Kerbhölzer als Objekte materieller Kultur in den Kreditbeziehungen von Hirten im venezianischen Dalmatien des 15. Jahrhunderts

  • Fabian Kümmeler (Autor/in)


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