Marin Držić is considered the finest Croatian Renaissance playwright and prose writer.
Born into a large and well to do family (with 6 sisters and 5 brothers) in Dubrovnik, Držić was trained and ordained as a priest — a calling very unsuitable for his rebel temperament. Marin's uncle was another famous Croatian author Džore Držić. Ordained in 1526, Držić was sent in 1538 to Siena in Tuscany to study the Church Canon Law, where his academic results were average. Thanks to his extroverted and warm personality, he is said to have captured the hearts of his fellow students and professors, and was elected to the position of Rector of the University. Losing interest in his studies, Marin returned to the Dubrovnik Republic in 1543.
Here he became an acquaintance of Austrian adventurer Christoph Rogendorf, then at odds with Vienna court. After a brief sojourn in Vienna, Držić came back to his native city. Other vagabond exploits followed: a connection with a group of Dubrovnik outlaws, a journey to Constantinople and a brief trip to Venice. After a career as an interpreter, scrivener and church musician, he even became a conspirator. Convinced that Dubrovnik was governed by a small circle of elitist aristocracy bent to tyranny, he tried to persuade in five letters (four of which survive) the powerful Medici family in Florence to help him overthrow the government in his home town; they did not respond. Marin died suddenly in Venice on 2 May 1567. He was buried in the Church of St. John and Paul.