Fonds HR-DADU-05 - Praecepta rectoris (Rector's Provisions)

Identity area

Reference code



Praecepta rectoris (Rector's Provisions)


  • 1278-1280, 1299-1301, 1387-1392, 1420-1423, 1426-1428, 1455-1457, 1571-1577, 1613-1618, 1621-1764 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 volumes; 1.1 linear metres; textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Preserved interstate treaties and other documents from the 12th century show that authorities would already at that time oversee the work of the public notary and the chancellery. Based on key provisions made during the 15th century, the central administration consisted of five offices located in the Rector's Palace. These were: The Public Notary (legal private affairs), the State Chancellery (legal public affairs), the Judicial Chancellery (criminal justice affairs), the Office of the State Secretary (legal state affairs) and the Slavic Chancellery, which would eventually be transformed into the Turkish Chancellery. The secretaries oversaw the process of taking minutes of the sessions of the Senate, the Minor Council, as well as of those of the Major Council. In addition, secretaries would also compile the entire state correspondence instructed by the Senate and the Minor Council. They also created diplomatic codes and deciphered diplomatic mail, issued state documents such as certificates of the citizenship of the Dubrovnik Republic. The influence of secretaries increased so much in the 17th century that, from that moment onwards, they could be considered the main administrative officials of the Dubrovnik Republic.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The fonds has been linked to the archive since its inception. In times of the Dubrovnik Republic, the books of the fonds were stored in the Rector's Palace, and they were kept there even after the fall of the Republic in 1808. In 1891, the archives were consolidated and became available to researchers. The archive in the Rector's Palace has been functioning as an independent institution since 1920 and it was moved to the Sponza Palace in 1952, where it is still located today.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

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).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The fonds is fully accessible to researchers in accordance with the Ordinance on the work in the reading room of the State Archives in Dubrovnik and the Law on Archival Materials and Archives NN 61/18 (Pravilnik o radu u čitaonici Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku and Zakon o arhivskom gradivu i arhivima NN 61/18).

Conditions governing reproduction

Taking photographs and scanning are allowed, for a fee.

Language of material

  • Italian
  • Latin

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper. The archival material is well preserved.

Finding aids

Građa za generalni katalog Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku, box 3, folder 9. Josip Gelčić, »Catalogus i. r. Archivii Ragusini.« Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja u Bosni i Hercegovini 22 (1910): 537-588.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

State Archives in Dubrovnik

Existence and location of copies

The fonds has been completely transferred to microfilms, but the microfilms are not available to the users of archives.

Related units of description

Consilium Rogatorum (HR-DADU-3), Consilium Minus (HR-DADU-4), Sententiae Cancellariae (HR-DADU- 18), Lamenta criminalia (HR-DADU-20), Lamenta de criminali (HR-DADU- 21), Intentiones Cancellariae (HR-DADU- 22)

Related descriptions

Publication note

Konstantin Vojnović, »O državnom ustrojstvu republike dubrovačke.« Rad JAZU 103 (1891): 24-67. Gregor Čremošnik, Istorijski spomenici Dubrovačkog arhiva. Kancelariski i notarski spisi g. 1278-1301, Beograd, 1932. Notae et acta Cancellariae Ragusinae, I, Notae et acta notarii Thomasini de Sauere 1278-1282, ed. Gregor Čremošnik, Zagreb: JAZU, 1951. Notae et acta Cancellariae Ragusinae, IV, Notae et acta notarii Andreae Bennessae 1295-1301, ed. Josip Lučić, Zagreb: JAZU, 1993. Nella Lonza, Pod plaštem pravde; kaznenopravni sustav Dubrovačke Republike u XVIII. Stoljeću (summary: Criminal Justice in the Eighteenth-Century Republic of Dubrovnik), Dubrovnik: Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, 1997. Nella Lonza, »‘Pred gosparom knezom i njegovim sucima...’: dubrovački kazneni postupci s početka XIV. stoljeća.« (summary: 'Coram domino comite et suis iudicibus...: Criminal Procedure in Dubrovnik at the Beginning of the XVIth Century) Anali Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku 30 (1992): 25-54. Nella Lonza, »Srednjovjekovni zapisnici dubrovačkog kaznenog suda: izvorne cjeline i arhivsko stanje.« (summary: Criminal Records of Medieval Dubrovnik: A Survey) Anali Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku 41 (2003): 45-74. Vesna Miović, The Jewish Ghetto in the Dubrovnik Republic (1546-1808), Dubrovnik-Zagreb: HAZU Zavod za povijesne znanosti, 2005. Nella Lonza, Kazalište vlasti: ceremonijal i državni blagdani Dubrovačke Republike u 17. i 18. Stoljeću (summary: The Theatre of Power: State Ceremony and Feasts of the Dubrovnik Republic in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century), Zagreb - Dubrovnik: Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku: 2009. Zdenka Janeković-Römer, The Frame of Freedom. The nobility of Dubrovnik between the Middle Ages and Humanism, Zagreb - Dubrovnik: Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, 2015.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Old reference code

Fonds of the Dubrovnik Republic and the territory of the former Republic under the French Administration, series 1

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Description control area

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Rules and/or conventions used

Descriptions of fonds, series and sub-series are made according to the ISAD (G) standard (general international standard archival description)


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Archivist's note

Description prepared by Vesna Miović (Fonds, Series, Subseries) Croatia [The Institute for Historical Sciences in Dubrovnik, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA)] Translation to English by Zrinka Friganović Sain

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