Aristocracy in Ragusa (Dubrovnik)

Aristocracy of the Republic of Ragusa

The Republic of Ragusa, also known as the Republic of Dubrovnik, was a tiny independent state existing from 1358 to 1808.

Situated on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea (today part of the Republic of Croatia), it was an important maritime trade center under the protecion of Ottoman Empire, reaching the peak in the 15th and 16th century.

Forbidden marriages

The city was ruled by aristocratic class, male nobles older than the age of 18. The class was strictly separated from other classes of Dubrovnik: marriages between members of different social groups were strictly forbidden. The development of Dubrovnik nobility began in 12th century and was solidified by statute in 1332, after which no new families were allowed in the nobility until the devastating earthquake in 1667.

Original patrician families were Bobaljević, Bunić, Bondić, Crijević, Đurđević, Getaldić, Gučetić, Gundulić, Gradić, Kabužić, Menčetić, Lukarić, Pucić, Saraka, Tudišević, Sorkočević and Džamanjić. Additional eight families were accepted in the aristocratic circle after the earthquake: Božidarević, Bučić, Natali, Pavlić, Ranjina, Restić, Zlatarić and Binciola. In records of the Dubrovnik Republic (Ragusa) there were other prominent non patrician families: Bošković, Bizarro, Kaznačić, Budmani, Vodopić, Ohmućević, Pugliesi and Orebić.

Thousands of names

Since there was a lack of noble families in the neigboring countries (surrounding area was completely under Turkish control), marriages among relatives three and four times removed were frequent.

There is an interesting record compiled at the University of Ljubljana about the genealogy of Ragusan nobility. Researchers created a computer file with several thousand names of nobilities from Dubrovnik from 12th to 16th century, and put them in the relation. A short description of their project, together with the GEDCOM genealogy files, can be found at the following web address: