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The role of the urban nobility in the urban development of Zadar at the time of Louis I of Anjou (1358. - 1382.)


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Begonja, Sandra. (2017). The role of the urban nobility in the urban development of Zadar at the time of Louis I of Anjou (1358. - 1382.). PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of History.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij medievistike) [mentor Benyovsky Latin, Irena and Marković, Predrag].

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Croatian historiography marks a number of important studies in the field of social topography that are researching the position of certain social groups, including the nobility, within the urban area in the medieval period (Trogir, Dubrovnik). However, similar studies have not been recorded in the existing historiography of Zadar, which was the impetus for the research and writing of this paper. In fact, during the reign of Louis I of Anjou in Zadar, which is the time frame of this study, Zadar played an important role in shaping of political, social, cultural and economic renaissance in Dalmatia. In addition to the development of the city, certain social processes and formation of real estates of the nobility have been completed by the end of the 14th century. During this period, city nobles were the holders of all important political functions within the commune of Zadar. Considering the fact that they have participated in the work of city councils, they had a great influence in shaping decisions about the construction and management of the city. Unfortunately, due to the lack of key normative sources (records of the Council, city cadastre and etc.), that have recorded these decisions, we weren’t able to explore their major influence on the development of urban area. However, their specific impact on urban development and the appearance of the city, could be followed by the spatial position of their real estates in some parts of the urban area, which is also the aim of this paper. We were able to trace the position of these real estates in some other sources - notarial and documents from Zadar’s medieval civil courts, dated from the second half of the 14th century. City notaries, in these documents, have been recording different types of legal actions, including lawsuits, that were associated with real estates of urban nobility. According to the methodology, applied for other cities (Trogir), in these documents we have singled out all the necessary information on persons (owners/users) and their real estates. Throughout the analysis of these data, we have gathered some main findings about the change of ownership of certain real estates, even of some noble families, tracing all to the 15th century. However, in order to determine this position, we had to research two key themes - the development of urban area and of the city nobility. This process started with a review of the development of urbanism of Zadar, starting from antiquity to the period of Louis I of Anjou. Also, in this second chapter, the phenomenon and development of the first Zaratine families, that belonged to the city's elite during the Early Middle Ages, was thoroughly researched, as well as of those families who already can be identified as future generations of nobility in the period from the 12th to the 14th century. The third chapter is the most important part of the work - in its first two parts, we collected all published data on the appearance of the urban area and its public buildings, as well as on the urban nobility and its real estates during the reign of king Louis I. of Anjou. The third, and the most important part of this chapter, refers to the research of the unpublished archival materials, in which we have presented and have analyzed data on the noble families and their real estates. Based on these data, we were able to reconstruct the spatial position of noble families within the city and determine their other real estates (lands and commercial premises). Results of the study are set out in the fourth chapter, which summarizes the findings on real estates and private area of some of the most influential noble families. Also, it sums up the results of the spatial relations of these private areas in relation to the socio-political and economic area. The conclusion presents the findings on the method of acquisition or of the loss of the real estates among the members of the urban nobility, as well as of the presence of such real estates within the urban area (according to the noble families). Also, it sums up the most important findings on the location and grouping of these real estates at certain urban areas. It was concluded that the position was determined by the different interests of the urban nobility, which were based on existing family, political, business and social connections. It was also concluded that the results of this study showed the presence of a large number of family real estates that are placed in key positions of the city (and one patrimony) and thus controlling all the events in the city. In the end, it was concluded that the position of the most important real estates, owned by individual noble families, which were close to city’s political, royal and ecclesiastical centers, was defined by their various interests within the urban society. According to this, position of some specific family real estates within the most important parts of the city, meant a great social reputation for those noble families. For example, certain noble families had great influence on the creating and shaping of the economic area in the city, which is why their business alliances with the rich merchants of Zadar were also noted. Furthermore, Matafaris represented one of the most influential noble lineages in Zadar during the period of Louis I of Anjou. In accordance with that fact, they also had the biggest number of registered real estates in the analyzed documents.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban development, urban nobility, Louis I of Anjou, the Middle Ages, social topography, urban history, Zadar, Dalmatia
Subjects: History
History of art
Departments: Department of History
Supervisor: Benyovsky Latin, Irena and Marković, Predrag
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij medievistike
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 07:35
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 23:15

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