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The Nobility of Zadar and Salt during the Second Half of the 14th and the Early 15th Century

Serđo Dokoza

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (236 KB) str. 86-123 preuzimanja: 405* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Dokoza, S. (2015). Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća. Povijesni prilozi, 34 (49), 86-123. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Dokoza, Serđo. "Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća." Povijesni prilozi, vol. 34, br. 49, 2015, str. 86-123. Citirano 28.02.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Dokoza, Serđo. "Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća." Povijesni prilozi 34, br. 49 (2015): 86-123.
Dokoza, S. (2015). 'Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća', Povijesni prilozi, 34(49), str. 86-123. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 28.02.2020.)
Dokoza S. Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća. Povijesni prilozi [Internet]. 2015 [pristupljeno 28.02.2020.];34(49):86-123. Dostupno na:
S. Dokoza, "Zadarsko plemstvo i sol u drugoj polovici 14. i početkom 15. stoljeća", Povijesni prilozi, vol.34, br. 49, str. 86-123, 2015. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 28.02.2020.]

The aim of this paper has been to assess the importance of salt as the object of the most lucrative trade for some noble kindreds and individuals in Zadar.
It has been established that 99 persons from 37 noble kindreds of Zadar were in some way connected to salt, which has allowed us to create a link between the well-known significance of this industry for the nobility of Zadar and some specific kindreds and individuals.
Based on the relationship between the number of salt plants and shares in salt trade, it has been established which persons among those who dealt with salt focused primarily on production or trade.
It has also been established to which degree certain individuals or kindreds excelled in the trade, be it as owners of salt plants, producers, or merchants. Thus, the greatest owner of salt plants in Zadar was Marin Matafar and the most prominent merchant – Juraj Rosa. As for Koža Begna, one might say that his numerous salt plants made him the greatest salt producer, while his numerous sale contracts also show him as a prominent salt merchant. Besides these prominent examples, the article presents a whole series of other noblemen and noble kindreds whose share in this industry, regardless of whether they were involved in production or trade, was somewhat less important, as well as some of those who were not directly related to salt.
In this way, the author has offered a whole series of prosopographic sketches of various noblemen with regard to salt, which makes it possible to create a rough pattern and profile of the average “salt nobleman” from Zadar: a nobleman who possessed a number of salt plants and most likely traded in his own salt as well. It has thus been possible to establish how many salt plants they possessed and to which extent they engaged in salt trade, as well as how much salt they were purchasing or selling.
This article also seeks to establish some of the mechanisms of salt production and trade in the Zadar area. Salt trade has been analysed in special detail in order to draw conclusions about the way in which the local trade functioned, particularly regarding the fact that the quantities were mostly small, unlike the extensive salt trade in the wider region.
The analysis has also established a range of property size in the industry. Thus, taking into account the hundred or more salt plants owned by large salt producers, owning less than a hundred salt plants may be considered as mid-range property, while less than thirty would be small property. The range of property has also been established for salt trade, whereby extensive trade would refer to one to ten millier and small one to several hundred modius.

Defining the large, mid-range, and small salt producers or traders has allowed us to propose a stratigraphic model of Zadar’s nobility in salt industry and to make conclusions about the relationships between its various participants. It is evident that, among the 99 noblemen involved in salt industry, small entrepreneurs prevailed, since as many as 53 owned less than 30 salt plants. Only 16 of them owned between 30 and 100 salt plants, and only five of them owned more than a hundred. Moreover, as many as 25 were involved only in trade, which means that they did not possess any salt plants.
The statistics regarding salt merchants are indicative as well. First of all, we have observed a large discrepancy between those who bought salt and those who sold it. Thus, among all those involved in salt industry (the aforesaid 99 noblemen), be it as producers or merely as merchants, only 32 bought a certain amount of salt in order to sell it, whereas as many as 67 of the involved never bought any salt. The data concerning salt sales offer a somewhat different picture. The largest group (as many as 26) sold less than one millier in total during their entire involvement with salt. Comparison with the owners of salt plants has shown that they were mostly small salt plant owners, who sold their own salt from year to year. Among them, 24 may be considered as mid-range salt merchants, with the total of sold salt ranging between one and five millier. The smallest group consists of large-scale merchants (only nine of them), who sold over five millier of salt during the entire period in which they traded in salt. As the table shows, some sold a considerably large amount – dozens of millier.
Even though some facts could not be established for objective reasons, such as who sold his own salt and who traded in purchased salt, or the impossibility of statistically evaluating the quantity and fate of the produced salt, the sale of which was not documented, the established parameters help us get a general idea about the status of salt industry among the nobility of Zadar.
This paper is intended to mark the beginning of an economic analysis of Zadar’s noble kindreds and individuals, with the final aim of establishing the power hierarchy in this leading stratum of Zadar’s society.

Ključne riječi
nobility; salt; trade; Zadar; Pag; Angevins

Hrčak ID: 152641



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