King Henry II confirms Otto III’s donations of Pazin and Pićan to the Church of Aquileia and donates various jurisdictions in these two places, terrains to both sides of the river Raša, and the port of Plomin.
Henricus divina favente clementia rex.
Si ecclesias Dei nostre largitatis munere sublimare studuerimus, vela a statum nostri Regni proficere no[n]b dubitamus.
Quocirca noverit omnium nostrorum presentium scilicet ac futurorumc industria fidelium qualiter nos, divino conpuncti amore, samcted Aquileiensi ecclesie et Iohanni patriarche, rectori eius, coroboramus et confirmamus [atque]e largimur duas civitates in Comitatu Hystriensi sitas quarum una dicitur Penna, in qua iam dudum episcopatus ad honorem Dei et sanctorum eius constrictusf esse videtur, altera vero Pisino, cum placito et decimis atque suffragio et districto vel omni publica functione liberorum hominum in eis habitantium, prout Otto dive memorie imperator eidem ecclesie et Iohanni patriarche per tria millaria eisdem civitatibus ex omni parte adiacentia per imperialem paginam largitus est.
<Donatio Penne et Pisini civitatum cum placito, decimis et omni suffragio et publica functione>g
Hosh denique eius largitione[m] confirmantes iam dicte samcted Dei ecclesie et Iohanni patriarche addimus atque hac nostri pagina regali concedentes largimur omnes terras, silvas et pascua, tam vineta et oliveta quam etiam campestra, arva, prata, pabulatica, escatica, venationes, piscationes et omnes necessarias functiones quas liberi homines in predictis civitatibus habitantes antea tempore Poponis [et]i Sizonis comitum tenuerunt vel adhuc necesarii ad ea tenenda videntur.
Concedimus etiam sepe dicte ecclesie prata et pascua atque capula iuxta fluivium que ___j verisquek partibus rippe adiacentia et portum de Flaona, ut predicti homines in eo naves habentes navigantesl atque per nostras provintias in quamcunque partem voluerint transfretandi liberam habeant potestatem, omni nostra nostrorumque fidelium, ducis et comitum omniumque hominum contradictione remota.
<Donatio portus Flanone>m
Largimur quoque exarate ecclesie ut predicti homines in iam dictis civitatibus commorantes largam et plenam omni tempore habeant potestatem [et]n licentiam eorum peccora et armenta atque iumenta ad mare menandi et quandocunque necesse fuerit adaquandi.
Percipientes firmiter iubemus ut nullus dux, marchio, comes, vicecomes seu magna parvave Regni persona eundem Iohannem patriarcham vel homines eius in predictis locis habitantes de omnibus supradictis rebus et terris disvestire vel molestare presumat.
Si quis hanc nostram donationem infringere temptaverit, sciat se compositurum centum libras auri, medietatem camere nostre et medietatem Aquileiensis ecclesie patriarche.
Quod, ut verius credatur et diligentius observetur ab omnibus, manu propria confirmantes sigilli nostri impressione subter iussimus insigniri.
Signum domini Henrici regis invictissimi.
Guerarduso episcopus et cancellarius recognovi.
Datum pridie kalendas madii, anno Dominice incarnationis MXII, indictione Xa, domini vero Henrici X.
a) sic B: pro id, sicut em. Sickel. b) no B; non em. Sickel. c) seq. inste canc. B. d) sic B. e) om. B; em. Sickel. f) sic B: pro constructus sive constitutus; constructus em. Sickel. g) add. in marg. dex. B; Idem Iohannes patriarcha add. in marg. sin. B. h) sic B: pro hanc, sicut em. Sickel. i) om B; em. Sickel. j) sic spatium vacuum B: pro dicitur Arsa. k) sic B: pro utriusque, sicut em. Sickel. l) sic B: pro navigandi, sicut em. Sickel. m) add. in marg. sin. B. n) om. B; em. Sickel. o) sic B: pro Everardus, sicut em. Sickel. p) sic B: pro Pavenberc, sicut em. Sickel.
“Item transcriptum privilegii Henrici regis per quod donavit ecclesie Aquilegensi Petenam et Pisinum, sub MXII.” – Thesauri claritas, opus saec. XIV, ed. Giuseppe Bianchi, Thesaurus Ecclesie Aquileiensis (Udine 1847), doc. 518, p. 224.
The charter presents considerable interpretative difficulties.
Namely, Pazin, as castrum Pisinum, was originally donated to the Bishopric of Poreč and confirmed by Emperor Otto II in 983 – see the edition of the charter here.
However, according to this charter, it was Otto III (983–1002) who, sometime during the reign of Patriarch John IV (c. 990 – 1019), donated the cities (civitates) Pazin and Pićan to the Church of Aquileia.
Many historians endeavored to harmonize the two charters into an interpretation in which both documents could be judged as completely authentic and trustworthy historical sources. Thus, an interpretation was offered, popularized by Bernardo Benussi (cited above), in which the first donation charter to the Bishopric of Poreč concerned only the castle, the present-day Pazin, whereas the second donation to the Patriarchate of Aquileia referred to the city underneath the fort, the present-day Stari Pazin / Pisinvecchio. This remains the dominant interpretation to this day, taken over by the likes of Peter Štih (cited above).
However, as Camillo de Franceschi warned back in 1926 (cited above), the 1012 donation charter hereby edited clearly states that the possessions are donated together with the jurisdictional area – encompassing a plentitude of jurisdictions – of three miles, that is, around 4500 meters in diameter. This line alone completely negates the possibility of a castrum Pisinum remaining a jurisdictional island in the vast territorial expanse donated to the Church of Aquileia. Camillo would later modify his opinion and in his posthumously published book, edited in 1964 by his son Carlo (cited above), he also underlined the two Pazins – the superior and inferior, the major and minor, the older and younger, the one donated to Aquileia and the other to Poreč.
