The Senj Uskoks Reconsidered Author(s): Philip Longworth Source: The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol

. 57, No. 3 (Jul., 1979), pp. 348-368 Published by: the Modern Humanities Research Association and University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies Stable URL: Accessed: 28/09/2010 05:20
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SEER, Vol.57, No. 3, July I979





interest generated by the Senj Uskoks is strikingly disproportionate to their numbers.' Few groups so small as they can have attracted so much attention from both polemicists of the time and from historians since.2 There are several reasons why this should be the case. For almost a century (C.1540-i620) these Uskoks enjoyed a reputation as Christendom'sfirst line of defence against the advancing Turks, and notoriety on account of their piratical activities; they occasioned the so-called Uskok War (otherwise the War of Gradisca) of I6I5-I7 between Austria and the Venetian Republic, and played an important role in the development of the Austrian Military Frontier system.3Moreover some historiansof Croatia have discerned in them a thread of national continuity in that troubled period which followed the collapse of the Kingdom of Hungary. Yet the Senj Uskoks deserve attention for other reasonswhich have been largely overlooked. In so far as they inhabited a borderland (not only between Austria, Venice and Turkey, but between the worlds of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism4)they constituted a
Philip Longworth is Visiting Professor of History at McGill University. The author acknowledges support from the Social Science Research Council which allowed the collection of the archival material referred to in this article. Microfilm of most of the manuscripts referred to below is deposited in the Library of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. 2 Among contemporaries Minucio Minuci, Historiadegli Uscochi,Venice, I 6o2 (i 603) [Paolo Sarpi], Aggionta all'historia degli Uscochi..., n.d. [?i6I4] and his Supplimento dell'Historiadegli Uschochi . ., n.d. [?i6171 (also G. and L. Cozzi, eds, La Repubblica . di Venezia,la casa d'Austriae gli Uscocchi,Bari, i965); and F. Racki, ed., 'Prilog za povijest hrvatskih uskoka' (Starine,ix, Zagreb, I 877, pp. I 75-256): this dialogue between 'Antonio' and 'Giovanni' is housed in the Archivio di Stato, Florence (Carte Strozziane, serie I, no. 259). The work is hereinafter referred to as Racki. Among historians J. W. von Valvasor, Die Ehre desz Herzognthums Crain, 4 vols, Laybach, I689; Silvino Gigante, Veneziae gli Uscocchi I570 al r62o, 2nd edn, Rijeka, I930 (1931); R. and E. Eickhoif, dal Die Uskokenin der Adria, Saarbriucken, 1956, and, more recently, Gligor Stanojevic, SenjskiUskoci, Zagreb, 1973. Other works are cited below. 3 See Gunther E. Rothenberg, The Austrian Military Border in Croatia 1522-I747, Urbana, I960. 4 Allegiances have been characterized as predominantly Orthodox at the original Uskok base at Klis and Catholic in the Senj area (Venice, Biblioteca Marciana (hereafter Bib. Marc.), vii, 914 [= 8592], if. 122 ff.), yet Greek rites were not only practised in Venetian enclaves farther south (e.g. Sebenico [gibenik] -see Archivio Segreto Vaticano (hereafter ASV), Sac. Cong. Concilio: Relationes: Sebenicen, I609) but retained in some measure as far north as Istria (where the catechism was given in 'Illyrian' - see ASV, Sac. Cong. Concilio: Visit. Apost., no. 58, 1759) and also in the Senj area (ASV, Sac. Cong. Concilio: Relationes: Segnien, Veglen, etc.). For various compromises practised at Trogir [Traiu] see ibid. Traguren (relations of I592, I622 and I627), and for the use of 'Illyrian missals' on Rab see ASV, Misc. Arm., vii, IOI. References to 'schismatics' are not infrequent, and the number of non-communicants reported is sometimes impressive (e. g. in the Trieste area - ASV, Sac. Cong. Concilio: Relationes: Tergestina). See also the works of Petrus Petretic and Benedictus Vintiovic, Bishops of Zagreb (Zagreb, Arhiv Jugoslavenske Akademije znanosti i umjetnosti, nos Dcccxxxv and DccccLxxxvIII) and D. Kasic, Srpskimonastiri Hrvatskqj Sloveniji,Belgrade, 1971. u i

dangerous no-man's-land. religious or social. 32 and 36-38.5 In sum we are dealing with a turbulent. They and their neighbours defy any attempt to pigeon-hole them into neat ethnic. disintegrated and overlapped with others. 'Uskoci'. religious oppression. but this will be done in the course of discussingmore finite questions. The world of the Senj Uskoks was essentially chaotic. exemplifying both the nature of life and war along the Slavic-Turkish marchesin the early modern period and the springs from which it stemmed. It is one of the purposesof this article to explore these aspects. lacking effective boundaries. a frontier which was a zone rather than a line. overlords and enemies. and especially the authorities are "they". Eickhoff. In particular the troublesome problem of the Uskoks' origins will be re-examined. and E. especially pp. 'Men of both border populations. It should be made clear at the outset that it is extremely difficult to form any complete and consistent picture of the Senj Uskoks from the mass of literature about them. groups coalesced. cit. their environment described and their behaviour accounted for. avoid the payment of tribute. and some questions posed relating to the fundamental causes of the almost perpetual warfare which affected the region which the Uskoks inhabited. The word uskokdenotes a runaway or fugitive. op. Finally some comparisons will be drawn with other frontier communities in the period. Narodna Enciklopedija.' 7 For example. pp. some popular assumptions about their allegiances and motives will be questioned. border warfare continued unabated despite the treaties of I562: see Rothenberg. which naturally reflect conflicting perceptions of them. op.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 349 particularlyinteresting frontiersociety. pp. M.7 5 For example. ideological or political categories. Zagreb.6 Difficulties arise as soon as the attempt is made to explain who precisely the Uskoks were. 6 See Owen Lattimore. 1929. 1547 and History. 469-70. . working together in this way become a "we" group to which others of their own nationality.. for the Uskoks themselves left scant evidence of their own to posterity and their history has to be pieced together from the records of their allies. as a modification of political loyalty in response to economic self-interest.. However.London. The great powers of the region could exercise no effective day-to-day control in sectors of this borderland nominally under their sway. and (which is worse) treats of them in terms of neat formulations and clear definitions to which the subject is not susceptible.vol. territorial. p. and R. Studiesin Frontier He regards such activities as smuggling. I98. much of the writing devoted to them is adversely affected by the authors' religious or national commitments. iv. Prelog. fled to escape Turkishrule . To some extent this reflects the partisan nature of contemporary sources. which affect people on both sides of a border. The people in question changed their allegiances. 1962.slavery or annihilation. 720-22. from the fifteenthcentury. According to most writersit was applied to Balkan Christians who.

