12 - THE CAPTAIN

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While the owners themselves lived in Venice, the feud was governed on their behalf by a captain who lived and worked in the castle. As stated in the Statute of Svetvinčenat, his role was to ensure the subjects respected God and lived in peace, had enough bread, wine and other food, and he was to oversee the maintenance of the settlements and the houses. In return, he demanded regular tax payment (tithes) in the form of food and wine and the performance of certain tasks in his stead.

The captain, as the owner's representative, was appointed for a period of two to three years and almost always came from the ranks of the patricians of Koper, in Italian Capodistria. He acted as a judge in civil and criminal cases and maintained order in the governed territory. One of his more important tasks was to prevent tax evasion or corruption during the collection of tithes, and for the same reason he supervised the work of the merchant house, churches, and church fraternities. He kept the church silverware and the money earned by the merchant house in the castle. However, the captains themselves were known to take advantage of their position, as in the 1606 case of Captain Giulio Brutti, who stole some of the obtained wine and grain, for which he ended up in prison.

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