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Placito del Risano - 804 A.D.
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"Placito del Risano" di Giuseppe Barison

The Placitum of Riziano (It. Placito del Risano, abbreviated title of Placito sulle querimonie dell'Istria tenuto dai Messi di Carlomagno), also known as the Placito di Charlomagno, was organized in the year 804 A.D. on demand of the leaders of the population of the region of Istria who requested the abolition of the changes introduced by the Istrian duke Ivan. The document was issued at the behest of  Fortunatus, the patriarch of Grado, who seems to have been involved in the preparation of the inquisitio in cooperation with Emperor Charlemagne who at various stages gave privileges and support to the patriarch of Grado.

The protesters' role was twofold: they acted as landowners, i.e., individuals and representatives of the class whose certain rights, for example political authority, had been denied, and as representatives of the communes complaining about the rights denied to the communes (after the settlement of the Slavs they were in principle not affected as landowners but as members of the communes). To strengthen their complaints they also mentioned church land although the clergy did not make any complaints themselves. In this respect the Istrian landowners were significantly different from those of the former exarcate of Ravenna. While the latter were able to retain a high position in the society and their interests were related to those of the clergy and their archbishop, the rights of the Istrian landowners were endangered and in conflict with the interests of the bishops, supported by the new authorities.

The representatives of towns spoke on behalf of the towns and not the region; the region was represented by the duke – 'our land' therefore did not imply the entire territory of Istria (that would mean that they did not acknowledge the authority of the duke). There are reasons to conclude that the Placitum was not attended by representatives of all Istrian towns and other settlements because [the] entire [of] Istria (as far as Mount Ucka / Monte Maggiore) was under the rule of the Franks. The main protagonists among the protesters were the representatives of Pula, Poreč, and perhaps Trieste, which were the biggest and most populated towns, making complaints about the abolition of the right of free fishing and the forced seafaring for the duke; clearly, these only affected the Istrian coastal population.

Full text - Latin and Italian


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Created: Sunday, August 15, 1999; Updated Sunday, March 20, 2016
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