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Sultans’ Documents

  • HR-DADU-07-HR-DADU-07.2-HR-DADU-07.2.1
  • Subseries
  • 1458, 1460, 1462, 1468-1469, 1471-1473, 1475-1476, 1478-1493, 1495–1511, 1513-1521, 1523-1534, 1536-1541, 1543-1547, 1549-1687, 1689-1691, 1694-1698, 1701, 1703-1707, 1709-1713, 1715-1746, 1748-1772, 1774-1787, 1789-1795, 1797-1799, 1801, 1803-1805
  • Part of Acta et diplomata (Acts and documents)

The subseries consists of four types of sultans’ documents: charters (Tur. ahdname, ahitname), decrees (Tur. ferman), decrees of special importance (Tur. hatt-ı hümayun) and diplomas (Tur. berat), which were issued in the period from the middle of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century. The documents of this subseries primarily deal with trade, shipping, customs, or the acquisition of cereals from the Ottoman Empire and other food for the needs of the Dubrovnik Republic. Documents also refer to other topics such as: land and sea bandits, espionage of the Dubrovnik Republic for the Ottomans, exchange of prisoners of war in neutral Dubrovnik, monopoly on the sale of Dubrovnik salt to Ottoman subjects, monopoly of neutral Dubrovnik ports for interstate trade, or transport of Ottoman goods and passengers by Dubrovnik ships. A fairly large number of sultans’ receipts for the tribute that the Republic paid to the Empire has also been preserved, as well as other sultans’ decrees according to which sea captains from the Republic were protected from attacks of North African corsairs in the second half of the 18th century.

An analytical inventory was made for this subseries, which indicates that only fifteen documents refer to Jews. In these documents Jews are referred to as: Ottoman customs officers (vol. 5, no. 214; vol. 8, no. 394; vol. 10, no. 459), as both debtors and creditors (vol. 10, no. 484; vol. 45, no. 1586; vol. 46, no. 1629) and as competitors to Dubrovnik merchants (vol. 59, no. 1952). In the first half of the 17th century and in the 20s of the 18th century, Dubrovnik government complained at the Porte about the Jews who damaged the house in Edirne owned by the Republic. When the house burned down, the Jews occupied the land on which it was located. In four of his decrees, the sultan demanded that the Jews should compensate the damage to Ragusans and return the land they had occupied (vol. 16, no. 799; vol. 20, no. 952; vol. 22, no. 1050; vol. 37, no. 1457). The Sultan Selim II asked the authorities of the Republic to organize a safe trip to Venice for the Jew Menachem and his servant (vol. 6, no. 299). Trade rights and prohibitions on trade for Jewish merchants can also be found in some documents of this subseries (vol. 18, no. 886; vol. 47, no. 1648).

Turkish Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic

Orders of the Governors of the Bosnian Eyalet and of Herzegovinian Sancakbeys

  • HR-DADU-07-HR-DADU-07.2-HR-DADU-07.2.2
  • Subseries
  • 1643, 1648-1650, 1654, 1657-1658, 1661, 1663-1664, 1667-1670, 1675-1676, 1679, 1681-1683, 1685-1686, 1691, 1701-1707, 1710, 1712-1716, 1719-1721, 1726, 1728, 1730-1734, 1736, 1738-1758, 1760-1761, 1763-1769, 1774-1781, 1785-1786, 1788-1790, 1792-1793, 1797, 1799-1802, 1805, 1807
  • Part of Acta et diplomata (Acts and documents)

The subseries contains orders (Turkish: buyrultu) of the governors of the Bosnian Eyalet and Herzegovinian sancakbeys, which were issued in the period from the middle of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century. The orders deal with many issues and problems, from politics and trade to robberies, that were happening on the Ottoman-Dubrovnik border.

There is only one buyrultu in which Jews are mentioned. Referring to trade rights from an existing treaty between the Ottomans and the Republic, Dubrovnik authorities complained in 1807 to the governor of the Bosnian Eyalet and the Herzegovinian Sancakbey, Husrev Mehmed Pasha, stating that Jewish merchants in Sarajevo were interfering with the business of Dubrovnik merchants. Pasha issued an order to the kadi of Sarajevo to prevent such actions (no. 321).

Letters of Governors of Bosnian Eyalet and of Herzegovinian Sancakbeys

The Republic of Dubrovnik bordered the Herzegovinian Sancak along the entire border, and Sancak was a part of the Bosnian Eyalet. Since Herzegovinian sancakbeys and Bosnian beylerbeys were Dubrovnik's closest neighbours, Dubrovnik authorities sought to maintain as close relations as possible with them. Ragusan ambassadors often visited these dignitaries, and abundant correspondence between them has been preserved till today. The letters of Herzegovinian sancakbeys and the Bosnian beylerbeys reveal, among other things, which problems were to be resolved between the Republic and the Ottoman Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In addition to problems in the field of trade, customs duties, and food procurement in the Bosnian area for the needs of the Republic, there were other issues that were often referenced to in these documents such as robberies, thefts, injuries and murders, which had been most often committed by Ottoman subjects against peasants living in border villages of the Dubrovnik Republic. Herzegovinian sancakbeys and the Bosnian beylerbeys often addressed the authorities of the Republic with various requests. The data thus show that they would be looking for a physician, construction workers, food for the needs of their courts, or just for help in organizing overseas trips for their people. Most of the documents of this subseries are not dated.

