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Third International Conference


Title:   Eco-history of the Triplex Confinium (c. 1500-1800).


Place: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zadar, Zadar (Croatia)

Time: 03-07. 05. 2000.


  A B S T R A C T S



1. Filiberto Agostini (Italy)




2. Pamela Ballinger (USA)


The Ruins of the Past: Symbolic Boundary Construction in the Triplex Confinium


Created by the intersections of the Venetian, Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, the Triple Border has often been invoked as a "key" to understanding the complicated past and present of the broader region known as the Balkans. In both scholarly and popular imaginations, this area has typically been viewed as either a transitional zone, an area of cultural cross-fertilization, or as a site of violent, "tectonic" civilizational shifts. This paper explores these competing images for the Adriatic littoral constituted by Istria and Dalmatia, examining present-day contests over how to understand these "imperial" pasts. The Triple Border continues to function as a powerful symbolic boundary, one in which intersect several key axes of European symbolic geography: West and East, Latins and Slavs, Europe and the Balkans, and (in this century) fascism/democracy and communism. I focus on how the traces (linguistic, ethnic, and material) attached to this symbolic boundary are interpreted by social actors in different ways, with the meaning of the "border" continually re-worked and contested. Drawing upon fieldwork in Italy and Istria, I focus on current debates heard among both ethnic Italians who left Istria and Dalmatia during the interwar and post-World War II era and among those Italians and Slavs who remained in these territories. The study identifies two models of identity informed by both the memories of this population transfer and the region's history: one envisioning the Adriatic littoral as a "pure" Italian land "stolen" by Slavs, the other viewing the territory as characterized by ethnic and linguistic hybridity.



3. Živko Bjelanović (Croatia)


The Anthroponomy of the Triple Border Area as Inspired by the Natural Environment in the 17th and  18th Centuries


The author will examine three bodies of anthroponyms, one that developed in northern Dalmatia, the other in the Lika and Krbava region, and the third in neighbouring western Bosnia. A comparison of these three bodies should discover their similarities and differences, namely the way surnames were created, and how frequent certain wider patterns manifest themselves in specific anthroponymics. The linguistic part of the analysis will focus only on those linguistic phenomena that are connected to phenomena of a non-linguistic nature, in particular those inspired by the natural environment. Since surnames ending in -ić and -ović/-ević are derived from personal names or nicknames, i.e. Strašivuk becomes Strašivuković, Vukašin becomes Vukašinović, Vukša becomes Vukšić, etc., the analysis of surnames will at the same time be an analysis of zoonims and fitonims, which are two particular groups of surnames:the  first being surnames inspired by fauna (zoonims) and the second, surnames inspired by flora (fitonims). To the first group belong surnames like Ćujo, Ćuk, Golub(ov)ić, Kozina, Pastuhović, Rebac, Zečić etc., and to the second Ljubičić, Smiljanić, Travica etc. The article will attempt to answer the question as to why there are so many surnames on all three sides of the triple-border area that draw upon the same inspiration and are articulated in the same linguistic pattern.



4. Zrinka Blažević (Croatia)


“Miserrima facies Croatiae:” Perception of the Natural Environment of the Triple Border in the Poem “Plorantis Croatiae seculae duo” by Pavao Ritter Vitezović


“Plorantis Croatiae seculae duo”is a fairly obscured lyrico-epic poem written and published in 1703 in Zagreb by Pavao Ritter Vitezović. The narrative structure of the poem is very interesting due to the fact that Croatia is personified through the use of  the first. person singular pronoun, so that the poem describes her own (Croatian) history during the 16th and 17th centuries, mostly as determined by the Ottoman conquest. Among other things, the poem reflects a perception of nature typical for a baroque polyhistor. It also reveals Vitezović’s empirical knowledge of the triple border region, given that he originated from Senj, which is situated on the margins of the triple border area. Moreover, during 1699 and 1700 after the signing of the Karlowitz Peace Treaty, he surveyed the Triplex Confinium region as a Commissioner of the Croatian Estates in the Habsburg Boundary Commission. By applying methods of lexical, syntactic and stylistic analysis to Vitezović’s discourse, the author will attempt to examine his perception of the natural environment. The natural environment will be considered in a broad sense, comprising the physical base (i.e. mountains, rivers, sea), flora, fauna and human settlements (great consideration will be given to the discursive treatment of fortifications). In such a manner a mental toponymy and geography of the triple border area at the beginning of the 18th century will be presented.



5. Catherine Wendy Bracewell (United Kingdom)




6. Snježana Buzov (USA)


Environmental Aspects of Demographic Changes in the Triplex Confinium Area in the 16th Century Related to the Ottoman Expansion


My paper will focus on demographic changes in the region of Triplex Confinium with emphasis on the migrations related to Ottoman expansion. The influx of Ottoman subjects from the territories of the sanjaks of Herzegovina and Bosnia into northern Dalmatia consisted of several waves but the strongest and best documented in the Ottoman sources was the one that followed Ottoman conquest. Two Ottoman “tahrirs”, one from 1528-30 (detailed) and the other from 1530 (summarized), record two groups of colonists: peasants from the neighbouring Bosnian and Herzegovinian nahiyes and Vlach groups. Ottoman tahrirs consistently record the nahiye of origin for peasants in the form of a note above the their personal names. Vlachs, however, are recorded differently. It is evident that Ottoman scribes distinguished between two groups of Vlachs in northern Dalmatia: local Vlachs who were registered in their villages, and those Vlachs that were moved to Dalmatia by the Ottoman authorities. The latter were recorded in cemaats (an Ottoman term denoting tribal groupings). The names of their leaders (“knez” or “piremikurs”) indicate that these Vlach groups were not seen as belonging to any particular territory but rather as tribal groups. I shall also compare the data regarding  the population of several “tahrirs” from the sixteenth century.



