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T H EV L A C H S / MO R L A K SI NT H EH I N T E R L A N D SO FT R A ( T R O G I R )A N DS E B E N I C O( I B E N I K ) , T O WN SO FT H E t h V E N E T I A ND A L MA T I A , D U R I N GT H E1 6 C E N T U R Y
CRISTIAN LUCA E-mail: cristiluca_ugal@yahoo.com Dunarea de Jos University of Galati
K e y w o r d s : Vlachs/Morlaks, Tra (Trogir), Sebenico (ibenik), Venetian Dalmatia, Veneto-Ottoman relations. R e z u ma t :V l a h i i /Mo r l a c i i nh i n t e r l a n d u l o r a e l o r T r a (T r o g i r ) i S e b e n i c o( i b e n i k ), d i n D a l m a i a v e n e i a n , n s e c o l u l a l X V I l e a . Pe temeiul unor noi izvoare venetiene din secolul al XVI-lea, este urmarita patrunderea Vlahilor/Morlacilor n zona costiera a Dalmatiei centrale, aflata sub controlul Venetiei, n arealul oraselor Tra (Trogir) si Sebenico (ibenik). Daca n ceea ce priveste hinterlandul celei dinti localitati, pastorii Vlahi/Morlaci s-au asezat aici statornic, ntemeind catune si dnd astfel nastere unor dispute teritoriale veneto-otomane asupra frontierei terestre a Serenissimei cu Poarta, n arealul orasului Sebenico (ibenik) ei au patruns doar sezonier, pentru iernatul turmelor sau spre a exploata pasunile localnicilor. Este subliniat faptul ca statornicirea Vlahilor/Morlacilor n teritoriul din aceasta fsie de pe coasta Dalmatiei centrale a fost rezultatul unui proces initial de transfer sezonier de populatie, determinat de specificitatea pastoritului transhumant, care n timp a dus la migrarea, din interiorul Peninsulei Balcanice catre vecinatatea litoralului adriatic, a unor grupuri din rndul acestei populatii romanice, ca cele care aveau sa ntemeieze asezarile rurale asupra carora si-au disputat apoi controlul autoritatile locale venetiene si otomane.

The migration of several groups of Vlachs/Morlaks from inside the Balkan Peninsula towards the Dalmatian coast was determined by the phenomenon of transhumance, which was main occupation of this Romanic population. In it, sheep were bred in open areas, in the pastures of the high mountain ranges of the Balkan region. Transhumant sheep breeding imposed seasonal rhythmic cycles on the movement of flocks. Thus, as a result of their search for areas with a milder climate to settle down for the winter, the Vlach/Morlak shepherds begin arrived on the coasts of central Dalmatia in the 14th century, where their presence was frequently reported in contemporary sources. In this coastal region they found pastures all along the winter, so that many decided to settle in the hinterland of urban centres under Venetian

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domination. In the subsequent centuries, some of them divided their existence between the Dinaric Alps, where they were kept their herds from spring until autumn, and these Dalmatian regions. A situation of this kind can be found in the 16th century in the hinterlands of the towns of Tra (Trogir in SerboCroatian) and Sebenico (ibenik in Serbo-Croatian), which had been part of Venices S t a t od aMa r since the second decade of the 15th century. Sebenico (ibenik), is located in central Dalmatia, at the point where the Krka river flows into the Adriatic Sea. It is situated at about 30 km South of Tra (Trogir). However both ports were economically eclipsed in importance by another Venetian port, Spalato (Split), the main transit center which coordinated the trade on the Balkan land routes between the Serenissima and Eastern Europe. Sebenico (ibenik), through its strategic position and the military functions of its port, had an important role in defending the Venetian possessions in Dalmatia. Therefore Serenissimas government decided to build a fortification named St. Michael, on the heights that dominated the city. In its turn, Tra (Trogir) was mainly protected by its natural location, the urban settlement being built on two islands lying in front of the central Dalmatian coast. The Romanic origin and the linguistic and ethnic communion between the Vlachs and the Romanians living to the north of the Danube are well known, so that it is not necessary to bring into discussion the theories, which are devoid of any scientific basis, which consider the Vlachs/Morlaks/Aromanians as Greeks or Slavs. In the case of the Morlaks from Dalmatia, it is true that they were gradually slavicized, although the process which led to their assimilation into the Croatian population lasted for several centuries.1 From the 15th century, the Vlachs in Dalmatia were also called Morlaks, and from about the first decades of the 18th century, they became also named Aromanians or Macedoromanians, belonging, from an ethno-linguistic point of view, to the Eastern Romanity, being speakers of a Romanian dialect. As mentioned above, the Vlachs settled in Dalmatia and then in Bosnia, mainly from the beginning 14th century,2 and came from the mountainous areas of the central Balkan Peninsula. They were scattered in small, closed communities, united in a strong solidarity which arose from dealing exclusively in long term transhumant sheep breeding in different parts of the South-Danubian area. Their presence was frequently attested to in sources from the 12th18th centuries in mainland Greece (and even in several Greek islands), Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia,
1

