More than one half of Croatia’s coastal area belongs to Dalmatia, a region known for its beauty and abundance since Roman times. But in addition to its natural and cultural inheritance, it also features a large number of people who contributed to art, science and thought on the world scale. Here is a list of Dalmatian people whose names mean something on this world.
Dalmatian Patron Saint
Although not of Croatian origin, Saint Jerome was born in fourth century in now non-existent settlement of Stridon. He was the first person to translate the Bible in Latin, and has written extensively on the variety of theological and religious topics. He supposedly had a difficult character, and would often be tempted by fruits of Dalmatian coast (including good wine, tasty food and plenty of beautiful women). He would often pardon himself by saying “Parce mihi, Domine, quia Dalmata sum (For give me, Lord, for I am a Dalmatian!) His feast day is September 30th.
The Finger Detective
Long before modern CSI technologies, Croatian inventor Ivan Vucetic has perfected the technique of fingertip taking, and started to use it in police investigations. This complex, yet highly efficient procedure has solved many murder mysteries in its time, and continues to be one of the most widely used forensic techniques. Vucetic became the bane of criminal underworld, and before he immigrated to Argentina, he enjoyed his childhood and youth on the shores of Dalmatian Island Hvar.
The Light from Zlarin
A native of New York who spent his early days on the romantic Zlarin isle, Ante Maglica is an engineer who patented the popular Maglite flashlight. It is a standard equipment of all police officers in United States. Another Croatian contribution to worldwide crime-fighting!
Master of Education
A son of Dalmatian parents, Henry Suzzallo was born in 1875 as a native of San Jose, California. He will later become the reformer of American Educational system, underlining the importance of learning and knowledge in the modern society. He founded forestry and aeronautic faculties in America, gathering young talent and wit of the nation, guiding the youth’s minds to the new heights. This can be taken quite literally. Henry’s passion and dedication led Wilhelm Boeing to Seattle, where he founded one of the most successful airplane factories in the world.
The Oil Driller of Hvar
Antun Lucic was born on the island of Hvar in 1855. He is the person which triggered the oil rush in United States, after discovering large quantities of the “black gold” under Spindletop locality, Texas. The stadium in Indianapolis is named after this great Croat.
Feature Photo: Zvonimir Barisin / CROPIX