7. Giovanni D’Alessio (Italy)


Triplex Confinium International Research Project. Sub-project on Venetian Cadastral Sources.

For abstract, see under Borna Fürst-Bjeliš.



8. Olga Diklić (Croatia)


Triplex Confinium International Research Project. Sub-project on Venetian Cadastral Sources.

For abstract, see under Borna Fürst-Bjeliš.



9. Eva Faber (Austria)


Perceptions of Nature on the Military Border based on German Descriptions

in the Early Modern Period


This paper will try to point out how far perceptions and uses of nature in the Military Border changed over time. The paper will be based on unpublished sources such as the report of Joseph II during his trip through the Military Border in 1775, the report of the private secretary of Joseph II, Giorgio, from 1775, the report of the first governor of Trieste, Karl Graf Zinzendorf, in 1776, the entries in Zinzendorf’s Diary during his journey through the Military Border in 1779, etc. Several printed sources from the 18th century will also be taken into consideration.



10. Josip Faričić (Croatia)


The Triplex Confinium on Mercator’s Map From the End of the 16th Century


Gerard Mercator, the leading European cartographer at the end of the 16th century, made an attempt to present the far-reaching political and historical changes which were occurring on the territory of “Sclavonia, Croatia, Bosnia cum Dalmatiae Parte.” His map of the same name reflects contemporary knowledge of the mentioned area and presented it to the contemporary user and observer using the best expertise and technical skills of the time. Moreover, the map-publisher Bleau published the same map in 1640, improving it significantly by adding borderlines. This paper will first critically analyse and evaluate the topography of the map, paying special attention to the historical and geographic circumstances in which the map was created and to the importance of the same map for the cartographic presentation of Austrian-Venetian-Ottoman jurisdiction over the area of the Triplex Confinium. It should be emphasised that this political triple-border area was situated on the point of conjunction of three historico-geographical regions of Europe; the Mediterranean (Adriatic), the Southeastern (Dinaric) and the Central European (Danubian).  Mercator endeavoured to present the manifold and complex eco-historical reality of Triplex Confinium in one definite historical moment and which can serve as an important snapshot for the analysis of slower historical processes on the Triplex Confinium. In terms of methodology, the analysis of Mercator’s map will be based on models established by the Croatian historical cartographers Mirko Marković, Mithad Kozličić, and Damir Magaš, as well as Fernand Braudel’s larger conception of history as a “longue duree” with its emphasis on the contuinuities of  politico-historical and socio-historical structures, significantly conditioned by geographical features.



11. Tamás Faragó (Hungary)


Croatian and Serbian Settlers in the Hungarian Kingdom Between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Century. (Lessons of Half a Century of Research)


A comprehensive bibliography of Hungarian historical demography between 1945 and 1994 has just finished being compiled. This paper intends to survey the collected material, focusing on migration and resettlement during and after the Turkish Wars in the Hungarian Kingdom, with particular attention paid to Croats and Serbs in a comparative perspective. The analysis tries to investigate the thematic structure, the methodology as well as the geographic and institutional distribution (persons, institutions, publishers) of the research in and outside of Hungary. In conclusion, it will try to formulate a methodology, topics and directions for further research.



12. Attila Furstand (Hungary)


A Comparative Analysis of Landscape Protection in Western Hungary with an Emphasis on Land-use and Rural Settlement Structure


This conference paper explores the issue of landscape protection pertaining to two regions of Western Hungary by highlighting the interconnections between the natural, historical and social conditions that marked the development of the regions researched. It also aims to open a discussion on the meanings of the definition of landscape protection and the legitimacy of its selective application.    The research to be presented is based on a comparative study of the Orseg, a region which holds the status of  protected landscape reserve, and its neighboring area, the Kemeneshat, which does not benefit from the same status. That only one of them was granted the status of  protected landscape reserve, even though they are almost similar in terms of natural conditions, is greatly connected with the historical development of land use patterns. Therefore, the study will approach from a comparative perspective the development of land use and rural settlement structure of each of these regions in relation to the historical and social factors that influenced such patterns. It will refer to the regions’  historical evolution for the last two centuries but references to previous periods are also included. As a conclusion, the research tries to identify what historical and social circumstances are responsible for the different development of the two neighboring regions and how these developments justify or not their status in regards to landscape protection.