iII. I. 439-40. Dieci: Lettere Rettori. 3 15 The reference is to Pavel Lasinovic. however.16 Secondly. I929. 1914-17. their origins lay in Christian guerrilla resistance to the Turks. 1969. series. all those Christian runaways areasof Bosnaand Dalmatiaoccupiedby the Turksand settleddown. note I (quoting various sources). firstat the fortress Klis and afterits fall [in I537] at . according to Horvath. Monumenta historiamuscocchoruni illustrantia. who were commonly termed cherkessy and definable in a variety of ways according to their context and function. 13 For example. Monumenta Hapsburga. The Cossacks. busta 280 (not direct to the Council of Ten): report by Donato from Sebenico. 14-15 and 342-44.vols. 1 See S. IstorijaKotarskihUskoka. 10 Venice. Belgrade 195o-5I) and of Zumberak. vii. b. Die Entstehung Kozakentums.. op. 6 March 15I6. were not called Uskoks. Pavi6ic. 324-70. are far from satisfactory.13Moreover. Indeed the problem of identifying the Uskoks as a coherent group or stratum is comparable to that of identifying the Cossacks of the period. p. vol. Migrants were reported both long before and 8 Mauro Kravjanszky. 5th pp. cit. of course. London. The fugitives from Bosna reported in Venetian-held Sibenik in I5i6. it is misleading to think of Uskoks generally as originating in a sudden mass migration to escape Muslim rule as so much of the literature suggests. 234-66). I. the fact that. In the first place 'Uskok' and 'fugitive' were not coterminous. des Munich..350 PHILIP LONGWORTH According to one twentieth-century historian.10 Some of the Uskok servicemen at Senj were not fugitives but local people. 5. I967-68. 'II processo degli Uscocchi' (ArchivioVeneto. Zagreb. Senj.8 The term Uskok. Senj.. while they have the merit of clarity.. 'Senj u svojem naselnom i drustvenom razvitky od I0 stolje6a o oturskog provoda' in Senjskizbornik. pp. Philip Longworth.and often certain death to the shame of subjection and equally certain death in forced service' for the Turks. the Uskoks of Kotor (see Bosko Desnica. 9 Karl Horvath.. Capi Cons.9 of A closer examination of the evidence.12 and. Capi Consiglio Dieci. for example. 16 See Gunter Stbkl. Zagreb. 12 Rothenberg. pp. 19I0-13. 14 EmilijLaszowski. The first use of the term Uskok I have found in Venetian sources seems to date from the I520s: VAS. ed. . Uskoks are not mentioned in the Senj service lists of 1540 and 155I although by then the term was in use at 2umberak: see Pavi6ic.. was generally applied to: who fled fromthe Turksfromvarious . pp. 302 (my dating). . they were people who 'preferredan unsettled life . by no means all of those called Uskokswere connected with Senj. although one 'Gjuro Uschok' [sic] was serving in Senj as early as I53014 there is no explicit mention of a group of Uskoksthere until I54915is also difficult to fit into Horvath's scheme.2 vols. pp. cit. 59-60... Archivio di Stato (hereafter VAS). 2 vols. suggests that these explanations. ."1 the thousands of refugees settled in the Petrinja area of Slavonia after 1595 (although uskoei in the literal sense) were known as Vlachs. chief of a band at Senj who called themselves Uskoks and were neither townsmen nor servicemen but took part in the larger expeditions. ed. loc. I953.

20and. the introduction of Turkish centralized government was accompanied by an improvement for peasants and particularly for pastoralists.that they were people caught up in the petty guerrilla wars waged independently of governments by local lords and tribal chiefs. Paris. pp. retained their estates. that the improvement in the conditions of peasants and pastoralists may have been due in part to depopulation. 242. 'Vlasi. 197I. and refugees were already arriving in the coastal towns and islands belonging to Venice. Eickhoff. By I463 the Turks. pp. I 975. especially in Hercegovina. was widely practised by the Vlachs of the Dalmatian mountains. vol. as we shall see. I2 March I599.1957. Nicoara Beldiceanu. many Christian garrisons had deserted to the Turks on being promised timars. 395419. Skok. It should be noted that Albanians and others were or became pastoralists and many of them. Furthermore. for example. 'Bosna'. i. also P. Busch-Zantner. In short. i. 459-60. Albanien. cit. Nomadic pastoralism. PP. like the Vlachs. in Sbornik Konstantina Jiri6eka. Parry.18 Hence the migration was gradual and cumulative rather than sudden and massive.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 351 long after the battle of Mohics in i526. especially pp. not least in Bosna: see Halil Inalcik. 1674. p. Many sipdhMs. vol. however. Djerdjev. It is possible. 83-132. 1939. and V. but rather people who had been ruined (or feared ruin) by frontier raids. were Christians. R."7 Refugees were arriving at Senj as late as I599. Indeed. having occupied Bosna were raiding Croatia and threatening 'to depredate Dalmatia also'. victims of the recurrentconflict between mountain-men and lowlanders 22 Giovanni Lucio. The Slays. op. I960.They were only gradually required to conform to Ottoman law and to convert to Islam. i. perhaps most. it is questionable to attribute the cause of the flight solely to the Turks. p. Vucinich. 'The Ottoman of in New Cambridge Empire I48I-I520'. pp.Denver. in Encyclopaedia Islam. 86. I965. 514-I6. 'Ottoman Methods of Conquest' (Studia Islamica. 20 See Konstantin Jiricek.). Mavrovlasi u dubrovackim spomenicima'. pp. there is evidence of Christiansmigrating into as well as out of Turkish territory. that the northward migrations of the Serbs were triggered by the Albanians rather than the Turks21). 'Sur les Valaques des Balkans Slaves a l'apoque Ottomane (I450-I 550)' (Revuedesetudes islamiques. and some of them were probably soon better off than they had been before. especially smaller ones. 17 18 . J. 21 R. Historia di Dalmatia. Wayne S. Thirdly. b. 224. and additions were being made to their ranks as late as 152 I. 1966. Leiden and London. 'Vlah' in Enciklopedija jugoslavie. it seems probable that many. I959. 19 Although most of the great feudal lords were dispossessed. 22 Roger Portal. 922: report enclosed in Donato's letter from Veglia (Krk). Belgrade. History. 2. A Study in Social Survival: the Katunin BiledaRudine. London. Senato: Provveditori di terra e da mar (hereafter PTM).Leipzig. pp. go-92). pp. Cambridge. the newly subjected populations were not much interfered with. I954. i6-I7. Paris. were Slavicized. VAS. Venice. of those who became Uskoks were not so much Christian activists who preferred to migrate rather than submit to the rather mild rule of Muslims.19Moreover. I9I ff. Initially at least Turkish rule seems to have been quite moderate. p. 103 f. and E. for example. xxxiv. Modern vol. viii. population movements had been characteristic of the region before the Turks arrived and continued to be so.. many landowners.. Zagreb. many but by no means all of them raids mounted by the Turks (it has been suggested.

23 24 . This fact was recognized by contemporaries. Arm. supervised the Bishopric of Senj. As ChristoforoValier wrote to the Doge in I596: There are two sorts of Uskok.They always and in contrivedto avoid being identified. Cong. I966.25 But if it is difficult to define the Uskoks in general it is not much easier to define the Uskok community at Senj itself with any precision. cit. although resident in Venetian territory. though it is clear that the town of Senj was inhabited before the refugees arrived. the Uskok vojvodacame from the Senj patriciate: see Branko Krmpoti6. 2 1O-I I.26 Evidently the confusion which they wrought among their enemies bedevils their historiansto this day. no.352 PHILIP LONGWORTH Some of these uskoci were employed by the Austrians as border guards against the Turks.. I96-2o6.. Croats and MorlachsfromTurkishparts [and] Dalmatianbandits.27and that raiders who went out from Senj were often joined by people from Venetian Dalmatia who were neither Senjans. 76. Dalmatia. The term Morlach (or sea-Vlach). Sac. But although the Uskoks of Senj inhabited an historical 'underworld'. 29 Grga Novak. cit. Zagreb. StanojeVi6. Commissiones RelationesVenetae. 93. 28 Minuci. Concilio: Visit. Apost. but others gained employment in the Venetian23and Turkish military zones. p. Op. 57. the problem is not insoluble. 69 (ioi)r.runaways fromthe galleysand malcontented subjects YourSerenitywho are by of natureinclinedto plunderand kill. loc. some joined monasteries like that of St Anthony on Rab . 323. 27 Vinko Hreljanovic.29 See J. some of them natives of Senj. 1924. in Senjskizbornik.24 indeed there are reportsof otherswho volunteered to serve the Venetians at Omis in I576 in order to escape from the Uskoks. Uskoceseobei slovenaeke pokrajine. p. that some of the indigenous inhabitants became Uskoks. v. who. op.coveringtheir tracksand leaving the enemyin doubt as to who had committedan action. 25 ASV. difficult of access. and was the author of the earliest published account of the Senj Uskoks. pp. p.. pp. Some joined the work-forces of Venetian landlords. Some of the confusion arises from the fact that the term Uskok came to be associatedwith the term Senjan.. Archbishop of Zadar. Mal. f. nor always Uskoks in the sense of coming from the Turkish zone.28 and the reportsof Venetian officersand officials confirm it. et vol. 1579. As their most recent historian remarks: In practiceit was difficultto drawa dividingline betweenthe full-time Uskoksand their harbourers associates Dalmatia. including Minucio Minuci. in use in northern Dalmatia from the fourteenth century. I5. Misc. cit.Ljubljana. came to apply to the rural population of Dalmatia as a whole: Jiricek.. II. ASV.

