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Original scientific paper

Game-birds as the Present of Dubrovnik Republic to the Neapolitan Ruler

Ilija Mitić ; Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Dubrovnik, Croatia

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page 113-135

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The act of presenting game birds to the Neapolitan ruler started at the beginning of the 16th century. It was when Naples came under the rule of Spain and when the Spanish king confirmed all previously given privilege of Dubrovnik in his occupied territories, so it was in the territory of Naples. Once in a year in autumn Dubrovnik gave 12 birds for hunting as a gift to vice-king of Naples. They were hawks or falcons as a sign of the special respect and loyalty of Dubrovnik’s Republic to the Spanish crown. This giving was performed at the special reception in the presence of the agent, representative or consul of Dubrovnik Republic and the Dubrovnik falconers. all dressed in the special clothes. On this occasion the ruler was also given a special letter of the government from Dubrovnik.
Although the Neapolitan rulers wanted to show this giving as an obligation of Dubrovnik toward Spain and her governor in Naples, the Dubrovnik government always opposed energetically against this attitude. They affirmed it to be only a voluntarily gift by which Dubrovnik showed their friendliness and gratitude toward Spain. That is what the Dubrovnik representatives in Naples and the Dubrovnik falconers always stressed in their greeting speech when they handed over the birds that they were only their gift to the Spanish ruler and his governor in Naples.
Naples was no longer under the Spanish rule when the Kingdom of two Sicilies was established (1734). Even then the Dubrovnik government did not stop to give the game birds to the new ruler. It was the wish of Dubrovnik to keep up their friendly relationship with Naples not only because of political reasons but also economic ones. During the whole 18th century and earlier, the supply of cereal in Dubrovnik depended mostly on the import of this article from Naples, from Apulia. Only after 300 years the presenting game birds stopped when the French came to Naples and to Dubrovnik in 1806.


Dubrovnik Republic, Napoli, game-birds

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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