13. Borna Fürst-Bjeliš (Croatia)


The Venetian Cadastre in Dalmatia and the Eco-historical Evaluation of the Triplex Confinium in the 18th Century


Cadastral data provides a wide range of information, such as population data, information about the quantity of land and its quality, land use methods, livestock and other domestic animals, agrarian density, types of economies ,the types and age of settlements, etc. In this way, both the textual and visual components of the cadastre are of unique value for an environmental history of a given area. An important Venetian cadastral survey was carried out in the first half of the 18th century. The Zadar Archives possess numerous fragments of the Venetian Cadastre which were made in different years, from 1709 to 1735/36 (1746?). Fragments that have been selected for a survey for this conference cover different areas in terms of environment type: the Velebit mountain littoral and the Zadar hinterland, i.e. the Bukovica hills, as well as the surroundings of Knin and Drniš. Since these cadastral fragments pursued different methodologies they are not always comparable, but they provide a good source material for the application of new methodologies and research techniques in investigating the environmental history of the Triplex Confinium. The objective of this work has been to trace the characteristics of landscapes investigated and the internal subregional differences of the Venetian part of the Triple Frontier area at the beginning of the 18th century from an eco-historical aspect.

         The work on Venetian cadastres has been accomplished in a sub-project devoted to the Venetian Cadastral Sources of the Triplex Confinium International Research Project. Fragments were selected by Mirela Slukan, transcriptions made by Olga Diklić and Giovanni d’Alessio, and the author of the interpreted results,after team discussion, is Borna Fürst-Bjeliš.



14. Anna-Maria Grünfelder (Austria)


Senj’s Natural Resources and Habsburg-Venetian Conflicts of Economic Interests

(16th-18th Centuries)


During the 16th century, when the Croatian littoral suffered from continuous Turkish depradations, Senj lost its former importance as a trade harbour. The first 150 years of Habsburg  government of the Croatian Littoral  was almost exclusively committed to the development of a defence system (later the Military border). In contrast, the Republic of Venice from the 16th century onward explicitly expressed her intention to purchase Senj, first, in order to prevent the Ottoman Empire from accessing the Adriatic Coast, second, to complete its territory in the eastern Adriatic, and last but not least, to make use of the considerable natural resources, namely the forests of the Senj hinterland. Provoked by continuous Venetian attempts to negotiate for the purchase of Senj and the right of commercial exploitation of the forests from the end of the 16th century, Habsburg authorities also began to show interest in the forests. Their exploitation, which varied from eminently political attitudes to economic and  also in part “ecological” aspects, is the subject of the author’s research. Only after the Vienna War (1683-1699) did the Habsburgs began to focus their interests on the Adriatic Coast. Senj’s tradition in shipbuilding, commerce and trade was awoken, provoked by the new state politics based on mercantilist principles. From the end of the 17th century the Habsburg authorities started to rebuild roads, to strengthen connections between Inner-Austria and the Coast, to improve Senj’s ancient harbour docks and to build new ones. The Habsburgs realised that the basic resources for economic development should be found in the proximity of trade centres. Sources prove that the forests in the Senj hinterland and all over the Generalate of Karlovac offered a rich supply of quality oaks and beeches. Thus from the beginning of the 18th century the military authorities seem to have reconsidered their strategy towards the use of natural resources. Sources testify to an ever more systematic commitment to the preservation of the wood-stock, the needs for new plantation and of necessary support and developmental measures. This (profitable) aspect allows us to conclude that the mercantilistic exploitation of the forests mark the beginning of a process towards a long-term planning regarding the forest area. Such calculations were certainly yet far from the principle of “sustainable development” in our contemporary sense, but we can consider them the first signs towards a more thoughtful attitude towards natural resources.



15. Valentina Gulin-Zrnić (Croatia)


People and Multiple Natures


The author uses different sources which illuminate the relationship between human communities and their natural environment (broadly referred to as the climatic, animal and vegetative world, as well as the economic praxis of land cultivation and cattle-breeding). The sources cover the 18th century: notes from the chronicle of Nikola Gojak from Makarska (1712-1772), `Notes on Travelling across Dalmatia' by Ivan Lovrić (1776), and `Economic and Political Reflections on Dalmatia' by Ivan Luka Garanjin (1806). Moreover, traditional oral epic and lyric poems from Dalmatia are presented together with other sources. The plurality of sources related to Dalmatia is interesting because they reflect different notions of and relations to nature and the human environment - from the superrealism of chronicles, to the symbolic world of oral tradition, traditional cultural notions and beliefs as well as intentions of changing them. By juxtaposing these differences, the author focuses on the presentation of the simultaneous coexistence of various referential frameworks with regard to nature and attempts to display a conceptual and interpretative capacity for the investigation of the complex relationship(s) between people and their environment.



16. Stefan Halikowski Smith (United Kingdom)


The Discovery of the Plitvice Lakes


Today, the Plitvice Lakes - since 1979 on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List - are a central point on the touristic itinerary in Croatia and correspond to a predominantly urban, leisured society’s interest in the preservation and enjoyment of elemental nature and wilderness. The history of the touristic interest in this place was, as we can infer from Baedeker guides produced from the last third of the 19th century, already well established and goes back even into the period before the Military Frontier was abolished in 1871: the first temporary shelter, for example, was built in 1852, and a tourist lodge (kuća) from 1861. Maps of the 17th and 18th centuries, however, rarely allude to the lakes and choose instead to prioritise other landmarks, be they the Reihendörfer settlements, or the depiction of natural phenomena such as the Korana or Dobra rivers, or mountain peaks such as that of Mala Kapela or Stubica. Similarly, descriptions of the region up until the first half of the nineteenth century (A. Fortis, W. Taube, Countess Orsini-Rosenberg) prefer to concentrate on ethnographic themes and narrate an atmosphere of fear towards the natural environment  which we can see mirrored in local people’s folk tales and toponyms. This paper seeks to trace how and when the shift in description and attention to natural details took place and what this tells us about the changing circumstances on the Military Frontier. I shall seek to elucidate how much Plitvice was discovered by geologists like Gravazzi and Franić’ interested in the karst and travertine hydrographic formations, as oppose to commercial or touristic entrepreneurs active through the Zagreb-based Verein für Verschönerung der Plitvicer Seen, or transport engineers (whether on projects of the Josipdol-Knin or Novi-Senj-Bihać-Sisak line railway extension, or the creation of an improved  road link from Karlovac to Zadar). I want to investigate how and when map-makers, under commission from diverse institutions and with different schemes in mind, start to represent Plitvice in their work. The region was even to some extent opened up by Habsburg hunting parties, as we glean from the memoirs of Archduke Rudolf von Habsburg (1878).



