Nobleman Toma Pavla Toma From Kotor Cover Image

Которски властелин Тома Павла Тома
Nobleman Toma Pavla Toma From Kotor

Author(s): Marica Malović-Đukić
Subject(s): Economic history, Political history, 6th to 12th Centuries, 13th to 14th Centuries
Published by: Istorijski institut, Beograd

Summary/Abstract: Squire Toma Pavla Toma was a member of the renowned Toma family from Kotor that was a branch of the Drago family. The Drago family, in turn, branched from the Basilli family that can be traced back to late 12th century. This paper grants Toma a justified biography portraying his life and work, that is his political and business activity. Like his father, he continued to perform all important missions for the Serbian king and state. His political and business activities can be traced as of 1312, when there is first mention of him in the Archives of Dubrovnik, until his death in 1330. His business activities were related to Dubrovnik, Kotor and Serbia. Toma set up joint-stock trading companies with people in Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice and Serbia. He was a warrantor, creditor, representative and debtor. Little is known about his life in Kotor, as the sources dating from before 1326 have not been preserved. The Archives of Kotor trace Toma’s life and work only from 1326 to 1330, the last four years of his life. However, Toma’s last will speaks much more about his life and work in Kotor, Serbia and Dubrovnik. Even when he was only a visitor to Kotor, living in Dubrovnik and Serbia, Toma maintained connections with business people from his hometown. How significant was Toma Pavla Toma both for the Serbian Court and the town of Kotor was recorded in an article of the Statute of Kotor (426). His last will also gives a picture of almost the entire social and economic situation in Kotor of the first decades of the 14th century. In the third decade of the 14th century, Toma’s business and social activities in Serbia became more prominent. He lived in Serbia at that time, there is record of his presence in the town of Prizren where he owned a house and traded. He was the King's envoy in Dubrovnik and a person of trust who collected St. Dimitar's tax in this town. He also performed other tasks for the Serbian king and state, such as procuring of arms and horses, war being imminent in Serbia. Toma knew how to make good business deals for the ruler. In July 1329, he signed a contract on the lease of all Serbian customs offices on behalf of the Serbian king with three respected and rich merchants from the ranks of Dubrovnik aristocracy. Being close to the Court, he had business relations with well-known persons and merchants from Serbia. He worked with dukes – Duke Mladen, the progenitor of the Brankovic tree and Duke Vukoslav. How devoted was Toma Pavla Toma to the Serbian king and Serbia is shown by the fact that he spent his last days in Serbia, where on his death-bed in the ruler’s castle of Štimlje in Kosovo, he made his last will. Toma dealt with the Venetian merchants who lived in Kotor, Dubrovnik and Serbia in the 20s of the 14th century - Marco Ruggini, Pierangelo Polani, Bartolomeo Bolani, Francesco il Farmacista and others. Toma Pavla Toma was a merchant of great stature and prominence. He traded with the West and East, that is Venice, Apulia and Thessaloniki. He traded in metals (silver and lead), fabric, salt, wheat, wax, arms, horses etc. He acquired enormous capital, which he invested both in movable and real property in Kotor, Serbia and Dubrovnik. Toma’s long, successful and versatile business activities lasted until early 1330 when he died, probably in Serbia.

  • Issue Year: 2001
  • Issue No: 48
  • Page Range: 56-69
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Serbian