A native of Šibenik who is, according to many, a central figure of the 15th century Šibenik humanist circle, and one of the most influential people of the cultural history of an entire nation.
Juraj Šižgorić was born in 1420 in a town of a heavenly advocate under the name of St. Michael, in a noble family. He is the most prominent writer and poet of the early Croatian literary period. Šižgorić was also a priest with many obligations, one of which was to perform the duties of a vicar, twice. He passed away in 1509, and was buried in the Cathedral of St. James.
As for his literary works, there is one that stands out – ”Book of Elegies and Poems” (1477) which is the first published book by a Croatian author. Many historians say that this particular book is very important because it features one of the most beautiful and oldest elegies to a homeland – ”Elegy on the Devastation of the Šibenik Plain” which saw the light of day in the Middle Ages.
Apart from the previously described literary work, here are a few others, equally important. His Collection of poems in Latin is one of them. Written in 1487, and dedicated to the Duke of Šibenik, Antonio Calbo, it was left in manuscript until 1962.
Moreover, there is a lost piece entitled ”Illyrian Proverbs” which he collected together with Jakov Naplavić.
Today, two places in Šibenik carry his name – the Public Library and an elementary school. It is safe to say that thanks to his accomplishments, he can now stand alongside many important men in the Croatian history – Juraj Dalmatinac, Nikola Firentinac, as well as other artists, scientists, authors, and historians who have left a rich legacy for future generations.