This book was created by professor Vesna Rimac who had translated the statute from Medieval Latin into English, Ph.D. Nella Lonza, the editor of the book, and professor Vesna Baće, language editor. The State Archive of Dubrovnik published this valuable work with graphical editor Nikša Selmani and book cover designer Luko Piplica. The statute of Dubrovnik, drawn up in Latin in 1272, constituted the basic legal source for the Republic of Dubrovnik for five centuries.
- This document forms an important record of life in the 13 century in Dubrovnik. Wooden structures, bridal horn-shaped head covering, death penalty from attempting theft. In these times when we question Croatia’s position towards the EU, as a legal historian, I would like to submit the fact that the statute of Dubrovnik is a reminder of times of common European legal concept equally shared among the member states. It is of great importance for us as it signifies resurgence of natural boundaries and the continuation of a long tradition, tradition with multi-layered ad complex sense of identities, just like the legal order of Dubrovnik Republic used to be – said Nella Lonza, the editor of the book.
- I started translating from Latin into English three years ago, but more intensive work was done in the past two years, said Vesna Rimac who had translated the statute.
- I had translated the statute directly from Medieval Latin into English. It was very demanding job due to the specificities of the source language – quite different from the classic standard, the differences of the legal systems and specific historical circumstances – said Rimac.
This translation is contributing to the popularization and opening of the historic heritage of Dubrovnik outside the scientific community.
For five centuries of Dubrovnik statehood , the Dubrovnik Statute was the foundation of the legal system and a powerful symbol of Dubrovnik’s collective identity and statehood. The triple tradition is incorporated in this document – ‘urban culture of Mediterranina towns, prudent management principles formulated in political thought and practice of 13th century and, above all, a powerful European legal heritage, which in the Middle Ages grown on the basis of Roamn and canon law.
Two of the oldest legal documents in Croatia are Korcula Statute from the 1265th and Dubrovnik Statute, seven years later . Both documents are a rich dowry Croatia brings in the EU next year.