Lujo Margetić, bravely swimming against the tide, was the first to clearly voice his opinion against the authenticity of one of the two charters (cited above). However, Margetić believed the 1012 charter hereby edited to be perfectly authentic, whereas he interpreted the 983 donation to the Bishopric of Poreč to be heavily interpolated, including the part regarding the castrum Pisinum. Thus, argued Margetić, the patriarchs of Aquileia were the original owners and lords of Pazin; the counts of Gorizia, therefore, became the counts of Pazin by way of being the hereditary advocates of the Church of Aquileia. This interpretation is not supported by later historical sources, all of which testify to the bishops of Poreč investing the counts of Gorizia with their lands in Pazin (on this see Štih, cited above).
However, as Margetić correctly argued, the interpretation whereby a castrum Pazin and a civitas Pazin were two separate entities, donated in two separate donation charters to two separate ecclesiastical institutions, is indeed difficult to support, especially when bearing in mind the historical context of Patriarch John IV’s reign (and this is where the editor’s interpretation diverges from Margetić’s).
Namely, Patriarch John IV was feuding with the Bishop Andrew of Poreč over the temporal jurisdiction over Rovinj (and most probably over the entire episcopal jurisdictional area south of the Lim Bay, including Dvigrad and Bale). Bishop Andrew turned to Pope Sergius IV for help, who in turn summoned the patriarch to appear before him in Rome to answer for his “invasion”, something John IV never did – see the source here.
Moreover, it was precisely during the age of Patriarch John IV that a plan of expansion and reorganization of the ecclesiastical principality’s jurisdictional framework was put into action, a plan which endeavored to expand Aquileian jurisdictions as far as Trsat to the east of the Učka mountain range and to organize a new bishopric in Rovinj in Istria. In order to achieve this goal, Patriarch John IV did not shy away from forging imperial charters which he would subsequently give to incumbent monarchs for “confirmation” – such is the story of these two documents, the forgery dated 803 (edited here) and Otto III’s subsequent confirmation of the forgery (edited here).
Otto III’s donation of Pazin and Pićan, confirmed in the hereby edited charter, can be interpreted in the same key. Namely, in his feud against the Bishopric of Poreč, Patriarch John IV forged a charter, purportedly issued by Otto III, to expand the jurisdictions of his Church to the detriment of his enemy, Bishop of Andrew of Poreč, targeting one of his most important possessions: Pazin. Thus, while Bishop Andrew turned to pope to affirm his rights over Rovinj, Patriarch John IV turned to Roman monarchs (and to forging charters) to retaliate against his rival in Poreč.
It cannot be inferred how the entire story over Pazin ended. It has been suggested (Camillo de Franceschi, cited above) that the patriarchs simply relinquished their possessions in Pazin and Pićan, the former to the counts (or to the bishops of Poreč), the latter to the local Bishopric. It is also possible that a compromise was reached between the bishops of Poreč and the patriarchs of Aquileia sometime in the 11th century, especially after 1081 when the patriarchs were donated the regal right to appoint and invest the bishops of Poreč (see the document here). Finally, it is also possible that the two competing claims over Pazin were united in the authority of Meinhard of Črnigrad, the first known count of Pazin who was simultaneously a retainer of the Patriarchate of Aquileia (and a blood relative of the incumbent patriarch, Ulrich II) and the guard (advocatus) of the Bishopric of Poreč. From this point onwards, it was only the bishops of Poreč that would retain the de iure right to invest their guards with castrum Pisinum, but the de facto jurisdictions over the entire county – Pazin, Stari Pazin and the villages in the district – were firmly in the hands of House Črnigrad and later, by way of marriage, in the hands of the counts of Gorizia (on all of this, see Štih, cited above, pp. 185–86).
This charter, whose authenticity there is no reason to doubt even though it is preserved only as a much later copy, also marks the beginning of the patriarchs’ temporal dominion over eastern Istria, namely Plomin and the banks of the river Raša (the river is not named in the document, an empty space is left showing that the copyist could not decipher the hydronym, but the only possible conclusion is that the river in question, the only one next to Plomin, is indeed the Raša). Perhaps it is by way of this donation that the temporal authority of the Church of Aquileia subsequently spread to the neighboring Labin as well. In any case, the charter clearly demonstrates that the territories between the Raša and the Učka mountain range, namely the towns Labin and Plomin, were considered to be in the region of Istria and that the territory belonged to the Empire, not to the neighboring Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia, as was correctly argued by Mommsen and Benussi (see Benussi, cited above, pp. 61–62; see also the 10th-century description of the boundaries between Istria and the Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia edited here).
The image of the manuscript hereby dubbed B was taken by the editor (who hereby apologizes for the quality of the photo that leaves much to be desired).
The publication of the facsimile of B (Venice, Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Consultori in iure, reg. 345: Privileggi antichi d’Acquileia, fol. 9r–v (or 5r–v according to old pagination) is granted free of charge by Archivio di Stato di Venezia by way of the “simplified procedure” of publishing archival facsimiles (La circolare della Direzione generale archivi n. 39 del 29 settembre 2017: procedura semplificata: pubblicazioni online che perseguano finalità scientifiche o pedagogiche, non beneficino di inserzioni pubblicitarie o commerciali e non siano soggette ad accesso a pagamento).
The image remains under the exclusive copyright of Archivio di Stato di Venezia.