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Real Estate Owned by Dubrovnik’s Nobility and Recorded in Testaments (1750-1815)

Ivana Lazarević

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 182 Kb

str. 197-221

preuzimanja: 781



This paper focuses on 174 testaments made by Dubrovnik’s nobility from the period 1750-1815, with the aim of drawing conclusions about the way a testator felt about his real estate at his deathbed. It was the most precious part of one’s property and thus its division was the crucial concern when making a testament. Testaments do not usually indicate (with few exceptions) the precise location of the property but they can help in detecting the heritage line in a family. This paper analyses the formulations used in the naming and division of real estate, which can be classified into several groups. The first consists of properties left as legacies to the church and the second of those left to private persons. The third group contains real estate in fideicommissum and the fourth that intended to be used to settle some business. The researched testaments reveal the two greatest concerns of Dubrovnik’s nobility: preservation of the family name and the good maintenance of property as a status symbol and an indicator of the esteem and influence that their owner enjoyed in the society. The testators tried to solve all problems linked to inheritance: death, lack of heirs, ecclesiastical ordinations, extinction of the family line, and so on. Some left very touching sentences in which they tried to divide the property fairly among the heirs, others were worried that there would be no heirs in perpetuum, and some were simply concerned about whether the heirs would take good care of the property. The testaments thus reveal a whole range of considerations as the epilogues and final acts of human lives.

Ključne riječi

testaments; real estate; nobility; Dubrovnik; second half of the 18th century; first half of the 19th century

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