17. Željko Holjevac (Croatia)


People and Water on the Triplex Confinium: Environmental Observations by Vukasović and Hacquet in Lika and Krbava in the Second Half of the 18th Century


Water was always an important factor conditioning the complex interaction of human existence and the functioning of the natural environment. The abundance or shortage of water can result with a creation of specific historical and natural ways of life. Therefore, on the basis of narrative sources, the author will investigate relations among the people, the water and the natural environment in the  early modern "Triplex Confinium." The work will focus on the wide area between the rivers Mrežnica, Korana, Una and Zrmanja on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. In this predominantly mountainous region of Lika and Krbava, there are no rivers, except two smaller local rivers, the Lika and Gacka. Therefore, everyday life in some parts of this area was significantly influenced by the shortage of water except in the area directly adjoining those local rivers. The water-system in this region was not only a condition of human existence but could also be an object of admiration and observation, like  the Plitvice Lakes area, as shown in the environmental observations by Vukasović and Hacquet in the second half of the 18th century. Both of them described the same area at around the same time, though often from different backgrounds and standpoints. Hacquet’s viewpoint was that of a foreigner, while Vukasović (a priest born in Senj) was a native observer of the area. Based on the descriptions, arguments and approaches of Vukasović and Hacquet, the author will try to accomplish two particular aims. First, the comparison of perceptions and reasoning regarding the role and significance of water in the province of Lika and Krbava in the second half of the eighteenth century, with special regard to its people and the natural environment, "from above". Second, the presentation of the complex influence of water and the scarcity of water on local people and their settlements as well as the natural environment and its function in this region, "from below". Next to these, the paper will use illustrations and cartographic sources from the same time that will give insight into the visual perception of the area.



18. Ivan Jurišić (Croatia)


Food and Beverages in the Karlovac Generalate in the 18th Century


Cereals were the most important part of the peasant diet in the Karlovac Generalate, as in almost the entire rural area. Therefore when the harvest was bad, hunger unavoidably followed. Only more affluent frontiersmen (krajišnici) ate good bread made of wheat flour. The poorer used flour from rye, barley, oats, etc., eating mostly gruel even in years of plenty. The diet reflected the social standing of the individual. Meat rarely appeared on the table of the ordinary frontiersman. Usually it was prepared for major Church holidays and wedding ceremonies. It was mostly goat and sheep meat, cooked, smoked or roasted on the spit. The appearance of corn and especially potatoes from the 1760s brought significant nutritional improvement to the Generalate, literally saving people from famine. Next to cereals, the main food of the frontiersmen were beans, sour cabbage, milk, cheese, milk cream, lard, butter, onion, garlic and eggs. These were prepared simply in various combinations. Fruits were present in the whole Generalate, especially apples, pears, cherries, nuts and walnuts. Plums prevailed. The main dish was “palenta” or corn gruel. “Sočivica” or lentils were also often cooked as a stew. Nourishment was much better in the Slunj Regiment, while destitution and scarcity characterised the hilly regions of the Generalate. The most frequent beverage was “rakija” or “šljivovica,” a strong alcoholic drink that was abundantly consumed, most of all in the Slunj Regiment. Mountaineers mostly drank Dalmatian vines. Since the climate did not benefit the cultivation of vineyards in the colder regions of the Generalate (as reflected in the consumption of the regiments of Lika and Otočac), wine was consumed mostly by the Ogulin Regiment, and vineyards were spread only among soldiers of the Slunj Regiment. Next to wine and “rakija”, frontiersmen consumed “šerbet” (beeswax soured in water) and “turšija” (apple or pear cider). The border authorities were troubled by the drunkenness and the bad diet of the frontiersmen, claiming that it disabled them from performing their military and farming duties, though they were mostly ignorant on the nutritional value of the frontiersmens’ food and beverages. The paper will be based on data extracted from travelogues, dispersed data from archival sources and contemporary literature. 