M. Cazacu, Les Valaques dans les Balkans occidentaux (Serbie, Croatie, Albanie etc.) La P a x o t t o m a n i c a (XVme-XVIIme sicles), in L e s A r o u m a i n s (Paris, 1989), 85. 2 A. Miloevic, Stecci i Vlasi: stecci i vlake migracije 14. i 15. stoljeca u Dalmaciji i jugozapadnoj Bosni, R e g i o n a l n i z a v o dz az a t i t us p o m e n i k ac u l t u r e S p l i t , 2 (1991), 3 63; K. Kuic, Plemici s podrucja upe Zmina u srednjem vijeku, Z b o r n i k O d s j e k az a p o v i j e s n ez n a n o s t iZ a v o d az ap o v i j e s n e id r u t v e n ez n a n o s t iH r v a t s k ea k a d e m i j e z n a n o s t i i u m j e t n o s t i , 17 (1999), 910.

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Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia and Albania.3 Although traditionally devoted to transhumant sheep breeding, there is also early documentary evidence mentions their presence in the Balkan Peninsula, and their excellent enterprising ingenuity in engaging in the caravan trade. By the first decades of the 17th century, they had established themselves as one of the most important groups of trading middlemen between the Italian Peninsula and Eastern Europe. In 1774, when abbot Albert Fortis made his famous journey in Dalmatia, the Vlachs/Morlaks from the settlements on the Krka river, including those in the hinterland of the town of Sebenico (ibenik), were not yet slavicized, although the Venetian author inaccurately assigned them this origin.4 Prior to Fortis, Giovanni Lucio, quoted by Jacob Spon and George Wheler,5 mentioned the Romanic origin of the Morlaks of Dalmatia and their ethnic and linguistic affinity with the Wallachians from the Romanian Principalities.6 Rediscovered
3

