Era
Vol. 2: A 804 usque ad 1077
Date
27th of June, 911 or 914
Place
Regestum

King Berengar I donates two forts by Beram in Istria (?) to the Bishopric of Trieste. Forged charter.

Source
Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Miscellanea atti diplomatici e privati, busta 1, doc. 7a; copy from 10th-11th century (B).
Previous Editions
Luigi Schiaparelli (ed.), I diplomi di Berengario I, Fonti per la storia d'Italia 35 (Rome 1903), doc. †10, pp. 387-389.
Transcription

(SC) In nomine Sanctae et Individue Trinitatis.

Berengarius rex.

Omnium fidelium Sanctae Dei Aecclesie nostrorumque presentium scilicet ac futurorum industria interventum et petitioneni Heilulfi sanctae Mantuanensis Aecclesie episcopus et dilectum fidelem nostrum quatenus nostram exorasse clementiam, ob amorem Dei animequae nostrae mercedem concedere dignaremur per hoc nostrae largitionis preceptum in sancta Tergestine Aecclesiae, quae est constructa in honore praeclarissimi Iusti martiris, tibique Taurino episcopo tuisque successoribus quadam castellos iuris regni nostri qui dicitur Vermes, unus maiore et alius minore, et est infra iuris et potestatem regni nostri cum omnibus sibi ad eorum pertinentibus, montibus, vallibus, planitiebus, pratis, pascuis, silvis, rupis et rupinis, aquis aquarumquae decursibus, piscationibus, venationibus, cultis et incultis et cum omnibus ad eorum pertinentibus ibidem adiacentes, dono et transfundo in sancta Tergestinae Aecclesiae et in honorem praeclarissimi lusti martiris, cui tu Taurinus episcopus in presenti presul aesse videtur, pro Dei amore mercedemquae anime nostrae nostra preceptaria auctoritate sub omni integritate concaedere adque largiri dignaremur.

Praecipientes ergo iubemus, ut nullus dux, marchio, comes, vicecomes, sculdassio, decanus aut qualibet persona in ipsis iam dictis castellis nec placito tenere neque ulla districtionem facere presummat nisi ante praetaxatum Taurinum episcopum suosque successores tamquam ante nos aut ante nostrum legatum palatii, per hoc nostrum regalem praeceptum iurae proprietario sub omni integritate concedimus et largimur, ac de nostro iure et potestate in eiusdem Aecclesia Sancti Iusti martiris omnino transfundimus ac delegamus.

Si quis igitur hoc nostrae concessionis praeceptum infringere vel violare aut inquietare temptaverit, sciat se composituri auri optimi libras centum, medietatem camere nostrae et medietatem praelibate sanctae Tergestine Aecclesie.

Quod, ut verius credatur et diligentius ab omnibus observetur, manu propria roboratum de anulo nostro subter insigniri iussimus.

Signum domni (SM) Berengarii piissimi regis.

Iohannes cancellarius ad vicem Ardiggi episcopi et archicancellarii recognovi et subscripsi. (SN)

Data V kalendas iulii, anno Dominicae incarnationis DCCCCXI, domni vero Berengarii piissimi regis XV, indiccione II.

Actum Papia. 

In Christi nomine feliciter. Amen.

Selected Bibliography
Luigi Schiaparelli, "I diplomi dei re d'Italia: Ricerche storico-diplomatiche: Parte 1: I diplomi di Berengario I,", Bulletino dell'Istituto storico italiano 23 (1902): pp. 148-149.
Editor's Notes

The document is written on a scrapped original charter issued by Charles III the Fat in 884. The forger tries to imitate the hand of the original 884 document, but the difference in handwriting is very noticeable.

The forger mixed up the parts of the charter's corpus, nesting the dispositio inside the narratio. Moreover, the verbs are first written in 1st person plural ("concedere dignaremur") in narratio, then in 1st person singular ("dono et transfundo") in dispositio, and then again in 1st person plural ("largiri digaremur"). As was noted by Schiaparelli, the use of 1st person singular verbs is utterly contrary to the chancellery practice of the age. Similar is the case with 1st persons pronouns ("tibi," "tuis," "tu") which were not used in the public diplomata of the period.

