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VENICE, DUBROVNIK (RAGUSA) AND THE OTTOMANS (ACCORDING TO TWO OTTOMAN DOCUMENTS FROM 1430)

Snezhana Rakova
South West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad

Elena Kostova
Institute for Historical Studies (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

Abstract: The study aims to present in parallel the regulation of the trade relations between Dubrovnik and the Ottomans and respectively between Venice and the sultan of the early Ottoman Empire, when its European capital was located in Edirne/Adrianople. The political context and the relations between the countries required the signing of peace treaty and commercial privilege. These official documents issued by the sultan in favour of Venice and Dubrovnik, which in some cases date back to the same time, will be considered in the study. The analysis will include the layout of the documents – language, peculiarity of the form, archeographic description, etc., as well as the peculiarities of the content. The purpose of our work is to show the extent of the borrowing of the Byzantine practices; as well as the process of elaboration of the Ottoman models connected with the commercial regulation. For example, the privilege granted to the Republic of Saint Blasius, on 6 December 1430, is the oldest document preserved in the State Archive of Dubrovnik. This document was issued by the sultan in favour of Dubrovnik merchants. In turn, on 4 September 1430 the Venetians received a renewed confirmation of their privileges by Sultan Murad. The agreement includes a peace treaty and clarifies the terms of tribute payment for territories owned by Venice. These two documents become a clear example outlining the similarities in the regulation of the trade relations between the Porte and its economic partners in the region of the Mediterranean and in the Balkans.

Keywords: Venice, Dubrovnik (Ragusa), Ottomans, Peace Treaties, Trade Privileges, Byzantium, Ottoman Siege of Thessaloniki 1424–1430