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A City Facing the Plague: Dubrovnik, 1691

Rina Kralj-Brassard orcid id ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 974 Kb

str. 115-170

preuzimanja: 1.118



In the seventeenth century Dubrovnik Republic was under constant threat from plague and other contagious diseases coming mostly from the neighbouring regions of the Ottoman Empire. The well organised system of public health measures against plague, developed and tested for centuries, contributed to the smaller number of outbreaks, shorter duration and limited scope of contagion in comparison with the neighbouring regions under the Venetian or Ottoman rules. On a single occasion in 1691, at least in part due to the exceptionally aggravating circumstances of famine, Venetian economic blockade and war at its borders, the plague managed to bypass Dubrovnik’s ‟cordon sanitaire”, believed to be almost impenetrable, striking the very heart of the city. The “plague of the maidservants”(peste delle serve) that lasted for about five months strained the protective system allowing for a particularly clear view on both the application of the anti-epidemic measures and the city itself. The victims of the plague were members of the lowest social strata, mainly servants and the youth. Isolation was considered to have been one of the most appropriate ways to ward off plague and stop it from spreading. Besides lazaretto, a quarantine facility at the eastern suburb of Ploče, other buildings were also used for this purpose, such as the Benedictine monastery on the island of Lokrum. The direct costs of the last plague that struck Dubrovnik were around ten thousand ducats. Indirect costs in terms of commercial halt were much higher. The government spared no effort to re-establish the lucrative maritime trade that was vital for the survival of the Republic.

Ključne riječi

Dubrovnik, plague, 17th century, public health measures, government expenditure, maidservants, nobility, social networks, urban history

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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