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Public Notary of the Dubrovnik Republic
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Diversa Notariae (Various documents of the Public Notary)

  • HR-DADU-09
  • Fonds
  • 1310-1320, 1324-1330, 1339-1341, 1352-1358, 1362-1369, 1387-1391, 1402-1462, 1485-1530, 1533-1559, 1563-1683, 1687-1811

The fonds provides general information on political, economic, cultural, public, and private life in the Republic for the period from the beginning of the 14th to the beginning of the 19th century. According to the division of administrative affairs, notaries recorded private-law contracts, such as debit notes, dowry contracts, purchase contracts, powers of attorney, wills, agrarian contracts. However, the fonds also contains documents of a public-legal character for which the Chancellery was in charge.

The fonds is very important for the research of the history of the Jewish people. It provides data on business and private connections of Jews in Europe, mostly southeast, then North Africa and the Middle East, in the period from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century. The earliest references are from the beginning of the 15th century. For example, in 1405, Simon, a coral merchant, son of Isaac of Marseille, was referenced as one of the first, perhaps even the first Jew to live in Dubrovnik for several years (vol. 11, f. 116). Among the most important documents in the fonds, four contracts can be found in which Gracia Mendes terminated business relations with her Italian partners. In 1552, Mendes had these contracts registered with the Dubrovnik Public Notary Office. These are the only documents that can serve as a proof that she stopped in Dubrovnik on her way to Istanbul (vol. 112, ff. 90-91v, 93v-94v). Until her death, her representative in Dubrovnik was Isac Ergas, so he himself, as well as some members of his family, were referenced several times in the books of this fonds. The data on other well-known figures of that time such as Daniel Rodrigues, Solomon Ascenasi, Solomon Oef (Ohev), Aaron Coen, David Pass (Passo), Abraham and Jacob Coen de Hererra. Many members of large Dubrovnik Jewish families of Ambonetti, Campos, Fermo, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Pardo, Russo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali are also frequently referenced. In addition, there are many references to Jews who either stayed in Dubrovnik for a very short time, or who only passed through it. Some of them never actually came to Dubrovnik but did business through Dubrovnik with the help of their intermediaries. Overall, the fonds preserves sales contracts, powers of attorney, debt contracts, maritime insurance contracts, receipts and disbursements, waivers of inheritance rights, exercise of rights acquired by will, settlement of trade and other disputes in which Jews also appear as both: parties to the dispute and as arbitrators. Only one will is registered in the fonds, and it was composed by the Benevenisti Nasci, who was sentenced to death in 1571 for the murder of Menachem Maraz (vol. 118 ff. 114-115). Italian translations of two ketubahs made in Dubrovnik in 1763 and 1769 were also registered in notarial books 25 years later (vol. 146, ff. 28-29, 81v-83v).

Public Notary of the Dubrovnik Republic

Procurae Notariae; Procure de Notaria (Notarized Powers of Attorney)

  • HR-DADU-11
  • Fonds
  • 1434-1439, 1446-1449, 1459-1463, 1467-1497, 1502-1569, 1573-1590, 1592-1595, 1600-1602, 1607-1814

The fonds contains various types of powers of attorney registered in the period from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th centuries, in which, in addition to citizens of the Republic of Dubrovnik other non-resident citizens are also referenced, either in the roles of proxies or principals. The content of these documents was mainly related to various types of business activities conducted both in Dubrovnik and in foreign countries.

The fonds is very important for the historical reconstruction of the Jewish business network in the Mediterranean and in the Balkans. The references in the fonds provide information on Jews who lived not only in the Dubrovnik Republic but also in other countries, mainly in the countries of the Ottoman Empire and the countries of the Apennine Peninsula (most often in the Italian cities of Ancona and Venice). The content of these powers of attorney mainly relate to collection of debts, conduct of commercial affairs, representation in court, and out-of-court settlements of commercial disputes. According to the data in the fonds, Jews would mostly choose other Jews as their legal representatives and would seldom choose Catholics in this role. One of the exceptions is Jacob Tobi, who in 1594 authorized a famous Florentine merchant Bartolomeo Borgiani to conduct business on his behalf in Florence (vol. 31, ff. 104, 104v). Jewish people are referenced less in this fonds than in similar fonds Procurae di Cancellaria (HR-DADU-17). The most relevant difference between these fonds is that there is very scarce data on Jewish women in this fonds. Among the women referenced to in this fonds, for example, there is a reference to Mira, the widow of Moshe Alfandrino, who in 1585 authorized Moshe Malamed to collect debts in Sarajevo that remained unpaid after the death of her son Jacob (vol. 28, ff. 106v, 107). Another woman referenced in the fonds is Simha, the wife of Samuel Maestro. In 1613, with the permission of her guardians Jacob Coen de Herrera and David Senior, she authorized her husband to conduct all her business affairs on her behalf (vol. 34, ff. 132, 132v). Apart from Jacob Coen de Herrera, his brother Abraham Coen de Herrera is also referenced to in this fonds (vol. 33, f. 187, 187v). Some members of other Jeiwish families such as Abeatar, Abenun, Abenmelech, Abuaf, Azubi, Baruch, Bencastiel, Bendanon, Calderon, Calvo, Cidi, Cohen, Gaon, Graciano, Israel, Jeshurun, Lanciano, Luzzena, Maestro, Miranda, Mursa, Sasson, and Sarfatin are also referenced to in the fonds.

Public Notary of the Dubrovnik Republic