38 Venice. pp. p. Such famous Uskok names as Frletic and Granulovic are not encountered before I6oo: see Pavic6. had had a long if intermittent record as a pirate base. Dalmatia. vol. 30 Novak. for example.31 What emerges. 35 On the return of Uskoks and Morlachs to their former homes in Turkish territory see VAS. op. London. b. pp. PTM. like others along the coast. another Venetian account suggeststhat 'the name Uskok denotes not a nation. 34 VAS. cit.30 And another commander. 23 . a town which. cit. Krk. in I588. Many people on Brac and Hvar also followed the example of the Senj Uskoks: Pavicic. Pag. p. but that by 155I most came from Croatia. Racki. cit. Benedetto Moro. vol. part 4: Relation of th-eorigin of the Uskok War. p.firstly the original inhabitants of Senj.. PTM. vii. Pago. cit. op. immigrant ing 'three kinds of Uskok' -the and Morlachs'.. i90 and 256. pp. and Turkish subjects 'called Martolos (armatolos) Venetian subjects.Thirdly there were bandits who from adjacent Venetian territorywho masqueradedas Uskoks. pp. op.. Zagreb. op. Rab]' who gather to rob 'under the name of Uskok': in Ra6ki. then. op. as has been shown. He concludes that only about twenty of those registered in I540 came from outside. p. neither began with the fall of Klis in I537 nor ceased by the middle of the century as has often been suggested but was continuing as late as I59934 and which was accompanied by movements back into Turkish territory35). appendix to Donato's report of 12 March 1599. Correr Library.37 However. there 'are many islanders from Veglia. J. I8..e.. Pisani. report of 17 June 1599. 922. op. vol. In sum. 341-46.. he concluded in terms of almost despairing vagueness. 356. but a profession'. these Uskoks were 'people of diverse sorts who wish to devote themselves to the bad life'. cit. 23I. is anything but a clear-cut group of frontier warriorssharing common origins.. 368.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 353 A year earlier Valier's predecessor as Provveditor-General in Dalmatia. And finally there were immigrants from Austrian (and Ragusan) territory. 31 123-40.36 in regular Uskok aided and abetted them and sometimes joined expeditions or with the community at Senj itself. 187. 33 See.. I. had been rather more exact in identifyinhabitants of Senj.33Secondly there were the Uskoks proper.38and it may indeed be helpful to consider them in terms of function rather than origins. 36 As a contemporary friend of the Senj Uskoks put it. p. cit. Novak. 1970. but rather an amorphous community with several constituents. Lorenzo Dona's report from Zara [Zadar]. 922. J. I64.32 and whose people were to mount raids long after the Austrians had removed the core of Uskok troublemakers. 231. Wilkes. no. had also identified runaways from the territoryof the Emperor and Archduke. 2005. i6 April I684 in Desnica. 37 As the names Ljublanac and Dubrovcanic indicate. Cit. op. that is immigrants from Turkish territory (an immigration which. Arbe [i. 352-53. b. op. 32 I969. V. cit. Codice Cicogna. See the analysis of the 1540 and I55i registers in Pavicic.

b. VAS. were against the who joined in an Uskoks. PTM. On the other hand banditrywas not the only Uskok profession'. and E. op.44 When their communitywas threatened Naples43 in with dissolution 16I9 some of them thoughtof going over to the 39 VAS.. b. 'El duque de Osuiia y los uscoques de Sena' in Cuadernos Historia de Espana. 6o: Zorzi from Zara. de 44 On Uskoks leaving for Ancona (Papal territory). 423: report by Zane from Zara. 41 Kravjanszky. in developments the connotation At this stagewe may summarize of the worduskok. registeredUskoksin receipt of that is. I569.However. 239. p.: e. b. and a stratumof frontierservicemen by of (identification a status).thatis the morerecentimmigrants runaways from Venetian territoryor Venetian service and presumablythe to of golyt'ba the seventeenth poorest(comparable the Don Cossack century)..or householders. exclusively.g. However. 40 For an account of registration. 4 October I620.39 those people in the neighbourhood or occasional foray mounted from Senj without belonging to the centralcore. it came to in of describemembers particular communities Croatiaand Dalmatia (denotingparticularsocietiesor social groups).354 PHILIP LONGWORTH This would avoid such anomaliesin the latter schema as those inhabitantsof Senj who.and finallythe and or venturini bandits. op. ibid. I609. . Buenos Aires. the original Austrian pay. as reportedin I6o8. cit. and who took over housesabandoned inhabitants thoseimmigrants (see duringthe periodof Senj'sdepopulation infra).4l at varioustimesothersof themjoined. and i6 March i620 with enclosure dated 8 March I620. 6o: Zorzi from Zara (with enclosure).The authorities. 28 July I6I9.Adriaticpirates (identification function).by no meansall of them Uskoks(and Senjans) servedin this force. or Originallya genericterm appliedto runaways in displacedpersons (identification terms of origins). 423: Zane from Zara 24 August i6o8. VAS. 22 July I6I9.registered troopsin an analogous way to that in whichthe as salariedgarrison UkrainianCossacks for PolishkingsfromBatoryonwards registered Hence we find military service. in I609. b. PTM.the SenjUskoksdid not servethe Austrians In I537-4I. 42 See R. PTM. passim. 43 For example. I967. cit. the Duke of Tuscany. op. refusingregistrationto others.40 betweenthree other categories Venetianscommonlydistinguishing or of Senj Uskok-the stipendiati.42 Viceroyof the and the Pope. VAS. and or offeredtheir servicesto. 6o: Zorzi from Zara. cit. For their relations with the Duke of Osunia see Z. 301-51. see Rothenberg. Reberski de Baricevic. The Senj Uskoksalso provideda frontierdefenceforce (albeitan unruly one) for the Austrians. Eickhoff. and i6i9-20 some of them volunteered to enterVenetianservice. b. PTM. 8 July i6o8. pp. the casalini.

