- 15th century - 19th century
Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic
Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic
The registers of the Diversa de Foris began to be kept in 1593 with the intention of registering the documents created outside Dubrovnik, which were of concern to the citizens of Dubrovnik in any way. There are also entries that should be filed in different fonds, the Diversa Notariae (HR-DADU-9) or Diversa Cancellariae (HR-DADU-15). Therefore, it can be concluded that the registers from this series and from the afore mentioned two fonds contain data on public-law and private-law affairs. The documents filed in these registers provide information on all aspects of political, economic and cultural, public and private life in Dubrovnik.
The series is very important for the research of the history of the Jewish people. It provides relevant data on business and private connections of Dubrovnik Jewish people with other countries in Europe, mostly in the Southeast, then with North Africa and the Middle East, in the period from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century. Among the first entries in this fonds is a ketubah registered in 1593, which was translated into Italian by Didacus Pyrrhus (vol. 1, ff. 71-75). According to the data, Jews who wished to register ketubahs in the books of the Public Notary or at the Chancellery would first have those translated into Italian. Almost all translated ketubahs were registered in this series, and they were written in Dubrovnik, Split, Ancona, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Thessaloniki and Sofia. This series also shows record of the will of Mira Alfandrino from 1614 (vol. 30, ff. 55v-62) as well as the record of the only existing translation of a divorce document (gett)) from 1692, between Bianca and Gabriel Valenzin (vol. 125, ff. 39v, 40). In addition to documents of private and legal matters, many business contracts were also registered, whether signed in Dubrovnik or outside of the Dubrovnik Republic. These include, for example, contracts by Dubrovnik shochets contracts on the division of labour, or trade contracts concluded between Jewish merchants and Dubrovnik sea captains. Some of the documents worth mentioning provide evidence to a very lively participation of Jewish people in the maritime affairs of the Dubrovnik Republic, primarily through co-ownership of ships belonging to the fleet of the Republic and through the granting of various maritime loans. As for important people from the history of the Sephardim, names that especially stand out are Abraham Coen de Herrera and the descendants of the famous Dubrovnik rabbi Aron Coen. A very important document from Antwerp from 1612, which was registered in Dubrovnik a year later, at the request of Abraham Coen de Herrera, states that his Christian name was Allonso Nuñes de Herrera (vol. 26, ff. 198-200). The series also references to other members of the Coen de Herrera family, as well as a very large number of other Jews from Dubrovnik, the Apennine Peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.
The series contains invitations from consuls (civil law judges) which, at the request of the plaintiff, were addressed to persons (defendants) outside the Dubrovnik Republic. These persons were asked to come to Dubrovnik for a court hearing or a court discussion within a certain period, usually 2 or 3 months. The registers of this series date the 30s of the 15th centuries, and from the period from the beginning of the 17th century till the beginning of the 19th century.
The series contains a small number of records concerning Jews, and the data in the series are relevant for the analysis of the Jewish business network in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. Some members of Dubrovnik Jewish families are referenced to in the series, as well as some members of Jewish families living in Italian (Ancona) and Ottoman cities (Sofia, Sarajevo). The records show references to the following families: Abeatar, Azubi, Barnathan, Benvenisti, Campos, Coen, Maestro, Oef, Pappo, Pardo, Usiel. For example, in April 1652, at the request of David Maestro, who was Solomon Oef's attorney, the consuls invited Achiva Barnathan from Sofia to come to Dubrovnik within two months' time or to send his representative. He was charged with a debt to the deceased Abraham Oef (vol. 4, ff. 56v, 57).