Series HR-DADU-10.3 - Aptai de misericordia; Aptagi de misericordia (Promissory notes of mercy)

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Aptai de misericordia; Aptagi de misericordia (Promissory notes of mercy)


  • 1312-1314, 1330-1334, 1536-1554, 1594-1604, 1614-1811 (Creation)

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19 volumes; textual records

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Aptai de misericordia is a very interesting institution of law that is specific to the Dubrovnik Republic. References to Aptai can already be found in 1272, in the Dubrovnik Statute. The term itself stands for a specific tribunal fee collected by the Rector. Later, the meaning of the term itself changed and aptai started to indicate a civil court proceeding in which that fee had to be paid. Finally, in the second half of the 14th century, the term aptai started to stand for a mode or process that was used to ensure the fulfilment of the debtor's obligation. That obligation was made, i.e., signed in the Chancellery, and it became official after the expiration of the deadline entered in the document. Based on the evidence, it is therefore clear that the entries in the books of the Aptai de misericordia had the power of a judgment and that there was no need to pursue further legal action against the debtor. The entries contain the following information: name and surname of the donor of the charity promissory note, name and surname of the recipient of the charity promissory note, and payment deadline. Valuable items nominated by the borrower to be mortgaged were also sometimes indicated, together with the details of instalment payments. In the margin, along with singular entries, data on debt repayment, were specified. Most of the records in this series follow this model: Jacobus d'Abram Pardo hebreus dedit aptaii de misericordia supra Vitum Michaelis, Andream Pasqualis Vuchotich, et Demetrium Mihailovich calceolarius presentibus simul et in solidum de ducati sexaquinta de g. totius summae (vol. 4, f. 14).

The series gives relevant data for the research of credit transactions of Dubrovnik Jews, who mostly are referenced in the documents of the series as donors, or providers of charity. All the Jews referenced to in this series were permanent residents of Dubrovnik. The first references to their names in the documents date to the end of the 16th century, and many more Jewish names can be found in the documents since the middle of the 17th century. The names of some members of Jewish families such as Abeatar, Abenun, Amadio, Azubi, Coen, Danon, Franco, Israel, Maestro, Oef (Ohev) and Tobi were recorded. Some of them very often cited as creditors, or those who lent money, and the names of Solomon Maestro, and a well-known Dubrovnik merchant Raphael Coen especially stand out among those names. Other Jews that should also be pointed out for their importance are two brothers: Jacob Coen de Herrera (Martin de Marchena), a brother of a famous Jew Abraham Coen de Herrera (Allonso Nuñes de Herrera). The records show also references to other Jewish people of that time, such as: Ambonetti, Ascoli, Asser, Baraffael, Bueno, Cagli, Campos, Coen, Costantini, Forte, Gaon, Levi, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Nachas, Navarro, Pappo, Pardo, Russi, Saralvo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali.

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Finding aids

Građa za generalni katalog Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku, box 13, folder 5.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

State Archives in Dubrovnik

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Diversa Notariae (HR-DADU-9), Debita Notariae (HR-DADU-10.1), Debita Notariae pro Comuni (HR-DADU-10.2), Aptai Stagni (HR-DADU-68.1), Aptai di misericordia Breni (HR-DADU-70.3)

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Publication note

Konstantin Vojnović, »Sudbeni ustroj republike dubrovačke.« Rad JAZU 108 (1892): 99-181. Ivo Puhan, »'Aptagi' dubrovačkog prava.« Istorijsko-pravni zbornik 3-4 (1950): 200-213. Jelena Danilović, »O pravnoj prirodi i razvoju ustanove 'aptagi' dubrovačkog prava.« (résumé: De la nature et du développement de l'institution de droit ragusain 'Aptagi') Istorijski časopis 12-13 (1963): 31-90. Ignacij Voje, Poslovna uspešnost trgovcev v srednjeveškem Dubrovniku (summary), Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, 2003.

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The books in this series were not kept by the Public Notary, but by the Chancellery.

Alternative identifier(s)

Old reference code

Fonds of the Dubrovnik Republic and the territory of the former Republic under the French Administration, series 48

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  • English



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