Olive growing in medieval Split

The historian of Maslinar, Željko Krnčević, peeked into the medieval statute of Split, which, among other things, prescribed and sued and the care of olives.

The people of Split have articles about olives and oil in their old legal acts. The first city statute entitled Capitularium was given in 1240 by the Split potestat Gargan de Arscindis of Ancona who wrote good city customs (consuetudo) and added other legal norms to them. This statute served as the backbone to the one that was created in 1312 and which changed and lasted until the fall of the Venetian rule in 1797. Indeed, our cities and communes had settled acts on all segments of life.

Read how the people of Split regulated the planting of olives in their Statute: Thus, on the planting of olives, this statutory provision was made by notary Stjepan and confirmed in the Grand Council of the City of Split on November 23, 1333: The Grand Council appointed two officials in charge of reporting anyone and everyone who would not plant olives, and up to six olive seedlings per vine (vineyard) according to the statutory provisions, and these (officials) must, each of them, receive annually from the commune 6 pounds small (denars). If these officers have not reported (offenders), let each of them pay twenty-five (pounds) small (denars) for the fine. And let it be announced every year that whoever wants to plant a vineyard should come and that he is obliged to come and rent it from the officials during certain extraordinary managers of the city of Split at that time. Those who do not plant olives or do not come to clog, let a plate of 40 small solids for each string, and in addition, remain still obliged to plant (them). And also anyone can report (violate) in real matters according to the statutory provisions. "

In the same Statute, we found another article which in some respects reminded us of the present time. Obligation and punishment for good care and cultivation of planted seedlings are introduced. As if even at that time (14th century) it was important to get some money for a sad olive and then leave it to the same self. Does that sound familiar to you?


"In 1335, on April 18, at the time of the above-mentioned Mr Pantaleon Justinian, it was accepted and determine whether God would plant a vineyard in the Split field, or the district, or on the island of Šolta, he must plant four olive seedlings on each garden. Each seedling shall be as large as a man's elbow, or on occasion. The penalty is ten solids on each seedling he did not plant as said. And in addition to who will be planting, he is obliged to take good care of them and cultivate them so that one bears fruit under a (probably) penalty of ten solidi for each seedling that will be so cared for. Also, let no one use to visit as much as the grief of someone's olives or their branches under (threat) a fine of 5 small pounds and damage damaged, and about (height) will probably need to declare their lives dates under oath. No one is allowed to smile at what mourned their own olives without the permission of Mr Prince and the then Curia under the (threat) penalty of 5 pounds. "


Text is taken from Maslinar magazine

Photos: TZ Split

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