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Leges et instructiones; Leggi e istruzioni (Books of laws and regulations of the Dubrovnik Republic)

The series is very important for the research of the legal history of the Dubrovnik Republic. It consists of several transcripts of the basic Dubrovnik legal codes, or more precisely, the Statute from 1272, Liber omnium reformationum (1335-1410), Liber viridis (1358-1460) and Liber croceus (1460-1803). A Dubrovnik nobleman, Frano Gondola (1539-1589) composed indexes for these basic collections of regulations. He made sure that each provision is followed by a brief description and definitions of less familiar terms. Gondola's work has contributed significantly to easier referencing and interpretation of the law in general. The series also contains other books of laws that were created based on the previously mentioned codes as well as collections of decisions from judicial and administrative practice. It also contains various indexes for series and fonds such as Acta Consilii Rogatorum (HR-DADU-3.1), Sententiae Cancellariae (HR-DADU-18), Diversa Cancellariae (HR-DADU-15), Diversa Notariae (HR -DADU-9), Diversa de Foris (HR-DADU-30.1).

Jewish people are mentioned in the series only occasionally. In the book Index sive regestum Partium Consilii Rogatorum, rpbl. Ragusinae ab. A 1407 us. ad a. 1601, there are three entries on the decisions of the Senate on the dwelling of the Jews inside the city walls (vol. 26, f. 81). The books Indice alfabetico delle sentenze and Index sententiarum present the words of an oath that Jews were required to take when testifying in court (vol. 18, f. 53; vol. 42, f. 35). In the book Compendio di tutte le sentenze e giudicati in ogni materia, in forma d'indice raccolte da me D. Antonio Damiano Ohmuchievich, the text of this oath in Latin was published in two places (vol. 45, f. 121-122, 124 -125).

Diversa Cancellariae (Various documents registered at the Chancellery)

  • HR-DADU-15
  • Fonds
  • 1282-1286, 1295-1297, 1305-1306, 1312-1314, 1320-1323, 1325-1330, 1333-1337, 1341-1345, 1347-1352, 1354-1356, 1362-1377, 1381-1418, 1422-1452, 1454-1815

The fonds covers the period from the end of the 13th to the beginning of the 19th centuries and contains the data on public legal and judicial affairs and also on those private legal affairs for which the Public Notary was otherwise in charge. Thus, just like the fonds Diversa Notariae, this fonds is an excellent source of information on all aspects of political, economic, cultural, public and private life in the Republic of Dubrovnik.

The fonds is, therefore, very important for the research of the history of the Jewish people. It provides relevant data on business and private connections of Jews in Europe, mostly Southeast Europe, then in North Africa and the Middle East, in the period from the 14th to the beginning of the 19th centuries. The earliest reference found so far dates from 1368, when David from an Albanian city of Durrës, in the presence of witnesses Moshe, the son of Matthew, and Solomon, also from Durrës, registered a declaration of receipt of a financial deposit from a certain Venetian (vol. 21, ff. 71v, 72). A few more examples from earlier times illustrate well the diversity and relevance of this fonds. Astruch, the son of Jacob, called "Bonaventura", found his runaway son-in-law, Joseph Farrer from Padua, in Dubrovnik in the year 1400. They both signed an agreement at the Public Notary, in which it was stated that Joseph must return to his wife Astrucha within seven months. If he failed to do so, he would have to pay a fine of 20 perpers, and 10 perpers of this amount would be paid to Astruch (who found him). In the same document, Joseph also pledged to reimburse his father-in-law for the costs of the search. Witnesses to the agreement were Vives, the son of Astruch and Moshe, the son of Joseph (vol. 33, f. 183). In 1414, a medical examiner Samuel, signed a contract with a blind Ragusan Pripko Kaličević. The contract states that if the doctor managed to cure Pripko's eyes, he would be awarded 10 golden ducats, and if he failed, he would get nothing (vol. 40, f. 27v). The fonds also references other prominent and well-known people from that time such as: Abner Alfarin, Isac Ergas, Daniel Rodrigues, Nehemia Hia Haion, Solomon Oef, David Pass (Passo), Didacus Pyrrhus and some members of a highly respected Dubrovnik Jewish family, the Coens. Some members of Dubrovnik Jewish families Ambonetti, Campos, Fermo, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Pardo, Russo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali were also referenced many timesare mentioned a lot. There are also many references to Jews who remained in Dubrovnik for a very short time, or to those who only passed through it or even never came directly but did business through the city with the help of intermediaries. One will was also registered in the books of this fonds. It is the will of Moshe Alfandrino, which was composed in 1584 in Venice. Two years later, Mira Alfandrino, Moshe's widow, also registered her will at the Public Notary in Dubrovnik (vol. 174, ff. 21v-22v a tergo).

Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic

Venditiones Cancellariae; Vendite Cancellarie (Sale agreements registered at the Chancellery)

The fonds contains data on purchase and sale transactions of real and personal property, such as land, houses, estates, ships, dowries, in the period from the middle of the 13th century to the beginning of the 19th century. The fonds is very important for the research and study of the topographic image of the city of Dubrovnik in that period, the development of urban planning, as well as for the research on trade of living quarters and buildings.

Scarce data available on Jewish people contained in the fonds reveal that in the second half of the 18th century Jews began to buy and sell real estate, i.e., houses that were mostly located near the ghetto, the exception being Abram David Maestro, who at the end of 1641 bought two houses in the street Lučarica, and two years later sold them to two Dubrovnik noblemen. Real estate purchases increased in the 80s of the 18th centuries so much that in 1799 the Senate decided that a Jew who owned several houses could keep only one and should sell the others. Members of Ragusan Jewish families Ambonetti, Coen, Costantini, Janni, Levi Mandolfo, Maestro, Pardo, Russo, Terni (i.e., vol. 135, ff. 180-181) are referenced in this fonds as both: buyers and sellers of houses. In accordance with the regulations of that time concerning the sale of real estate, apart from the name of the seller of the real estate in the document there is also a written consent of the members of his family. Therefore, next to the names of Jewish house-sellers are either the personal names of their wives, sons, and daughters, or the names of their legal guardians.

Proclamationes venditionum Cancellariae (Declaration of sales registered at the Chancellery)

There is no reference to Jewish people in the series.
The series contains declarations, or public announcements of the sale of real estate and personal property. These declarations were publicly shouted by the municipal crier, who would announce the names of the sellers, the subject of the sale and the price of the property sold.

Procurae Cancellariae; Procure de Cancellaria (Powers of attorney registered at the Chancellery)

  • HR-DADU-17
  • Fonds
  • 1470-1475, 1580-1815

The fonds contains books of various types of powers of attorney registered in the period from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century, in which, in addition to citizens residing in the Dubrovnik Republic, citizens from other countries are also referenced either in a role of authorised proxies or principals. The topics of these documents are mainly related to the conduct of various types of business both in Dubrovnik and in other, foreign countries, mainly in the Ottoman Empire and in the countries of the Apennine Peninsula.

