Consulate of the Sea

The Consulate of the Sea (Catalan: Consolat de mar; pronounced [kunsuˈlad də ˈmaɾ]) was a quasi-judicial body set up in the Crown of Aragon, later to spread throughout the Mediterranean basin, to administer maritime and commercial law. The term may also refer to a celebrated collection of maritime customs and ordinances in Catalan language, also known in English as The Customs of the Sea, compiled over the 14th and 15th centuries and published at Valencia in or before 1494.

In the 21st century, the Catalan term Consolat de mar is today used for a commercial arbitration service operated by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, and also for a series of trade-promotion offices operated by the city of Barcelona.

Lonja de Valencia1
The Llotja de la Seda, seat of the Consulate of the Sea in Valencia since 1498.

Medieval institution

Imperio de Aragón
The greatest extent of the territories controlled by the Crown of Aragon, c. 1350

The Catalan institution can be traced to the grant of the Carta Consular to the city of Barcelona by James I of Aragon in 1258.[1] This gave Barcelona merchants the right to settle their commercial disputes without interference from the royal courts: in return, the king received much needed financial support for his wars of expansion. Mercantile Law (ius mercadorium) was becoming established at the same time through much of Europe, and similar bodies had already been established in Messina (first third of the 13th century) and Genoa (1250).[2]

As the territories of the Crown of Aragon expanded, it was customary to establish new Consulates of the Sea in the major ports. One of the earliest was in Valencia (1283), where the charter of Peter III of Aragon makes it clear that disputes are to be settled "according to maritime customs, as these are accepted in Barcelona."

Book of the Consulate of the Sea

Llibre del Consolat de Mar 1814
The title page of the 1914 edition of the Book of the Consulate of the Sea, edited by Ernest Moliné y Brasés.

The full title in Catalan is Les costums marítimes de Barcelona universalment conegudes per Llibre del Consolat de mar, or "The maritime customs of Barcelona universally known as the Book of the Consulate of the Sea". The earliest extant printed edition of the work (Barcelona, 1494) is without a title-page or frontispiece, but it is described by the above-mentioned title in the epistle dedicatory prefixed to the table of contents. The only known copy of this edition (as of 1911) is preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.[3][4] The epistle dedicatory states that the work is an amended version of the Book of the Consulate of the Sea, compiled by Francis Celelles with the assistance of numerous shipmasters and merchants well versed in maritime affairs.

According to a statement made by Capmany in his Codigo de los costumbras maritimas de Barcelona, published at Madrid in 1791, there was extant to his knowledge an older edition, printed in semi-Gothic characters, which he believed to be of a date prior to 1484.[3]

There are, however, two Catalan manuscripts preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the earliest of which, being MS. Espagnol 124, contains the two first treatises which are printed in the Book of the Consulate of the Sea of 1494, and which are the most ancient portion of its contents, written in a hand of the 14th century, on paper of that century. The subsequent parts of this manuscript are on paper of the 15th century, but there is no document of a date more recent than 1436. The later of the two manuscripts, being MS. Espagnol 56, is written throughout on paper of the 15th century, and in a hand of that century, and it purports, from a certificate on the face of the last leaf, to have been executed under the superintendence of Peter Thomas, a notary public, and the scribe of the Consulate of the Sea at Barcelona.[3]

The edition of 1494 contains, in the first place, a code of procedure issued by the kings of Aragon for the guidance of the courts of the consuls of the sea, in the second place, a collection of ancient customs of the sea, and thirdly, a body of rules for the government of cruisers of war. A colophon at the end of these ordinances informs the reader that the book commonly called the Book of the Consulate of the Sea ends here; after which there follows a document known by the title of The Acceptations, which purports to record that the previous chapters and ordinances had been approved by the "Roman" people in 1075, and by various princes and peoples in the 12th and 13th centuries: this is generally regarded as of no historical value.[2][3] The paging of the edition of 1494 ceases with this document, at the end of which is the printer's colophon, reciting that the work was completed on 14 July 1494, at Barcelona, by Pere Posa, priest and printer.[3]

