With the exhibition “Medieval Bosnia” at the Collegium Artisticum Gallery on August 29th and September 6th, the International Peace Center will mark the 830th anniversary of the Kulin Ban Charter.
Ibrahim Spahic, President of the International Center for Peace and the Art Director of the GRAD Festival, issued an invitation to BiH citizens, especially to the BiH Diaspora and international missions, to mark the September 29 celebration with dignity, as it is a unique testimony to the wisdom of the state and statesman of medieval Bosnia.
“The holiday we are celebrating this year should be an incentive for all of us in building the relations established by the Charter of Kulin Ban,” said Spahic.
It serves as BiH’s oldest state document, the oldest known written document for the South Slavs and the first known diplomatic document of its kind to be issued by a Bosnian ruler, Sarajevo Travel reports.
In this legal document, Kulin Ban addresses Lord Gervasius (Krvaš) of Dubrovnik in order to regulate trade with the city, which was Bosnia’s most important trading partner at the time.
It allows Dubrovnikans to trade freely throughout Bosnia without having to pay taxes, guarantees their security and promises compensation for loss and damage.
It was written on August 29, 1189, a time when the Bosnian medieval state was expanding, gaining strength and organizing itself internally, all of which led Bosnian rulers to actively pursue relations with other states.
At the end of the 12th century, cities were being founded, developments were being made in banking and trading and the Mediterranean enjoyed trade links with mainland Europe, so such charters were a normal way for states to communicate.
The charter also testifies to a scribal office in the ban’s court and reflects the long tradition of literacy in Bosnia. Over the next two centuries, the charter would serve as a model for similar agreements.
The Charter of Kulin Ban is written in two languages: Latin, using Bosnian’s latinica script; and Bosančica, an old native script known as Bosnian Cyrillic. This makes it the first known document to be written using the country’s native language.