There are not many references to Jews in this subseries, and these can be found in approximately fifteen letters. In most cases, these references concern debts, and, in these letters, Jews appear both as debtors and as creditors. For example, Samuel Ambonetti and Hai Tolentino were debtors of many Ottoman subjects (Beylerbey Mehmed Pasha Kukavica, no. 36, 207, 211, 226; B 11, no. 9, 23. Beylerbey Mehmed Pasha Silahdar, no. 328; CT 2, no. 92 Beylerbey Süleyman Pasha Bostanci, No. 269. Sancakbey Ali Pasha Cengic, B 23, No. 9. Sancakbey Musli Pasha, B 23, No. 34). The remaining letters deal with several trade disputes, as well as the abduction of a servant of a Jew from Sarajevo (Beylerbey Ahmed Pasha Seydi, no. 997. Beylerbey Abu Bekir Pasha, no. 398. Beylerbey Mehmed Pasha Silahdar, no. 238).

Official documents of kadis

Given the fact that the Dubrovnik Republic bordered the Ottoman Empire along its entire border line, it is not surprising that there were many situations, such as robberies, murders, armed and physical conflicts, debts, usurpation of fields and pastures, in which both judicial authorities had to intervene, those of the Republic and those of the Ottoman Empire. For this reason, the State Archives in Dubrovnik is in possession of a large collection of reports, petitions, and investigations of kadis. Most official documents were written by the kadis from Ljubinje and Herceg Novi. The remaining documents were written by other Bosnian Herzegovinian kadis, as well as by the kadis from today’s areas of Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Egypt, Turkey, Hungary, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria. The documents of this subseries cover a long-time span: from the last decades of the 15th century to the beginning of the 19th century. These documents are a first-class archival source for exploring all aspects of everyday life as well as other facts pertaining to the life or coexistence of people in the bordering countries.

Jewish people are mentioned in this subseries in only a small number of documents related to court investigations, for example in a document issued in 1580 by the kadi of Plovdiv on the trade conflict between two people named Vicko and Solomon, and in another document from 1571, issued by the kadi of Herceg Novi, on the murder of Menachem Maraz, who was killed in Dubrovnik by Benvenisti Nasci (vol. 4, no. 474; vol. 11, no. 796).

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts), 12th century

  • HR-DADU-07-HR-DADU-07.3-HR-DADU-07.3.2
  • Subseries
  • 1102, 1108, 1120, 1142, 1151, 1152, 1153, 1158, 1159, 1160, 1167-1170, 1177, 1181, 1186-1190, 1195, 1200
  • Part of Acta et diplomata (Acts and documents)

There are no references to Jewish people in the subseries.

The subseries mostly contains documents issued by popes or by other church dignitaries such as the Archbishop of Dubrovnik, as well as documents issued by rulers from the Dubrovnik hinterland. It also contains several agreements between cities, such as the Treaty of Friendship between the cities of Kotor and Dubrovnik. The documents cover a variety of topics: from the appointment of the archbishops and abbots of Dubrovnik to agreements between cities on promotion of friendly relations and economic collaboration.

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts), 13th century

There is no reference to Jews in this subseries.

The subseries contains agreements on topics of peace, friendship, and trade cooperation between the Republic and various cities of the Apennine Peninsula (e.g., Monopoli, Bari, Recanati, Molfetta, Ravenna), some Dalmatian cities (Šibenik, Split, Zadar, Omiš, Trogir) and rulers of the Dubrovnik hinterland. The series also contains various papal documents, and documents on the affairs of the Archdiocese of Dubrovnik. Some documents give an insight on relations of the Republic with Venice, such as agreements on the subordination of the Republic to Venice, or pledges of Venetians appointed as Dubrovnik Rectors and confirmations of salaries that they received from the Ragusans, or various business contracts.

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts), 14th century

There are no references to Jewish people in this subseries.

The subseries contains approximately 180 documents issued by popes, Hungarian and other rulers, the Rector and the nobility of the Republic, the Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic, as well as the Chancellery of the City of Lastovo. The content of the documents is very diverse: from wills, documents on land sales and land leases, to receipts of payment for the tribute that the Republic paid to Hungarian rulers.

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts), 15th century

There are no references to Jewish people in this subseries.

The subseries contains documents and letters issued by popes and other church dignitaries, rulers of states in the Dubrovnik hinterland and rulers of other Christian countries, merchants and other businessmen and private individuals who resided mostly in Dubrovnik.

Diplomata et acta (Documents and acts), 16th century

The subseries contains letters to state and church authorities of the Republic sent in the 16th century by popes and cardinals of the Papal States, Hungarian and other kings, or other authorities of that period, such as the authorities of the Republic of Venice, the Venetian Captain of the Gulf and the Grand Master of Malta. The most numerous letters are the letters written by cardinals and other church dignitaries, state dignitaries, mainly from Italian cities, and letters written by diplomatic and consular representatives of the Republic sent to the authorities of the Republic. The subseries also contains letters from local authorities from the territory of the Dubrovnik Republic, various correspondence between merchants and other private persons and some documents related to judicial investigations.

In the correspondence of Bartolomeo Borgiani, a prominent Florentine merchant who lived in Dubrovnik, several letters of Jewish people living in the Ottoman territory and Venice can also be found. The names indicated in this correspondence are, for example, Leon de Medina and Joseph Lindo from Skopje and Jacob Tobi from Venice (e.g., vol. 467.1, no. 3). Among documents that are related to judicial investigations, there is one reference to Jews: in 1561, David Mazaod arbitrated in a conflict between Samuel Coen of Istanbul and a Dubrovnik ambassador Šimun Benessa (vol. 466, no. 18).

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