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The Slavic Epic

Gundulic's "Osman</I>

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Zdenko Zlatar

The greatest epic poet of the South Slavs prior to the nineteenth century, and possibly among all the Slavs, was Divo Gundulic(1589-1638) from Dubrovnik, in present-day Croatia, whose epic, Osman, was left unfinished at his death. So far there have been no historical or literary studies of this work in English, and no biographical treatment of Gundulic. This study approaches Gundulic's Osman through intertextuality by showing how Gundulic's epic can only be properly understood within the Western epic tradition. Archetypes found in Gundulic's Osman are followed through Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation.