Vol. 5: A 1300 usque ad 1421
10th of June, 1367

Hugh VIII of Duino refuses to receive his fiefs from Patriarch Marquard of Randeck and the Church of Aquileia on the grounds that he is now a subject of the dukes of Austria who are currently in a hostile relationship with the incumbent patriarch and therefore he does not want to act contrary to his oath of fealty.

The original charter is lost; the contents are known only by way of a regestum in Thesauri claritas made by John, the son of Odoric Susanna, in the final decade of the 14th century; the original codex of Thesauri claritas is lost and only later copies survive of which two early fifteenth-century exemplars are considered the best:
B = Udine, Archivio di Stato di Udine, Patriarcato di Aquileia, ms. Thesauri claritas (Thesaurus Ecclesiae Aquileiensis), fol. 127v (or 110v according to old pagination), digitized and available online here.
C = Udine, Archivio Diocesano, ms. Thesauri claritas, n.v.
Previous Editions
Giuseppe Bianchi (ed.), Thesaurus Ecclesiae Aquileiensis (Udine 1847), n. 1246, pp. 358–59 (based on C).
Mladen Ančić, “Gradu kmeti or iobagiones castri as an Element of the Social Structure of Croatian Kingdom,” Miscellanea Hadriatica et Mediterranea 6 (2019): p. 54, fn. 49 (based on B).
Note that a new critical edition of Thesauri claritas is currently being prepared by the Istituto Pio Paschini.
FIM Edition
Diplomatic edition based on B.

Dictis millesimo et inditionea 1, die X mensis iunii.

Venerunt ad presentiam nobilis militis dominib Ugonis de Duyno ambaxiatorisc domini patriarche, prefatid venerabilis dominus Eberardus et nobilis miles dominus Federicus de Randech, ete eidem domino de Duynof exposuerunt pro parte ipsius domini patriarche quod ipse debebat facere sicut sui antecessores, scilicet recipere in feudum ab ecclesia Aquilegense castrum Duyni et castrum Pren cum omnibus appendiciis eorum et totum quod habet in Meran sive in Croatia, prout ibidem coram ipso domino de Duyno produxerunt quoddam publicum instrumentum scriptum manu Conradi notarii de Civitate Austrie sub anno Domini MCCLVI, inditione XIIII, die XII exeunte iunio et ceterag.

Ad que ipse dominus de Duyno respondit quod, prout nunc erat subditus dominorum ducum Austrie, qui ad presens taliter stant cum domino patriarcha, quod pro nunc recipere non volebat nanh faceret contra promissiones factas dominis ducibus et cetera, sed facta compositione tunc, si scieti aliqua bona feudalia, faciet debitum suum.

Critical apparatus

asic B; indiccione ed. Ančić.  bom. Ančić.  csic B: pro ambaxiatores, sicut ed. Bianchi.  d) reverendissimi domini patriarche Marquardi em. Bianchi.  eseq. dominus canc. B.  fseq. responderunt exp. pro deletione B.  g) et cetera] om. Bianchi.  hsic B: pro nam, sicut ed. Bianchi; non ed. Ančić.  i) sciret em. Bianchi.

1) The entry to which this dictis millesimo et inditione refers to is on fol. 126v (or 109v according to old pagination) in B and it states Millesimo IIIcLXVII, thus 1367; the same is the case in C. However, for editorial reasons, Bianchi (or his editors) decided to replace the phrase dictis millesimo et inditione with the year in Roman numerals. Bianchi’s manuscript, currently in Udine, Biblioteca Civica “Vincenzo Joppi,” Fondo principale, ms. 903, features the transcription of this entry on pp. 176–77, and the original dictis millesimo et indictione is crossed out with 1367 written and also crossed out above it and MCCCLXVII added next to it. The 1847 printed edition, however, prints the year as MCCCLXVI, thus 1366. This is clearly a typographical error, and the year should thus be corrected to 1367.

Medieval Recollections

“In 1366, die . . . . vel 1367, Investitura castri Duyni et Prem et de illo quod habet in Meran per manum ser Iohannis quondam ser Gubertini notarii.” – Monumenta patrie Foriulii, early 16th-century codex, fol. 63r (or 48r according to old pagination), currently inedited, conserved in Udine, Archivio di Stato di Udine, Patriarcato di Aquileia, ms. Monumenta Patriae Forii Iulii, digitized and available online here.

Selected Bibliography
Rodolfo Pichler, Il castello di Duino: Memorie (Trento 1882), pp. 195–98.
Franc Kos, “Iz zgodovine devinskih gospodov,” Razprave Znanstvenega društva za humanistične vede v Ljubljani 1 (1923): pp. 117.
Pio Paschini, Storia del Friuli, 3rd ed. (Udine 1975), pp. 560–61.
Peter Štih, I conti di Gorizia e l’Istria nel Medioevo, Collana degli Atti 36 (Rovinj 2013) pp. 143–44.
Miha Kosi, Spopad na prehode proti Jadranu in nastanek ‘dežele Kras’ (Ljubljana 2018), pp. 40 fn. 137, 91–94.
Josip Banic, “The mystery of Merania,” Zgodovinski časopis 74/3-4 (2020): pp. 296-327; 75/1-2 (2021): 42-92.
Editor's Notes

This document, highly unfortunately preserved only in the form of a regestum, is of immense importance for the history of the Northern Adriatic.

