The Hagiographic Heritage of Split is an international research meeting that looks into the lives of Split saints Domnius (Dujam) and Anastasia.

The event, hosted by the Split Literary Circle and the department of history at the University of Split’s Faculty of Philosophy, and sponsored by the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, kicked off 26 September.

The two-day research gathering is part of the Book of the Mediterranean 2011 international research and culture event.

In greeting the gathered participants, Archbishop of Split & Makarska monsignor Marin Barišić noted that St Domnius and St Anastasia are of interest to us because they were oracles and witnesses to the future. “They are evident in our spirituality, culture and way of life, and influenced our awareness, morality and geography,” said Archbishop Barišić, adding that this research symposium aimed to shed light on the “broad and deep area” of the deeds of Sts Domnius and Anastasia.

Croatian Academy of Sciences & Arts (HAZU) member Josip Bratulić noted that this symposium, dedicated to Split’s hagiographic heritage, is unusually important because “Christianity in Croatia began in the Split area.”

Pierantonio Piatti greeted those on hand at the opening on behalf of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences. A letter of greeting was read from Massimiliano Valente, representing the European University of Rome.

“Our entire university wishes to express its praise of this research gathering,” says Valente in his letter, which also goes on to say that the University of Split’s Faculty of Philosophy and the University of Rome’s Faculty of Philosophy, Arts & Humanities would jointly host a congress in May of 2012 focusing on the relationship of clerics and the nation in the 19th to 21st century.

After the opening of the research symposium another HAZU academician, Ivana Petrović, noted in her lecture that Croatia still lacks a critical edition dealing with the work of Sts Domnius and Anastasia. “Salona made a significant contribution to the development of global Christian culture,” she said. Her interpretation is that Croatian hagiography had the good fortune of having grown together with or in contact with a medieval Mediterranean culture that had “already formed its spiritual and rich textual wealth during the antiquity.”