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The Border between Split and Poljica and Conflicts between Them in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Second Part – Conflicts between Split and Poljica during the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries)

Ante Nazor

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 607 Kb

str. 45-81

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As a separate territory, Poljica may be ascertained in historical sources only from the thirteenth century, and its territory probably formerly belonged to the County of Klis. A special relationship with Klis remained part of the consciousness of the denizens of Poljica even after Poljica became a separate, autonomous, unit (during the fourteenth century at the latest) and after it accepted Venetian sovereignty over it in 1444. The territory of Poljica initially encompassed the area between the River Cetin and a mountainous ridge of Primorska Kosa (present-day Upper and Middle Poljica), while the border of Poljica was after 1444 moved to the littoral area between the Žrnovnica and the Cetina rivers (present-day Lower or Littoral Poljica). Until then, the denizens of Poljica had only estates in Primorje (the Littoral), which for the most part probably belonged to the lords of Omiš. Besides Poljica, Split persistently tried to master that area, but rights over the whole of Primorje were given to the city only by King Tvrtko and King Ostoja of Bosnia (in 1390 and 1402 respectively) and by King Sigismund’s counter-candidate King Ladislas of Naples (1403). The whole of Primorje is mentioned as a part of Poljica for the first time in a decree of the Statute of Poljica from 1482.
Because of the scarcity of sources, it is rather hard to talk about the demarcation between Split and Poljica. Before 1444, except on the peaks of Primorska Kosa, Split and Poljica might border only in the north-eastern part of Splitsko Polje, in the area of the Upper Žrnovnica (around the villages of Žrnovnica and Kučine). However, if that area was held by Klis, contact between Split and Poljica was impossible, and because of that it is not strange that even in the second half of the fourteenth century, when the existence of Poljica as a unit is not in question, the Spalatins did not mention Poljica in their requests to rulers for solving the problem of their eastern or northern border, but only Klis or Omiš. By the 1444 treaty Split and Poljica determined their common border in Primorje: Split received a small area, but an economically important one, because of salt-pans and mills on the River Žrnovnica, up to Bilapeć, while Poljica got the villages of Jesenice, Mrčilokva and Podstrana and 16 salt-pans. Taking into account the fact that the River Žrnovnica is mentioned as the border towards Split in the Statute of Poljica (1482), it may be concluded that in the meantime a new agreement between Split and Poljica was reached (or there was a unilateral decision on the border recorded in the Statute), but sources are silent on that matter.
The conflicts between Split and Poljica are recorded in the sources from the thirteenth century and in the sources of the fourteenth and the first half of the fifteenth century (up to 1444) they are so frequently mentioned that it may be said that the whole period was marked by those conflicts. The main cause of hostilities and disputes between Split and Poljica was of an economic nature (the attempts at the occupation of estates), but the relations between Split and Poljica depended also on political circumstances.
For the settlement between Split and Poljica, a particularly important role was played by the 1444 treaty. The compromise division of the estates in Primorje and determining of the border, as well as the binding of Poljica to Split and Venice, achieved by the donations of houses in Split and sums of money to distinguished noblemen of Poljica, were the most important preconditions for maintaining the peace. The treaty was respected also because of the fact that its implementation was supervised by the powerful Venetian Republic, which confirms the hypothesis that there were no conflicts at those moments when both Split and Poljica acknowledged the authority of the same powerful lords. To the rapprochement between the Spalatins and the denizens of Poljica there certainly contributed also Ottoman attacks, which threatened both of them to a comparable extent. The Spalatins started to consider Poljica as a certain bulwark and defence of Split against Ottoman assaults, and thus the denizens of Poljica from “the dragon already opening his jaws towards Split” (1420) became for them at the beginning of the sixteenth century “the only hope of Dalmatia, the foremost shield of our own salvation, the tranquillity of our peace.” However, Poljica was forced to accept Ottoman rule in 1514, while Split remained under that of the Venetian Republic.

Ključne riječi

Poljica, the Middle Ages, political history, social history, military history

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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