The formula datationis is also erroneous, betraying the charter as a clumsy forgery: the anno Domini dating (911) conforms to the 14th indiction – not to the 2nd as stated in the document – and the 24th year of Berengar's reign – not to the 15th as stated in the document. Thus, some authors date the charter to 914, according to indiction – but that still does not concord with Berengar's years of reign.

Other formulae, including the petition of Heilulf, the bishop of Mantua, are perfectly consonant with the practices of Berengar's chancellery. Thus, it is communis opinio that the charter was forged based on an unidentifiable authentic diploma issued by Berengar I.

Although the charter is a forgery, it was nonetheless customarily interpreted as a primary source attesting to the Bishopric of Trieste's jurisdictions in Istria because the toponym "castellos iuris regni nostri qui dicitur Vermes" were interpreted as Beram (Ital. Verme) and Podberam in Istria. Such an interpretation, however, makes little sense as both Beram and Podberam were neither under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Trieste (neither in spiritualibus nor in temporalibus) nor did the bishops of Trieste ever tried to assert their dominion over these places that were subjected to the bishops of Poreč and, from late 12th century onwards, formed part of the County of Istria.

Beram is subsequently mentioned only in 1309 when Odersius, the bishop of Pićan, enfeoffed the right to settle colonists in Beram to an Ancon of Pazin (see the document here). The fact that it was the bishop of Pićan who issued this privilege suggests that the dominus in temporalibus of Beram was the Bishopric of Pićan, not the Bishopric of Trieste.

However, in 1333 the bishop of Trieste Pax invested the Venetian nobleman Andrea Dandolo (the future doge of Venice and the author of the famous chronicle account of Venetian history, the Chronica per extensum descripta) with the vast majority of temporal possessions of the Bishopric of Trieste (see the document here). Among these possessions features the following: "Item simili modo in Castro seu territorio de Vermes posito juxta Parentium." Thus, the only logical conclusion would be that the "castellos iuris regni nostri qui dicitur Vermes" were indeed the Istrian Beram and a nowadays lost fort in its vicinity, but that the bishops of Trieste either willingly gave over their jurisdictions over it to the Bishopric of Pićan (and subsequently forgot about it in the 1333 investiture), or that they never managed to assert their dominion over Beram that subsequently fell to the potestas of the Bishopric of Pićan.

The 1333 investiture, however, should not be taken for granted. In this charter the bishop of Trieste simply enumerated the possessions that the Bishopric of Trieste still managed to cling on to, as well as the possessions that it aspired to based on old forged charters. Whether Andrea Dandolo got anything tangible in Umag, Monfalcone and Beram is highly doubtful as is the bishops' de facto jurisdiction in Beram between 911 and 1333.

In any case, with 1374 and the advent of House Habsburg in Istria as the heirs of the extinct Albertian line of the Counts of Gorizia, Beram formed part of the County of Pazin and it was thus featured in the tax rolls of the County of Pazin from 1437 ("Item cze Verm Geori [St. George's day, 24th of April] V marken, Michaelis [St. Michael's day, 29th of September] VII marken"). The tax rolls are published in Matjaž Bizjak, Srednjeveške računske knjige za Slovenijo 1: Deželnoknežji obračuni za Kranjsko 1436–1448 / Landesfürstliche abrechnungen für Krain 1436–1448, Thesaurus memoriae: Fontes 12 (Ljubljana 2016), pp. 100-103, quotation on 100.

The only temporal possession of the Bishopric of Trieste in Istria was the fort Gradina (Ital. Calisedo, Lat. Calixedo/Caliseto) that was, interestingly, not mentioned in the 1333 investiture because the possession had been enfeoffed to House Giroldi from Pula already before 1183 (see the document here) and the investitures continued all the way into the 16th century.

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 2: A 804 usque ad 1077, doc. 911_BT, fontesistrie.eu/911_BT (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 2: doc. 911_BT.