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The Dispatches of Antun Gika, the First Russian Consul to the Republic of Dubrovnik, 1788-1800

Maren Frejdenberg

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 101 Kb

str. 217-236

preuzimanja: 825



The author analyzes the reports of Count Antun Gika, the first Russian consul to the Republic of Dubrovnik, which are kept at the Archives of Russian Foreign Affairs in Moscow. Gika was appointed to the post in 1788, and throughout his twelve-year consulship, which lasted until 1800, he furnished St. Petersburg with regular dispatches on Ragusa’s reactions to the Russo-Turkish War and peace settlement in 1791, the anti-war flotillas of L. Kaconis and N. Pangalos, and threats made by Mahmut pasha Bušatlija, the Porte vassal. He further informed St. Petersburg about the relationship between the Dubrovnik Republic and the Porte («a combination of freedom and vassalage»), the amount of tax imposed by the Ottomans and its payment, the ceremony of exchanging gifts, reception protocol, and even the dress of the Ragusan diplomatic officials. In 1792 Gika sent St. Petersburg a detailed «Description of the Republic of Dubrovnik,» which focused on the city-state’s economy and trade business, especially its prospects for the exportation of wine and olive oil to Russia. Gika paid particular attention to the social and political aspects of Dubrovnik life; the mounting French pressure of the «Jacobins,» as he called them; and Austrian expansion following the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797 which caused quite a stir in a number of Dalmatian towns, placing the Dubrovnik Republic in a most unfavorable position. Gika kept a close eye on the 1799 Konavle uprising, dispatching reports weekly and not monthly, as normally did. His accounts were imbued with interesting details on the course of this abortive rebellion. That Gika’s reports were most attentively read is proven by the proposal of Paul II that the islands in the Ionian Sea, following Ushakovliev’s campaign, be given republican status «after the Ragusan model.»

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