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Republican Court of Ragusa


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[ANCHOR=100]Table of contents[/ANCHOR]

[ANCHORLINK=1]Introduction to Ragusa[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=2]Important Characters of Ragusa[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=3]History[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=9]Diplomacy[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=4]Trade and Finance[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=5]Ragusan Buildings and Defence[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=6]Ragusan Society[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=7]Ragusan Military[/ANCHORLINK]
[ANCHORLINK=8]Ragusan Government[/ANCHORLINK]

[ANCHOR=1]Introduction to Ragusa[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]


The city of Ragusa/Dubrovnik was based on land and maritime trade, and in the Middle Ages it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state that rivalled Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the Latin/Slavic Ragusa/Dubrovnik achieved a remarkable level of development during the 14th 15th, and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.

[ANCHOR=2]Important Characters of Ragusa[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]

Ducal Family

His Grace, Duke Andrija of House Sorkocevici - 1349



Exceptionally devoted to his work, but regrettably for his family he has ignored everything that does not relate to the workings of his beloved Ragusa. He sees his son Viseslav as his copy, and treasures his only daughter Anna which he would guard with all of his power. His time with them may be limited but still full of love.

Emerik is willing to do whatever it takes to finish a job, and expects the same from his servants and ambassadors. Upon their failure it has been whispered that the Duke has even gone to the degree of assassination as punishment. He lost his wife in childbirth little more than a decade ago.

Right Honourable, Viseslav of House Sorkocevici - 1367



Duke Andrija's son only starting serving his father in the Grand Council.

Anna of House Sorkocevici - 1371



Duke Andrija’s daughter, her mother died while giving birth to her.

Officals of the Government

Commanders of Ragusan Military

General Mihajlo - 1349



General of the Ragusan Army, Captain of Silver Company.

Admiral Ulfo - 1363



Admiral of the Ragusan War Fleet. His command ship is the Saint Blaise. Bit mad and often take great risk but as the results of these mad actions, he won the faithfulness of crews of warships. He is also a pirate and pilots a small ship around in the seas in his spare time.
 
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[ANCHOR=3]History[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]


The very favourable geographical position of Ragusa made its development based on maritime and merchant activities very successful through its history. From the entrance to the Adriatic Sea, Ragusa is the first port protected by islands on the maritime route to the West, and by way of the Neretva Valley, it has the fastest connection with its hinterland. New archaelogical excavations in the foundations of the present City prove that a settlement existed in the 6th century or even earlier. It was enlarged by the arrival of the Croats after the destruction of the ancient Epidaurum (modern day Cavtat) in the 7th century.

The intensified traffic between the East and the West during and after the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries heralded the prosperity of maritime and merchant centres in the Mediterranean and Adriatic of which Ragusa was one. Liberation from the Venetian influence which Ragusa achieved by the Zadar Treaty in 1358, was crucial for its later successful development. During the 14th and in the 15th centuryies, Ragusa, along with Venice and Ancona, became the most significant seafaring and merchant centre at the Adriatic. By agreements and land-purchasing Ragusa enlarged its territory from Klek in the north and to Sutorina at the entrance of the Bay of Boka including the islands Mljet, Lastovo, Elaphites and Lokrum.

In the 16th century the legal status of the Ragusan Republic was completely established which meant the independent election of the rector and councillors,its own currency and the flag with its patron St. Blasius, the independed legislature and the right to establish consulates abroad. On the basis of the aristocratic social order the permanent supreme power was vested in the Great Council, which consisted of members of aristocratic families. It elected members of the Senate and of the Small Council which was the executive body of the Great Council.

As early as in the 14th century the Dubrovnik authorities had a very successfully organised transit trade with the Balkans hinterland. The small state,deprived of its army, brough its defensive system to perfection by skilful diplomacy and wide consular activities. Non-interference in international conflicts and the patronage of great states, particularly of Spain and the Vatican, enabled the Republic to uphold its sovereignty. The only permanent rival and enemy of the state was the Venetian Republic.

Material prosperity and a feeling of security and freedom formed the basic of the culture of living in a humanistic way and stimulated a creative spirit. Dubrovnik reached a magnificent stage in its urban and architectural development which has been sustained to the present time.


Chronology of Ragusa

Around 614

A group of refugees from Epidaurum (Cavtat), joined up with a group of refugees from Salona, established a settlement on the island of Ragusium which, in Croatian, is called Ragusa. Geographically and politically the town was a part of Dalmatia, which at that time was under the Byzantine Empire.

Around 667

The first time the name of the town was mentioned - Epidaurum id est Ragusium (Epidaurum is today Ragusium) - by an anonymous cosmographer from Ravenna.

7th-9th centuries

The people of Ragusa inhabited the tiny island entirely, and surrounded themselves with a wall. Before their arrival small communities of Illyrians and Romans had lived there. In those days Ragusa governed the whole of the surrounding area, which was called Astarea and stretched from Cavtat to Zaton, with outlying areas called Zupa, Sumet, Rijeka, Zaton, Gruz, and also nearby areas in the vicinity of the town. Ragusa also held the so-called Elafite Islands: Sipan, Lopud, Kolocep, St. Andrija, Daksa and Lokrum and a whole line of small islands in front of Cavtat: Supetar, Mrkan, Bobara and various other tiny islets. The settlers built the first cathedral.

Around 850

Strong gales and bad weather and the pounding of the sea and wind caused Ragusa much damage. Later the walls were made stronger and firmer.

866-867

Arabs (Saracens) attacked Ragusa from the sea but the town bravely held out against a 15-month siege. When, at the request of the Ragusa inhabitants, the Byzantine Emperor sent his ships to help, the Saracens withdrew.

869

With their ships the Ragusa people transported Croatian and other Slavonic soldiers to take part in the liberation of Bari from the rule of the Saracens. This is the first known case of a combined attack by the fleets and armies of Ragusa and Croatia in the defence of the Adriatic. This event firmly linked the future of these two allies.

Around 878

The Byzantine Emperor, Basil I, decided that Dalmatian towns should pay the Croatian and Slavonic rulers certain taxes to ensure peace on the lands surrounding the towns. Split, Trogir, Zadar, Osor and Krk paid taxes to Croatian rulers, while Ragusa paid the rulers from Zahumlje and Travunja.

925

At a meeting of the Church Council in Split it was decided that the Ragusa Bishopric should come under the Split Archbishopric.

972

For their patron saint the people of Ragusa chose St. Blasius. Following this, his image was impressed on seals and coins, painted on banners and carved in stone.

Around 992

On his way to Croatia, the Macedonian Emperor, Samuilo, passed by Ragusa and on that occasion burned and devastated the town.

Around 999

Ragusa became an Archbishopric and Metropolis. Kotor, Bar, Ulcinj and other bishoprics fell under her rule.

10th-11th centuries

The people of Ragusa filled in the canal between the inhabited island and the mainland. The settlement spread right to the foot of the hill Srdj, and the whole area was encircled with a wall.

1000

The Venetian Duke, Pietro II Orseolo, captured the whole of the Croatian Adriatic coast and on the little island of Majsan, near Korcula, the Ragusa people officially recognised the Duke's rule.

1018

Ragusa freed herself from the control of Venice and returned to the protection of the Byzantine Empire.

1022

The first written document of Ragusa origin - the Benedictines received the islet of Lokrum as a gift.

1023

As a result of the segregation of the town's community into patricians and commoners, a new class, the nobles is mentioned for the first time.

1032

The Ragusan navy together with the Byzantine navy defeated the Saracen pirates, who had been plundering along the coastline of Illyria and Corfu.

1038

According to chronicles, fort Lovrjenac was built by the people of Ragusa. Mentioned for the first time in 1301, it bears a famous inscription Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro (Liberty cannot be sold for all the gold in the world).

1081

Ragusa, together with Croat and Norman naval forces, took part in the naval battle at Durazzo against Byzantine and Venetian fleets.

1081-1085

Ragusa recognised the sovereignty of the Normans. The assistance which they gave the Normans during the 1081-1085 war enabled them, with Norman help, to penetrate the markets of Southern Italy, Apulia and Sicily. In centuries to come this area became one of the main trading spheres for the town and a spring-board for trade and maritime business in the Mediterranean.

