Original scientific paper
Autor: mr Mirjana Blagojević
JEL: N93, L91, O52

Summary: Navigation, with the maritime trading irrefutably thereto connected, were the essential activities of the mediaeval city-commune of Kotor (Catharo) economy. All persons engaged in navigation were members of the Saint Nicolas Mariner Fraternity, nowadays known as the Boka Bay Navy, or rather Bokelj Marine. Not unlike the other guilds of its time, this guild grounded its basic objectives on rendering mutual assistance to its membership, and creating an environment in which the activities of their guild would best be served. Soon after its establishment, the Fraternity was to surpass this basic objective and engage in assignments of military-defence character actions. Since its membership did not comprise nobility, the guild was soon to become the core of an overall economic and social development, initially of the commoners primarily, thereafter to involve the entire Kotor city community development. Fraternity’s internal organisation was regulated by the Statute and enactments supplementing its provisions. Particular care in these documents was devoted to be manner in which the Fraternity was financed, and the allocation of available funds. Expenditures were dispensed, nevertheless, only for those purposes for which is was actually founded - i.e. for actions of solidarity and benefaction, for religious deeds, and those that were strengthening and reinforcing support for branching out of the maritime trading activities. At the apex of its power, coinciding with the peak reached by mediaeval economic activities organised along the same lines, Boka Bay Navy was to be the one of the richest and the strongest guilds in the entire Adriatic Sea region.

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