19. Karl Kaser (Austria)



An Ecological Catastrophe in the Habsburg Maritime Military Borderlands: the Demographic, Economic and Social Roots of the Karst (First Half of the 18th Century)


The almost complete deforestation of the maritime military border zones constitutes an ecological catastrophe with consequences until our days. This process was completed in the second half of the 18th century. Until then the area was covered with woods. The “bura” contributed to this process. An area of approximately 50.000 km 2 of the historic military borderland had become almost completely infertile. The reasons for that are predominantly social and economic. Until the end of the 17th century this area was almost unpopulated. Since the 1680s, it was repopulated by a mass of people crossing the Ottoman-Habsburg border. The maritime military border zone became relatively overcrowded. The demographic pressure was the predominant reason for the deforestation. The clearing had two aims: the preparation of land for agricultural purposes and the sale of wood. Most of the families would not have survived economically without widely selling wood.. The wood was transported to Senj where it was sold to Venice. An important precondition to this clearing process was that an office for forest protection did not exist on the military border. Additional reasons were firstly the rapid dissolution of the complex family (“zadruga”) in this part of the Habsburg military border, which caused an additional need for fertile land, secondly the numerous goat herds of the families, which destroyed the young trees, and thirdly the high degree of need for fire wood.



20. Sanja Lazanin (Croatia)


The “Natural History” of the Triplex Confinium Area in the Works of B. Hacquet


The work concentrates on the term “natural history” which the author will try to define on the basis of several narrative sources written from the end of the 17th century until the beginning of the 19th century. Special attention will be given to the problem of the interdependency of people and thier natural surroundings as based on Hacquet’s interpretation in his “Abbildung und Beschreibung der südwest- und östlichen Wenden, Illyrer und Slaven.“ His ethno-characterology is also interesting from the aspect of the relation of particular ethnic communities in the area towards the surrounding nature. The tribes (Volksstämme)  that Hacquet distinguishes and describes on the meeting ground of the three imperial powers are the Liburnians, Morlacchi, Croats, Uskoks, and the people from Lika, Dalmatia and Slavonia. In general, his description points to the conclusion that all these people lived in harmony with nature. Nevertheless, those groups had different attitudes towards and ways of exploiting nature, depending on the given natural conditions. The natural environment conditioned their activities (Handthierung) and behaviour, their physical constitution, nature, diet, settlement type, etc. At the end, the author will try to compare some of the perceptions of space, landscape and people on the Triplex Confinium of the time that were made on the basis of different experiences, with different aims and background, by people who were outsiders in the region like Valvasor, Claus, Fortis and Hacquet.



21. Damir Magaš (Croatia)


Geographic Determinants in the Conception of Matea Pagano’s Map

 “Tvto el Cótado. di. -Zara et Sebenicho-“

(Venice, c. 1530)


The map of Matea Pagano, “Tutto Cótado di Zara et Sebenico,” made in the first half of the 16th century, is one of the most important cartographic legacies describing the geographical, historical and eco-historical reality of that part of Croatia at the beginning of the early modern period. The map, created in the excellent school of Venetian cartographers, already in its Italian title displays a prevalence of Slavic, that is, Croatian toponymy. This can be furthermore noticed in the toponymy of the surroundings of Zadar. The map was already thoroughly investigated by Ivo Petricioli, but this paper will focus on the investigation of the cartographic content of the map,  on its eco-historical and eco-spatial components respectively. Special attention will be paid to the area of Krbava (Corbavia), Lika (Licha) and Banovina (Banadego), whose numerous toponyms have survived centuries of turbulent events until today. Next to the toponymy, the map contains numerous symbols of settlements, fortresses, geomorphology, sources, rivers, seas, ruins, forests, geo-political denominations, vessels, bridges, etc. providing information on natural-geographic and socio-geographic circumstances in the area in the time when the map was created. Matea Pagano was obviously very well acquainted with the territory he was mapping. Moreover, this map was evidently just one fragment of the abundant cartographic material embracing the much wider area of both the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and the Venetian possessions in Dalmatia after the fall of Bosnia and in time of the fierce Ottoman penetration into Croatia. The map was created bearing Venetian interests in mind, particularly emphasising strategically important fortresses, but also those smaller forts that were later abandoned and neglected by Venetians. Nevertheless, the cartographer was also very familiar with the position and condition of all other Croatian fortresses and castles. Their quantity and spatial distribution are indicative as well as functional for the eco-historical investigation of one of the traditionally vital areas of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.



22. Ivan Mimica (Croatia)


Environmental Motifs in Early Modern Southern Croatian Oral Epics


The century-long confrontation with an expanding Ottoman Empire is both a framework and major topic of early modern Croatian oral epics, in particular those labelled heroic. Constant warfare, innumerable conflicts, raids, plundering, robberies, and duels made human existence in the triple-border area permanently insecure, but as an opposition to reality supported the ideals of human bravery, heroism, endurance, as well as all those human qualities a life-long warrior had to incarnate. Chivalric oral epics among Croats in the triple-border area at the time often crossed borders of all kinds dominating everyday life, focusing upon individual and collective values in heroic terms. The fact that  warfare took place among people sharing the same ethnic roots, the same language, cultural patterns, even family relations in a lot of cases, determined the motifs of those oral epics such as mutual respect, brotherhood, alliances, etc. Environmental themes are numerous, reflecting the reality of a landscape which was common, shared and at the same time contested to the extent of the total extermination of the “other“ in religious and imperial terms.



