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Original scientific paper

Riscatto degli Schiavi – The Role of Archbishop Vicko Zmajević in Ransoming Christian Slaves after the Second Morean War (1714-1718)

Zdenko Dundović orcid id

Full text: croatian pdf 483 Kb

page 137-180

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With the fall of Morea and the end of the Second Morean War (1714-1718), many Venetian soldiers and subjects fell into slavery and were offered for ransom by the pirates of Ulcinj and the Ottoman masters. Christian slaves were often released in order to collect the finances for their ransom. In this mission, recommendations issued by Church prelates to the Christian communities were of major help. Documents preserved at state and ecclesiastical archives show the intensity of such campaigns in the first half of the 18th century and contribute to our understanding of the ransoming process. Based on their pleas to Vicko Zmajević, Archbishop of Zadar (1713-1745), this paper discusses the way in which ransom money was collected, the sums accumulated to that purpose in the Zadar diocese, and various obstacles in the complex process of ransoming Christian slaves. The research results show an active involvement of ecclesiastical structures in the process as the carrier and executor of the actual ransoming act, even though the legal authority over, and distribution of the accumulated sums of money was a prerogative of the Venetian authorities, more precisely the magistracy called Provveditori sopra ospedali e luoghi pii.


Riscatto degli Schiavi; Second Morean War; ransoming Christian slaves; Vicko Zmajević: Republic of Venice

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