As the bibliography pertaining to the history of the Vlachs/Morlaks/Aromanians from the Balkan Peninsula is relatively consistent, we only mention some of the works considered essential to the topic of this paper: N. Iorga, H i s t o i r ed e s R o u m a i n s d el a P n i n s u l e d e s B a l k a n s (Bucharest, 1919), p a s s i m ; N. Beldiceanu, La rgion de TimocMorava dans les documents de Mehmed II et de Selim I, R e v u e d e s t u d e s r o u m a i n e s , III-IV (1957), 11129; S. Dragomir, V l a h i i d i nn o r d u l P e n i n s u l e i B a l c a n i c e nE v u l Me d i u(Bucharest, 1959), p a s s i m ; Beldiceanu, Sur les Valaques des Balkans slaves a lpoque ottomane (1450-1550), R e v u e d e s t u d e s i s l a m i q u e s , XXXIV (1966), 83131; D. Bojanic-Lukac, Vlasi u severnoj Srbiji i njihovi prvi kanuni, I s t o r i j s k i a s o p i s , XVIII (1971), 25569; Beldiceanu, Les Valaques de Bosnie a la fin du XVe sicle et leurs institutions, T u r c i c a . R e v u ed t u d e s t u r q u e s , 3 (1975), 12234; P. S. Nasturel, Les Valaques balkaniques aux Xe-XIIIe sicles (mouvements de population et colonisation dans la R o m a n i egrecque et latine), B y z a n t i n i s c h eF o r s c h u n g e n , VII (1979), 89112; T. J. Winnifrith, T h e V l a c h s : t h e H i s t o r y o f aB a l k a nP e o p l e (London, 1987), 12537, p a s s i m ; Cazacu, Les Valaques dans les Balkans occidentaux, 7993; N. Djuvara, La diaspora aroumaine aux XVIIIme et XIXme sicles, in L e s A r o u m a i n s , 95 9, 10310, 11323; Nasturel, Les Valaques de lespace byzantin et bulgare jusqu la conqute ottomane, in L e s A r o u m a i n s , 4978; i d ., Prsences valaques (aroumaines) Coron et en More, t u d e sB y z a n t i n e se t P o s t B y z a n t i n e s , IV (2001), 199205; D. Dimitrijevic, L e sV a l a q u e se tl as e r b i t (Aix-en-Provence, 2003), p a s s i m ; J.-F. Gossiaux, V a l a q u e s e t /o uA r o u m a i n s e nB u l g a r i e(Aix-en-Provence, 2003), p a s s i m ; Z. Mirdita, V l a s i uh i s t o r i o g r a f i j i (Zagreb, 2004), p a s s i m ; N. Trifon, L e s A r o u m a i n s , u n p e u p l e q u i s e nv a(Paris, 2005), p a s s i m ; Mirdita, Vlasi, polinomican narod, P o v i j e s n i p r i l o z i , XXXIII, 33 (2007), 24969. 4 A. Fortis, V i a g g i oi nD a l m a z i a , I-II, 1 7 7 4(edited by J. Vukovic, P. Rehder) (Munich and Sarajevo, 1974), 4395. 5 B. Dolan, E x p l o r i n g E u r o p e a n f r o n t i e r s : B r i t i s h t r a v e l l e r s i n t h e a g e o f E n l i g h t e n m e n t (London and New York, 2000), 1223. 6 A. Pippidi, Naissance, renaissance et mort du Bon Sauvage propos des Morlaques et des Valaques, in i d . , H o m m e se t i d e sd uS u d E s t e u r o p e n l a u b ed el g e m o d e r n e (Bucharest and Paris, 1980), 712.

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by the Enlightenment erudites, the Vlachs/Morlaks of Dalmatia, were regarded by the intellectuals of the 18th century as veritable indios of Europe and were turned into subjects of prose read in the literary salons of the West.7 At this point, they were still living in the same areas in which they had settled centuries earlier, establishing rural settlements and gradually abandoning the seasonal ones, thus implicitly moving away from transhumant sheep breeding. Returning to the previous situation of the Vlach/Morlak communities in the hinterlands of the Venetian town-ports Tra (Trogir) and Sebenico (ibenik), we can trace, on the basis of contemporary sources, the stages in which the shepherds and their families settled in the territory placed under Serenissimas control, as well as their relations, not quite free of tensions, with the local Slav and Italic populations, Venetian subjects. In Venetian Dalmatia, part of S t a t od a Ma r , the authority of the Serenissimas representatives was indisputable after the Republic managed to strengthen its position in the Italian Peninsula following the victory in the Battle of Marignano (1314 September 1515). It also successfully recovered much of T e r r a f e r m a , in the Italian territories which it had possessed before the Agnadello (14 May 1509) disaster. The contact area between the Venetian territories from Dalmatia and those under Ottoman rule had a penetrable border. The movement of people and goods was not prohibited, only subject to surveillance by Portes provincial authorities and Serenissimas representatives. In fact, they were regularly involved in negotiations which aimed to find solutions to delineate the common border in the regions where the rules of bilateral treaties had not reflected on the ground. Such overt problems, related to the jurisdiction over certain areas on the Ottoman-Venetian border in Dalmatia,8 they also occurred in the hinterland of the Venetian port of Tra (Trogir) in the decades after the collapse of the Kingdom of Hungary, following the Battle of Mohcs (29 August 1526), when the troops of the Porte occupied the territories of Dalmatia which had belonged to the Crown of St. Stephen. This event determined demographic transformations, namely the movements of population from inland towards the coastal regions still under Serenissimas control. The Vlach/Morlak transhumant shepherds and their families, also came from the inside of the Balkan Peninsula, and settled down in this territory, founding settlements and beginning to farm. They were not however refugees fleeing from the Ottomans, rather, by the nature of their economic activity sheep breeding by seasonal migration of livestock , they were looking for suitable places to shelter the flocks for the
L. Wolff, V e n i c e a n d t h e S l a v s . T h e D i s c o v e r y o f D a l m a t i a i n t h e A g e o f E n l i g h t e n m e n t (Stanford, 2001), 173275; B. Jezernik, Wi l dE u r o p e . T h eB a l k a n si nt h eG a z eo f We s t e r n T r a v e l l e r s (London, 2004), 6670. 8 W. Panciera, La frontiera dalmata nel XVI secolo: fonti e problemi, S o c i e t e s t o r i a , 114 (2006), 785.
7

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winter, such regions with a mild climate being the coastal areas of the Venetian Dalmatia. By establishing a s a n c a k b e y i at Clissa (Klis) in 1537, the town and the fortress recently conquered by the Turks became the headquarters of an Ottoman administrative-military unit. In October 1540 the Ottoman-Venetian border in Dalmatia was settled by the treaty. It consecrated the fact that the Porte had annexed a significant number of islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, territories which had belonged to Venice until their occupation by the Ottoman troops in 153740. This came about as a consequence of the defeat suffered by the fleet of the Holy League, the anti-Ottoman alliance that Venice had joined, in the naval battle at Prevesa (Greek: ? ??e?a) (28 September 1538). Venice also suffered territorial losses in Morea and Dalmatia, but it retained control over large strips of the Dalmatian coast and over the Istria Peninsula. Venetian sources from the second half of the 16th century recorded the earlier stages of the Vlachs/Morlaks penetration and establishment into the hinterland of the town of Tra (Trogir). In 1562 the inhabitants of the town which belonged to Serenissimas S t a t o d a Ma r mentioned the seasonal presence of the Vlachs/Morlaks in the area, where they had started arriving in 15256 to find winter shelter for their herds:
[] Allhora [in 15256] vennero certi Morlachi, sudditi per turcheschi, a tempo del inverno a pascolar li loro animali nelli luochi del Signor Turco vicino a questo territorio [of Tra (Trogir)], li quali erano soliti lestate andar alle montagne.9

In less than a decade, by 1531, the Vlachs/Morlaks had steadfastly settled down in the territory of the town of Tra (Trogir), near the border with the Ottoman province of Bosnia. The newcomers founded several rural settlements and began to grow grain on the neighbouring arable lands, so that the local Turkish authorities hastened to register them abusively as taxpayers in the tax records (d e f t e r ) of the Ottoman administrative and territorial unit. The tireless efforts of the Venetian b a i l o in Constantinople, following a direct request by the doge to the Sultan, temporarily stopped the abuses of the Portes provincial authorities and led in 1533 to the restoration of the Venetian jurisdiction over the rural settlements founded by the Vlachs/Morlaks in these areas. All these details regarding the Veneto-Ottoman relations and the beginning of the establishment of Vlachs/Morlaks in the Venetian territory were provided in a despatch that the c o n t e c a p i t a n oof Tra (Trogir), the Venetian governor of the town and its district, sent to the doge on 7 March 1562:

State Archive of Venice (henceforth ASV), Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (1562).

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Cristian Luca [] Fatta poi la parte si scorse fino dellanno 1525; allhora vennero certi Morlachi, sudditi per Turcheschi, a tempo del inverno a pascolar li loro animali nelli luochi del Signor Turco vicino a questi territori [of Tra (Trogir)], li quali erano soliti lestate andar alle montagne, et cos tornando li altri inverni, sempre pi approssimandosi alle marine, intravano in questo territorio [of Tra (Trogir)], non vi essendo che quelli luochi habittassero et li impedessero, dove per tal causa furono descritte alcune ville di questo contado nelli libri [d e f t e r ] del Signor Turco, et date ad alcuni spachi [s i p a h i s ] del Signore. Il che veduto, ad instantia di Vostra Serenit, fu di ordine del Signor Turco per Useph sanzacco de Bossina all 1533 dechiarito esposto il confine di questo contado et esser le ville nominate Radosich [Radoic], Trilogue [Trolokve] et Suchidol [Suhi Dolac], et questo per in essegution di uno comandamento del gi detto Signor Turco fatto all 1531, et cos detto sanzacco cacci via tutti li Morlachi si attrovarono esser con loro animali nel suddetto territorio, li quali morlachi vedendosi cacciati via del 1534 vennero dal Magnifico Conte fu nel porto di questo luoco et dimandarono a Sua Magnificenza per quatro ville che sono di questo comun et ad altri particolari patroni de altre fonti che li fosse conceduto disponer a tempo del inverno venir sopra li luochi loro a pascolar suoi [sic!] animali, promettendo dar le honoranze fureta il solito, et anche quando seminaranno dar il ternatico delle grane. Cos quel Magnifico Conte et altri particolari li concessero, et essi Morlachi si obbligarono a pagar dando honoranze et ternatici delle quali concesioni appar parte in Cancelleria del suddetto Millesimo.10

The c o n t e c a p i t a n omentioned the sultans order according to which Yusuf Pasha, s a n c a k b e y i of Bosnia, the Ottoman province organized as e y a l e t in 1580,11 recognised in 1533 the Venetian jurisdiction over the three rural settlements founded by the Vlachs/Morlaks on the territory belonging to Tra (Trogir) and it had disposed their dismissal from the three settlements: Radosich (Radoic), Trilogue (Trolokve) and Suchidol (Suhi Dolac) placed under Venetian domination.12 But the Vlachs/Morlaks did not abandon their settlements, and the Porte, taking advantage of victories against Venice during the conflict of 153740, tacitly extended its dominance over the areas inhabited by the Vlachs/Morlaks in the territory of the town of Tra (Trogir).13 A f i r m a n issued in 1541 by the Sultan Sleyman I Kann mentions Radosich (Radoic), Trilogue (Trolokve) and Suchidol (Suhi Dolac), as an area which, in 1559, was
10 11

ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (7 March 1562). V. Miovic-Peric, Bosanski beglerbeg, hercegovacki sandakbeg i diplomacija Dubrovacke Republike, A n a l iZ a v o d az ap o v i j e s n ez n a n o s t iH r v a t s k ea k a d e m i j e z n a n o s t i i u m j e t n o s t i u D u b r o v n i k u , 38 (2000), 127. 12 Kuic, Prilog biografiji nekih Kacicevih vitezova te podrijetlu stanovnitva njihova kraja, R a d o v i Z a v o d az ap o v i j e s n e z n a n o s t i H r v a t s k e a k a d e m i j e z n a n o s t i i u m j e t n o s t i u Z a d r u , 47 (2005), 211. 13 I b i d .

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known to be inhabited exclusively by Vlach/Morlak serfs, Ottoman subjects.14 Finally, in a d e f t e rdated 1550 no less than 11 settlements inhabited by the Vlachs/Morlaks were recorded, they were located in Veneto-Ottoman border territory, in the area lying between Tra (Trogir) and Sebenico (ibenik): Labin, Opor, Trilogue (Trolokve), Radosich (Radoic), Podine, Vrsno, Liubitovita (Ljubitovica), Lepenita (Lepenica), Prapatnica, Suchidol (Suhi Dolac) and Sitno.15 In these settlements, at least three of which were located in the hinterland of the town of Tra (Trogir), as already mentioned, the Vlachs/Morlaks lived in about 3235 houses.16 The Vlachs/Morlaks from Radosich (Radoic), Trilogue (Trolokve) and Suchidol (Suhi Dolac) continued to live in their settlements. They leased land from the inhabitants of Tra (Trogir), until 1546, and had the approval of the owners to the arable fields and the pastures in the area they had settled in.17 From 1546, arguing that the areas in which they lived belonged to the Porte, whose subjects they were, the Vlachs/Morlaks refused to pay the lease to the rightful landlords. It was only in 1551, after the repeated requests of the Venetian b a i l oto the Ottoman central authorities, that the s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis) admitted that the three settlements were part of the Venetian territory and under the jurisdiction of Tra (Trogir).18 Encouraged by the decision of the Ottoman provincial official, the residents of Tra (Trogir) asked the s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis) to ensure that, as subjects of the Sultan, the Vlachs/Morlaks would pay the rightful landlords the amounts owned for the usufruct of the leased lands situated in the hinterland of the Venetian town. The Venetian b a i l oBernard Navagero recorded such a case in one of his despatches:
[] venne Alvise, fiol di Gierolamo Coriolan gentilhomo di Tra, dolendosi che li Morlachi stanciavano sopra li lochi del Dominio, nel territorio della Citt di Tra, et contra la divina giustitia non danno il terzasico alli patroni di quelli lochi [].19

The s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis), in obedience of the Sultans order obtained by the Venetian diplomatic representative from Constantinople, transmitted to his subordinates precise instructions to resolve the disputes between the residents of Tra (Trogir) and the Vlach/Morlak tenants, forcing them:
I b i d . I b i d . 16 I b i d ., 2112. 17 ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (7 March 1562). 18 I b i d . 19 ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (1551).
14 15

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Cristian Luca [] pagar li terzasici alli patroni, et che li Morlachi fossero levati via da tal locho; impero cos comando al mio Voyvoda che iuxta il nobil Comandamento del Gran Signore debba far levar tutti li Morlachi dalli lochi et territorio di Tra, et che faci pagar tutto quello che non hanno dato del terzasico alli patroni.20

The coexistence between the T r a u r i n s and the Vlachs/Morlaks continued to remain problematic. A year later, in 1552, the inhabitants of Tra (Trogir) addressed the Ottoman provincial authorities with a new complaint:
[] queste terre et questi pascoli a ba n t i q u osono stati nostri, et adesso li Morlachi le nostre terre hanno occupato et li nostri pascoli [].21

The s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis) ordered the dismissal of the Vlachs/Morlaks from the Venetian territory loro tutti, siano di che sorte si voglia, che sopra la terra loro non stanciano, n c h e a r r a n o ,n c h e p a s c o l i n o 22 but this radical decision remained again without consequences, most likely because those concerned refused to abandon their settlements, paying off at least a part of the amount owned for the lands which they cultivated or used as pasture for the sheep herds during the winter. The solution to the disputes regarding the three settlements, implicitly the delimitation of the Ottoman-Venetian border in the hinterland of Tra (Trogir), was only temporary. In 1558 the new s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis) ordered the Vlachs/Morlaks not to pay the taxes owed to the Venetian subjects, claiming that the localities where they were residing and the arable lands and pastures they were exploiting rightfully belonged to the Porte.23 The b a i l o Antonio Barbarigo protested vigorously in Constantinople, attempting to stop the abuses of the s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis), so that in 1562 the b a i l oDaniel Barbarigo obtained an order from the Sultan
[] indrizzato al presente sanzacco [s a n c a k b e y iof Clissa (Klis)] et successori suoi, che per modo alcuno non debbano permettere che li sudditi del Gran Signore se insediscano, n con loro animali intrino, nel territorio de Tra, serrato et confinato delle ville soprannominate [Radosich (Radoic), Trilogue (Trolokve) and Suchidol (Suhi Dolac)].24

In 1577, the Venetian nobleman Alvise Corner, c o n t e c a p i t a n oof Tra (Trogir), mentioned that Radosich (Radoic), Trilogue (Trolokve) and Suchidol
I b i d . ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (8 January 1552). 22 I b i d . 23 ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (7 March 1562). 24 I b i d .
20 21

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(Suhi Dolac) had been founded by the Vlachs/Morlaks, by the usurpation of the T r a u r i n s rights, in territory that belonged to the Serenissima.25 In the meantime, the settlements founded by the Vlachs/Morlaks in the district of Tra (Trogir) had increased considerably. By the time of the Ottoman-Venetian war of 15703 there were 15 villages in which they lived and leased arable lands and pastures around them. Information regarding the Vlachs/Morlaks in these settlements were contained in a d i s p a c c i othat Alexander Malipiero, c o n t e c a p i t a n o of Sebenico (ibenik), sent to the doge of Venice:
[] Saper adonque Vostra Signoria Clarissima il contado di Tra esser compartito in due parti: luna posseduta et habitata da Traurini, et da gente sottoposta alla Sua giurisditione, et laltra da Morlacchi sudditi turcheschi, li quali habitano quindeci ville di quel territorio, et lavorano quelli terreni, pagando alli Traurini loro patroni affitti et annue pensioni. Nel tempo della passata guerra [15703] detto contado si sempre mantenuto intatto, n i Turchi ne hanno occupato niuna minima parte; le ville habitate da Morlacchi restarono allhora abbandonate da loro, essendosi essi retirati pi addentro nel paese fra terra, et il rimanente fu sempre ben difeso da quelli di Tra. Fatta la pace, ritornarono i Morlachi sopradetti ad habitare le suddette ville con le medesime conditioni di prima, ma Ferrat Bass [Ferhad Pasha] quello che non ha potuto fare con la forza ha procurato di farlo con inganno, et di occupar gran parte di quel territorio con via molto fraudolente, si come Vostra Signoria Clarissima hora venir a sapere.26

The Porte intended, therefore, to benefit from the establishment of the Vlach/Morlak settlements, Ottoman subjects, in Venetian territory, to change the Ottoman-Venetian border in central Dalmatia. However the vigilance of the local authorities of the Serenissima and the opposition of the inhabitants of Tra (Trogir) baffled the b e y l e r b e y i s attempts. The Vlach/Morlak settlements from the hinterland of Tra (Trogir) were already a demographic, economic and administrative certainty in 1626, a century after their foundation, when a Venetian contemporary source noted: [] questi Morlachi da centanni in qu furono introdotti [].27 In the area of the port-town of Sebenico (ibenik) a gradual penetration of the Vlach/Morlak shepherds, merchants and carters, was also recorded. The latter were also active at Zara (Zadar) and Tra (Trogir),28 but without having settled down in the T r a u r i nhinterland, where the establishments mentioned earlier had been founded by the shepherds and their families. During the first
25 26

Kuic, Prilog biografiji nekih Kacicevih vitezova , 211. ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (29 December 1588). 27 A p u d Kuic, Prilog biografiji nekih Kacicevih vitezova , 211 and note 110. 28 Panciera, La frontiera dalmata nel XVI secolo: fonti e problemi, 800.