23. Dubravka Mlinarić (Croatia)


A Comparative Analysis of the Toponyms of the Triplex Confinium in the Literature and Cartographic Sources of the Early Modern Period


In this paper, I undertake a comprehensive investigation of the toponyms from the broader area of the Triplex Confinium as they correlate to various sources. The sources used include the early modern written literature of both lyric and epic nature and they shall be compared with cartographic sources of different provinces which date from the same period. The immense cartographic material at one’s disposal from the chief national map collections, such as the Croatian State Archives, the National and University Library as well as private collections will be consulted and investigated. From literary sources, texts such as "Planine" (The Mountains), written by Petar Zoranić and “Vila Slovinka,” written by Juraj Baraković, will be used. Zoranić’s original concept of patriotism, deeply rooted in troubadour poems and Petrarchic style, promises rich eco-historical sources for the history of the Zadar hinterland. Zoranić’ intention to use original dialectal words (ć,š) and the ancient heritage of Glagolitic culture guarantees an original approach to the toponims of this particular area. Using relevant and carefully chosen selections of epics and lyric poetry or even texts written in prose, I would like to identify the toponyms of that time from Croatian and indeed broader perspectives, and try to reconstruct their shapes, changes and genesis.



24. Nenad Moačanin (Croatia)



Using the Ottoman Version of a Text on Border Delimitation with the Austrian Empire from 1792/95 for Eco-historical Purposes


A description of the predominantly dry-land borderline which stretched from a point near Novi on the River Una up to the Triple Border itself has been recently unearthed from the Archives of the Turkish Prime Ministry in Istanbul. Obviously the text was at a certain later time inserted into the record book (defter) bearing the index number MMD 10301, which contains older material, mainly from 1702 and dealing with the financing of border garrisons. This description is very rich in details, using Turkish and South Slavic place names, as well as words denoting objects (ruins, trees, creeks, etc.) which help one’s orientation. Curious, even charming blendings often occur. They attach, for example, a South Slavic adjective to an ordinary Turkish word (“Suri Tash,” meaning “Grey Stone” and the like). Scientific vocabulary has not been used (latitude, longitude, degrees, etc.). Instead, there is only mention of the side of the world, the upward or downward side of a slope, left or right bank of a waterway and distance in hours of walking. A translation of this document, combined with comparisons with maps and other non-Ottoman source material, is very much needed and without doubt rewarding



25. Elisabetta Novello (Italy)


Venetian Reclamation Works in the Dalmatian Borderlands in the 18th Century


After the Karlovci and Požarevac peace treaties, Venice acquired new lands in Dalmatia. In order to improve agriculture in these areas land reclamation works were needed. It was only after the Grimani Law was passed (25 April 1756) that such works began in Knin, Sinj, Nadin and Ostrovica. In 1779 land reclamation in Vrgovac were brought to an end. The most difficult and at the same time the most controversial was the reclamation of marshes in the Imotski area. The main problem was the river Živaja (Svaja), whose basin stretched into Ottoman territory. It was studied already in 1738, but works began only in 1778, after some of the best Venetian engineers like Antonio Mario Lorgna had studied it. It has to be emphasised that without the consent of the Ottoman authorities and parallel works on the Ottoman side of the borderline it would not have been possible to accomplish the reclamation works. Venetian archives abound with sources on the reclamation of Dalmatian marshes at that time from the dossiers of the Deputati all’agricoltura, the Provveditori ai beni inculti, the Capi del Consigno dei X (specifically the lettere dei Rettori), the Provveditori in Dalmazia, the Sindici et Inquisitori in Dalmazia, and the papers of the Senate relating to the Provveditori da Terra e da Mar).



26. Hrvoje Petrić (Croatia)


Environmental Micro-History of a Multiple Borderland: Podravina’s Torčec in the Second Half of the 18th Century


The paper will be based on a land survey of the village of Torčec (a village in northwestern Croatia, in the Podravina Region) made between 1775 and 1780 and which has been found in the Croatian National Archives. The document provides detailed information on all the inhabitants of Torčec, including their old names and a detailed description of their landed property. Based on these facts it will be possible to produce a land possession and land cultivation analysis using quantitative methods. The terminology used in describing the parcelling of land will also be examined. Alongside the mentioned document the author will also consult a number of sources from the 17th and 18th centuries regarding this region that shed light on the evolution of land use in this part of the Podravina Region adjacent to the Slavonian Military Border. Torčec could be especially useful if compared with the Triplex Confinium area as a case study. It was situated on the very borderline of the Military Border; it was only nine kilometres from Koprivnica (one of four main fortresses on the Slavonian Military Border) and it was part of the Drnje County District and Drnje Parish (two kilometres from Torčec). It belonged at times to the Military Border and at other times to Civil Croatia. This analysis could also denote a beginning of eco-historical research in the Podravina Region.



27. Šime Pilić (Croatia)


A Social Eco-history of Localities Along the Krka River (c. 1500-1800)

