A State of Deference: Ragusa/Dubrovnik in the Medieval Centuries

A State of Deference: Ragusa/Dubrovnik in the Medieval Centuries

A State of Deference: Ragusa/Dubrovnik in the Medieval Centuries

A State of Deference: Ragusa/Dubrovnik in the Medieval Centuries

Excerpt

Illyrici ora mille amplius insulis frequentator.

Pliny the Younger, Nat. Hist. III, c.xxvi

I have many people to thank. Dr. Zdravko Šundrica, Archivist at the Dubrovnik State Archives for many years, taught me to read charters, as he taught so many others. The staff of the archives and Dr. Foretić have been unfailingly gracious and helpful. Three fellow researchers at the archives deserve special thanks: Dušanka Dinić-Knežević of the University of Novi Sad, David Rheubottom of the University of Manchester, and Josip Lučić of the University of Zagreb. They have all enriched my understanding of the old republic of Ragusa. Professor Lučić, in particular, has generously shared knowledge, books hard to obtain outside Yugoslavia, even his excellent historical maps with me. Allen Stahl of the American Numismatic Society allowed me to examine Serbian grossi firsthand. I am grateful as well to Troian Stoianovich of Rutgers University for his help. A year as Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, allowed me to give structure to this study. Danila Spielman read the entire manuscript to my great benefit, and Donald Queller of the University of Illinois gave cogent criticisms and suggestions. Thomas Wagner produced photographs, and Kay Warren helped type the manuscript. Haverford College has been consistently supportive of my scholarship, and I am grateful for the Provost's Office subsidy that aided this book's publication. Since I now publish a third book with the University of Pennsylvania Press in the Middle Ages Series, those good people certainly deserve my gratitude for their support and judgment. Any errors in the text are, of course, my own.

I first ventured to Dubrovnik, the modern name of the old republic of Ragusa, to search the archives for information about the medieval economy. I returned as it became clear to me that Ragusa had followed a remarkable course of social development that promoted economic growth over the medieval centuries. That is the story I attempt to tell in this monograph. Ragusa once comforted Western thinkers in the fond belief that people offered up deference to their betters voluntarily, in cheerful . . .

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