First, it shows the consequences of the house of Duino’s historical subjection to the house of Habsburg, a daring move that brought the dukes of Austria to the Adriatic, further wounding the already injured ecclesiastical principality of the Church of Aquileia and their weakened guards (advocati), the counts of Gorizia, the former masters of the lords of Duino. This subjection took place in early 1366 and a document issued by dukes Albert III and Leopold III in Vienna on the 7th of February of the same year reports this submission – the document will be edited in FIM presently; an Italian translation of the charter originally written in German is featured in Pichler, cited above, pp. 195–96.

Second, it demonstrates the impotence of the incumbent patriarch to assert his authority in temporalibus over his de iure subjects, especially over those, like the lords of Duino, enjoying the protection of the dukes of Austria – on Marquard’s reign in the Patriarchate, see more in Paschini, cited above, 547–84.

Finally, the document is a “smoking gun” in solving the mystery of Merania – this is the only document that enables one to precisely pinpoint the region described here as “Meran or Croatia.” Namely, the lords of Duino held several forts in the region between the Učka mountain range and the river Rječina. According to the 1374 last will of Hugh VIII of Duino, these forts were: Sandveyt, Chestaw, Velprintz and Moschenitz, that is: Rijeka, Kastav, Veprinac and Mošćenice (the testament will be edited in FIM presently, the relevant part of the document is edited in Peter Štih, cited above, p. 143 fn. 7).

This microregion, part of the ancient province of Liburnia, was under the potestas of the kings of Croatia-Dalmatia in the Early Middle Ages, and this is attested by 10th-century work De administrando imperio – see the edition of the relevant passage and editor’s comments here.

However, sometime between the late 10th and mid-12th century, the microregion between the Učka and the Rječina was ripped away from the Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia and annexed to the temporal dominion of the Patriarchate of Aquileia – see the edition of the relevant passages of Al-Idrisi’s work here.

This patch of land eventually ended up being split between the counts of Gorizia, who possessed Lovran and Brseč, and the lords of Duino – both houses were linked to the Patriarchate of Aquileia, the former as their guards (advocati), the latter as double ministerials of both the patriarchs as well as the counts of Gorizia.

Currently there are three thesis on when and how this microregion was annexed to the Holy Roman Empire: whether it took place during the age of Margrave Ulrich I in the wake of King Henry IV’s expedition against the Hungarian Kingdom of 1063 (argued by Hauptmann); during the second decade of the 12th century by the lords of Duino who joined Venice as part of promissed imperial aid in the war effort against the Kingdom of Hungary (argued by Margetić); or during the Investiture Conflict of Henry IV’s era when Croatian king Demetrious Zvonimir waged war against a certain “noble knight Wezelin,” identified as the eponymous guard of St. Michael’s monastery in Pula and the “count of the Church of Aquileia” (argued by the author of these lines) – all of these theses are discussed in Banic, cited above.

In any case, the opinion that the lords of Duino and the counts of Gorizia held these lands to the east of the Učka from the bishops of Pula, fervently argued by Benussi, is untenable, as this regestum clearly demonstrates. Moreover, there are absolutely no charters demonstrating any sort of temporal dominion of the Bishopric of Pula over these towns.

The regestum shows that even after the inclusion of this patch of territory between the Učka and the Rječina into the confines of the Holy Roman Empire and the Patriarchate of Aquileia, which held Istria as distinct margraviate, the area in question was not absorbed into the conceptual dimension of Istria – the territory was called Meran(ia) and Croatia as this regestum shows, but never Istria. Mladen Ančić argued that territory as far as Rijeka could be conceptualized under the umbrella of Istria (cited above, p. 69 fn. 88), at least from late 14th-century onwards, but this is untenable because the document upon which this argument is based (edited here) does not refer to Rijeka as being in Istria, but to villages Jasenovik near Kožljak and Letaj, situated between Kožljak and Vranja, all of which lie to the west of the Učka mountain range and thus belong, as the document explicitly states, to the Margraviate of Istria. Therefore, throughout the entire Middle Ages the eastern border of Istria as a distinct region and as a discursive concept remained either the Učka mountain range (the real, natural border) or, at times and under the influence of classical geography, the river Raša (see more on these boundaries here).

Finally, a question emerges from the contents of the regestum: does the term Meran for the territory between the Učka and the Rječina stem from the late 12th-century ducal title Ducatus Meraniae, dux Meranus / de Meran? There are two potential answers: either the territory in question was originally called Meran / Merania already in the 12th and 13th centuries and thus the ducal title stems for that name, or, perhaps more probable, the title had been made up simply to change the original, offensive one, dux Croatie et Dalmatie, without reference to any exact territory as the duchy in question was exclusively a titular one. Once the title had been changed, in the closing decades of the 12th century, the territory that was once part of Croatia but that was now under the imperial potestas, the microregion between the Učka and the Rječina, was beginning to be dubbed “Meran or Croatia.” On this, see Banic 2021, cited above, p. 72.

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 5: A 1300 usque ad 1421, doc. 1367_MERAN, fontesistrie.eu/1367_MERAN (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 5: doc. 1367_MERAN.
Image Source and Info

The image stems from the official web pages of the Archivio di Stato di Udine.

The editor has subsequently inserted a red line simply to denote the exact part of the manuscript that is hereby edited.

All images remain under the copyright of their respective institutions.