Thomas of Split’s Historia Salonitana is a unique source for the study of narrative strategies, most prominently illuminating the use of rituals as a means for describing and explanation of political events and social developments in 13th-century Central Europe. This paper focuses on the use and perception of rituals as, on the one hand, powerful weapons in public practice of lordship by medieval rulers in contact with their subordinated communities (either towns, monasteries, or local noble elites). On the other hand, it scrutinises rituals as an even more powerful tool for contemporary historians who depicted these events in their chronicles and annals.
In the 16th century, Venice claimed three-fourths of the entire Istrian peninsula, a strategically important region for the maritime republic aptly described as the ‘shield’ of the Venetian Dominion in the early modern sources (lo scudo della Dominante). Before being able to define the province as an integral part of its state, Venice had to constitute its authority in Istria through several military campaigns against the patriarchs of Aquileia, the ecclesiastics who were granted lay jurisdiction over the entire peninsula by the Holy Roman emperors. Since the events that led to the gradual Venetian expansion over Istria were described by several Venetian chroniclers, the paper will investigate both the modalities of narrative construction regarding the expansion of Venetian jurisdiction in Istria as well as the (re)production of the memories concerning the origins of Venetian presence on the peninsula.