. cit.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 355 Turks. the Uskoks stormed the castle and killed him. robbers. Eickhoff. Marc. Muslims and Jews. see also Bib. Indeed some parts of the Christian-populated Lika area are said to have been denuded by the Uskoks who led all the Christians of the region away into captivity. arrived in Senj. II 2. Belegno. p. vi.50Yet the historical origins of the mytll can be traced from the sources. ibid. Such behaviour may be interpreted as an indication of their independence of spirit. Religious preferences may have contributed to the motives of some of them on particular occasions. 4January I602/3. 2I September). pp. vol. hanged two Uskok leaders. op. cit. op. crusading Clhristians bent on throwing back Islam.47 but when. 48 They are said to have used his head as a centre-piece at a celebration feast. Piero. PTM. R. 2-3 (report by Francesco Michiel. In i6oi. 922: Donato from Zara. when an Austrian Commissioner. A. cit.. . op. Gardner Wilkinson... It. 28 July I 6 I9. they demonstrate that Uskok victims were by no means confined to Turks. b. for example. I I I. 46 1321: Belegnofrom S. II. pp.g. and their treatment of the corpse of the captured Christoforo Venier48). 47 When the women allegedly dipped their hands into his blood and drank it: Minuci. extradited some Venetian runaways and tried to take the remainder in hand. Horvath. However. also report of Uskok women leaving Senj. pp. 17 June and from San Marco Strait. may be attributed to propaganda reflecting Venetian hostility towards them. 429-30 (quoting Sarpi or another uncited source).46 Nor were they always obedient to their Austrian employers when in their service. Dalmatia and Montenegro. see Minuci. cit. 50 In characterizing both Turkish and Christian warriors as chivalrous and describing love affairs which cross the 'border' Uskok folklore itself suggests that the inhabitants of the region failed to perceive their loyalties to 'nation' or religion quite as fiercely or in so clear-cut a way as much of the writing has described them. thieves and killers given to drinking their victims' blood: e. The Austrians fostered it in defending them against complaints about their activities lodged by the Republic of Venice. 1848.45Indeed some of them returned to their former domiciles in Turkish territory prior to that..49 It is therefore impossible to reconcile the great number of Christianswho fell victim to them with the myth that grew up about the Uskoks as anti-Turkish freedom-fighters.: Zorzi (with enclosure). but the evidence suggests that they themselves cared less about their crusading or 'patriotic' role than did the historians who attribute it to them.. 65 (= 6210): relation of G. Venetians commonly characterized the Uskoks as 'evil-living people'. 214-15. and the Uskoks themselves evidently knew how to flatter their Austrian masters and ingratiate themselves with potential patrons like the Pope by endorsing anti-Turkish ideology when circumstancessuited 45 Ibid. op. Governor of Krk). Josafa Rabatta.. and E. pp. p. and their reported ghoulishness (not only on this occasion. op. cit. for example. eaten his heart and dipped their bread into his blood: see J. they massacred the crew of a ship from Capodistria. I5 and 88. For example in 1599 (ASV.London. 49 Stanojevic. f.

5 StanojeviC. cit. 13. RegistrumlitterarumFr. But if these explanations are to be dismissed. Thomae de via CaietaniO. 33. etc. p. op. cit. (Dalmatia). cit.356 PHILIP LONGWORTH them. vigorouslydefending them beforethe Pope on the groundsthat they were the saviours of Italy and protectorsof the faith. vol. IV. op. Minuci. also Albertus de Meyer. temporarily successful in I596. what alternative more consistent with the totality of available evidence can be offered in their place ? Any satisfactory explanation must take account of the Uskoks' environment and economic predicament. the judgement of two modernGermanhistorians that they had an 'angeborene Neigung zum Kampf'.given Constantinople an appropriate amountof aid. not to mention the 1592-93 GuidoCipriani Lucca.53 or the more interesting suggestion in a recent Yugoslav work that the Senj Uskoks had 'an ancient pre-feudal conception of work as being unworthy of a free man' and that they were warlike because they considered it 'more honourable to live with a gun in one's hand than to pour out sweat in work'. 310. 203. provided an unwitting clue to the true source of their behaviour when he added that 'they could not exist without brigandage and murder'. For example. Rome.. Magistri ordinis1508-1513. and atypical of the Senj Uskoks normal activities.P. op. Towering above the town and the 51 Rome. 49. The attempts to recapture Klis. The Senj Uskoks found themselves trapped in an inhospitable environment between mountains and the sea with no adequate means of livelihood other than by the use of violence. such as that they 'loved to rob.55In so far as these words suggest that the Uskoks had no alternative but to live in the way they did.if the crusader image does not fit the Senj Uskoks. IV. 75. Garampi index.52 However. besides which the life of an Uskok was extremely hard as well as dangerous). The geography of the Senj area posed considerable economic problems for its inhabitants. Eickhoff. . op. ed. 208 ff.a Dominiof can friarand possiblyan Uskokspokesman orderhad long been (his in established the Senj area5l)was in Rome. cit. p. 74. pp. 1935.nor do Venetianexplanations theirbellicose of that behaviour. 55-58.. 5r Valvasor. Austrian General of the Croatian border. and proposingthat they might mount a crusadeto recapture fromthe Turks. The eighteenth-century historian Valvasor (although he also subscribed to the usual clich6s about the Uskoks. p. 21 1r. yet did not disdain labour. have rather more of a 'crusading' flavour about them. but were conventional military operations directed by Lencovic. 52 ASV.. 68. 3. Cipriani was subsequently arrested by the papal authorities. valued their freedom no less... on connections with Senj (Zechiensis. and E. f.54(Peasants of medieval Friesia or Holland. Santa Sabina Monastery Archive: Registri. the suggestion fits the circumstances. steal and plunder'). Szechenii). 53 R. 47-49. especially f. theywere 'by nature inclined to plunder and kill'. pp.

Sarajevo. De situ oraeIllyrici. without timber'. described by a contemporary as being 'without water. p. some vines and fruit trees grew there. C.pp. Rome. II. 1905. also note 94 below. as at Ragusa.62 Moreover with newcomers (Uskoks) continuing to drift into the town the economic strains became 55 Venice. cit. the name is a term of reproach': Karl Baedeker. I540. and the merchants of Senj were unable to trade or venture out to sea.M. Early in the sixteenth century the Morlachs of the Dalmatian hinterland had themselves turned to brigandage58and Senj itself was soon affected. 338 and 346. wrote to the Pope bewailing the extent to which the district was suffering from constant incursions and depopulations. H. On the other hand Senj enjoyed useful communications inland across the Vratnik Pass to the Lika and the Sava valley. 78.S.57 This modest prosperity disappeared.. Leipzig.The region had been devastated. 62 Pavicic. 1944-45. but further to the south.. v.56 The maquis provided pasture for a few sheep and goats. For a modern description see H. " ASV: Principe 3. As a port it had disadvantages in that large ships could not put in there when the infamous borablew down from the north-east. 3 vols. 659.Jugoslavia. . 29I. they wrote. 307r-v. Captain of Senj and Count of Klis. p.000 inhabitants had been trade. cit. 25. vol. Handbook Travellers:Austria-Hungary for includingDalmatia and Bosnia. and the sea provided some fishing. pp. Thanks to this. 61 Laszowski. op. without arable land . The terrain was both precipitous and barren. f. op. II. Correr Library. 58 vols. 58 Fuscus Patavinius Palladius. The reason for Senj's economic existence as a town of some 3. Cicogna.. in Sanuto. I879-1909. On Morlachs as raiders and rustlers see also the reports of Venier from Trogir. Diarii. ed. no. 4v-55r. Senj had been a thriving commercial centre with a successful fair at the beginning of the sixteenth century. pp. 28 February I504. The location.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 357 adjacent coastline are the Velebit Mountains. 2855. gen. Martolosi u jugoslavenskimzemljamapod turskimvladavinom. cols 803 and 8o8.. could only support a population numbered in hundreds. 12r. Diarii. 30 December I503 and another from Zara. f. vol.O.. when the economic life of the interior was disrupted. p. 132-33 and vol.61 By 1538 only about a thousand people remained in Senj (of whom I6I served in the garrison). It is interesting to note that the same was soon being said of the Uskoks. The Morlachs' fearsome reputation persisted into the twentieth century: 'As far as the Narenta the country-people are called Morlaks. In October i525 Petar Krusic. Ioth edn. T.. not thousands. Venice. I967. col. vol. however. Cod. 57 Marino Sanuto. however. Darby.59 and by January I530 the town council (opc'ina) Senj of reported that the town and its environs had been plunged into shortage and misery by the depredations of Martolos (in fact Morlachs engaged as frontier raiders by the Turks60). 60 On Martolos (armartolos) see Milan Vasic. III.