The remainder of the volume consists of what may be regarded as an appendix to the original Book of the Consulate. This appendix contains various maritime ordinances of the kings of Aragon and of the councillors of the city of Barcelona, ranging over a period from 1271 to 1493. It is printed apparently in the same type with the preceding part of the volume. The original Book of the Consulate of the Sea, coupled with this appendix, circulated in Europe under the title, The Consulate of the Sea, and in the 16th century was translated into the Castilian, the Italian, and the French languages. The Italian translation, printed at Venice c. 1549 by Jean Baptista Pedrezano, was the version that obtained the largest circulation in the north of Europe, and led many jurists to suppose the work to have been of Italian origin. In the next century, the work was translated into Dutch by Westerven, and into German by Engelbrecht, and it is also said to have been translated into Latin. An excellent translation into French of The Customs of the Sea, which are the most valuable portion of the Book of the Consulate, was published by Pardessus in the second volume of his Collection des lois maritimes (Paris, 1834), under the title of La Compilation connue sous le nom do consulat de la mer. See introduction, by Sir Travers Twiss, to the Black Book of the Admiralty (London, 1874), which in the appendix to vol. iii, contains his translation of The Customs of the Sea, with the Catalan text.[3]

See also


  • Consulate of the Sea and Related Documents. Translated by Stanley S. Jados (1975). University of Alabama Press.
  • Les costums marítimes de Barcelona universalment conegudes per Llibre del Consolat de mar. Edited by Ernest Moliné y Brasés (1914). Barcelona: Henrich. (in Catalan)
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainTwiss, Sir Travers (1911). "Consulate of the Sea" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • "De la favor de les causes mercantivols." Constitution of the Corts de Catalunya, Montsó, 1510. (in Catalan)
  1. ^ Art. 21, Barcelona Maritime Code of 1258.
  2. ^ a b Moliné y Brasés (1914).
  3. ^ a b c d e f Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911)
  4. ^ Jados (1975).

External links

Media related to Consolat de Mar at Wikimedia Commons

Admiralty law

Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes. Admiralty law consists of both domestic law on maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private parties operating or using ocean-going ships. While each legal jurisdiction usually has its own legislation governing maritime matters, the international nature of the topic and the need for uniformity has, since 1900, led to considerable international maritime law developments, including numerous multilateral treaties.Admiralty law may be distinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters, and the maritime relationships between nations. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been adopted by 167 countries and the European Union, and disputes are resolved at the ITLOS tribunal in Hamburg.


Bilbao (; Spanish: [bilˈβao]; Basque: Bilbo [bilβo]) is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015. The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552 the comarca of Greater Bilbao is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. Bilbao is also the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region.

Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 16 kilometres (10 mi) south of the Bay of Biscay, where the economic social development is located, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed. Its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres (1,300 ft). Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall. The annual temperature range is low for its latitude.

After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain. This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona. At the same time an extraordinary population explosion prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Azkuna Zentroa, and the currently under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects.Bilbao is also home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history.

On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore, in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy. Considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism, it was handed out on 29 June 2010. On 7 January 2013, its mayor, Iñaki Azkuna, received the 2012 World Mayor Prize awarded every two years by the British foundation The City Mayors Foundation, in recognition of the urban transformation experienced by the Biscayan capital since the 1990s. On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism.

Book of the Consulate of the Sea

The Book of the Consulate of the Sea or Book of the Consulate of Sea is a compendium of maritime law that governed trade in the Mediterranean for centuries. Of Catalan origin, it was translated into many languages and served as the basis for current international maritime law.

When setting the first Consulate of the Sea in Valencia, king Peter III of Aragon decided to apply the maritime customs of Barcelona, called costums de mar, which had not yet been codified, although there did already exist in Barcelona another compilation of maritime rules, called Ordinacions de Ribera, which established norms for policing harbours and coastal waters.

