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The Radulović Lineage of Dubrovnik and Their Armorial
An investigation into the content and sources of ilirska herldika (Illyrian Heraldry) leads to a conclusion that the emergence of the oldest and generally known versions of the so-called ilirski grbovnici (Illyrian Armorials), end of the sixteenth century, may be directly linked to specifi c lineage circles of Dubrovačko Primorje. This complex phenomenon is rooted in the history of the families who advanced in the royal navies of Spain and Naples, who shared kinship ties, as well as the legend of the true or fabricated noble descent of Hum and Bosnia. A recently published armorial from the library in Modena confi rms this assumption both in terms of content and symbolism. Among 153 coats of arms, besides two constructed coats of arms of the Nemanjići, are ten land and 139 lineage arms, two complex coats of arms of the Radulovići, and an illustration containing their motto. A comparison has shown that it is one of the copies of the Korjenić-Neorićev grbovnik from 1595, made upon request of the Radulovići of Dubrovnik, who in the sixteenth century established themselves as shipowners, merchants and members of the prestigious Confraternity of St Anthony. The armorial is executed in coloured ink, by an inexperienced hand, while the artistry of the blazon and the accompanying illustrations lags behind the fi rst Illyrian armorials, resembling most closely those in the Fojnica Armorial. The legend of the Bosnia-Hum noble descent, their origin from Dubrovačko Primorje, social status and connections with the Kingdom of Naples, link the Radulovići with the founders of the Illyrian Heraldry: the Ohmućević, Dolisti-Tasovčić, Korjenić- Neorić and Diničić. By the start of the seventeenth century, Radulović brothers came into possession of the feud and city of Polignano in Apulia, and with it the title of marquis. Nikola Radulović the Elder (1556-1608), fi rst marquis of Polignano, was acquianted with the Illyrian armorials from which he adopted his own coat of arms. The Radulović arms is constructed on a homonymycally adopted arms of the Radijelović lineage from the Korjenić-Neorić Armorial, whose complex variant includes another six arms from the same collection. The future generations of the Radulović enjoyed the noble status in the Kingdom of Naples, yet maintained their relations with Dubrovnik, their old homeland. Of relevance to the Italian perspective was the arms of the Ragusan collateral of the Sfondrati lineage of Cremona, which, by the female line, the Radulović incorporated into their complex arms. The armorial housed in Modena proves that, at the close of the seventeenth century, the Radulović had their own copy of the Illyrian Armorial, adapted to their needs and their family history. Although it is possible that the Radulović also had an older version of the armorial, this copy was most likely made for the most infl uential member of the lineage, Archbishop of Chieti and Cardinal Nikola Radulović (1627-1702).
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