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Miroslav Brandt (1914 - 2002) was a Croatian historian, writer, publicist and polymath. He contributed to disparate areas ranging from politics to history of religions and literary translation. His polemical works helped preserve the national identity of Croats under Yugoslavia. Contents 1 History, religion, literature 2 Fight for the Croatian cause 3 Autobiographical writings 4 Works 4.1 History 4.2 Literature 4.3 Translations 4.4 Other History, religion, literature Brandt was born in Cerić near the Croatian town of Vinkovci. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb in 1948, specializing in history, geography and Latin. In 1954, he obtained his Ph.D. from the same university with the thesis Development of Economic and Social Relationships in Split until the End of the 14th century. Brandt worked as a librarian in the National and University Library in Zagreb, a curator in the Historical Museum in Zagreb, an assistant at the Historical Institute of the Academy. Finally, Brandt was a professor and vice-dean at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb for many years. He died in Zagreb. The opus of Miroslav Brandt includes large encyclopedic works, polemics and articles, as well as literary works. The greatest work in the first category is The Medieval Age of Historical Development, a monumental (around 800 pages) study presenting a detailed history of several centuries (starting from the 3rd) of European and Mediterranean history, describing the great clusters of civilizations of Western Christianity, Byzantium, Islam and other Asian societies (he even included Central American cultures). His magnum opus has many analyses of economy, culture, language, art, demography... In 1989 Brandt wrote a large book called Sources of Evil: Dualist Themes, where he collected many older works he had read at international or local conferences. It is a book of ideas, clearly showing the author's interest for gnostic and dualist currents in the history of religions. It includes a detailed analysis of Biblical books (Genesis, Ecclesiastes), a careful examination of the Toltec religion, Wycliffe's heresy, and local heretical movements in Dalmatia and Bosnia, especially the phenomenon of the Bosnian Church. As for other larger history works, there is Brandt's book on the Kievan Rus'. All these works are characterized by a modern critical and multifaceted approach, using archeology, palaeography, history of art and other auxiliary history disciplines. However, Brandt had far wider interests than medieval and religious studies. As the translator of a part of Proust's cycle In Search of Lost Time, he showed a sensibility for literary and linguistic phenomena. Fight for the Croatian cause Considering his interest in language, it is no wonder that Brandt was one of the seven creators of the Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language of 1967. (There are indications that Brandt personally wrote the text of the Declaration.) As the Declaration went against the Yugoslav policy, Brandt became "undesirable": he was not given any serious punishment (neither were the other authors of the Declaration), but his field of activities was restricted. The most important Brandt's polemical work is definitely the Anti-Memorandum, a text where he vehemently and scientifically refutes the claims of the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the fundamental document of the recent Greater Serbian ideology. Later he was the initiator of the collection Sources of Greater Serbian Aggression (1991), translated into English and French, which includes his Anti-Memorandum. Ironically, those two influential and historically significant works (especially the Declaration), look quite anachronous today, because of their style and arguments full of communist phrases, which had to be used for such works to be published under Yugoslavia. In this respect, Miroslav Brandt had the paradoxical destiny of a political writer who had much more success than the Croatian classics in that area (Ivo Pilar, Milan Šufflay), but whose political works have become obsolete. Autobiographical writings In his old age Brandt turned to literature. He wrote an autobiography, Living with Contemporaries, where he paints a pessimist image of his life, with not much good to say about his colleagues historians, primarily Jaroslav Šidak and Nada Klaić. Brandt's claim that his bourgeois origins, developed national consciousness and non-communist world view made him incompatible with the ideological framework of his profession which went against his whole being, is not easy to verify or valuate. In his memoirs, he explains why he did not deal with Croatian themes (except marginally), instead using his erudition and interests to write about European and world history. Brandt's polemical statement that Croatian historiography under Yugoslavia purposely reduced the national element to a minimum, claiming to destroy myths and create critical historiography represented by Nada Klaić (whom Brandt accused of being protected by the communist regime only because it considered her work ultimately destructive for the Croatian national pride) remains an intriguing and questionable proposition that is yet to be verified. Aside from the mentioned memoirs, he wrote a novel, Triptych, where he attacked communist totalitarianism. It is too early to estimate the future status of his works in Croatian literature. Still, even a superficial reader will notice that Brandt spent the last years of his life in resignation and pessimism. The available sources indicate that not even the creation of a sovereign Croatian state (which he had helped prepare) managed to pull him from the lethargy and the feeling of pointlessness radiating from his autobiographic works. Works History Razvoj privrednih i društvenih odnosa u Splitu do kraja 14. stoljeća (Development of Economic and Social Relationships in Split until the End of the 14th Century), 1954 Srednjovjekovno doba povijesnog razvitka (The Medieval Age of Historical Development), 1980 Izvori zla: dualističke teme (Sources of Evil: Dualist Themes), 1989 Izvori velikosrpske agresije (Sources of Greater Serbian Aggression), 1991 Literature Tri kratke priče (Three Short Stories), 1990 Triptih (Triptych), 1992 Translations Combray by Marcel Proust, 1952 Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, 1952 Les Thibault by Roger Martin du Gard, 1953 Other Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language (Deklaracija o nazivu i položaju hrvatskog književnog jezika), 1967, jubilee edition in 1997 Persondata Name Brandt, Miroslav Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Date of death Place of death