Fonds HR-DADU-24 - Diversa et possessio de criminalibus; Diversi e possesso di criminale (Various disputes and disputes over possession)

Identity area

Reference code



Diversa et possessio de criminalibus; Diversi e possesso di criminale (Various disputes and disputes over possession)


  • 1513-1526, 1543-1550, 1570-1577, 1581-1586, 1592-1596, 1609-1611, 1615-1627, 1634-1636, 1642-1815 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

90 volumes; 5.7 linear metres; textual records

Context area

Archival history

Preserved interstate treaties and other documents from the 12th century provide enough evidence to conclude that the authorities would already at that time oversee the work of the public notary and the chancellery. Based on key provisions made during the 15th century, the central administration consisted of five offices located in the Rector's Palace and these were: The Public Notary (legal private affairs), the State Chancellery (legal public affairs), the Judicial Chancellery (criminal justice affairs), the Office of the State Secretary (legal state affairs) and the Slavic Chancellery, which would be transformed into the Turkish Chancellery.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The fonds has been linked to the archive since its inception. In times of the Dubrovnik Republic, the books of the fonds were stored in the Rector's Palace. The books remained in the Rector’s Palace after the fall of the Republic (1808). In 1891, the archives were consolidated and became available to researchers. The archive in the Rector's Palace has been functioning as an independent institution since 1920 and it was dislocated to the Sponza Palace in 1952, where it is still located today.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

From the 70s of the 16th centuries, the Criminal Court (established in 1459) began to systematically keep the registers Diversa et possessio de criminalibus and they were kept until the beginning of the 19th century. The registers contain court decisions made in accordance with the request submitted by the plaintiff, and sometimes ex officio. The fonds is characterized by decisions in which the court forbade the defendant to communicate with the plaintiff, either in person or through an intermediary, either by actions or with words (Ital. né per sé, né per interposte persone, né in fatti, né in parole), which was done to prevent escalation of the conflict. Until the judgement was publicly announced, the court would often confiscate disputed items or documents from the defendants. These facts were also recorded in the volumes of this fonds.

The fonds contains a large variety of information about Jews. The research shows that in slightly more than one third of the recorded cases the content of the documents indicates the existence of court prohibition of the communication between a defendant and a plaintiff. These decisions were made in equal numbers at the request of Jews against Jews, or at the request of Jews against other non-Jewish citizens. Also, the fonds contains orders for the eviction of tenants, bans of activities which could cause any damage to neighbour, bans on construction work and orders to maintain peace and order in the Jewish community. The fonds also contains lawsuits for physical and verbal violence. If the defendant did not comply with the court decision registered in the fonds Diversi e Possesso de Criminale, the plaintiff could sue the defendant again in regular proceedings by invoking that decision. Some notable Jewish people who are referenced to in this fonds are: Didacus Pyrrhus, David Coen de Herrera - father of Abraham Coen de Herrera, Zvi Esconasi, a famous rabbi of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Amsterdam, who also was a rabbi in Sarajevo for a certain period (c. 1686- c. 1697) (vol. 19, f. 220v). The fonds also contains the will of Samson from the Peloponnese, which he registered in Dubrovnik in 1571 (vol. 4, f. 16). Generally, the fonds mainly references to members of Dubrovnik Jewish families such as: Abenun, Ambonetti, Angiolo, Asser, Azubi, Baruch, Bencastiel, Bensassen, Bueno, Campos, Chabiglio, Cohen, Costantini, Ergas, Esperiel, Fermo, Franco, Israel, Janni, Levi Mandolfo, Lima, Luzzena, Maestro, Miranda, Nahmias, Oef, Pappo, Pardo, Penso, Russo, Salama, Saralvo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali, Volterra.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The fonds is fully accessible to researchers in accordance with the Ordinance on the work in the reading room of the State Archives in Dubrovnik and the Law on Archival Materials and Archives NN 61/18 (Pravilnik o radu u čitaonici Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku and Zakon o arhivskom gradivu i arhivima NN 61/18).

Conditions governing reproduction

Taking photographs and scanning are allowed, for a fee.

Language of material

  • Italian
  • Latin

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper. The archival material is well preserved.

Finding aids

Vesna Miović, Ivan Čerešnješ, Research, inventory and cataloguing documents of the criminal court registers Lamenta Criminalia post terraemotum, Diversi e possesso de Criminale and Criminalia in the State Archives of Dubrovnik involving Jewish litigants (1667-1808), Ljubljana: Research and Documentation Center JAS, 2016; e-book available at: Građa za generalni katalog Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku, box 17, folder 15.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

State Archives in Dubrovnik

Existence and location of copies

The fonds has been completely transferred to microfilms, but the microfilms are not available to the users of archives.

Related units of description

Lamenta criminalia (HR-DADU- 20), Lamenta de criminali (HR-DADU- 21), Criminalia (HR-DADU-23)

Related descriptions

Publication note

Vesna Miović, The Jewish Ghetto in the Dubrovnik Republic (1546-1808), Dubrovnik-Zagreb: HAZU Zavod za povijesne znanosti, 2005. Yom Tov Assis & Vesna Miović, »Sefardi Refugees in 16th Century Ragusa (Dubrovnik).« Hispania Judaica Bulletin 5 (2007): 241-260. Vesna Miović, »Jewish Life in Sixteenth-Century Dubrovnik.« Hispania Judaica Bulletin 8 (2011): 111-124.

Notes area


Most volumes have subject indexes according to the first name of the plaintiff, referencing with the number the page on which the case begins.

Alternative identifier(s)

Old reference code

Fonds of the Dubrovnik Republic and the territory of the former Republic under the French Administration, series 37

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Descriptions of fonds, series and sub-series are made according to the ISAD (G) standard (general international standard archival description).


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Archivist's note

Description prepared by Vesna Miović (Fonds, Series, Subseries) Croatia [The Institute for Historical Sciences in Dubrovnik, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA)] Translation to English by Zrinka Friganović Sain

Accession area

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