1089

Pope Clement III established an Archbishopric at Bar and separated it from Ragusa.

1142

Pope Innocent II abolished the metropolitanate of Bar and placed it under the rule of Ragusa.

1145

Venice looked upon the area north of the line Ragusa-Ancona as being of vital interest and endeavoured to include not only Ragusa, but also the whole of the north-west part of the Adriatic under her direct control.

1148

Ragusa contracted an agreement with the town of Molfetta. This agreement, which was Ragusa's first known trade agreement, gave both towns the freedom to trade without the payment of port fees. Henceforth Ragusa developed into a big maritime and trading centre on the coast; the town became a mediator for trade between inland areas and western lands overseas.

1161

The Arabian scholar, El-Idrisi, wrote in his book Kitab Rujar that Ragusa was the last town of Croatia.

1167

The Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus restored the authority of Byzantium in Croatia and Dalmatia, which had been lost during the time of the Croatian King Petar Kresimir IV. In Dalmatia, a united administration was introduced. Ragusa, together with Split and Trogir, came under this administration. The Byzantine Empire ruled in Dalmatia until the death of Manuel Comnenus in the year 1180, and Ragusa alone continued to be under the Empire's rule.

1169

Ragusa, together with Split, signed a trading agreement with Pisa. With this agreement Ragusa opened up commercial routes, enjoying the same privileges as Pisa throughout the Levant and Constantinople and the areas from Syria to Gibraltar. The agreement outlined the extent of Ragusa's trading interest and the breadth of her overseas trading contacts.

1171

For a short time Venice dominated Ragusa, whereupon Ragusa accepted the protection of the Normans and in the year 1172 was freed from Venetian rule.

1181

The first mention is made of the Ragusa Commune (communitas ragusina). In the course of time this medieval commune became a city state. Ragusa and Kotor signed an agreement for a firm and lasting peace.

1184

Ragusa defeated the navy of Raska at Poljice, after the threat of invasion by sea.

1185

Because of the defeat at Poljice, Stefan Nemanja and his brothers attacked Ragusa from inland. They broke into the town for a short time but were eventually driven out.

Because of the threat of an attack from the rulers of Raska, Ragusa again accepted the protection of the Normans.

1186

Peace was signed with Stefan Nemanja. The new peace brought with it the privilege of free trade in the land of Raska and its rulers guaranteed the security of Ragusa's communal territory and borders. After this new peace the rulers of Raska were not able to threaten free Ragusa again.

1188

The people of Ragusa and Rovinj restored peace.

Ragusa contracted a trade agreement with Ravenna.

1189

Kulin Ban allowed the people of Ragusa the liberty of trading in Bosnia without the payment of taxes. In return they gave him whatever they thought appropriate. In the agreement the Croatian name, Ragusa, appeared for the first time.

1190

The Kacic family from Omis guaranteed Ragusan ships and merchants free trading and passage between Vratnik and Molunt in the direction of the Italian and Croatian coasts. In return the Ragusa people paid a certain sum of money to the Kacic family.

The ruler of Zahumlje, Miroslav, contracted a pact of friendship with the Ragusa state.

The first Ragusa law was passed granting free circulation of some criminals and debtors during the holiday of St. Blasius.

1192

Ragusa inhabitants shook off the sovereignty of the Normans. Again they returned to the Byzantine Empire. As an incentive, they received from Emperor Isaac Angelus a special Charter (hrizovulja). The Charter gave the people of Ragusa the right to trade freely in the Byzantine Empire and Bulgaria, and in return they were bound not to form any alliance directed against the Byzantine Empire.

According to Ragusa and English chronicles, the English King Richard the Lion Heart, on his return from the third Crusade, paid a visit to Ragusa. On that occasion, to fulfil a vow he had made after being saved from a gale, he presented the Ragusa people with a certain sum of money, with which they began to build a new cathedral.

1194

Porec and Ragusa agreed on settling their disagreements within a 30-day period.

1198-1202

The Croatian herceg Andrija ruled in Zahumlje, and Ragusa thus directly bordered on the Kingdom of Croatia.

1199

Ragusa contracted a trade agreement with the towns of Fana and Ancona.

Pope Innocent III invited the Ragusa people to take part in the Crusade against the Saracens.

The same Pope restored the metropolitanate at Bar and eventually separated it from Ragusa. The Ragusa Archbishop Bernard fled from Ragusa when the inhabitants threatened his life, considering him guilty of loosing Bar. He went to England, where he received a new bishopric.

1201

The towns of Monopoli and Bari were bound together by trade agreements with Ragusa.

1203

Ragusa and Termoli signed an agreement confirming their brotherhood and friendship. With this and other similar agreements Ragusa strengthened her trading position in central, and especially southern Italy.

1204

During the fourth Crusade Crusaders took possession of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire ceased for a time to exist. The so-called Latin Empire (1202-1261) was formed and with the fall of Constantinople the Byzantine sovereignty over Ragusa ceased for ever.

The despot of Epirus Theodore I (1204-1215) gave Ragusa trading privileges.

1206

Ragusa signed a trade agreement with Recanati, in the province of Marche, which was renewed in 1226.

They also signed agreements with the towns Molfetta and Recanati, renewed in 1229.

1207

Ragusa and Kotor formed an alliance.

1210

Ragusa was given privileges by Demetrius, ruler of the town Kroja, in Albania, enabling them to trade freely in his land.

1211

Ragusa and Vigilia (Bisceglie) mutually abolished port duties and taxes.

1215

Stefan Prvovencani guaranteed free trade to Ragusa. This was reconfirmed in 1222.

1222

Pope Honorius III invited Ragusa to join in the fight against the pirates of Omis.

1224

Ragusa signed a trade agreement with the towns of Termoli and Justiniana in Italy.

The Dominicans came to Ragusa.

1225

The Bulgarian Tsar, Ivan Asen II, allowed Ragusa to trade throughout the whole of his state. This privilege, as well as those granted by other rulers, promoted the development of Ragusa's trading in the Balkans.

1231

Ragusa contracted a trade agreement with the towns of Ferrara and Rimini.

They broke away from the control of Venice and banished the Duke from their town.

The pact with Ravenna was renewed.

1232

Venice forced Ragusa once again to bow to its authority and with an agreement forced restrictions on navigation and trade. All inhabitants of the town, aged 13 years and upwards, were obliged to swear loyalty to the Duke. This oath had to be repeated every 10 years.

They were to help Venice in wars as far as the Drac-Brindisi line with the same number of sailors as Venice, and south of this line provide a 30th part of the armed forces of Venice. They also took part, together with Venice, in an action against the Omis pirates. For goods brought back from Byzantium to be sold in Venice, Ragusa tradesmen had to pay a 5% tax, for goods from Egypt, Tunis and barbarian countries 20%, and from the Kingdom of Sicily 2.5%. On the other hand, for goods brought from Dalmatia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and other inland areas, they were not obliged to pay any kind of tax. Annually, they were allowed to bring four shiploads of goods into Venice, not exceeding 70 tons. For trading purposes they were only allowed to sail as far as the Bay of Corinth. To sail south of this point was possible only with the Doge's permission. It soon became obvious that Ragusan merchants would have to channel their trade overland away from sea routes and navigation in general.

1233-1234

Radoslav, the deposed King of Raska, found shelter in Ragusa, where the right to give asylum was frequently exercised. No threats of any kind could persuade Ragusa to extradite any refugee taking refuge on their territory.

1234

Ragusa signed an agreement with Split and Sibenik, the Raska rulers, Radoslav and Vladislav, Duke Andrija of Hum and the Bosnian Ban, Matija Ninoslav.

1235

The inhabitants of Omis promised not to attack Ragusan ships. Ragusa signed an agreement with Ravenna and Rimini and again broke away from Venice.

The Great and Small Councils mentioned for the first time.

The Friars Minor settled in Ragusa.

