Kerbhölzer als Objekte materieller Kultur in den Kreditbeziehungen von Hirten im venezianischen Dalmatien des 15. Jahrhunderts
This article examines tally sticks (tessera) as objects of contractual practice and accountability in credit relations between animal owners and herders in 15th-century Venetian Dalmatia. The statutory herding contract (societas animalium) between animal owners and herders marked the fundamental socio-economic form of organising pastoral credit relations. On the island of Korčula, the lengthwise-split tally stick was a legal instrument for documenting and proving contract-based herding societies as acts of exchange and mutual compensation. Moreover, both in court and in social interaction, it served as a material symbol of the socio-economic symbiosis between herders and economic elites. Korčula’s extensive archival records facilitate a cultural, microhistorical perspective on pastoral contractual and accounting practices and the use of tally sticks as objects of pragmatic writing and instruments of accounting in the animal-related credit relations in late medieval Venetian Dalmatia.
Keywords Tally Sticks; Livestock Lease; Agistment; Pastoralism; Venetian Dalmatia
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