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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

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).

Officium Salis Stagni (Salt Office in Ston)

  • HR-DADU-71
  • Fonds
  • 1566-1806

There are no references to Jewish people in the fonds.
The fonds consists of registers containing documents from the 60s of the 16th centuries till the early 19th century, recording the following items: costs of maintenance of the Salt Office, costs of management of the salt basin and costs for the production of salt, costs of the shipping of salt to Dubrovnik and to the sales point in Gabela. The fonds also contains data on the sale of salt, as well as various data on salt that was delivered from other places to Ston to be sold.

Salt Office in Ston

Arboratica; Arboraggi; Arboracci (Maritime tax arboratica)

The maritime tax arboratica (Latin _arbo_r: wood, i.e., mast) was mentioned for the first time in the Dubrovnik Statute from 1272. Initially, this tax was paid only by foreign ships that used the port of Dubrovnik, and later it had to be paid also by domestic ships with a carrying capacity of more than 10 carrus (carrus: car, approximately 1900 kg). The tax arboratica was calculated according to the afore-mentioned unit of measurement for the carrying capacity of the ship and was paid to the treasury of the Maritime Office. The payment of this tax represented a type of constant state revenue which the Republic invested in the development of maritime affairs. The preserved books of payments of the tax arboratica date from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century.

The series is very important for researching the history of the involvement of Dubrovnik Jews in maritime affairs of the Republic in the 18th century. Many payments made by Jews were recorded in the books arboratica. The payments recorded indicate that the Jews in those books were referred to either as leaseholders of the tax arboratica or as co-owners of the ships. In years 1803-1806 the recorded data show that Jews fully took over the responsibility for collection of payment of this tax. Therefore, during that period only Jews were referenced as taxpayers. In one of the books from 1806, it is even specified that the list of tax debtors was entrusted to Jews for collection of arboratica (vol. 16, without numbering). The books of this series reference to Jews from Jewish Ragusan families such as Ambonetti, Campos, Coen, Levi, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Pardo, Russo, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali.

Apolitiae depositorum; Polize di depositi (Monetary deposits)

There are no references to the Jewish people in the series.
The series contains registers of monetary deposits to the treasurers and legal representatives of the Cathedral. These transactions were either bequeathed to certain persons or were of some other origin (for example: references of payments of state revenue from taxes on wine trade). The first volume is entitled Libro de deposito osia versamento di denari in mani di Tesorieri et Procuratori di Santa Maria per titolo di legati e d'altri provenienti. The books cover the period from the end of the 16th to the beginning of the 19th century.

Depositi (Deposits)

  • HR-DADU-46
  • Fonds
  • 1599-1806

The content of this fonds has not been fully researched so far. It contains three volumes, and the first volume is completely empty, and it does not contain any documents. The remaining two volumes cover the period from 1778 to 1815 and contain entries of cash deposits made at the Chancellery. These deposits represent payments of debts and settlements of various bills. The data also indicate that only persons whose names were written on the receipts as recipients, could collect the money at the Chancellery. According to the information available, the debtor would deposit the money at the Chancellery in situations when it was necessary for the other party to perform a certain action before receiving the money.

The fonds contains very little information about Jewish people, and the data found primarily refer to various aspects of their business at that time. References to certain members of various Ragusans Jewish families such as Costantini, Janni, Luzzena, Maestro, Pardo, Terni, Tolentino can also be found. For example: in 1804, Daniel Tolentino deposited 154 Ragusan ducats and 24 grossetti at the Chancellery to pay his debt to Sabato Terni, and Terni was also obliged to settle all accounts, or all his debts to Tolentino, before collecting the money deposited (vol. 2, f. 224v).

Chancellery of the Dubrovnik Republic

Provedimenta navigationis; Provedimenti della navigazione (Terms of navigation)

There are no references to Jewish people in this series.
After a new increase of the maritime affairs in the Dubrovnik Republic in the 40s of the 18th centuries, basic provisions for navigation were published in a so-called Book of Rules on National Navigation (Regolamenti della Republica di Ragusa per la navigazione nazionale; 1745). Over time, these provisions changed and were supplemented. This series, which consists of one volume, contains the Senate's provisions on navigation adopted for the period between 1745 and 1806 and specify working conditions of sea captains and crew members, working conditions of Dubrovnik consuls in the Ottoman ports, conditions for obtaining a citizenship of the Dubrovnik Republic, conditions for the navigation outside of the Adriatic, payments of port, customs and other maritime taxes, and conditions for the construction of new ships. The provisions of the Maritime Office for the period 1747 - 1804 were written a tergo.

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).

Patenta, Concessiones navigationis et Renovationes concessionum; Patenti, Congedi, Proroghe dei Bastimenti (Permits for navigating beyond the Adriatic Sea)

Ragusan sea captains that sailed on the ships of the Republic had to have a document called patente for legal navigation. They also needed a special license (congedo) to navigate beyond the Adriatic Sea, which was usually issued for a period of three and a half years. The consent to extend that permit was called a proroga and was usually issued for a period of six months. In the first volume of this series the records show different prorogas which were issued on the basis of congedos in the period from 1744 to 1807. On the left page of the book, congedos are recorded, and on the right page, prorogas. The format is the following: Antonio Brateglich Capitano del Brighentino nominato S. Catterina ha avuto il primo Congedo per tre anni e sei mesi di rispetto da computarsi dal adi 10 Marzo 1799 (left page); Ad istanza di Reuben Vita Ambonetti adi 27 Giugno 1802 avuta la proroga in iscritto per sei mesi dallo spirare del contranotto primo congedo, cosiche li scorrono li quatro anni (right page; vol. 1, ff. 9v, 10). The second volume of this series contains documents patenti and congedi.

The first volume of this series is important for researching the role of Jews in maritime affairs of the Dubrovnik Republic. Requests for the extension of the permit to sail outside the Adriatic were requested by the co-owners of the ships, among whom there was a large number of Ragusan Jews from different families such as Ambonetti, Costantini, Levi Mandolfo, Maestro, Pardo, Terni, Tolentino.

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