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Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic
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Acta Consilii Maioris (Decisions of the Major Council)

  • HR-DADU-02
  • Fonds
  • 1415-1808

The fonds contains the decisions of the Major Council, the supreme body of power, in which all male adult nobles were assembled. Although the Minor Council and the Senate eventually assumed certain responsibilities of the Major Council, the Major Council retained supreme authority until the fall of the Republic (1808). The Major Council passed regulations of a permanent nature (laws), had the last word in decision-making in the most important state affairs, granted pardon and amnesty, as well as elected the Rector, members of the Senate and the Minor Council, and other state officials.

The granting of Isaac Jeshurun’s appeal is most likely the only mention of Jewish people in this fonds. In 1622, Jeshurun ​​was accused of ritual murder of a girl and, during his interrogation, was subjected to torture. When the real killer was discovered, investigations into Jeshurun's alleged complicity in the murder continued. At the end of 1622, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In January 1625, the Senate accepted Jeshurun's petition for pardon and forwarded the petition to the Major Council, as this was the only authority that could make decisions on pardons. The record shows that all petitions or pardon would be presented every year before the Major Council, at a session that used to be held before Easter, on Wednesday, during the Holy Week. On March 26, 1625, the Major Council accepted Jeshurun's proposal to change his prison sentence to life-time exile from the Republic (vol. 34, ff. 200v, 201).

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Praecepta rectoris (Rector's Provisions)

  • HR-DADU-05
  • Fonds
  • 1278-1280, 1299-1301, 1387-1392, 1420-1423, 1426-1428, 1455-1457, 1571-1577, 1613-1618, 1621-1764

The fonds contains the decisions of the Rector of the Dubrovnik Republic in the period from the 70s of the 13th century to the beginning of the 14th century, and from the end of the 14th century to the 60s of the 18th century. The reference to the title “Rector” can be traced back to the 12th century. When the Venetian rule in Dubrovnik ended in 1358, the election of the Rector became the jurisdiction of the Major Council. The candidates for the Rector had to be at least 50 years old and members of the Senate. The Rector’s mandate lasted only one month. With the strengthening of the institutions of the Dubrovnik commune, his role was reduced to a predominantly representative role, and there were hardly any decisions he could make independently. His duties were: to represent the Dubrovnik Republic before the Dubrovnik commoners and before the representatives of foreign states, to preside over the Minor Council, the Major Council, and the Senate, to keep and protect the seal of the Republic and the keys to the city gates. Since the Rector had a central position in the judicial council until the middle of the 15th century, the first volume of this fonds contains records related to various criminal and civil proceedings. In later times, the Rector's decisions mainly dealt with taxations (Cro. gabela) paid for wine production in the territory of the Dubrovnik Republic, decisions related to the amount of rent of real estate in the Republic and cases of the defendant's intentional absence from trial (Lat. contumacia).

The fonds contains only limited information on Jews that mainly relates to their renting of business and residential premises. For example, the names of Joseph Azubi, David Coen, the Lumbroso brothers and Samuel Maestro are referenced in the 20s of the 17th century, related to conflicts over the right to run stores in front of the ghetto, on the main street in Dubrovnik, named Placa, while Aron Coen and Samuel Maestro were referenced to in the records of 1631 since they were in conflict with a nobleman who had rented them a house with a garden in the eastern Dubrovnik suburb of Ploče (vol. 12, f. 24). There is also a brief entry about Esther, the widow of Solomon Luzzena, who in 1680 paid the debt of her late husband to Luka Stella (vol. 14, f. 89v).

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Punctaturae; Punctature (Penalties to nobility)

  • HR-DADU-06
  • Fonds
  • 1534, 1540, 1576, 1591-1592, 1599, 1632-1808

One part of the fonds is related to the collection of fines for nobles who were unjustifiably absent from the sessions of the councils (vols. 1-3, 5, 14, 14b). Other volumes contain proposals for debates submitted to the Senate by the Minor Council (vols. 4, 7-13; 1591-1592, 1673, 1694-1808). The topics of these debates are mostly related to the internal affairs of the Dubrovnik Republic. If the motion for a debate is crossed out, the date on the margin of this entry indicates when this debate was held in the Senate. Nevertheless, that does not necessarily mean that the debate was de facto recorded in the Senate registers.

There are not many references to Jews in this fonds. Approximately, in one volume of the fonds, there is an average of 2 to 4 entries concerning Jews (e.g., vol. 10, ff. 14v, 29, 42, 75v; vol. 12, ff. 47, 49; vol. 13, pp. 63c). For example, a proposal to discuss the bankruptcy of Solomon Vitali, and his son and brother, was entered on 25/7/1772. The proposal was crossed out and a note on the margin indicates that the debate was to be held in Senate on the same day (vol. 11, f. 47). However, there is no record of that debate in registers of the Senate.

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Privilegia; Privilegi (Charters and documents issued by various rulers)

There are no references to Jewish people in the series.

The series consists of transcripts and translations of rulers’ charters and various other documents. These documents are mainly issued by Ottoman sultans. Other documents in the fonds are issued by the rulers of some states such as Spain or Hungary and the Papal States.

