Ragusa: The City Republic of Dubrovnik

In the Middle Ages the 'Jewel of the Adriatic' occupied an important place in the intellectual and economic life of Europe.

Viola: 'What country, friends, is this?'
Captain: 'This is Illyria, lady.'

The scene of Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night , is set in Illyria. There is still debate as to which port on the Dalmatian coast was this 'City in Illyria'. What is clear is that Orsino, Duke of Illyria, was a sovereign prince at a time when most of the Dalmatian coast was under Venetian domination and the only free state ruled by a sovereign prince was the Republic of Dubrovnik, or Ragusa as it was then known.

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