“Boni Homines” of Despot Stefan Lazarević’s Novo Brdo Legal Codes Cover Image

„Добри људи“ Новобрдског законика деспота Стефана Лазаревића
“Boni Homines” of Despot Stefan Lazarević’s Novo Brdo Legal Codes

Author(s): Miloš Ivanović
Subject(s): History
Published by: Istorijski institut, Beograd
Keywords: boni homines; Novo Brdo; legal codes; witnesses; jurors; miners; noblemen; priests

Summary/Abstract: This paper analyzes the role and social status of persons who were marked as “good men” in Despot Stefan Lazarević’s Novo Brdo legal codes from 1412. This term does not have only one meaning in the whole source. In the introduction, Despot Stefan denoted with this term twenty-four mining experts, who composed Novo Brdo legal codes. The first part contains regulations about mining business. According to some articles, “good men” were impartial arbiters in litigations between two shafts. It is obvious that they had to be mining professionals. Most probably they were chosen for each lawsuit individually. Also, “good men” appear in the Township Law within Novo Brdo legal codes. Together with town’s authorities, they judged insignificant civil disputes. On the other hand, this term applied to four officials overseeing trade in the town. Finally, the Township Law determined that “good men” had to testify when citizens alienated patrimonial estates. They had a similar role as boni homines in other European cities. Persons designated this term belonged to the prominent and wealthy stratum of the population. Among them there were many priests, mining experts and merchants.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 64
  • Page Range: 159-187
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: Serbian