1236

Venice once again dominated Ragusa. In addition to the old restrictions there were some new ones: Ragusan ships were not allowed to use ports north of Ancona and point Premantura in Istria, except when carrying perishables to Venice.

1237

The Despot Michael II from Epirus allowed the people of Ragusa the privilege of free trade in the district of Epirus.

1238-1240

By agreement Ragusa settled her trade relationship with Corfu.

1242

A trade agreement was signed by the people of Ragusa and Ulcinj.

1243

The Serbian King, Stefan Uros, allowed the people of Ragusa free trade in his territories.

1245

With the use of its navy and armaments, the Ragusa rulers forced the inhabitants of Omis to keep to the terms of the agreement (1235) in connection with the freedom of sea routes. A new and final agreement was signed by the Duke of Omis, army captains and galley commanders.

1248

Ragusa and Senj signed an agreement of permanent peace and friendship.

1249

The Commune of St. Elpidia in Romagna allowed Ragusan merchants to trade freely on their land.

1250

Ragusa and Trogir emphasized their friendship with an agreement between the two towns.

1251

Once again the Ragusan inhabitants banished the Duke from their town and cast off Venetian rule.

1252

Venice again forced Ragusa to bow to her superior power and renewed the agreement of subjection from the years 1232 and 1236 and added more restrictions: should Venice become banned from trading in the Kingdom of Sicily, this would also apply to Ragusa.

The Consilium rogatorum (Senate) formed.

1253

The people of Ragusa signed an agreement with the Bulgarian Tsar, Michael I Asen, against Uros. In return they obtained great trading concessions from the Tsar. After Uros had triumphed, the people of Ragusa made peace with him on satisfactory terms.

1254

Ragusa and Split signed an agreement approving closer ties and mutual concessions.

1257

The Ragusa people complained to Senj because they were asked to pay port fees (arboratica). They stated that all Dalmatians were freed from the payment of fees in Dalmatian ports and therefore Ragusa, as a Dalmatian town, should not have to pay.

1258

For the first time the Ragusa koka is mentioned - a type of ship which was a sailing ship only. Until that time all Ragusa merchant vessels navigated with sails and oars.

Before 1272

The inhabitants of the island Lastovo chose to join the Ragusan Community, where they stayed until the year 1808, during which period they enjoyed a certain autonomy.

1272

At a meeting of the townsfolk a statute was announced and Ragusa received her own fundamental law. The statute, by various decrees and supplements, codified juridical norms referring to the internal and external life of the community, administration, inheritance and other rights, trade, maritime law, crafts, urban regulations for the development of the town, sewage and so on. The statute was one of the oldest on the Adriatic and consisted of 8 books.

1277

A new customs law was completed, Liber statutorum doane. A large part of this law dealt with the payment and regulating of customs for the import and export of goods to the area from Vrulje near Omis, to the river Ljes in Albania. From this customs statute it is evident that the merchants of Ragusa traded in all kinds of textiles, wood, cattle, livestock and agricultural products, slaves, ore, specially trained hunting birds, salt, gold and gold articles.

1278

From this year on, all fiscal books and other files from the archives were maintained. The Ragusa Archive became an important source of information, not only in connection with Ragusa's past but also of Dalmatia, Croatia, especially Bosnia and Serbia, as well as the Balkan hinterland, and also the Adriatic and Mediterranean areas. From various trade agreements, labour relations, procurations, loans, insurance, wills, diplomatic guides and so forth, the depth and breadth of Ragusa's trade can be seen, particularly the diplomatic skill with which they succeeded in surviving and progressing.

1279

The people of Ragusa and Kotor re-established their relations in a detailed agreement.

1278-1288

Some notes preserved, indicating a Ragusa Consulate in Brskovo. From then on the Ragusa Consulate service developed successfully, first on the mainland and later in overseas trading centres.

1290

The Clarist monastery at Puncela was built.

1296

A huge fire broke out which devastated a large part of the town and outskirts, after which a detailed urbanistic plan was developed inside the walls. The main contours of this plan have been preserved until today.

1299-1331

The Croatian Bribir feudal lords ruled in Bosnia and Hum, and Ragusa again bordered directly on a Croatian state.

1301

From this year date the surviving minutes of meetings of both Great and Small Councils and the Senate. From these records one can appreciate why and how Ragusa was great, rich and free.

1310

The statute of the island of Lastovo was codified.

1317

The building of the Franciscan Monastery was started inside the walls, the cloister of which was decorated by Mihoje of Bar. In later years the Monastery was to have its own pharmacy, the oldest in Europe in unbroken existence.

1318

Amongst maritime documents in the Archives mention was made of the compass.

1332

The Great Council was closed, i. e. they listed all present members of the Council and added a few others thereby establishing the new patrician clan (nobles), from which were elected the members of all government bodies.

Only nobles could become Government representatives, whilst commoners were excluded. The Great Council was a legislative body and the Small Council an executive one. The Senate controlled all external and internal policy. All the members of the nobility composed the Great Council, for which they qualified at the age of twenty.

In 1348 the age limit was dropped to 18 years. Above the entrance into the Great Council Chamber the inscription is carved Obliti privatorum publica curate (Forget your private interests, think of the public good).

1333

Ragusa acquired Ston and Peljesac for 8000 perpers and an annual payment of 500 perpers, which was paid to the Raska rulers. At the same time they paid an annual sum of 500 perpers to the Bosnian Ban. With the acquisition of Ston they became the owners of important salt works.

1335

A book was compiled containing all reforms (Liber Omnium Reformationum) and with all laws up to that year. The book was maintained until 1410.

1337

An official mint started to operate in which the first dinar (gros) was minted. The mint was situated in a building called Divona, which had previously been used as a Customs House. Until the year 1803 Ragusa minted her own currency. The perpera, consisting of 12 dinars, was a convertible currency.

1345

Ragusa extended her territory by including under her rule the island of Mljet. That same year the island's Statute was codified.

1346

The town port was protected with a thick steel chain which stretched from the break-water (mul) to the tower of St. Luke.

1347

A type of hospital was built called Domus Christi.

1347-1371

Ragusa waged a bitter war with their neighbour, the noble Nikola Altomanovic, whom they eventually defeated.

1348

The Black Death struck down 110 members of the Great Council and 7,000 townsfolk. The Plague re-occurred in 1357, 1366, 1371, 1374 and 1391. To protect themselves, the people of Ragusa brought into effect quarantine for all ships. The building of the church of St. Blasius was started at the same place where the old one had stood and this new church stood until 1706, when it was destroyed by fire.

A group of rich citizens, merchants etc., founded their own brotherhood, Antunini

1351

Fire-arms appeared for the first time in Ragusa.

1352

A community of Jews was mentioned for the first time.

1357

Ragusa began to trade successfully at the port of Drijeva (called today Gabela) on the river Neretva, where they leased the customs. In that particular year they paid a lease of 6000 perpers.

The Serbian Tsar, Uros, gave to Ragusa the strategically important hilltops above Zupa, Sumet and Rijeka, after which its people could pursue relatively peaceful cultivation of their vineyards and fields.

1358

Louis I, The Croatian-Hungarian King, compelled Venice through an Armistice in Zadar to withdraw from the eastern coast of the Adriatic from half of Kvarner to DurrÛsi. Ragusa broke away from the sovereignty of Venice. As an integral part of the Croatian-Dalmatian Kingdom and by an agreement contracted at Visegrad (Hungary), Ragusa became part of the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom, where it stayed until the year 1526. Ragusa citizens pledged allegiance to the King, sing laude three times a year in the cathedral in honour of the King, display his flag and coat-of-arms, and entertain him with a royal escort whenever he came to the town and to join in with their navy any conflict involving any Dalmatian town. (After this the Ragusan navy represented the main part of the warships of the Royal Croatian-Hungarian navy.) In return the King promised to protect the town and to recognise its ownership of inland and shore areas.

Ragusa was allowed to trade with Venice, Serbia and other nations, even when the King was at war with them.

With this agreement Ragusa achieved real peace and independence and was able to penetrate new markets far inland held by Louis.