I92 . vol. op.. 439-40. he continues. Pisani's relation in Novak.. Racki. xvii. pp. although elsewhere he states that he had never met an Uskok who had died rich. vi. Zagreb. cit. to plunder enemy ports'. also Rothenberg.66 and a report of 1586 refers to Uskok servicemen so badly equipped that they had to stand guard in their bare feet even in winter... militarisCroatici conifnii Actahistoriarn See also G. vol. T884-89. pp. Ivic. vol.. However. I6-17). that at times the women of Senj might be 'clad in scarlet and silk' and make merry 'without having to touch distaff or spindle' (pp.. p. op. i8. 122-24 and xx. or by honest toil. 'Prelozi za povijest Hrvatski i Slavonije u xvi i xvii vjeku' (Starine. their salaries fluctuated in size and were paid very irregularly. 68 Ibid. p.. cit.358 PHILIP LONGWORTH progressively more severe. i6. I have found no indications as to the volume of trade in the period. Just as the raiders preyed on communities up and down the coast. plundered goods were marketed. . and some who were ashamed to associate personally with the rogues would keep some servant in their house who wotuld go out with the others on an expedition and bring back to his master a share of the booty.see A.64 they were unable to at Senj which lacked an agricultural hinterland of sufficient size. and in conditions of increasing population and declining income even the erstwhile solid citizens of Senj were forced to turn their hands to piracy. Rijeka. I9i8). effectively preyed on the . 64 The first such recorded grant to Uskoks is dated 5 June 1535: Radoslav Lopasic. op. cit. The situation at Senj and its neighbourhood forts had not improved by the end of the century.. 138-40. 296-30I). 53.. . e. even though the number of servicemen had increased. indeed rarely.. cit. vols Zagreb. vol. ir.65 As early as 1530 the 'salaried warriors' at Senj were complaining that they had not been paid.g. pp. dalmatinskog 65 The 1551 'Musterregister' of Senj Uskoks lists 315 men paid between eight and twenty-four florins a month . 45-78)). 3 illustrantia. comparatively few Senj Uskoks were registered for service. pp. i. I9i6. did not remain stable and was irregularly. 13. 1907. Il. However. p. p.. cit. op.69 63 Although the Austrians laid down a comprehensive customs tariff for Senj in I577 (see Zlatko Herkov. op. pp. 69 Minuci. and trading relations were maintained with Italy.63 Whereas the Austrians granted land on favourable terms to Uskok servicemen in other areas. cit. As a report of March I590 by the Captain of Senj (at that time Furio Molza. and so cash payments were substituted.. 'Dolazak uiskoka u Zaimberak' (Vjesnik KraljevskoHIrvatsk-o-slavonskoix. 'Carinski cjenik grada Senja od godine I577' (Vjesnik historajskih arhivaa Rijeci i Pazinu. so those who commanded at Senj on behalf of the Austrians. I. 388-90. p.. 157. came to be attracted by that occupation . p. notably Ancona.68 And a decade or so later Archbislhop Miniuci remarked that: Robbery . pp.67 Hence even the salaried Uskoks were largely dependent on booty. 6" Letterof 19 October 1530: Laszowski. I972. zemalskogarhziva. often at Fiume.xxxv. paid: see Gigante. became so general that even the ordinary citizens of Senj who had been accustomed to live modestly. The rate. however. op. cit. while others would provide the poor with provisions or other necessities oni condition that they would receive a share of the booty. op. 67 Lopasic. ed. So successful was this new 'trade'. appropriately a Knight of the piratical Order of Malta) makes clear: 'the people of Senj' had 'no other means of livelihood than . vol. Ivic.

p. turned from pastoralism to paddy cultivation and the export of male labour within four generations (Alan and of Macfarlane. I (Vicentius. If friarsand the Captainof Senjhimself. 30 December I615) and 2 (Marcus Antonius [de Dominis]. I976). 391. Bishop of Senj. Resources Population:A Studyof the Gurungs Nepal. Uskoks.that in the courseof the sixteenth on centurythe economyof Senj changedfromone basedprimarily Just trade to one based on predatoryenterprise.Venetiansbelieved took a tithe of the proceeds. op. and to maintain themselves in favour at the . for. 72 Palladius. p. Imperial court' they were soon left with nothing 'as may be guessed from the poverty and misery in which they lived' (ibid.72 the peopleof Senjwereforcedby the disruption of war to convertit into a piratebase (which.. so did the local clergy. p.. 13-14. in forays.however. Not only do the of inventories plate and valuablesindicatethat the Senjdiocesewas but thanits neighbours.althoughit is possible that some Senjansinvestedprimarilyin order to divert the attentions of the crowd of hungry ruffiansfrom themselvesand their property. nos. Most of those who became Uskoks also changed from pastoralism (but also agricultural and urban pursuits) to mercenary service and piracy within an even shorter time scale. solidcitizensof Senjjoined with the Uskoks. VI. cit. 23). i9 November i6oo). 73 ASV: Fondo Pio.. Relationes Visit. however. Compare the changing economic base of the Senjans with that of the Nepalese Gurungs who. cit.: Segnien & Modrusien. See Wilkinson. op.70 so.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 359 This suggeststhat those merchantswho remainedin Senj encouraged and even financed Uskok raids. that they blessedraidingexpeditions. Macfarlane holds population growth to have been the major factor determining social and cultural as well as economic change.. includingpriests.71 as the Morlach developingan pastoralists the interiorhad turnedto brigandage.. of to ethosaccording whichthey allegedlythoughtit 'mostlaudableto so live by robbery'. Conc. loc.ironically. Spalato [Split].7 Their povertyreflectedthe povertyof the populationas a whole. 3. vol. Indeed other sources indicate that the forays of the Senj Uskoks were supportedby from publicsubscriptions all who wereable to pay. Soon after a raid they found it necessary to mount another 'or die of hunger. In the case of the Senj Uskoks the pressure seems to have been caused by diminishing resources due to the disruption of warfare and to a degree of population growth due to immigration rather than natural increase.It is certain. 276. cit.either If the formerly or personally by proxy. Part ii. 70 71 .servedto prolongthe violencein the area and extendit). having contributed so much to satiate the greed of their Captain and various others who commanded him. see also ASV: Sac. Col.The recordsof apostolicvisitations and even participated to to the regioncertainlylendcredibility this view. a reportof I 588 states markedly affluent less that its ten priests(sevenof whom residedin the town) were 'very poor'. Cambridge. the raidshavea flavour of the joint-stockenterpriseabout them. Pisani suggests much the same: see Novak. pp. present an interesting and largely unexplored field for inquiry. The social and cultural consequences. also in conditions of increasing population pressure.