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years of the second half of the 16th century, the Vlachs/Morlaks were exploiting, together with the Venetian subjects of Sebenico (ibenik), several mills built on the Krka river, near Scardona (Skradin).29 The Vlachs/Morlaks penetrated only temporarily into the territory of the town of Sebenico (ibenik), without attempting to establish durable settlements in the area under the jurisdiction of the Serenissima and recognized as such by the Sultan Sleyman I Kann.30 During winter, they brought their herds to graze beyond the limit of the Ottoman territory, into the lands owned by Sebenico (ibenik), an intrusive practice that generated tensions in the Veneto-Ottoman relations. An order of the Sultan, in 1551 referred to such an episode stating that the Vlachs/Morlaks had brought their herds on the pastures of the inhabitants of Sebenico (ibenik). They violently refused attempts to make them leave the Venetian territory. The same Ottoman subjects had also deflected a part of the Krka river, affecting the Venetian mills downstream of Scardona (Skradin). As a result, Sultan Sleyman I Kann, at the request of the Venetian b a i l o Bernard Navagero, ordered to k a d i of Bosna Sarayi (Sarajevo) to go personally to the border between the Bosnia e y a l e t and the territory belonging to Venice to take the measures required to restore order:
Dapoich sar arrecato da voi il presente mio nobil comandamento, haverete a saper come il Bailo dei Venitiani, che al presente si attrova alla mia Eccelsa Porta, venuto in questa mia Eccelsa Porta et fattomi a sapere come dalli Rettori di Sebenico, luoco di Venetiani, stato scritto al detto Bailo: che sotto Sebenico et in quelli luochi del detto Castello, et in le loro ville et castelli et luochi, li huomini delli Vlachi veneno la invernata con lo bestiame et castroni loro a pascolare in quelli luochi et terreni nostri de Sebenico, et li nostri de Sebenico non volendo lasciargli et consentir a questo li predetti Vlachi danno delle botte et delle ferite alli nostri sudditi di Sebenico, et per tal causa non mancano mai de lite con loro; et pi di alcuni molini nostri ne tolsero le vie delle acque, sicch li molini nostri restano deserti, et a questo modo ne ha fatto sapere. Per comando arrivato che sar il presente mio nobil comandamento anderete a vedere in persona quelli luochi, et farete esaminar, et vederete se la causa stata come dicono; e se la sar cos, che alli luochi delli detti Venitiani et alli terreni, et alle acque delli molini loro i danno impedimento non li lasciarete fare, et per qual causa lo fanno, et in qual modo successo, scrivendo lo farete a sapere; et a questo Eccelso Sigillo darete ampia fede.31

But the measures taken by the Ottoman k a d i did not have the desired effect, and the abusive penetration of the Vlachs/Morlaks heards on the
I b i d ., 802. I b i d ., 801. 31 ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (1551).
29 30

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pastures inside the Venetian territory continued to be an urgent problem whose solving was requested by the Venetian b a i l oto the Great Vizier Damat Rustem Pasha, who ordered the s a n c a k b e y i of Clissa (Klis), most probably during the summer of 1553, to decisively intervene and prevent Ottoman subjects from entering the lands owned by the town of Sebenico (ibenik):
[] venne alla Eccelsa Porta il Bailo di Venitiani, dicendo che quello che appresso et attorno di Sebenico, et che li suoi huomini hanno lavorato et tenuto per le loro ville et confini, et che li Morlachi vengono linverno con li loro animali a pascolare, et quando li sudditi de Venitiani gli fanno resistentia, che non pascolino, li Morlachi voleno combatter con loro, e gli battono, et alle volte feriscono, et sempre per tal rumori stanno in discordia et gare; per in persona andarete e tali cose inquirerite, et vedete se come stato esposto alla Eccelsa Porta, et se cos sar fatto alla detta Signoria di Venetia, fatte che si astenghino et raffrenateli, e vedete con qual viso, et per qual cagione fanno questo, poi con uno vostro arz avvisate la nostra Eccelsa Porta [].32

It was unlikely that the orders of the Portes central authorities put a definite end to the habit of grazing herds in the hinterland of the Venetian port Sebenico (ibenik). But the documents available in the archive of the Serenissimas diplomatic and consular representative at Constantinople outline a different situation from that mentioned in the district of Tra (Trogir). The Vlachs/Morlaks penetrated only temporarily into the territory under the jurisdiction of Sebenico (ibenik) and did not settle down permanently in the 16th century. On the other hand the areas owned by the inhabitants of Tra (Trogir) were settled by shepherds and their families, who were Ottoman subjects. They leased pastures and arable lands and established lasting settlements (k a t u n =c t u n =village) whose continutity has been documented for centuries.

32

ASV, Bailo a Costantinopoli. Cancelleria, b. 365 I, unnumbered doc. (1553).

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F i g . 1 . Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571 1638), Sclavonia, Croatia, Bosnia cum Dalmatiae Parte, in i d ., T o o n n e e l d e s a e r d r y c x ,o f t N i e u w e a t l a s (Amsterdam, 164750).