After Ragusa sent the Venetian Duke back to Venice, the nobles began to elect the Duke from their own ranks.

Thus the aristocracy took over the rule of the town.

1362

Venice forbade her ships to call at Dalmatian ports to load goods. After this Dalmatian towns and Ragusa began to build up their own merchant fleet.

1371

From this moment on, the city was officially represented by the Duke and Council of Ragusa.

1372

Ragusa signed an agreement with Ancona.

1373

Pope Gregory XI allowed Ragusa to trade with unbelievers. This allowed them to trade in all countries ruled by unbelievers, to transport pilgrims and goods to the Holy Land, to maintain contact with Muslims and to build churches and install their own Consuls in their countries. The privilege also brought them almost exclusive rights to trade with the Muslims, bringing them huge profits.

1377

Ragusa was the first port on the east coast of the Adriatic to build a lazaretto and to introduce quarantine for ships and passengers. The first lazarettos were on the islands of Mrkan, Bobara and Supetar near Cavtat. Later the lazarettos were moved to St. Andrija and Mljet.

1378-1381

Ragusa participated in an anti-Venetian coalition, consisting of Genoa - Louis I - Ragusa, during the conflict over Chioggia. On that occasion friendly relations were created with Genoa, enabling ships from Ragusa to sail on the Tyrrhenian Sea and gained freedom to trade without the payment of port fees in lands of Genoa.
 
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[ANCHOR=9]Diplomacy[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]

Foreign Diplomats in Ragusa

Ragusan Consuls abroad

Friends of Ragusa

Enemies of Ragusa

Ragusa is in state of war with

Ragusa is in military alliance with

Ragusa have trade agreement sign with

Hungary: January - March 1383

Hungarian-Ragusan Trade Accord

Objective:
In the spirit of establishing trade relations between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Republic of Ragusa, this treaty was created with the effort and negotiations of Rubrik Sorkocevici, the Ambassador of Ragusa to the Kingdom of Hungary and Garai Miklós, the Palatine of Hungary.

Article I:
The Republic of Ragusa recognize Her Royal Majesty Mary Angevin as the legitimate ruler and Queen of Hungary, and the Kingdom of Hungary recognize the Republic of Ragusa as a legitimate realm and the Ragusan Great Council, Senators and the elected Duke, the rulers of the City

Article II:
Both realms guarantee that trade between the two realms will be open for each other.

Article III
Both realms agree to guarantee rights of passage to each other’s merchants to smooth the progress of the trade

Article III:
Both realms shall respect the independence of the other's economy and their right to create the trade agreements with any nation without interference from the other realm.

Article IV:
Both realms ensure one another that there will be no embargoes between both realms. Also, both realms shall not banish merchants from each other realm, unless they are proven to be criminals by the laws of the realm that they are staying in.

Article V:
Any changes to this Accord will have to be done in accordance with both realms. This Accord also guarantees the possibility of further negotiations between the both realms and the improvement of the commercial links, if the realms find it adequate.

Article VI:
The Republic of Ragusa has the right to construct and maintain merchant houses, warehouses as well as accommodations for its own merchants in the cities of the Kingdom of Hungary. Same shall exist for the Kingdom of Hungary in the Republic of Ragusa.

Article VII:
Both Realms promises to protect each others’ shipping and all other means of trade. As well as swearing to neither support nor fund acts of piracy or raiding against each other.

Article VIII:
The Kingdom of Hungary will be offered all products from the Republic of Ragusa, at a price 8% lower than the usual price

Article IX:
In return for the generosity offered by the Republic of Ragusa, the Kingdom of Hungary will offer all their products to the Republic of Ragusa at a price 8% lower than the usual price.

Article X:
The Queen of Hungary shall grant the sole right to export spice, oriental carpets and silks into the Kingdom of Hungary to the Republic of Ragusa of all nations bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Article XI:
In return, the Kingdom of Hungary will have guaranteed supply of oriental goods above everyone else in case of market shortages

Article XII:
The Ragusan merchants who carry goods of silks, oriental carpets, and spices within their goods only have to pay 5% tolls in the view of the importance of these luxury goods to the nobles of Hungary. However, the Ragusan merchants who does not carry goods of silks, oriental carpets, and spices within their goods only have to pay 10%.

Article XIII:
In the view of great trading relationship with the Kingdom of Hungary, the merchants of Hungary will only have to pay 10% tolls.

Article XIV:
This Accord lasts for 10 years to be reconfirmed every 10 years. The Accord cannot be changed unless it is agreed by both parties during the time between signing and the process to be reconfirming start.

[X] Rubrik Sorkocevici, the Ambassador of Ragusa to the Kingdom of Hungary in the name of Duke Andrija Sorkocevici of Ragusa.
[X] Garai Miklós, the Palatine of Hungary in the name of Queen Mary Angevin of Hungary
Roman Empire: January - March 1383

Roman-Ragusan Trade Accord

Objective:
In the spirit of establishing trade relations between the Roman Empire and the Republic of Ragusa, this treaty was created with the effort of His Imperial Majesty Ioannes Palaiologos Emperor of Roman Empire.

Article I:
All commercial privileges that have been due to the Republic of Ragusa in Constantinople, Thessalaonica, the Black Sea, Asia and Europe by the Roman Empire are hereby confirmed and accepted as Valid and Legal for No Less than 999 years starting from 1383.

Article II:
The commercial privileges that have been due to the Republic of Ragusa are as follow:

Article IIa:
Ragusan merchants have the right to trade freely by land and sea throughout the Roman Empire.

Article IIb:
Roman Empire agreed to guarantee rights of passage to Ragusan merchants.

Article IIc:
The Republic of Ragusa has the right to construct and maintain merchant houses, warehouses as well as accommodations for its own merchants in the Roman Empire.

[X] His Imperial Majesty Ioannes Palaiologos Emperor of Roman Empire.

Ragusa have signed mutual defense pact with, against

Hungary: January - March 1383

Treaty of military cooperation between Hungary and Ragusa


Article I:
With this treaty the Kingdom of Hungary guarantees the continued independence of the Republic of Ragusa.

Article II:
As such the Kingdom pledges to assist the Republic should it be attacked by a foreign enemy with enough military aid to repel the invader.

Article III:
In order to streamline the defense of Ragusa, the forces of Hungary and her vassals shall be granted right of passage in Ragusa.

Article IV:
The republic of Ragusa agrees to provide the hungarian crown with two armed warships during times of war

[X] Mária Angevin, Queen of Hungary, and of Croatia, and of Transylvania etc etc
[X] Duke Andrija Sorkocevici of Ragusa
[ANCHOR=4]Trade and Finance[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]

The politically increasingly independent state attempted to confirm its status and improve the conditions under which its business was transacted by numerous treaties of friendship with Adriatic and Mediterranean cities. Of special interest is the treaty made with the city of Pisa in 1169 showing the extent of Ragusa's trade - from central Italy to Constantinople - as well as the desire to stand up to its main competitor on the Adriatic - the Venetian Republic. The parties to the treaty tried to organize a trade route from Pisa via Ancona to Ragusa and then by land to Constantinople. By forming an alliance with the then strongest opponent of Venice, the citizens of Dubrovnik expressed their permanent political orientation.

The citizens of Ragusa exercised almost complete control over the mining and sale of Bosnian and Serbian ores, which were important an a European scale.

The Venetians fettered the maritime activities of Ragusa, but land trade developed strongly, so that Ragusa gained almost complete control over the flow of commodities in the Balkans. The numerous trading colonies founded by the citizens of Ragusa throughout the countries of the hinterland directed caravans towards the parent port, gaining great profits in the process. The monopoly which the state achieved also gave it an increasingly prestigious political influence in these countries.

Now at 1380s, the flag of St. Blaise could freely sail all the seas of the then known world, and the continental trade of Ragusa acquired its natural extension.

The ships of Ragusa carried these precious loads from the homeport to the markets of Italy, France, Spain... On the return voyage they brought back wool, which was the raw material of the growing cloth manufacture.