The fonds is very important for the reconstruction of the Jewish business network in the Mediterranean and the Balkans. There are many references to Jewish people in the fonds: some references relate to the Jews who lived in Dubrovnik at the time, while others relate to those from other countries. The data show that many of the powers of attorney that were registered at the Chancellery were written in various cities of the Ottoman Empire (Belgrade, Sarajevo) or Italy (Ancona, Venice). The main topics of these documents are the collection of debts, the conducting of business affairs, and the representation at in-court and out-of-court settlements of commercial disputes. To illustrate, the following is an example of a power of attorney signed by the principal and written in Hebrew letters. The document refers to a certain Jew by the name of Solomon Barelia from Belgrade who came to Dubrovnik in 1674 and, at the Chancellery, authorized Jakob Almoslino to collect debts for him in Dubrovnik, Ancona, Venice, and in other cities in Italy (vol. 59, ff. 194-195v). Principals would often give a so-called general power of attorney in which they would declare the people they authorised as their alter ego. It is important to point out that a significant number of Jewish women are also referenced to in this fonds, most often also in the function of principals or of those who gave a power of attorney to someone else. Judita Luzzena is one of the few women to appear as a proxy: her husband Samuel Luzzena declared her to be his alter ego in 1795 (vol. 82a, f. 173). References can be found in this fonds to some members of Dubrovnik Jewish families, such as Ambonetti, Campos, Cohen, Fermo, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Pappo, Pardo, Russo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali; to some of their relatives who lived abroad; as well as to members of some other Jewish people from foreign countries, such as Barrafael, Bianchi, Della Tomba, Mucciaccio.

Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic

Sententiae Cancellariae (Judgments of the Chancellery)

  • HR-DADU-18
  • Fonds
  • 1352, 1376, 1388-1406, 1414-1811, 1814-1815

The fonds contains the judgments of the judicial councils Curia maior and Curia minor as well as those rendered by civil judges (consuls) in the period from the mid-14th century to the early 19th century. In fact, in the 13th and the 14th centuries, civil and criminal cases were handled by the judicial councils Curia maior and Curia minor (for disputes worth up to 5 perpers). The members of these councils would be elected from the Minor Council (Lat. iudices). The Rector held the central position in the judicial council until the 15th century. While the Civil Court was established in 1416, initially there were six judges who presided, but their number later increased. The fonds provides information relevant for the research of the professional lives and business affairs of Dubrovnik Jewish people as well as of their business relationships with their Christian fellow citizens. It also preserves data on some famous figures of Jewish history such as Isac Ergas (who acted as the representative of Gracia Mendes in Dubrovnik), Isaac's brother Samuel, and Jacob Coen de Herrera (the brother of Abraham Coen de Herrera) (e.g., vol. 184, f. 99). The data in the fonds mainly relate to Jews who were living in Dubrovnik at the time, and were members of Jewish families such as Abeatar, Abenun, Abuaff, Almoslino, Altarac, Ambonetti, Arari, Azubi, Bensahen, Campos, Cittanova, Coen, Costantini, Danon, Esperiel, Fermo, Franco, Gaon, Israel, Lanciano, Levi, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Miranda, Oef (Ohev), Pappo, Pardo, Penso, Piade, Ribero, Russo, Salama, Saralvo, Sarfatin, Terni, Tobi, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali. To some extent, the fonds is also important for the reconstruction of the Jewish business network in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, since the names of Jewish merchants from Italian and Ottoman cities occasionally are referenced in the documents related to the affairs of the Civil Court.

Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic

Lamenta politica; Lamenti politici (Political disputes)

  • HR-DADU-19
  • Fonds
  • 1312-1313, 1417-1419, 1441, 1537-1544, 1547-1563, 1570

The fonds mainly contains data on court cases with topics that could be potentially sensitive or even dangerous for the stability of the Republic, and which were the responsibility of the Minor Council. Some of these cases thus reference to investigations led against local people who, together with Uskoci, plundered the neighbouring areas under the Ottoman rule, or to investigations against those who would spy for foreign countries. This fonds also contains documents that are not of a political nature, such as, e.g., wine smuggling, quarrels, insults, and physical confrontations.

There is very little reference to Jewish people in the fonds. Some references can be found in a lawsuit and a related investigation against a sea captain from the Republic who in 1547 attempted to kill some Jewish merchants on his ship (vol. 5, f. 13), and another reference found is in a reported conflict from 1550 between a Dubrovnik physician Isaac and other Dubrovnik physicians (vol. 5, f. 164).

Josip Gelčić (1849-1925)

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