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts)

The series consists of subseries Diplomata et acta, until 12th century (HR-DADU-7.3.1), Diplomata et acta, 12th century (HR-DADU-7.3.2), Diplomata et acta, 13th century (HR-DADU-7.3.3), Diplomata et acta, 14th century (HR-DADU-7.3.4), Diplomata et acta, 15th century (HR-DADU-7.3.5), Diplomata et acta, 16th century (HR-DADU-7.3.6), Diplomata et acta, 17th century (HR-DADU-7.3.7), Diplomata et acta, 18th century (HR-DADU-7.3.8) and Diplomata et acta, 19th century (HR-DADU-7.3.9)

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Appellationes (Appeals to the Minor Council and the Senate)

  • HR-DADU-28
  • Fonds
  • 15th century - 18th century

The fonds contains appeals submitted to the Senate and the Minor Council. According to the data available in volumes 2, 3 and 5, the fonds contains data on appeals accepted by the Senate or the Minor Council. The judgments appealed were mainly in the field of civil law. Other volumes contain very brief information: the date of the decision of the Minor Council or the Senate, the names of the parties in the dispute to whose judgment has been appealed, and the names of judges (consuls) and other civil officials, such as customs officers, who issued the judgment on appeal. The volumes cover the period from the 40s till the 60s of the 15th centuries and from the mid-16th century to the 30s of the 18th century.

There is only a small number of Jews referenced in this fonds. These are mostly members of Jewish families permanently residing in Dubrovnik, such as Abendana, Abuaf, Altarac, Ambonetti, Cabiglio, Cohen, Cohen Camargo, Costantini, Danon, Esperiel, Ferro, Franco, Levi, Luzzena, Maestro, Nahmias, Oef, Pappo, Pardo (i.e., vol. 7, ff. 3v). No further details of verdicts and appeals that were submitted were recorded.

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Dicta Domini Rectoris; Detta (Expenditures of the Rector's Palace)

  • HR-DADU-29
  • Fonds
  • 1543-1549, 1575-1580, 1583-1589, 1618-1640, 1653-1665, 1667, 1670-1682, 1684-1719, 1621-1626, 1628-1757, 1760-1761, 1763, 1765-1774, 1776-1777, 1779, 1782, 1804, 1808

The fonds covers the period from the middle 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century, and the data in the fonds are related to the expenditures of the Rector's Palace, i.e., the costs for which the Rector personally was accountable for. Since his term of office lasted only a month, the expenses listed were shown monthly. The expenses were checked by the so-called Deputati alla Detta, or elected members of the Minor Council. The list of ongoing permanent costs of the Palace changed over time and the expenses mostly concerned the related costs of Holy Masses held in the Chapel of the Rector's Palace, alms for various purposes, as well as the expenses for the organization of processions, Holy Masses, and celebrations of religious holidays. The data shows that the money was regularly allocated from the treasury of the Rector's Palace for the costs of lighting and various repairs. According to the data regarding prison expenses, the Rector's Palace would pay for the expenses of the arrest and escort of suspects, the treatment and maintenance of prisoners in need, the execution of sentences, and the burial of deceased prisoners. The soldiers of the Rector's Palace received salaries and compensation for clothes and straw mattresses from the treasury of the Palace. The expenditures of the state offices were also covered, such as the expenses for paper, parchment, bookbinding, ink, candles, and lighting oil. The expenses of the Republic stated in the last three decades show data on the financial support that was given to both Christianised Jewish and Orthodox believers. So-called Separate section of the volumes of this fonds lists the expenses of locksmiths, mostly related to the dungeons, and the extraordinary expenses, which mostly refer to the expenses of the stay of distinguished Ottoman guests in Dubrovnik. The treasury of the Rector's Palace also paid for the cleaning of the streets from various impurities and for the removal of dead animals, as well as for the costs of the postal service (couriers and shipping). Money was also allocated for the costs of anti-plague measures.

The fonds contains only a small amount of data on Jewish people. The references mainly relate to financial support provided for the maintenance of Christianised Jews and of those Jews who worked as state bookbinders. The information on the financial support that the state provided for Christianised Jewish women and men can be found in the documents from the last three decades of the 18th century. For example, according to the data, a certain Jewish woman Mande, the daughter of a Christianised Jew Antun Ambonetti (Samuel Ambonetti), also referred to in the documents as Mande Bonette, received through 1776/1777 the financial support of two grossetti per day (e.g., vol. 78, f. 41). There is also reference that a stretcher was paid once from the state treasury on which an unnamed Jewish woman was taken first to the archbishop and then to a convent (vol. 53, ff. 6v, 8). Moshe and Vital Fermi, and Baruch and Solomon Vitali are also referenced to as state bookbinders. The data shows that the Palace treasury also supplied offices at the Rector's Palace with paper and bound sheets of paper for writing as well as restored damaged books and documents between the late 17th century and the 80s of the 18th centuries. As for other data on Jewish people in this fonds, there are some minor references to Jewish craftsmen who, on several occasions, carried out various repairs in the Rector's Palace, (e.g., covering the table in the office of the Public Notary with leather and window repairing). The documents also show evidence that, while they were quarantined in Lazarettos and other quarantine areas, prominent Ottoman guests were treated by the Dubrovnik state and supplied with daily necessities. According to the data, the Jewish community of Dubrovnik were also involved in this custom, providing necessary pieces of furniture and other items for their stay. Several records showed that Jews received compensation for destroyed items from the treasury of the Rector's Palace. The money from the Palace treasury was also used to pay for the repairs of the keys and the entrance door to the ghetto.

Office of the Secretary of the Dubrovnik Republic