enclosed in Pasqualigo's letter of 27 November i6oo.360 PHILIP LONGWORTH Furthermore. Donato from Zara. 76 VAS. 77 Ibid. When man faces starvation he is more than usually disposed. then. Relazione de'Schoci di Dalmatia e Levante. 14 August 1599.. 78 Ibid. makes one of the sourcesof Uskok violence quite evident. and raids upon neighbours can easily be demonstrated. its abundance of cattle and 'animaliparvi' goats presumably). also 'suffers much from Uskok rapine' (f. a comparison of the relative wealth of Senj and the neighbouring Venetian islands.75Competition for some scarce resource (whether material or spiritual) is basic to aggression and to human conflict. This distribution suggests that livestock could be stolen more easily before it had been driven to. 2 July I6oo. there was a fresh influx of and immigrants into the town from Turkish territory. and wine 'of the best quality'. They are set out by Stanojevic (op. I78-92). for in the summer of i6oo Venetian authorities at Zadar reported serious shortages at Senj79 and there follow a number of reports of Uskok raiding activity. IOI. II. ASV. A visitation to Krk in January I603 remarks not only on its beauty. vii. done great damage'.78 but population pressure presumably remained severe. who brushed with them. but its (mainly sheep and fertility. f. Misc. ff. its honey. 79 VAS. pp. cit. 369-653. Donato from Zara. 80 For example.77 No doubt this encouraged the defections from the Uskok ranks reported that June and in September. In I599. PTM. although he gives no impression of the 74 75 economic perspective.80despite a tight Venetian blockade. emigration from the place.. The conjuncture of recurring economic crisis at Senj.. b. another very productive island. Such circumstances and reactions are well exemplified by the Senj Uskoks. As early as I576 Krk had been fortified 'because of the Uskoks who have often landed on the island and .. The same source reports that Rab.. Andrea Giustiniani. wool. a report by A. 922: report enclosed in Donato's letter from Veglia. as reflected in contemporaryrecords. b. de Barnadin. PTM. 81 I have omitted an account of political and diplomatic activity at this juncture. I576 (copy). 2I September '599.76 that summer there was an outbreak of plague. especially 369v. 76. oil. 923: Pasqualigo from Zara. then to steal and to use force against those who stand in his way. and its good fishing.6I [93]r-v). or ASV: Misc..81 The timing of such expeditions suggests very strongly that foodgathering was the primary objective. for example. I 7June 1599. Arm.. Arm. 62(94)v. A random sample of cases taken from Venetian records indicates a high level of predatory activity between the months of March and July with a smaller peak in November and December. if not to flee. and from the San Marco Strait. that with such riches within close reach Uskok rustling raids on Krk and other Venetian settlements along the coast should have been so frequent. . 12 March 1599.74Little wonder.

and since. 13I3: Giustiniani's report from Arbe. v. pp. and the Uskoks were licensed to plunder any who failed to pay. but to feed the community in the seasons of greatest scarcity. the Emperor had begun to levy a tribute of one sequin per household on the herdsmen between Zadar and the River Naretva.84 The Venetians estimated that in this way the Austrians obtained 12.. I321: Belegno from Veglia and S. op. but they also kidnapped Christians to hold for ransom86 or sell as slaves. pp. The Senj Uskoks were taking Turks captive from the earliest period of their existence. The Austrians . A single such raid could bring in as many as 5.88The same year they took slaves 82 VAS.85of which the Uskoks doubtless took a cut whiclhhelped to eke out their meagre incomes. p. also ibid.op. and two abbots. pp. In I565 they captured Zuan Bembo.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 36I after it had been driven back from summer pasture. VAS. 83 Novak. vi. i. it is not surprising that the most frequent objective of the Senj Uskoks' forays should have been the gatheringin of cattle.000 sheep and 500 head of cattle which the Uskoks would generally slaughter before transporting them back to base. cit. 179 f. b. and of the Archduke Chlarlesordering his representatives at Senj to ensure that these villages remain immune. 84 Lopagi6. moreover. 81-87. cit. the taking of hostages and engagement in the slave trade (which was still widely practisedthroughoutthe Mediterranean at the time) constituted another form of predatory activity. b. One such was extortion from the inhabitants of Turkish territory to the south. papers of January and February 1597/8 from Zara. persuading nine Morlach villages to pay protection money in return for an assurance that the Uskoks would not attack them. also from Krk.. vol. it could be immediately consumed.. that they were designed merely to procure the necessaries for the two great feasts of the religious calendar. Ibid. b. 22 January I612. Not. slheepand cheese. winter and spring.. however. Piero 28 December i602 and i January i602/3 (enclosing report from Ilovik). vol. 86 Stanojevic. Benio Rotondo of Trogir.82 Since livestock represented the region's chief productive wealth. 1263. 87 88 24 August I612. 425: Venier's report from Arbe. 315.87 in i 61 2 they seized the Venetian Rector of Kotor. vol.000 thalers a year (at a rate of three thalers per household) from Morlachs nominally under Turkish rule. Nevertheless their predatory activities had other economic objectives and took other forms. PTM.. cit. vol. VI. cit. 12-25. 12-25. 86 Novak. b. op. son of the Governorof Krk. According to a Venetian relation of I 588.. eventually forced the Uskoks to free him. Kidnapping. PTM. pp.83 Indeed there is evidence several years earlier of a priest in that area. It is also consistent with contemporary references to two traditional large-scale Uskok expeditions at Christmas and at Easter. op.

Marc. cit. Also into Ragusan territory. I847 (= 9617). the kidnapping of shepherds (VAS: Secreta: Materie Miste Notabile.99 If one then takes account of the fact that the defences had to be manned in the raiders' absence and that a proportion of the population must have been unfit for battle. cit.97 early in the seventeenth century they frequently went out in parties of 400.. London. p. b. PTM. i966. b.. 426: copy of letter from Count and Captain of Arbe enclosed in Canal's report from Zara. The full scale and success of Uskok buccaneering and wrecking activities have been fully described by A.95 But they also attacked areas as far north as Venetian Istria. p. 92 VAS. 25-26. p. b. p. June i6I2. corn and other Levantine goods at Christmas I573 . Eickhoff. 96 For example. the raid of September i 61 2: Miroslav Bertoia. b.92 But so far from limiting their attentions to cargoes belonging to Turks and Jews. for example. op. La Guerra degli Usccchie la Rovinadeli' Economia Istriana. 423: Venier's reports from Zara and Spalato. vol. 89 Ibid. 1586: see ASV. 9' VAS. One serious case of piracy involving the Venetians was their capture of Zuan Contarini's ship laden with silk. Garampi index.90 The Senj Uskoks also preyed upon sea-borne commerce.96 The Senj Uskoks could muster as many as 6oo or 700 men for an expedition. op.. . and E. After much diplomatic activity the ship was eventually returned. 126I: enclosure forwarded with Tiepolo's report of 5 July I592. gv. 45. making forays as far south as the Naretva estuaryfrom as early as I54294 (and regularly passing through Venetian territory en route). PTM. If one accepts an estimate of I585 which numbers the Uskoks at Senj as i. 7 June 159I. Tenenti.household servants and concubines to buyers in the Italian states. b. Zara. cit. vii. they were effective marauders overland. R. 11-12. PTM. op. 159. 99 See R. VAS. i. I3 and I5 May I6I3. op. enclosed in report of Commissioners (Giustiniani and Priuli). loc. 427: Pasqualigo's and makessome allowance both for those in neighbouring settlements such as Brinje and Otocac and for occasional adherents from outside one concludes their total could not have exceeded 2. vol. 2I). b. 97 Minuci. op.93 Finally.91 and perhaps their most remarkable exploit was the capture of a Venetian war galley in May i6I3. 90 Other examples include the recovery of thirteen Turkish and thirty-eight Morlach captives (Novak. 1974.. f.62. i i April i 6 I 8. 426: copies of letters forwarded by Canal. b. At least one was still being held as late as April i6i8: ibid. Piracyand the Declineof Venice1585-I6I5.. Venetians and Ragusans.89 and at other times held as many as 6oo Christian Morlachs. vi. cit. also the estimate by Gigante. I6 August 'i6i2. Senato: Secreta: Registro 79.. 8 April i6i8. i26: reports from Sebenico.98 and sometimes they mounted more than one operation simultaneously. cit. 94 VAS: Senato: Secreta. both male and female. ready to sell as galley-slaves. I.. p. 98 See.. cit. It. pp.000. Trieste. b. 95 VAS. pp. other kidnapping: VAS. 20I. 93 Despite agreements not to do so concluded in 1579-80 (Horvath. ibid. April i6oI and May 1603). 57. Bib. Deliberazioni. Racki. 415: copy of report by cavalry commander. One of their most successfulexploits in this area was their ambush of a merchant caravan in the spring of I59I.) the attacks were renewed c. PTM.362 PHILIP LONGWORTH from Brac. 3I August and 31 October i609. 1315. they also attacked Papal ships.