in Contemporary Travelogues


The starting point of this investigation has been that natural and human environments constitute an inseparable unity, an “eco-system“, assuming that history is a process of human transformation of the environment. In this particular case-study, the triple-border area includes the Krka river (72-86 km long) and its environment. Even the Triplex Confinium itself (Medveđak, 740 m high) is close to its source. Characteristic features of the landscape along the Krka river are mountains, hills, karstic plains, fields, and river canyons. The Dinaric mountainous belt meets a landscape dominated by hills and plains and further down  the river a maritime environment. As a result, continental, submediterranean and Mediterranean climates easily mix with each other in the Krka river area, facilitating the emergence of numerous settlements. Along and across the Krka river, roads were laid down since Antiquity, and caravan trade was known continuously since the Middle Ages, mostly in and from the continental interior. In fact, the Krka river area is from the geo-morphological point of view a prolongation of the Una river valley, making communications with Bihać possible. On the other side, the Krka river area is delineated by the  urban triangle Knin-Zadar-Split, making it open to all other lines of communication in Dalmatia. On the third side, many settlements on the Krka river are linked with the Lika region, not only due to transhumance. An attempt here has been made to reconstruct the society of the Krka river area based on early modern travelogues, focusing upon the opposition between urban and rural environments and relations between upper and lower strata of the population. Just to refer to one 18th century source, the Dalmatian interior has “a lot of villages“ and “not a single city”. Skradin, Drniš, Knin and Sinj were obviously considered villages too. In terms of the perception of settlements among the native population of the time, the above mentioned settlements exercised some important urban functions, making the Krka river area as a whole recognisable in relation to coastal Dalmatia and its urban centres. Although the rural realities manifested themselves in all controversial changes, the lands along the Krka River constituted an open area experiencing numerous challenges from all directions.



28. Alfred Rieber (USA)




29. Drago Roksandić (Croatia)



Introductory Speech on Major Objectives of the Zadar Conference.



30. Mirela Slukan (Croatia)


Comparative Analysis of Rural Settlements in Venetian and Habsburgs Krajinas


The “Krajina” (border area) as a region of the convergence of the politics, world-views and cultures of three great empires enjoyed very specific conditions of development throughout its history that resulted with the formation of a particular cultural landscape on all three sides of the Triplex Confinium. Nevertheless, all of the particular Krajina regions shared certain similar features too. A comparative analysis of Habsburg and Venetian cadastral sources clearly shows the characteristics and peculiarities of both the Military Border systems and the state regulation systems which reflected the different attitudes of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Venetian Republic towards their respective Krajina and their populations. The distinction between these two systems is well reflected in the different  colonialising systems of the Vlachs (i.e. Morlacchi), by conditioning the structure of their newly created settlements, the redistribution of land, and the level of assimilation and identification of frontiersmen with the state policy and interests of the Habsburg Monarchy or the Venetian Republic.  



31. Ramiza Smajić-Ibrahimović (Bosnia and Herzegovina)


Demographic and Environmental Issues in the Sources of Ottoman Provenance


This paper deals with the historical demography of the Triplex Confinium in the light of documents of  Ottoman provenance. The cadastral lists from Ottoman times, “sidjils” and many other documents, such as “Vakufnamas,” military reports etc. are to be the basis of such an investigation. The cadastral lists are not complete but are very reliable, thus providing a basis for the reconstruction of the principal facts relating to the historical demography of the region. Demographic issues of the Triplex Confinium have not been limited to a specific period of time, concentrate on the most ubiquitous of the Krajina inhabitants (the Vlachs), and can shed light as well on religion and the military system installed by the Ottoman administration in these areas. The findings are tentative since historical demographic sources are not comprehensive. However, the author hopes that even the findings submitted will put into question or confirm certain historiographical theories. One of the incontestable facts is that we lack, even nowadays, a complete knowledge of the institutions from Ottoman times, on the ways Islam spread, on the Muslim type of urban settlements or on the influence of Ottoman imperial decadence on the demographic situation in its former provinces.



32. Marko Šarić (Croatia)


The Turkish Wars and the Changing Realities of the Lika & Krbava Ecosystem

(15th-16th Centuries)


Until now there has been no systematic overview of major changes taking place in the Lika and Krbava regions in the period preceding the Turkish invasions and ending with their inclusion in the Ottoman Empire. This presentation intends to summarise relevant research, focusing upon changes in the regional ecosystem in the process of the violent transformation of the late medieval Croatian into the early modern Ottoman dominated ecosystem. Appropriate attention will be paid to changing demographic, spatial, environmental, socio-economic, and socio-cultural aspects.



33. Željka Šiljković (Croatia)


Anthropo-geographic Analysis of Migrations in the Triplex Confinium Area with

an Emphasis on the Lika Region from the 16th until the 18th Century.


In the period considered, the triple border area between the Habsburg Monarchy, Venetian republic and the Ottoman Empire was highly  unstable area, exposed to frequent Ottoman raids resulting with intense migrations. The author will analyse five basic migratory waves of Croatian, Serbian and Muslim population between 1522 and 1696 with respect to the religious denomination of the population and the emergence and development of urban and rural settlements in Lika. First Ottoman penetration into this area started in 1514, and intensified in 1522. Fierce Ottoman attacks, followed by enslaving of people, forced local population, both cattle breeders and farmers, to migrate in better protected regions, mainly to the Venetian territory. Migrations had several directions: to the Venetian territory (Maritime regions), to the Apennine Peninsula, to the Ottoman held territory and to the north-western Croatia. When Ottomans conquered Lika, the second wave of migrations started. This time it was the organised settling of the Muslim population in Lika. Third wave of migrations was the movement of Serbian population in the Triplex Confinium area. Fourth wave started in 1688, with the withdrawal of the Ottoman army from Lika. The army was followed by the Muslim and Serbian population. As fifth, deserted areas were re-settled by the new Serbian and Croatian population from the surrounding of Knin, Zrmanja river, Senj, Vinodol, Sv. Juraj, Ledenice,etc. At the end the author will provide a geographical analysis of demographic and economic characteristics of Lika at the end of the 17th century based on the documentation from 1696. Using cartographic material, the author will analyse and visually present directions of migratory waves conditioned by the natural-geographical and military-strategic reasons bringing them into relation to the position and function of urban and rural centres and settlements in the area.



