Renaissance Contacts Between Dubrovnik (Ragusa) and the Kingdom of Hungary
Hungarian Studies Review: Vol. XIII, No. l, Spring (1986)
During the rule of the Angevin dynasty (1308-82) in Hungary, towns and cities increasingly assumed greater political influence. The first treaty between the King of Hungary and Dubrovnik (in those days Ragusa) was signed in 1358, during the reign of Louis (Lajos) the Great. According to its text, Dubrovnik was to pay the king 500 gold ducats and 300 perpers annually, a sum that previously went to Bosnia and Serbia for protection against enemy attacks. Dubrovnik, in addition, promised to honor the king and his heirs in church services three times a year; to fly the king’s flag on land and on its vessels; and, in case of a royal visit, to treat the guests to two dinners and two suppers at the city’s expense. The king’s friends were declared Dubrovnik’s friends, and his enemies the adversaries of the city.
As was the case with most towns in Hungary, in Dubrovnik too the terms defining the city’s obligations and privileges were occasinally amended by subsequent Hungarian kings. From 1358 on there is an abundance of documented interchange between Buda and Dubrovnik in the archives of the latter, and this is a crucial source of information as in Hungary, owing to the numerous wars and foreign occupations, much of the documentary evidence disappeared or was destroyed.
The archival material of Dubrovnik testifies to the fact that the Crown frequently turned to Dubrovnik and asked for information on or for its mediation with Venice, the Turks, or the Bosnians. Dubrovnik’s importance for Hungary was growing as time passed. In 1378 Sigismund (Zsigmond) of Luxembourg reconfirmed and added to its privileges. He later became a refugee and the city’s guest after his resounding defeat at Nicopolis (1396).