186-87. io8. when the Uskoks were plundering Dalmatia and Istria. cit. In 1597.'04One celebrated Uskok leader. so great was their fear of the Uskokswho would treat them with 'great cruelty . Juriga Hajduk (one of the ringleaders concerned in Rabatta's murder and a thorn in the side of successive Venetian commanders in Dalmatia and the Adriatic until i620) was himself. Minuci. and having been plundered. they would flee into the hills. What we observe in the sixteentli and early seventeenth centuries is 100 101 Relation of V. p.. rather than show any resistance when the raiders came. Barbaro. op.. . Pisani.' wrote Pisani. 102 Novak. 'IThelocal Morlachs. Cod. 104 Novak. VI.101 The Uskoks and frontier groups like them waged what was tantamount to a chaotic war directed almost indiscriminatelyagainst the population of the Dalmatian coast whatever their allegiance.'00In i6oi the community included only some 2oo women. 103 Horvath. vol. op.... reported in I588 that they had so 'totally demoralized' the Doge's subjects along the coast that. depriving them of life and setting fire to their poor houses'. op. were not only 'tributories of the Senj Uskoks' (and despoiled by them) but 'turn Uskok themselves when it suits them'. One suspects that a degree of sexual freedom obtained among them. 'many peasant joined them out of naked necessity. cit. some of them the widows of three or four husbands. p. according to Minuci. Captain of a Venetian task force sent out to counter the Uskoks. from the moutlhof the Naretva to the borders of Omis. p. op.'05 man (zappatore) Yet the Senj Uskokswere not responsiblefor all the troubles in the region. . vol. vol.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 363 it becomes apparent that the Senj Uskoks were a community geared to a perpetual state of almost total war. 68r-v and 74. as it did among other piratical or pastoral groups. cit. became plunderers themselves'. l06 See note 58 above. Confirmationis lent to this conclusion by the high Uskok casualty rate and by the inbalance between the sexes. for example. . cit. 25 April I6oI: Venice Correr Library.'02 This terrorserved both to maintain Uskok numbersand to increase the number of predators in the region. Cocogna 2855. i6. and the Liburnians and Narentines had been noted for piracy centuries before that.'03 A similar result obtained in the Turkish territories which the Uskoks raided..'06 had been raiders and cattle-rustlersbefore them. The inhabitants of 'all that country . and among their predecessors in the area. i.. p. the Liburnians. as has already been pointed out. p. 156. who also held their women in common: see Wilkes. 20.19. 105 Minuci. destroying crops. op. pp. Indeed there were so few women at Senj that a custom arose obliging Uskok widows to remarry. 'a husbandturned robber'. op. and the effects on the region were both destructive and disruptive. if. cit. cit. VI.

Although their creation has been attributed (by Minuci and others) to a Turkish reaction to Uskok activity. op. PTM. 109 VAS. religion or life style. Provveditor-General in Dalmatia. undated Relation of Benedetto Mor. as it were. x. in terms of language. see also Vasic. Moreover the nature of the war was such as to divide kinsman from kinsman and set fathers against sons. cit. cit. 112 (c. Istanbul. some of them on a salaried basis. after all. there is 107 108 VAS. but the bulk of it was stolen from Andija's own father. of course. pp. Neverthelessduring the period under discussionthe frontiersbetween states did not determine allegiances in any rigid way. col. 427. b.. b. To be sure. vol. The involvement of states served ultimately to polarize the local belligerents and to introduce warfareon a larger and more organized scale. messengers. upon a series of petty local wars. PTM. and had been noted by the Venetians in the neighbourhood of Klis in I5 10: see Sanuto..109 a 'Turk'. mounted scouts the Martolos and raiders). Senato. 1588-92) . 27: Conte Gabado Pier. ll For example. b. 1958. the great powers contributed to the disturbances. I595: Novak. 207. they had existed in the fifteenth century. 110 Midhat Sertoglu. vol. many Uskoks wereMorlachs. Seen in this light the constant predatory warfarein this period might have owed much less to the struggles between Turkey and Austria and Austria and Venice than many historians assume. . Uskoks sold Morlachs into slavery and collected tribute from them.'12 and the Uskok bandit Jurisa Hajduk were two of the same kind. Furthermore. 6o: two despatches from Zorzi at Zara. border guards and akinfi (that is. ResemliOsmanli TarekiAnseklopedu. One curious illustration of this phenomenon is provided by the great raid led by the Uskok chief Andija Frletic in January i6i2. The wars between the states were superimposed. 425: Venier's report of 29 January I6I2. op. Secreta: Materie Miste Notabile. 23 March I613. It brought in a goodly haul of livestock. 30 May I620.110 operated in much the same way as the Senj Uskoks. the Venetian report of a Turkish raid: VAS. I 23-47. op.108 Uskoks and Morlachs were not invariably on friendly terms. for example.but they were also drawn into conflict by the conditions of disorder. Furthermore.107 and others of them had 'friendsand parents' in Venetian Dalmatia.364 PHILIP LONGWORTH perhaps only an increase of small-scaleorganized violence which had long been endemic in the area. b. v. As one late sixteenth-century source points out Morlachs were the Uskoks' 'parents and friends (albeit) subject to the Turks'.. who was described in a Venetian report as a 'Turkish subject' and 'famous chief of thieves'. A force of Christians employed by the Turks as spies.11' Milos Zapanovic. Although Uskoks and Morlachs are generally distinguished from one another in the literature. Ibid. it is difficult to distinguish Uskoks from Martolos (their counterpartson the Turkish side). cit.