Coinage

1 hyperperus = 12 denarii grossi (or just grossi) = 40 miliarenses = 120 follari (or minca).
1 soldo (solad) = 1/6 grosso.
1 scudo (skuda) = 36 grossi
1 ducat = 40 grossi (dinarici)
1 (Ottoman) piaster or grosso = 40 pari

Extent of Trade in Certain goods


Skins


Textiles


Wool
 
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The Duke's Palace





The whole of the Ragusa's history has passed through this beautiful though not too luxury palace. Like the Republic, the palace, too, had to go through troubled times in the past - it has been destroyed in gunpowder explosions several times. The Duke of Ragusa live in this palace during the time of his mandate, alone, without his family. He could leave the palace only when engaged upon some state business; otherwise he was not allowed to leave it. The Duke's Palace was also the seat of the government. There were halls reserved for official receptions and audiences, there was also the seat of the Republic's administration: the secretary, the public notary, land registry.

Fort Lovrijenac



Fort Lovrijenac is a monumental and impressive fortress outside the city walls at the western side of the city. It rises proudly on a step cliff about 37 meters high, as if wrapped up in the legends about its origin, as well as those referring to the heroic deeds of its guards and defenders. It dominates the two approaches to the western part of the city, those from the sea and the land. The chronicles of Ragusa have written an interesting story about its origin. It was at the beginning of the 11th century that the Venetians have intended to build a large stronghold on the same spot. This stronghold would have served their intention of keeping Ragusa in their power. The people of Ragusa discovered this intention of the Venetians and have immediately decided to build a fortress on this almost inaccessible rock in the shortest possible time, thus building up a defence against the Venetians. According to the chronicles, the building of Lovrijenac has been completed in three months only. When the Venetian ships laden with building materials arrived, the Venetians could do nothing but admit that they had been outwitted and forestalled by the citizens of Ragusa.

City Walls



Nothing more truly expresses the historical idea of Ragusa's freedom than the city walls. Without exaggeration we can claim these walls to be among the most impressive and beautiful structures of their kind in Europe. We may wonder even more when we remember that the cannons mounted on them have not been fired for centuries. These stones structures, erected in the autumn of the Middle Ages, are our most beautiful and most powerful ode to liberty. Not much fighting was done from them, yet thanks to them, freedom could be brought more easily, and there could be more singing and writing in the city The walls of the fortifications follow the ground plan traced in the 13th century, while the present shape of their bastions, towers, bulwarks and embrasures was constructed and stylistically defined in the course of the two golden centuries.

The Minceta Fortress



The Minceta Fortress, with the magnificent battlements, has been dominating the city for centuries. It was the symbol of the city's freedom and a defying challenge to all impudent fellows; today it is still one of the most beautiful symbols of the city. Minceta was built by excellent architects. Nichifor Ranjina built the first, the smaller one, square-shaped, in 1319. Later on a new part has been added to it and thus it was given the present monumental round shape. This was done by the famous Renaissance architect, the Florentine Michellozzo Michellozzi, together with one of the greatest Croatian Renaissance architects and builders called Juraj Dalmatinac. The building of the tower was finally completed in early 15th century, on the basis of the plan made by Juraj Dalmatinac. One can get a wonderful view of the city and the whole of its surroundings from the heights of this impressive building.

St. John's Fortress



St. John's Fortress was meant to be the main defence of the city harbour and one of the most important defence fortifications of the city. The first tower of the fort was built in this place in the first half of the 14th century, and it is still one of the parts of the fortress. In the following few decades the fortress has been reinforced, parts have been added to it, until it got its present semi-circular form in the 16th century and so became an impressively looking complex of buildings.
 
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St Blaise, Patron of Ragusa



Ragusa is recognizable in two ever-present hallmarks: Saint Blaise and the quest for freedom. Ragusan people have been worshipping their Saint Protector for over a thousand years, and the flag bearing the inscription Libertas is readily recognizable symbol of its history.

The Venetians have St. Mark, and Ragusa has St. Blaise. The cult of this patron saint and martyr from Sebaste in Armenia has been alive in the tradition of the city since the 12th century, and was described by old chroniclers such as Rastic and Ranjina, as well as various anonymous sources. According to their story, St. Blaise supposedly saved Ragusa in the 10th century when the Venetian galleys dropped anchor in Gruz and near Lokrum under the pretext that they must renew their water supply before continuing their journey to the Levant. According to the legend, the people were friendly towards them, and the sly enemy availed himself of this opportunity to look around the city and its defence system, planning to attack it. They were thwarted in their plans, however, because St. Blaise revealed their plan to Stojko, parson of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Thanks to such timely forewarning Ragusa was saved! In order to acquaint themselves with the details of St. Blaise nocturnal visitation, the Senate summoned the minister, Stojko, who told them in great detail how St. Blaise appeared before him as an old man with a long beard and a bishop's mitre and staff. The old man whom Stojko saw in his vision forthwith became the protector of Ragusa. In Ragusa St. Blaise was found everywhere. The area of the former Republic is full of churches and sculptures dedicated to the patron saint. The seamen's votive church on Gorica is also dedicated to him; this mascot of Ragusa was placed in the old town hall and the initials SB adorned the ceremonial flag of the Republic. It goes without saying that the effigy of the saint was impressed on the state seal and minted coins up to the 18th century. Since time immemorial St. Blaise (Blasius) day has been celebrated every year on February 3, and celebrated by every one alive in the city. People imprisoned for minor offences were let out of prison the week before and after the holiday, and persons banned from the city could come back to the city while the festivities lasted.


History of Food

Ragusa was built on extremely poor and barren land that yielded no food. Food, and especially cereals, had to be imported and so Ragusa maintained good relations with southern Italy, Sicily, and, for that matter, anyone supplying food. Wheat was the primary grain.

The organization of food supply in Ragusa was such that good relations were maintained not only with suppliers, who controlled so many trading routes. Cereal traders and ship-owners were strictly controlled by the governing council of the Ragusan Republic and notified a year ahead of time when their turn would come to carry grains to the city.

The purpose of these food regulations is evident when we are told that Ragusa experienced only eight famines in five hundred years, a very un-Mediterranean story. Ragusa had a vast cereal warehousing system. It was supplemented in the beginning of the fourteenth century with the digging of huge pits with a twelve hundred ton capacity for storing grain. These pits grew in size, and eventually became the enormous edifice called Rupe even today. And above these fifteen holes cut into the rock is a huge three story building.

Through the efforts of the Ragusan government, the city always had a sufficient supply of fresh vegetables, especially cabbage and broccoli, which are specialities of the cuisine of Ragusa.

The cuisine of Ragusa was based on olive oil, both locally produced and imported from Apulia. Meat came from the hinterland--small cattle that were consumed fresh, salted, or smoked. An unusual portrait of Ragusa is drawn by the Italian Dominican monk Serafino Razzi who published his year-by-year account of life in the city in 1595. He tells us that the wine of Ragusa was very good, especially Malvasia; that the weather was perfect, and the markets were filled with fruits such as pears, apples, plums, figs, watermelons, oranges, citrons, and lemons, and lots of fish.

Wine was considered nutritious by the general population and consumed in great quantity. It was imported from Italy as well as the local Ragusan islands of Peljesac or Konvali. Wine from Apulia, with high-alcoholic content, was traded with Dalmatia without going through Venice. A popular wine was the famous Malvasia or Malmsey wine. Malvasia wine is a sweet dark wine with an unusually high alcoholic content made with a special kind of grape that grew, originally, in Cyprus and the Morea. Northern Europeans loved this wine and in England it came to be known as Malmsey. Malvasia wine was prized and often sent as a gift to Italian cardinals, Venetian doges, or some prince. The development of the wine trade was intimately linked with Malvasia wine and the trade in wool and woollen textiles. Ragusan merchants brought barrels of Malvasia to England in exchange for the very high-quality English wool. The Raguans brought the raw wool to Flanders and Italy where skilled artisans finished it into fine goods, which were in turn sold all over Europe and the Levant.

