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Hereditary Ecclesiae and Domestic Ecclesiolae in Medieval Ragusa (Dubrovnik)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, HR-51000 Rijeka, Croatia
Religions 2020, 11(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010007
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 10 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
The present paper explores domestic devotional practices in Ragusa (modern day Dubrovnik) from the late-thirteenth through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Considering that important advancements in the understanding of domestic devotions in major Mediterranean cities have recently been made—particularly in Venice—the scrutiny of Ragusan sources enables further reflections on the same phenomena in minor Adriatic centres. Considering the paucity of preserved objects, and the fact that no late medieval domestic space of that time has survived in Dubrovnik, one must turn to archival sources to answer questions pertaining to the arrangements and uses of spaces of domestic worship. Three aspects are analysed here: privately owned chapels—adjoined to the dwellings of urban nobility, prayer areas and holy images inside the houses, and relics in the possession of individuals. In light of its source-driven approach, a significant part of this paper is devoted to the issue of the terminology of devotional props in contemporary documents. On a more general level, the paper aims at showing how, although no direct evidence of domestic devotional practices survives (such as in-depth textual evidence), all indications suggest that it was a deeply family-centred matter. Accordingly, particular attention is paid to the city’s most prominent families, such as Volcassio, Volzio and Sorgo. Finally, the evidence presented in this paper, gathered from both published and unpublished sources, offers valuable material for reflections on the spatial arrangements of domestic devotional spaces, not necessarily confined to the members of a single household, but, through hereditary rights, tied to specific lineages. View Full-Text
Keywords: medieval Ragusa; domestic devotion; devotional triptychs; ecclesiola; domestic chapel; Holy-Sepulchre chapels; jus patronatus; privately owned relics medieval Ragusa; domestic devotion; devotional triptychs; ecclesiola; domestic chapel; Holy-Sepulchre chapels; jus patronatus; privately owned relics
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Marušić, M.M. Hereditary Ecclesiae and Domestic Ecclesiolae in Medieval Ragusa (Dubrovnik). Religions 2020, 11, 7.

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