Ravančić G. Preparation for a Good Death in the last wills of Dubrovnik citizens from the late 13th and Mid-14th century and the Influence of the Black Death to the perception of Afterlife

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Title of the article Preparation for a good death in the last wills of Dubrovnik citizens from the late 13th and mid-14th century and the influence of the black death to the perception of afterlife
Authors Ravančić, Gordan Ph. D. in History, Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb, Croatia, e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the section Miscellanea / Miscellanea
Year 2014 Issue 2 Pages 148-174
Type of article RAR Index UDK   Index BBK  
Abstract The comparatively large number of surviving testaments written in late 13th and early 14th century, kept at State Archives in Dubrovnik within the Republic of Dubrovnik archival holdings, is an inexhaustible source of research material for historians. It may be said that testaments as private legal documents are among the best sources for study of economic, social, legal, cultural and spiritual life in medieval Dalmatian communes. In this short article, I hope to demonstrate how a quantitative approach to the study of information contained in the testaments of contemporary Dubrovnik residents may be successfully used to elucidate not just economic and legal facts, but also certain social processes.

The analysis focuses on a relatively small sample of 432 testaments, of the total of over 900, from this period. The examined testaments are from the following years: 1295, 1296, 1325, 1326 and 1348. While it is obvious that the sample is relatively small when compared with the total number of testaments kept in the Dubrovnik archives, this study should reveal certain changes in the distribution of bequests over the examined time period. These results should not be regarded as ‘absolute’ but they do reflect certain social, economic and organizational trends in the contemporary Dubrovnik communal social system, as well as concerning their spiritual mentality.

Keywords Dubrovnik, testaments, Black Death, medieval spirituality
Full text version of the article. Article language English
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Tags: black death, MISCELLANEA / MISCELLANEA, medieval spirituality, testaments