Dubrovnik Sails

The maritime state

The Republic of Dubrovnik built its survival, fame, and wealth on the port and seafaring, building its ships to carry goods all over the Mediterranean.

The Republic of Dubrovnik was an exceptionally well-organized state, and thus they regulated shipping. In 1313 the supervision over cargo loading was standardized, and in 1341 the line of maximum cargo loading was determined (the line up to which the ship sank into the sea under load). The shipping industries of Western European countries introduced such a regulation much later, in the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, Dubrovnik became a wholesale and retail city with its trade network for the sale of its products as well as intermediary transit trade between East and West.

In 1511, they passed the Maritime Code, which focused on the work norms and sailors’ work obligations, while in 1568, the Maritime Insurance Act, the first of its kind in the world, was adopted.

The Republic of Dubrovnik Sails
The Republic of Dubrovnik Sails

Karaka or argosy?

Dubrovnik shipbuilders were respectable and considered the best and most skilled builders of large boats in Europe.

The best-known of all ships was the karaka, which sailed from the 15th to the 17th c. It was the largest merchant ship in the world.

In the 16th century, for the first time, karaka arrived in English ports and left such an impression on observers that Englishmen coined a new word – argosy as the name for a large sailing ship. William Shakespeare, the great English writer, mentioned that argosy in his play The Merchant of Venice, calling it a galley that sails on all the world’s seas. For maritime experts, that ship was a miracle, with a carrying capacity of 600 to 800 tons, which required only 60 to 80 crew members, while at the same time,200 sailors served the Venetian galley carrying much less cargo.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains argosy as the name for a karaka or merchant ship from Dubrovnik. In poetry, argosy represents any ship that carries rich goods. That name argosy came from the Italian adjective Ragusea – Dubrovnik’s or da Ragusa – from Dubrovnik. Since Englishmen didn’t know Italian, they distorted Italian words in a way they understood them.

To hear more about Dubrovnik seafaring and shipbuilding join me on the Welcome to Dubrovnik tour.

 

Dubrovnik Sails

THE MARITIME STATE

The Republic of Dubrovnik built its survival, fame, and wealth on the port and seafaring, building its ships to carry goods all over the Mediterranean.

The Republic of Dubrovnik was an exceptionally well-organized state, and thus they regulated shipping. In 1313 the supervision over cargo loading was standardized, and in 1341 the line of maximum cargo loading was determined (the line up to which the ship sank into the sea under load). The shipping industries of Western European countries introduced such a regulation much later, in the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, Dubrovnik became a wholesale and retail city with its trade network for the sale of its products as well as intermediary transit trade between East and West.

In 1511, they passed the Maritime Code, which focused on the work norms and sailors’ work obligations, while in 1568, the Maritime Insurance Act, the first of its kind in the world, was adopted.

The Republic of Dubrovnik Sails

KARAKA OR ARGOSY?

Dubrovnik shipbuilders were respectable and considered the best and most skilled builders of large boats in Europe. The best-known of all ships was the karaka, which sailed from the 15th to the 17th c. It was the largest merchant ship in the world.

In the 16th century, for the first time, karaka arrived in English ports and left such an impression on observers that Englishmen coined a new word – argosy as the name for a large sailing ship. William Shakespeare, the great English writer, mentioned that argosy in his play The Merchant of Venice, calling it a galley that sails on all the world’s seas. For maritime experts, that ship was a miracle, with a carrying capacity of 600 to 800 tons, which required only 60 to 80 crew members, while at the same time,200 sailors served the Venetian galley carrying much less cargo.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains argosy as the name for a karaka or merchant ship from Dubrovnik. In poetry, argosy represents any ship that carries rich goods. That name argosy came from the Italian adjective Ragusea – Dubrovnik’s or da Ragusa – from Dubrovnik. Since Englishmen didn’t know Italian, they distorted Italian words in a way they understood them.

To hear more about Dubrovnik seafaring and shipbuilding join me on the Welcome to Dubrovnik tour.

 

The Republic of Dubrovnik Sails
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