The city of Ragusa was like the rich merchant ships that pulled into port laden with food. In fact, the very word argosy, meaning either a large merchantman or a rich supply, comes from Ragusa. This idyllic-sounding Mediterranean port with its mild climate and sunny days drew all kinds of people to it. There were Croatians, who were seamen, captains, and merchants; Slavs who were couriers; Italians from Venice and Apulia; Tuscans representing the Florentine family firms; Saxon miners; Jewish docters; and Catalan wool merchants. If famine struck elsewhere, as it often did, the hungry masses would flock to the city.

Ragusa was also unique in being one of the first European cities to understand the importance of sanitation in fighting infection and disease like the plague. The first municipal garbage collection in Europe began in 1390, when the city hired four street sweepers, although the first sanitation official had been appointed as early as 1388. Life was concentrated in the street, squares, and harbour front. Unlike so many cities, Ragusa paved its streets and squares, and installed drainage and sewer systems by the early fifteenth century. Garbage, and its awful stink, which is rarely captured or mentioned by writers, was removed regularly. As the city became richer, it also became more aesthetically pleasing; with bigger and more beautiful stone houses, churches, and palaces. Ragusa was a fascinating place to live and a central meeting place of people from all parts of the Mediterranean.

As in Seville, the arrival and departure of ships was always an event of interest, not only to merchants, captains, and sailors directly involved but also to the population as a whole who had their men as crew members. Foreign ships interested the populace not only because of the goods they carried or took away, but also because of the income their crews brought to taverns. All the taverns selling wine in Ragusa were managed by women, reflecting the absence of men who played a role in the trading industry.

The abundance of Adriatic trade made the seas dangerous. Ragusa traded with Corfu, Santa Maura (Levkás), and Zante (Zákinthos), from where Greek ships brought fat, lard, ham, salted meat, cheese, oranges, honey, barley, and chickens. There were vast amounts of Apulian and Egyptian wheat, olive oil from Romagna and Apulia, and meat and cheese from Dalmatia going through Ragusa, all of which were enticements to assorted smugglers, local corsairs, and Catalan privateers based in Sicily in the 1400s. The Ragusa solved the problem with big armed merchantmen, the argosies.


Health and Welfare

The free medical attention was the right of anyone living on Ragusan territory. From a very early date Ragusa had it own city doctor. The majority of these came from Italy. But there were also Jews, Spaniards, Greeks, Germans and French, as well as a number of Slavs. Doctors in Ragusa were usually taken on for a year and then if the government was satisfied with their performance the contract would be renewed. Doctors often receive 1,200 hyperperi while surgeon receives 60 hyperperi a year. The condition for accepting this salary was that the doctor was obliged to treat all who came to him, whether from the city or territory of Ragusa, and do so without charge. Indeed, if he was discovered to have accepted payment, the doctor would automatically forfeit his state salary. Doctor could also play a useful role in diplomacy, and Ragusa was careful to lend its doctors to those neighbouring rulers whom it wished to please. As part of universal health care, Ragusa was also keen to ensure that one or more pharmacists always operated in the city. Generous terms were offered in order to attract them from Italy and elsewhere: Just in 1379, A pharmacist entered the Ragusan state service on a two-year contract. He would be paid an annual salary of 60 hyperperi, have his travel costs defrayed and receive a house and suitable shop from which to trade. Among the oldest pharmacies in Ragusa there were those operating from the Franciscan friary on Placa and from the city’s main hospital. But by the end of 14th century there were no fewer than five chemists in business in the city. They were all subject to official inspection of their medicines by Ragusa’s doctors and surgeons. The Statute of Ragusa required that windows should not be built out over the sewerage channels into which waste water drained from lavatories and kitchens. The revision of 1296 insisted on the provision of sewers three palms (78.8cm.) wide between adjacent. These channel drained into closed septic tanks. Waster water also began to be drained straight into the sea at end of the 14th Century. Rainwater forming unhealthy puddles in the city streets became much less of a problem as the latter were gradually paved. The Great Council decided on paving of the entire city’s street with stone or brick. The authorities finally appointed a staff of four street cleaners at a cost of 60 hyperperi a year to keep the streets systematically cleaned.. It was decreed that each Saturday shopkeepers and householders must clean the street in front of their premises. Saturday was also the occasion when Ragusan must take all their rubbish out of the city.


[ANCHOR=8]Ragusan Government[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]

The Duke/The Small Council

In the early years, it was the Duke himself who appointed the Small Council and then jointly with that Council, appointed the other organs of government. The latter included the Great Council and the Senate. Only in 1235 that the Great Council emerges as a force in its own right and from 1252, the Senate also became a permanent fixture. The Duke was the head of the government. He held the keys of the city gates and of its fortifications, kept the password required to enter them, and had charge of the Republic’s seals. He alone had the authority to summon the Senate and the Great Council, and proposed their order of business. He wore a special red toga and wig. He had his own apartment in the Duke’s Palace and when he left it on occasions. Then he would be accompanied in solemn procession, preceded by 24 heralds who were dressed in red, and accompanied by his secretaries and other officials. The Duke and his Small Council received ambassadors and other distinguished visitors, read despatches from Ragusans aboard, gave leave for appeals in civil matters, issued safe conducts to debtors, and appointed trustees and guardians for widows and orphans. They also discussed other matters of public interests. A member of the Small Council acted as Foreign Minister. The Duke enjoyed a unique social and economic status. He was, for example assured of a special allowance of salt for himself and his house. He received special dues whenever livestock was slaughtered in the city’s abattoir. The millers of Ragusa had to mill his and his household’s grain without charge. He received a share of any large catch brought home by Ragusa’s fishing boats. He, himself, had the exclusive right in Rijeka Dubrovanka during the fortnight before Christmas. People bringing loads of pine logs to Ragusa by land or sea were bound to give him one. Most financially important was the requirement that captains of ships coming from Apulia, Sicily, the Marches of Ancona and the Romagna must pay the Duke a hyperperus for the due called arboraticum, levied on vessels entering Ragusa’s harbour. It was resolved in 1313 that the Duke should not receive arboraticum from ships arriving from other places. For his part, the Duke had corresponding economic and social obligations. At Christmas the sailor of Ragusa customarily arrived at his palace, bearing a log of wood which would be placed on the fire amid much merriment and the singing of the traditional carols: they then received from the Duke two hyperperi and their fill of wine. So too, the captain and crew of the first Ragusan ship to enter the harbour on Christmas or Easter day received a hyperperus. On New Year’s Eve it was fishermen and the master craftsmen of Ragusa.

Senate

Also known as the ‘Fathers’ or the ‘Council of those Asked’ is the most powerful institution of the Republic. The Senate included the Duke, the 7 members of the Small Council, the five prosveditori, the three supervisors of the Wool Guild and the members of the College of Twenty. It conducted most of the important business of the Republic, and had to meet more and more of the important business of the Republic, and had to meet four times a week to do so. It is a court and heard civil cases involving 150 ducats and more. No appeal was possible from its decisions. It could review capital sentences and grant pardons. It also nominated to the bishoprics of Trebinge and Ston. But it was its wider political functions which placed it squarely at the centre of government. It imposed taxes and dues, audited accounts, regulated trade, supervised security and acted against those who threatened order. The Senate’s decisions on the most sensitive matters were recorded separately in the series known as Secreta Rogatorum.

The Law

On 29 May 1272 was promulgated in the public square by Duke Marco Giustiniani the codification of Ragusa’s laws, (Liber Statutorum), popularly known as the Statute of Ragusa. It consists now of eight books; but the final two, relating respectively to maritime affairs and miscellaneous matters, were almost certainly added later. In 1277, the Ragusa Customs Statute (Liber Statutorum Doane) was drawn up. The book of consolidated Council minutes (Libri Reformationum) only begins in 1301. The Council decisions which were subsequently deemed to have a more than ephemeral significance were from this time also inscribed in a separate volume (Liber Omnium Reformationum). When the last Venetian count left Dubrovnik in 1358 a new volume was begun, which because of the colour of its cover came to be known as the Green Book (Liber Viridis)

Prosveditori

Their function was to introduce criminal and civil cases before the Senate and supervised the actions of all officers and public institutions so as to ensure that they were not against reason. Only the decisions of the Senate and the Great Council could not be appealed to them.

