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Original scientific paper

Catalonians’ Participation in Traffic, Grains, Salt, Metals, Corals and Loans (till 1520)

Bogumil Hrabak

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page 41-78

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The period of the Catalonians' economic expansion on to the Dubrovnik business area can be determined by the years of 1418 and 1513. They appeared in Dubrovnik as importers of wool and food and as exporters of ores and corals (from the Dubrovnik archipelago). For almost half a century (1418—1468) they were the most important factor in crediting to the Dubrovnik economy. Their loans were not of a rentier's or usurer's character. They were all in the function of wool trade.
The Catalonians were always standard merchants selling their goods for ready money, rarely entering trade by exchange and never into more complicated transactions. Being occupied more with selling wool, less with the import of Apulian, Sicilian and West Balkan wheat, and least with the import of salt and other food, they inadequately combined imports with exports from Dubrovnik. They did not care for both more complicated trade operations and money transactions (such as silver). They did not reach the level that at the same time meant banking, renting and shipping business, which were already known to Florentines and Venetians. With such a simplified profit they were less dangerous to the development of the Dubrovnik cloth manufacture and trade than the Italians. On the other side Dubrovnik Government stimulated the Catalonians' efforts to make use of Dubrovnik ships in their transports towards Alexandria.
The Catalonians were driven out from the Dubrovnik business area less by the Florentines, who had already taken over many of their business agenda, but more by the supreme state authorities. When the import of silver and lead from Bosnia and Serbia was strictly forbidden, and when Dubrovnik started taking care of her food supplies, the Catalonians did not have any reason to continue their business activities in this area.


Catalonians, Dubrovnik, economy

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