Risto Kovačić

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Hristifor "Risto" Kovačić (Risan, 22 May 1845 – Risan, 22 April 1909) was historian and teacher. Kovačić's most important writings were on Serbian antiquities. There is much that is striking and original in his history of Serbs in Italy (Gli Slavi Serbi dell' Italia, 1885). H


Kovačić was baptised Hristifor (hence "Risto") in Risan in the tradition of his ancestral Herzegovinian adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His patron saint was St. John the Baptist. After completing his high school education in Kotor, Dubrovnik and Zadar, he studied philosophy in Zagreb and Vienna. Upon graduation, he became a professor at a gymnasium in Kotor and at a Serbian Naval School in Herceg Novi, from 1867 until 1871 and again from 1880 to 1881. In 1883 he moved to Rome where he taught Slavistics until the end of his life.

He visited Molise in 1884 and wrote a report to Serbian Learned Society about Serbian settlements. In his report, published in 1885, he emphasized that there were nine Serbian settlements of as many as 16,000 people. In three settlements about 4,000 people still spoke Serbian language and kept tradition of badnjak as their legacy.[1]

The writings of both Risto Kovačić and Graziadio Isaia Ascoli concour with writer Giovanni de Rubertis who considered the Schiavoni (Slavs) or Dalmati (Dalmatians) of Molise in Italy to be the Serbs that were brought there by Skanderbeg during his Italian expedition in 1460—1462 along with the Albanians who settled in Calabria.[2]

His essays are rich in suggestiveness, and have been the starting-point of much fruitful research. He was a member of Serbian Learned Society since 30 January 1883.

He died at Risan on 22 April 1909.

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  1. ^ Univerzitet u Beogradu. Filološki fakultet (1971). Prilozi za književnost, jezik, istoriju i folklor, Том 37 (in Serbian). p. 37. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  2. ^ Kovačić, Risto (1885). "Srpske Naseobine u Južnoj Italiji". Glasnik Srpskoga učenog društva, Volume 62. Serbian Learned Society. pp. 273–340 [281]. Retrieved 21 July 2011. По господину де Рубертису, вели госп. Асколи ондје, први Срби — или како их онамо обичније зову Schiavoni или Dalmati — дошли су у Молизе заедно с Арбанасима (Албанези) што их је онамо довео Скендербег.

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