College of Twenty

The Senate acquired the role of Supreme Court of appeal in civil matters. But the amount of business this involved soon proved excessive and so College of Twenty heard appeals in matter of 150 ducats.


Officials of the Government

Office of Abundance

Three officers responsible for supervising corn supplies and sale of the salt.

Treasurers of St Mary

Five officers whose task it was to safeguard the Republic’s cash and title deeds in the Cathedral treasury and to invest inheritances left to the state at interest in Italian banks for the benefit of the town hospices and those in need.

Proctors of St Mary

Three officers were appointed to supervise the income and expenditure and provide the needs of the cathedral and of the poor.

Lords of the Night

Six officers to keep the town orderly and secure after dark

Chancellors

Six secretaries. The two most senior acted as clerks to the governing councils as well as serving notaries, drawing up wills and title deeds. Two more were clerks to the courts and prepared other public documents such as summonses. A fifth secretary was attached to the officers responsible for keeping the city accounts. A sixth was usually a Slav, was responsible for the Slavic Chancery and drafted documents in Slavonic language and Cyrillic script encapsulating Ragusa’ agreements with its neighbours.

Doctors

A role almost always filled by Italians or Jews.

Night guards

One of the responsibilities of the night guard to enforce the rule that no one could carry in the city; only the guards themselves and the Duke’s household were exempted from this provision. These guards patrolled the streets with their assistants and were expected to suppress any disorder. They could enter the homes of malefactors to arrest them, and if they happened to kill a fugitive in the course of their duties they would not be punished. No one, citizen or foreigner, was to go about at night after the third bell had sounded without a bright lantern.
 
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[ANCHOR=7]Ragusan Military[ANCHORLINK=100][^][/ANCHORLINK][/ANCHOR]

Ragusa relied upon both foreign professionals and local conscripts for its defence. From the year of 1358, it retained a regular force of Hungarian soldiers known as barabanti. It often also recruited Italian mercenaries. But all Ragusan citizens, patrician and commoner alike were subject to the obligation to fight for their country. The system as it was:

The names of all the nobles and commoners under 60 years of age are written down on pieces of paper. Those who have passed their sixtieth year are exempt by law from guard duty. The pieces of paper bearing the names of the older guards are in old bag and those of the younger ones in another. So each month for the protection of the city three nobles and six younger ones, who must be at least thirty, are chosen as commanders of the guards with the duties of watching over the city by day and night and of closing and opening the gates. Each night one of the three older nobles and two of the six younger ones is on duty. To these are added a number of commoners guards the Duke’s Palace. The other two with the rest of the commoners inspect and patrol the city and Placa and check the guards on the walls, and if they come across anyone asleep on guard duty they reprimand him and place him in prison in irons.
There was a separate permanent force guarding the walls, In the view of the threat from Venice, the number of the guards are 81 who were to secure the walls at 29 specified position.

The other features of the city’s security are the gatekeepers who reported on all arrivals to the noble officers whose main task it was to keep out those who might have infectious diseases; the three lookouts on Mount Srd stationed at the church of that name, who signalled Ragusa if they saw ships approaching, indicating how many there were.


Artillery

The work to strengthen and remodel Ragusa’s fortifications, which was such a prominent obsessive preoccupation, was in large part a reflection of the deadly important of firearms. As early as 1351 Ragusa commissioned it first cannon and by the time of the War of Chioggia, the city had acquired a large store of them. The city artillery also became an important element in Ragusan diplomacy. Ragusa was determined to remain at the forefront of European developments to maintain and upgrade artillery. From 1380 the city had its own foundry. The best foreign experts were sought out to perform this work. Italian, French and Germany masters of the Ragusan foundry came and went. The master of the foundry was also the Republic’s chief bombardier with charge of the city’s cannons distributed around the different fortresses, towers and walls. Ragusa retained a small group of professional artillery men. But the government also considered that some of the civilian population should be conversant with firearms. Accordingly, bi-monthly shooting competitions were organised.



Ragusa’s Great Arsenal

The origins of Ragusa’s Great Arsenal are obscure. In 1345 the Arsenal with its four interconnecting spaces for four vessels, was fortified and enclosed. The complex must have been a hive of activity. The vessels of Ragusa’s war fleet were built, laid up and repaired there. From the fourteenth century these warships were as large and effective as any of their day; indeed, the Ragusa great Arsenal was the most important on the shores of the Eastern Adriatic. It was under supervision of the Duke. It was then decided to supplement these facilities by building what came to be the Small Arsenal. Originally, it consisted of just four units with space for each brigantine.
 
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May Ragusa be open to all people.

Warning: Any Ragusan or Foreigners possessing or selling someone as slave would be imprisoned. If the slave was freed within a month, the slave-traders and owners merely lose both eyes; if slave remained in servitude, the man who had sold or owned him would be hanged.


So let the people enter the city of freedom and trade!!

OOC: People can start posting, any OOC will be either PM me or post in Paradox Lounge (Off-Topic)
 

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The election of new Duke of Ragusa

It was a sunny day when the bell of the Council was rung three times, half an hour before the time for assembly, in order to summon the Councillors. Once the Ragusan Great Council members had taken their places along the eight benches in the Chamber in order of age the Small Council and facing the five provveditori, stood up and announced the office of Duke is open and urging the Councillors to perform their duties honourable. Then each of the Councillors took the oath, one by one laying his hand upon the book of the Ragusa Statute. The Chancellors then went down each side of the hall and gave to each Councillor a ball which was thrown into an urn, and the Councillor’s name called out. Then balls were added for the members of the Small Council, the state advocates and the Chancellors. Finally, all the balls were taken out of the urn and counted. This was to prove how many people were present. No one could subsequently leave the hall without the approval of the Duke and the Small Council. The election now began.

One of the Chancellors brought a leather bag full of silver cards marked with Roman numerals, each card representing a particular place in the Council hall. The cards were then drawn. Those Councillors found to be sitting in the designated places went and sat on two benches apart. These Councillors then came forward, one by one, and each placed his hand into an urn containing six gold balls mixed up with the number of silver ball. Only those who drew out a gold ball had the right to nominate for an office. They formed the first nominating chamber. The procedure was undertaken a second time to create a second nominating chamber while the members of the Small Council constituted a third chamber. Then within each chamber the name of one councillor was drawn by lot: he was who actually made the nomination of a particular candidate to the office in question. The full Council would then vote on the three nominated candidates.

Džono Andra Bobaljevic, Simun Benesa, and Brno Bunic heard their name called, they and all his families left the hall to wait outside. Each Councillor remaining in the hall was now given a little ball made of linen, specially designed to be inaudible when it fell. He then approached an urn which bore the arm of Ragusa, and which was divided into two parts. He dropped his linen ballot in the red section if he approved a candidate and into the green section if he rejected him. After the voting, the ballots were poured out and counted and Simun Benesa obtained more than half the votes of the whole Great Council.

Simun Benesa is now the Duke of Ragusa and only time will tell how he will handle it…



Simun Benesa
 
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Unto the Senate of Ragusa,

Dear councellors,

As it has come to your attention that Louis d'Hongrie is dead, I am now the King of Hungary, and thus the overlord of Ragusa. As King of Naples, I have great influence in both the tyrrenian sea, aswell as holding the strategic positions of Corfu and Achaea. With Durazzo on the Illyrian coast, I too hold the control of the strait of Otranto. Ragusa is, of course, free to travel throught it, as a loyal vassal of the Crown. As I understand you have elected a new Duke, perhaps I should pay Ragusa a visit and have him swear allegiance to me? Much has happened lately, but the Kingdom of Naples is once again secured, and a male heir is aswell.

Your Overlord,

Charles III d'Anjou, Roi de Naples, Jérusalem et Hongrie etc., Principe d'Achaea, Duc de Durazzo et Calabrie
 
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Duke Andrija,

Surely, you should know that Hungary too follows the Salic law, by which makes me King? I am not only Charles III of Naples, but Károly II of Hungary aswell. The Pope supports my claim, and you do not put yourself over the Pope, now do you?

