Certaines remarques sur la Loi sur les mines du Despote Stefan Lazarević de l’année 1412

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Biljana Marković


The cyrillic manuscript of the Law of mines of Stefen Lazarevic is a unique
speciment, written late in the 16th century in Turkish occupied Serbia.
Originally it was issued by the Serbian despot in 1412. There is an extended
Turkish translation of the law dated in the later part of the 16th century, and
a latin version of it written in Cipiovec of Western Bulgaria in 1638.
The law was issued for the mines of Novo Brdo, the largest mining center
in Medieval Serbia. The exploitation of the mines was done according to the
same system as in Central Europe. All miners had special priviledges. Their
relationships with the government as well as their own were regulated based
on the above mentioned Law. The government through its agents ofjus regabe,
gave permission for the exploitation of the mines. Each individual mine was
divided in 64 equal parts. The owners of each part were parthners. Each owner
had the right to use its earnings the way it pleased him. All possible disagreements between miners were to be solved by special court-houses. Because of the complicated work patterns, the miners were frequently in disagreement. The role of the legislator was to solve the problems quickly for the benefit of the mines.

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