34. Nataša Štefanec (Croatia)


The Wood Trade in the Triplex Confinium or How to Procure Cash from the

Senj Woodlands (c. 1600-1630)?


Already the very beginning of the 17th century witnessed Habsburg attempts at organising large scale  tree-felling in the Senj woodlands and the sale of timber to the Venetian Republic. The official policy was to use the revenue obtained for the renovation of the fortresses and sentinel-stations of the Military Border and for the improvement of the military capabilities of the Border. But, in assessing its right to cut trees around Senj, the Habsburgs got entangled in a complex interplay of interests and property rights on the Border. Furthermore, the consequences of tree-felling may be one of the processes that gradually led to the deforestation around Senj and in the Velebit region more widely. In order to test the latter thesis, the author will use the abundant documentation of the Haus-, Hof- und Staats Archiv in Vienna, containing the “Comissiones, Instructiones, Relationen, samt der ganzen handlung der Murlaggischen bey Zeng gelegenen Wälder und derenselben von Stockerraumung halben.“



35. Snježana Šušnjara (Bosnia and Herzegovina)


Bosnian Franciscan Sources on Natural Disasters in the 18th Century


The attempt of the paper is to present natural disasters (diseases, famines, floods, climatic disorders, etc.) in 18th century Bosnia and Herzegovina, as presented in the annals, chronicles and other sources written by Bosnian Franciscans in the 18th century. Collected data will be systematically tabled and chronologically presented, thus providing  ground for a statistical analysis. On the basis of the obtained results the author will form an interpretation that could provide an interesting insight into the several important aspects of the eco-history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a part of the Triplex Confinium area in wider terms.



36. Jelka Vince-Pallua (Croatia)


Eco-history of the Morlachian Way of Life in the Second Half of the 18h Century and the First Half of the 19th Century  


This contribution will deal with the second half of the 18th (and first half of the 19th century) and consider the Dalmatian hinterland as inhabited by the Morlachian (Moro-Vlachian) population.  It will concentrate on the Morlachian way of life about which we have come to know on the basis of the archival material of several Dalmatian authors who wrote their dissertations, travelogues or only annotations in Italian, the language of the cultured in Dalmatia of the time. Since Morlachs had lived such a time on the very Triplex Confinium between the Habsburg Monarchy, Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire, it is interesting to follow how this fact reflected, or did not reflect, on their way of life. This paper will concentrate on several issues, attempting to reveal and analyse their way of life in the framework of eco-historical research. First, their way of earning a living and the eco-resources at their disposal (stock-breeding, agriculture, fishing, hunting, handicraft, trading, robbery - the so called” hajdučija”). Second, the plant and animal world. Third, the relationship between village and town; the town as seen through the eyes of Morlachs. Fourth, diseases and the way of curing people and animals. Fifth, the relationship of the Morlachs towards the environment, natural surroundings and the eco-system. Sixth, demographic data.

         The intention of this paper is to show that the Morlachian way of life is a good example through which it is partially possible to refute the overriding logic of ecological determinism since the Morlachs followed their own traditional way of living. The Morlachian case provides a concrete example of how social organisation finds their own, often unpredictable and “illogical” laws, and how the standpoint of adaptation to environmental conditions represented by the discourse of cultural ecology is not everywhere and always a rule.



37. Samuel Willcocks (United Kingdom)


The Turkish Administration of Silver Mines in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Were the Christian Powers Attempting to Reclaim their Right to Mine Silver in the Triplex Confinium?


In the latter fifteenth century the pope was willing to make a crusade out of Balkan princes’ attempts to recover strategic silver mines from Turkish control. In this paper I hope to look at how the Christian powers attempted to reclaim their right to mine silver in the Triplex Confinium in the centuries following, not only by military means but by asserting in various writings, travelogues etc. that their mining technology was superior. I will sketch in the “Tyrolean boom” in silver extraction and some developments in numismatics, and show how Western travellers in and commentators on the lands of Turkey-in-Europe criticised not only the monetary policy which led the Sublime Porte to be chary of its metal reserves, but the menagement of the mines themselves. This goes with an examination of the status of some Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire who played a particular part in mining, who were championed (sometimes against their will) by the Christian powers or who took their expertise out of the Empire.



38. Larry Wolff (USA)



Chestnut Trees and Enlightened Ecology in Venetian Dalmatia: Alberto Fortis before the Economic Society of Split


This paper takes as its point of departure Fortis's speech about planting chestnut trees in Dalmatia, presented to the Economic Society of Split in 1780.  The paper analyzes his ideas about ecology and environment, how these concerns intersected with his anthropology of the Morlacchi, how he evaluated landscape in Dalmatia according to Italian models, and how he put his environmental concerns before a specifically Dalmatian public in Split. These issues will be considered in the context of general economic and agricultural perspectives on Dalmatia in the age of Enlightenment, and also in relation to the imperial dynamics of the Venetian-Dalmatian political circumstances. 


Conference was sponsored by the
 European Cultural Foundation from Amsterdam

and the

Central European University Budapest



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