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Original scientific paper

“From That Side of the Sea” – Croatian Trans-Adriatic Migrations (From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century)

Lovorka Čoralić

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page 183-199

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Croatian trans-Adriatic migrations are part of a complex and long-lasting process, which has to be discussed in the context of the political, social and economic situation in the wider area of south-eastern Europe. During the period of Ottoman incursion and conquests, particularly from the second half of the fifteenth to the end of the sixteenth century, there were mass migrations from the Croatian national and ethnic area towards the western Adriatic coast. The Italian provinces of Friuli, Veneto, Molise, March of Ancona and Puglia, in whose urban settlements there were significant Croatian ethnic communities over the centuries, became central areas of Croatian immigration. Regarding their places of origin, Croatian immigrants came from the whole Croatian national and ethnic area, but those from the coastal and insular area from Istria to the Gulf of Kotor were still the most numerous. In the new environment, the Croats founded their families, found permanent employment, and became distinguished members of the communities that they inhabited. In the majority of examples, the assimilation of Croatian immigrants happened relatively rapidly (at the latest, by the fourth generation after immigration), while only a small group in the area of Molise retained its distinct ethnic character as the last remnant of a previously numerous Croatian community dispersed all along the Apennine Peninsula.


trans-Adriatic migrations, anti-Ottoman wars, confraternities, social history, the Early Modern Period

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