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Title: The Hospitaller commandery of San Giovanni Battista of Ragusa in the 17th and the 18th centuries : its state and development
Authors: Gatt, Ray
Keywords: Hospitalers -- Italy -- Sicily
Ragusa (Italy : Province) -- History -- 17th century
Ragusa (Italy : Province) -- History -- 18th century
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The scope of this dissertation was an attempt to reconstruct the commandery of St John of Ragusa, as vivid and realistically as possible, from whatever archival material is available. The main source remains the Archives of Malta at the National Library. There are six codici still available, containing miglioramenti or parts thereof of the commandery of Ragusa, spanning a timeline between 1630 and 1795, together with three cabrei dated 1666, 1746 and 1796. Another extensive source comes from archival material at the University of Palermo including volume 379 of the Comenda del Magione. This source also contains detailed pen and colour graphical representations of the outlying members of the commandery. Both these archives, although sketchy over particular decades because of loss, provide a basis on which to attempt to build an image, blurred in parts, of this Hospitaller tenuta in the Ragusan hills. Of considerable help were other primary and secondary sources which helped to fill in some gaps that were left after the two main archives were used. This dissertation is certainly not being presented as a full and complete last word on the commandery of Ragusa. Time constraints were certainly a problem, as well as the many attempts at deciphering badly written Italianized Latin compounded by the degradation and oxidation of ink on acid paper; despite these limitations, an attempt was made at trying to resurrect the commandery of Ragusa from the dusty pergamena. An effort was also made to animate, as much as possible, the various commanders administering the estate, their way of life, their mind-set, and their supporting cast as well. The same effort was attempted with the tenants of the estate and its procurators. This treatise is divided into several chapters. The first chapter deals with the various structures that made up the Hospitaller Order, together with their functions, with special reference to the commandery, which was the basic unit of the Order. Once this basis has been set, chapter two describes the foundation of this particular estate, followed by a portrayal of its first years of administration of this estate up to the death of the founder and the turbulent time that ensued, in chapter three. Chapter four outlines a particular processo dei miglioramenti of St. John of Ragusa in 1669 when the estate was under the administration of fra Francesco Maria Gabuccini. This description is given in some detail as it was an essential step in the progression of the incumbent in his cursus honoris. The next chapter deals with the progress of the commandery through the various years until the end of the eighteenth century when the Order imploded. This chapter shows the growth of the commandery, in the income accruing from rents and leases as well as actual physical size. Finally, chapter six attempts to depict the remnants of the commandery at the current time. It is an investigative attempt to reveal and uncover what was left of the commandery and its various members for posterity.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2014
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2014

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