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Ladanje in the Area of the Hvar Commune up the end of the 15th Century

Ambroz Tudor ; Konzervatorski odjel Ministarstva kulture u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 311 Kb

str. 69-93

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 311 Kb

str. 69-93

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Ladanje (translated as country-house or summer-place living, comes etymologically, according to Skok, from vladanje, ruling, as a calque of the old Latin dominium) is mentioned in the islands of the Hvar commune in one of the oldest preserved documents of the Central Dalmatian archipelago – the Povalj Charter of 1184. The Reformation Statute of 1331 clearly shows that the gentry was not much inclined to staying long in the town and preferred being in their estates outside it. In the oath of the councillor of the town, which had to be taken by all adult patricians, it says that the councillor has to attend a meeting of the council, convened by a bell or the sending of a crier. But the stays were nevertheless long and serious, and not short trips, as shown by the same statute in the provision about the obligation to live in the town. Chapter XXVII of the first book determines that councillors have to live constantly in town “with the members of their households, furniture and chattels” and must not live “on Vis or in the villages” on pain of being ejected from the council, which is to say, losing patrician status.
The bishop had just the same trouble with his clergy as the secular arm had with the patricians. In a document that can be dated to between 1470 and 1490 the bishop, Lovro Michiel, issued a ban on priests leaving the town and going to the countryside, on pain of a fine.
One of the earliest reliably confirmed stays of a patrician of Hvar outside the town is the example of Stjepan, son of Dujam, who in 1327 wrote a will on Vis, according to which he was to be buried by the Benedictine church of St Nicholas, today Muster, over Komiža. From the will one also learns that he was the owner of land in the areas of Dračevo polje, Vinopolje, Borovo polje and Podstomorsko brdo, place names that exist in the same form to this day. As for the house in which he lived in on Vis, nothing is known.
The register of commune-owned land from 1380 has important data about Vis. It is interesting that vineyards, vineae or terrenum vineatum, are mentioned much more often than is done on Hvar at the same time. The borders of the commune land are most often represented by the vineyards of the patrician families, for example the Slavogost, Stanoa, Decolin, Mikša and Jakša families, known in later centuries too, as well as many other names or surnames unknown today, prefixed by the title Sir [ser], which at the end of the 14th century certainly indicated a nobleman.
On the central part of the island of Hvar during the 13th and 14th centuries one can notice the construction of churches by the gentry on their estates, which is to an extent akin to the appearance of the construction of family chapels on the estates in the Dubrovnik area in the same period. That the patrician families built churches can be found out from documents about the reconstruction of Vrboska’s St Peter’s Church of 1469.
The Register of the commune’s land of 1425 records the first development of houses alongside cultivated lands on Hvar island.
These examples show that the last register of commune estates of 1425, unlike those from 1331, undated, but probably from 1380, and from 1407, records the existence of residential and farm buildings in areas outside the settlements, more particularly, alongside cultivated land. Particularly interesting is that smaller buildings, probably field huts, domuncule, are distinguished from larger buildings, domus, which must have had residential functions. However, these Hvar and Vis examples show one particular feature. Never in the 14th and in the early 15th century are towers or fortifications mentioned as being alongside the structures of the patricians or the commoners in the area, although they appear almost as a rule in the examples in Italy, in Korčula and Dubrovnik. The best known villas of the Hvar commune, the Tvrdalj of Hanibal Lucić in Hvar or the Jakša villa on Vis had their origins in the second half of the 15th century.

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