburg religion and whether they had been properly translated into Slovene.

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(Photo: Vlada RS)

The government states that Slovene literature experienced its first great rise in the 16th century. »In a few decades, we have developed our language and laid the foundations of Slovenian literature,« they recalled, adding that Protestant works were published in relatively high editions, from 1,000 to 2,000 copies.

»The Bible, fully translated by Jurij Dalmatin, is one of the most important works of all our Protestant literature and has invaluable value for the Slovene language and culture,« they wrote. As they explained, it includes a short German and comprehensive Slovene preface, the entire Old and New Testaments, and several registers, including the linguistic one.

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(Photo: Vlada RS)

It was published only a few decades after Luther’s translation into German. It took the Dalmatian about 10 years to translate it. It was printed in Wittenberg, Germany in 1500 copies, and printing took about half a year. It was used for a further 200 years and was the foundation of all later translations of the Bible. A copy of the library of Leopold Maksimilijan Rasp has been available in digital form in the Digital Library of Slovenia since 2010, the government office added.

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