Ragusa is thus a true vassal of Me, that means the Kingdom of Naples. If you choose not to acknowledge my claim and instead threaten with sanctions, I will invade Ragusa on my way to Hungary to press my claim. Remember, I invaded Joanna with a hungarian army, and my support in Hungary is great. Do you really think the nobles of a kingdom the size of Hungary will gather behind a pre-puberty Queen? That would make them the laughing stock of Europe, to say the least.

And a representive to my court from my vassal is of course welcome.

Charles III d'Anjou, Roi de Naples, Jérusalem et Hongrie etc., Principe d'Achaea, Duc de Durazzo et Calabrie
 

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Bertuccio Veniero arrived in Ragusa upon one of the many southbound galleys from Venice. Disembarking from the ship he and his party went separate ways, his first mission to introduce himself to the Duke of Ragusa. Having given his letters of introduction and waiting at court he finally gained his audience.

"Andrija Sorkocevici, Duke of Ragusa, I am Bertuccio Veniero, agent of the Republic of Venice and Doge Antonio Veniero, " the slender man in his mid thirties began, bowing slightly. He continued with a bold voice, "I ask that you accept me as agent and representive of the Republic of Venice in Ragusa indefinitely, understanding that I shall convey here the will of the Republic and act in its interests."

Bertuccio patiently awaited an answer form Sorkocevici.
 

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Audience with the Ambassador of Venice

Andrija Sorkocevici

Andrija Sorkocevici's emotionless eyes looking intently at this Venetain Ambassador, Bertuccio. There was a long moment of silent, broken only by the sounds of members of Small Council stirring restlessly in their seats. Some members looked shocked at the words of Venetain. The candles placed in sconces all around the room flicked only when someone moved, creating a momentary current in the air. Someone coughed uncomfortably. The sounds of the population's commotion outside the Duke's Palace can be heard.

It is clear that Antonio Veniero did not made a good first impression on Andrija.

He finally spoken on the matters sternly.

Andrija Your Excellency, The Republic of Ragusa welcome Ambassador from the Republic of Venice. You are allowed to remain in the lands of Ragusa until you break our laws or something dire occur between us. I suggest you learn Ragusan etiquettes very soon since you could offend our people badly if addressed them wrongly. One of them is to call the Duke of Ragusa, "Your Grace" at the start of the conversation while addressing a member of the Small Council is "Most Honourable" and finally addressing a member of the Grand Council is "Right Honourable" You speak with unawareness so I will forgive you on that. I will send someone who can teach you the rest of the Ragusan etiquettes.

Was there something you would like to speak about?
 

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Bertuccio bore the snide response of the Duke with little change to his expression, while inwardly he laughed at the impetuous nature of the balkan upstart. He bowed graciously when he was given leave to speak again and spoke plainly,

"Your grace," he paused so the Duke would not think him completely petulant, " My apologies for myself, and more importatnly the republic for my breach of etiquette. I shall comport myself more appropriately in the future."

Bertuccio contined, boldly again, "It is plain to us all that Ragusa and Venice are not friends or allies, and forgive me if I am presumptious, that neither Republic desires to be ever soon, best of friends." He let this obvious declaration sink in before he continued. "Regardless, my Doge, on behalf of the Republic wishes it known that Venice shall not seek to push Ragusa from its own well established markets, and reciprocally, should look upon any attempt by Ragusan merchants to push into Venice's dominant markest as hostile."

Bertuccio continued after a brief pause, "Speaking with no vanity is is obvious that Venice's reach is far greater than Ragusas, and her fleets far larger, and grander, her reputation much the greater. But this is not to discredit Ragusa, for your city is strong, its Republican ideals admirable, and its postion in trade makes it a state of utmost importance to Venice. These things in mind Venice sees no reason that Ragusan ships need ever venture north from their home port, for it would try your limited resources to venture up into the traditional heart of Venetian territory for goods, when Venetian ships could cheaply and fairly carry such goods to your ports. The Republic would be willing to make concessions further abroad if your grace would see fit to restric his merchants from the Adriatic ports north of your city."

Bertuccio stopped, and then changed direction in his monologue, "Of course I should not expect a decision on these matters so quickly, but there are other matters which require immediate action. I speak of the Dalmatian pirates, and all bandits that wreak havoc on trade in our regions. We should ask that putting rivalry aside you join with us to rid the Adriatic of these vagabonds and perhaps invoking the powers of your own feudal lord take steps to rid our coasts of an unsavory presence."

With that Bertuccio bowed and awaited the Duke's response.
 

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Audience with the Ambassador of Venice

Andrija Sorkocevici

Duke does not really care what Venetain envoy think of him. In his view, A archetypal Venetain is just greedy and he just proved that his whole nation are very greedy as well...

Duke Your Excellency, my people does have great hate of these Dalmatian pirates, I will be more happy to put the problems between us aside on that point to focus our strength of our ships to wipe every one of these pirates off the very face of the Earth. So the ships that plying trades in Adriatic Sea are safe.

However as you said that it is plain to us all that the two Republics are not friends or allies. But at treaties between Ragusa and other cities which been in existence as such with Ravenna, Ancona, Recanati, Ferrara, Milan and most of the Dalmatia as well Croatia in 1188, 1199, 1206, 1231 and onward so these trading areas are ancient trading areas of Ragusan merchants.

So my people will not be happy if these trade routes they always rely upon suddenly disappear. You told me yourself that you shall not seek to push Ragusa from its own well established market so asking me restrict my merchants from the Adriatic ports north of your city is in reality the opposite of what you saying at the start.


He looked thoughtfully and discussed the issues with his closest member for a few moments.

Duke In the views of ancient trading areas of Ragusan merchants already established well before. I could however restrict my merchant not to buy or sell goods at the province of Split, Istria, Treviso and the City of Venice. What do you think of this?

He looked at Bertuccio curiously.
 
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City Palace, Milan

A fairly old man appeared from a room to the right. He was escorted by two fully armed mercenaries, who didn't appear Italian. The old man expressed a suited amount of arrogance and wealth, and it would be apparent for anyone who didn't knew him, he was the Lord of Milan.

There was a time Barnabo Visconti had hated envoys and ambassadors. Then his wife's half-brother became lord of Verona, and Barnabò became virtual ruler of Verona only through diplomatic channels. Once his brother Galeazzo was the diplomacy expert, but Barnabò had forced himself to use diplomacy before arms later. The first one was much cheaper anyway.

"Hail, my name is Barnabò Visconti", the old man said to the Regusian ambassador, as he scanned the man from tip to toe. The man who was introduced as Alv Bunici seemed suitable enough - decent and old enough to be experienced, experienced enough to be subtle. "If you seek to talk, please talk. As you are from Ragusa, it will probably be a talk of trade, and i must say... I like talking about trade". The old man laughed, though half-hearted. "You see, I seek to break Genua and Venice's monopoly on trade in northern Italy".
 

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Bertuccio admonished himself inwardly for not explaining better and then answered the Duke blandly.

"Begging your forgiveness your Grace, perhaps I did not elaborate well enough. I did not mean that Venice wishes to see Ragusan merchants retreat from their present locations, rather that no new operations be opened up, which it seems you have agreed to." The Doge's son, continued thinking that matter well enough taken care of, "I commend your grace for being so proactive in opposition to the piratical acts of the bandits to your north, I pray, as do all in Venice that such cooperation shall work to the betterment of all."

Bertuccio changed pace now and spoke inquisitively, "There is one matter of which you did not comment your Grace of which I remain curious. I spoke of perhaps arranging for Venetian merchants to carry some goods from Ragusa, that could be sold very profitably in more distant ports. It would be trying for your noble republic to reach the same markets that our fleets do, particularly to the North, and our merchants would be willing to pay prices, slightly greater than what could be fetched in your traditional markets, for these goods with an agreement that the purchase is outright and all profits earned after point of sale are duly owed to buyer. What does your Grace think of reaching some agreement on this matter?"

The Venetian slowly folded his hands behind his back and stood proudly at attention awaiting the Duke's response.