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Original scientific paper

The Rhythm of Crime: Annual and Monthly Distribution of Crime in the Dubrovnik Republic in the Eighteenth Century

Ivana Mrđen
Ana Prohaska
Nenad Vekarić orcid id ; Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Full text: english pdf 359 Kb

page 69-113

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The criminality trends in the Republic of Dubrovnik in the eighte enth century show a strong correlation between crime and social situation. The period of crisis (the first quarter of the century) saw an increase in major crimes (homicide, theft), which tended to drop in the periods of positive expectation. By contrast, during crisis petty crimes were rarely prosecuted but once the crisis ended, they found an easier way to court. This gave way to a paradoxical picture: in the period of positive expectation the overall crime rate increased, but the number of victims killed as a result of crime declined. The way of life, however, had a direct impact on the short-term oscillation of crime. The crimes committed in the ‘heat of passion’ (physical assault, defamation, slander) dominate in terms of seasonality, since they directly depended on the frequency of contact which varied according to the seasons of intensive farming and idle seasons.


Dubrovnik, 18th century, criminality, Criminal Court, homicide, seasonal distribution of crime

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