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Ragusan Image of Venice and Venetian Image of Ragusa in the Early Modern Period

Lovro Kunčević orcid id

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 380 Kb

str. 9-37

preuzimanja: 1.521



The aim of this article is to reconstruct the images which Ragusan and Venetian Republics had of each other during the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century. It is based on various documents—primarily historiography, literature, public speeches and diplomatic correspondence—revealing the stereotypes of the two Adriatic republics. The first part of the text is dedicated to the reconstruction of the somewhat ambivalent image of Venice in Ragusan culture. On the one hand Venetians were depicted as cowardly plotters against Ragusan independence, who use every occasion to damage its interests due to a centuries-old hatred for that city. On the other hand, Venetian republic was lauded as an ideal republican government—very much along the lines of the famous “myth of Venice”—which, however, was usually accompanied by self-glorifying remarks that Ragusa has the same institutional arrangement. The second part of the text deals with the image of Ragusa in Venetian documents, which was usually characterized by a combination of irritation and deprecation. The other Adriatic republic was represented as a petty and irrelevant community which, depending on the goodwill of its neighbours, does not enjoy the true liberty and thus does not deserve the title of republic. Moreover, its inhabitants were seen as obsessively hating Venice and constantly trying to plot against it at the court of their protector, the Ottoman sultan. The article ends with concluding remarks which point out the survival of some of the analyzed stereotypes in modern historiography as well as the fact that these stereotypes most likely profoundly affected and shaped political action.

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