'Jedan skot meiu uskocima pocetkom xvii veka'. The Uskoks' raiding activities were essentially devoid of ideological objectives. cit. 114 See Lopasic. bandits and Crimean Tatars who servicemen arose . French ambassador to Venice in I 6 i 8. cited by Rothenberg. many Venetian galley-slaves and soldiers who came from Dalmatia escaped and joined the Senj Uskokswhen they were posted back to the area. Kostic. The Senj Uskoks were both a cause and a reflection of instability in the area. and the populations of Turkish and Venetian territory in the vicinity who joined them or 'went Uskok' on their own accounts did so primarily out of terror. The tale is not improbable.2.115 In sum. Austrian. vol. A Scot had encountered the Uskoks in I6I6 and left an account of his experience (William Lithgow.114 and there are reports of English Uskoks. VII. p. 40-48. vol. i. Turkish. more particularly as specialists in a peculiar kind of 113 See Bib. homelessnessor greed rather than any political commitment. I961). PP. people of the same ethnicity.Martolos..116Throughout the unstable border zones in the early modern period. Bertosa. 629). 88-92. 914 (= 8952): 'Delle ragione che ha la Serenissima Sr. 6o: Zorzi from Zara. loc.. op. 'Hajduc epizoda naseljavanja Puljstine I671-5: Prilog problematici organizirovane kolonizacije Mletacke Istre'. pp. . It. Albanian and Greek mercenariesalso deserted the Venetians. p.. 389-go quoting Brulart. op.VIII. jadranski zbornik. p. 297 . I632).-ii.113 and it is probable that some Martolos were Uskok deserters. 115 Wilkinson. 2 vols. Kravjanszky. Chicago. However. Io5-6o) provides a parallel with Austrian and Russian resettlements of Uskoks and Cossacks. and the Venetians themselves were employing a force of mercenaries under a Colonel Peyton in the Adriatic early in I620 (see VAS. some allegedly of noble birth. very similar groups of pirates.117 mounted raids independently of the Khan. PTM. The Mediterranean the Mediterranean Philip II. 123v. Some Englishmen who served with the Venetian see forces evidently turned venturini: V. hajduk. op. cit. culture and kin were distributedon both sides of each border. religion. II. op. cit.In. Marc. and the various communities of Cossacks. il Golfo Adriatico'. English pirates were active in the Mediterranean from Worldin the Age of and the I 8os (see Fernand Braudel. London.. London. an otherwise valuable and original study. 117 Theyataks who worked with and sheltered hajduk provide a parallel with the venturini of the Venetian islands (see Vucinich. Venetiani . they were not an 'exceptional historical phenomenon' as has recently been suggested. being executed by the Venetians.. Only inertia.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 365 evidence to suggest that some Uskoks were runaway Martolos.. b. increasingly so since conditions of service deteriorated steadily over the period. pp. from the Mediterranean to the Urals. the balance of terror and the relative prospects of pay and plunder determined the allegiances of the unfortunatepeople of the region. and Venetian.. and the Senj Uskoks had allies as well as enemies in both opposing camps. 1973. The Totall Discourseof the Rare Adventures. 116 Stanojevic. Similarly. and the Venetian attempt to colonize hajduk in the Pula area in the i670s (see M. 'Venice and the Uskoks of Senj 1537-I6I8' (Journalof ModernHistory.. 2 March I620). f. vol. cit. 197I-72.. pp. destitution.. cit. 49). See also note 30 above. Fernand Braudel has noticed similarities between such groups.

op. 122 Minuci.366 PHILIP LONGWORTH warfare. In sum. vii. the Uskoks lived in much greater proximity to the Austrian and Venetian centres of power. whereas the Cossacksof the Don and Zaporozh'e pioneered virgin."8 Gunther Rothenberg also regards them as members of a common category. a marked imbalance between the sexes and the virtual absence of agricultural pursuits. cit. I. at least were elected. vols. Moreover.and the piratical nature of both . 120 121 . f. 119 Rothenberg.and both. AustrianMilitary Border.121 and Cossacksalso Of figure in Minuci's account of the Uskoks. ii. Piracy. p. cit.p. again in a military context. noted .122 course there were also significant differences between Uskoks and Cossacks.. the Uskoks' similarities to other groups in function.. the Ukraine and Croatia.were finally merged into the peasantry at large.120 similarities between the boats used by the Uskoks and the Zaporozhian Cossacks. pp. 92-93. It. most of the Cossack lands were suitable for agriculture. Neverthelessthe similarities are striking and in their social aspects especially probably outweigh the differences. Bib. Yet both bequeathed popular legends glorifying freedom to the poor of Russia. Marc. for example. and while the Cossackssettled areas initially far distant from the centralizing pull of Moscow. in a relation of i 62o. Both in so far as Uskok vojvode and Cossack atamany Uskoks and Cossacksconstituted free social formationswhich sprang up spontaneously in frontier zones which were also power vacuums. So also were seasonal participation. Furthermore. op. and although both took service as frontier guards and mercenaries. the collection of tribute and the universal bearing of arms which these occupations imply were features of both Cossack and Uskok societies. A Venetian writer of the sixteenth century commented that the Uskoks were like the Polish Cossacks. Unlike coastal Croatia. I25. vol. I I96. cattle-raiding. vol. essentially devoid of effective state control. partly by dint of forced resettlementsand despite fierce resistance. pp. 25-27. virtually unpopulated territory. 25vfiberDeutschland und Lsterreich im der Joseph Fiedler. were more numerous and some were noted by contemporaries. the Senj Uskoks sprang up over an existing society. however. they were notoriously unstable in their allegiances.119The parallels. structure and behaviour suggest that rather than being considered 118 Braudel. I866-67. Vienna. both Uskok and Cossack communities and war bands were essentially self-governing. not only in language but in customs (moribus) Polo Minio. Both originated largely as refugees and runaways. Die Relationen BotschafterVenedigs 2 17 Jahrhundert. 9I4 (= 8592).

But the living materialsof that war. they merit considerationas part of a general social phenomenon characteristicof the Slavic-Turkish borderlands as a whole during the period. of Brigandage consumed the passionsthat would in other times have gone into a crusadeor Jihad. the energies a socialwarwhichneversurfaced. to be sure. ix. 124 Braudel. vol. p. Braudel offers an explanation in terms of the discontinuity of unexpected peace.... p.. But what were the sources of the anarchic wars which plagued this sector of Eastern Europe? Was it essentially a clash between culturesand power structuresrepresentingthe Christianand the Muslim worlds. came to an end. . 1939.?Was it the outcome of a series of local pressures caused by a recurring imbalance between population and resources spilling over into violence? Or was it a reverberationof crisesfarther afield. note 127. During this time this region constituted a borderland reflecting not only discontinuitiesin space but also discontinuitiesin time in so far as social.SENJ USKOKS RECONSIDERED 367 as a discrete entity. derived in part. 865. Referringto the end of the general war in the Mediterranean in I574 he writes: We should make it clear which kind of war we mean. or else from the standpoint of great powers attempting to bring order and stability to their vulnerable and anarchic borders (which has been the historiographicaltrend to date). sense. 890. and Chinese?124 More specifically.'25 Each of these ideas has a certain relevance. Indian. cit. Regular war maintainedat great expenseby the authoritarian expansionof major states . Finally. within a regional or national context. ii. perhaps of the ripple effect of population displacements described by Frederick Teggart in his study of disturbanceson the frontiersof the Roman Empire123 in another or. from the 123 Frederick J. in it were.. vol. Yet none alone can provide an adequate explanation of the Uskoks' existence and activity.. Spanish. economic and cultural trends were interrupted by war. 125 Ibid.. Turkish. . weredrivento a life of rovingby the and inadequate war . the men who could no longerbe keptin the war fleetsby what had become rewards wages. op. Brigandage liquidationof international subsumed. piracy and brigandagein the Mediterranean in the latter half of the sixteenth century to the break-up or decline of great empires. The anarchy of maritime Croatia. as Fernand Braudelimplies in attributing the general outbreak of guerrilla warfare. Rome and China: A Study of Correlations Historical Events. another example. an anarchy which was personified by the Senj Uskoks. some more general questions can be addressed in respect of the situation in the Balkans from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.. Berkeley.

. Austrian and Venetian. through more or less perpetual warfare. subsistence. of hosts of displaced and impoverished people who coalesced in marauding packs to wage their own private wars for that inost basic of all human objectives. Turkish. to impose order on an area difficult of access which provided ideal terrain for bandits or guerrillas.368 PHILIP LONGWORTH failure of great empires. in part also from a series of population movements. but essentially from the creation.

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