The merit of the Book of the Consulate of the Sea is that it is the first work to collect the scattered laws and customs of Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Rhodian, Italian, French and Spanish maritime rights.

Until the publication of the Ordonnance de la Marine in France in 1681, the Book of the Consulate of the Sea was the code of maritime law in force throughout the Mediterranean. In Spain it continued in use until the introduction of the Spanish Commercial Code. The Book of the Consulate of the Sea effectively replaced the Amalfi Tables, a set of rules written in the Amalfi to regulate maritime trade.

Catalan constitutions

The Catalan constitutions (Catalan: Constitucions catalanes, IPA: [kunstitusiˈons kətəˈlanəs]) were the laws of the Principality of Catalonia promulgated by the Count of Barcelona and approved by the Catalan Courts. The Corts in Catalan have the same origin as courts in English (the sovereign's councillors or retinue) but instead meaning the legislature. The first constitutions were promulgated by the Corts of 1283. The last ones were promulgated by the Corts of 1705. They had pre-eminence over the other legal rules and could only be revoked by the Catalan Courts themselves. The compilations of the constitutions and other rights of Catalonia followed the Roman tradition of the Codex.

Commercial law

Commercial law, also known as trade law, is the body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and conduct of persons and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales. It is often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals with issues of both private law and public law.

Commercial law includes within its compass such titles as principal and agent; carriage by land and sea; merchant shipping; guarantee; marine, fire, life, and accident insurance; bills of exchange, negotiable instruments, contracts and partnership. Many of these categories fall within Financial law, an aspected of Commercial law pertaining specifically to financing and the financial markets. It can also be understood to regulate corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales of consumer goods. Many countries have adopted civil codes that contain comprehensive statements of their commercial law.

In the United States, commercial law is the province of both the United States Congress, under its power to regulate interstate commerce, and the states, under their police power. Efforts have been made to create a unified body of commercial law in the United States; the most successful of these attempts has resulted in the general adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted in all 50 states (with some modification by state legislatures), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.

Various regulatory schemes control how commerce is conducted, particularly vis-a-vis employees and customers. Privacy laws, safety laws (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Act in the United States), and food and drug laws are some examples.

Consulate (disambiguation)

Consulate may refer to:

the office, comparable in some senses to an embassy, of a Consul (representative), an official representative of a state outside its territory

the office or term of any official styled Consul, originally a magistrate of the Roman Republic

Consulate of the Sea, a Catalan medieval judicial organ for commerce

French Consulate, the government of republican France from 1799 to 1804

a brand of menthol cigarette introduced by Rothmans International

Crown of Aragon

The Crown of Aragon (; Aragonese: Corona d'Aragón, Catalan: Corona d'Aragó, Spanish: Corona de Aragón) was a composite monarchy, also nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, with a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. At the height of its power in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Crown of Aragon was a thalassocracy controlling a large portion of present-day eastern Spain, parts of what is now southern France, and a Mediterranean "empire" which included the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Southern Italy (from 1442) and parts of Greece (until 1388). The component realms of the Crown were not united politically except at the level of the king, who ruled over each autonomous polity according to its own laws, raising funds under each tax structure, dealing separately with each Corts or Cortes. Put in contemporary terms, it has sometimes been considered that the different lands of the Crown of Aragon (mainly the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia and the Kingdom of Valencia) functioned more as a confederation than as a single kingdom. In this sense, the larger Crown of Aragon must not be confused with one of its constituent parts, the Kingdom of Aragon, from which it takes its name.

In 1469, a new dynastic familial union of the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Monarchs, joining what contemporaries referred to as "the Spains" led to what would become the Kingdom of Spain under King Philip II. The Crown existed until it was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of the defeat of Archduke Charles (as Charles III of Aragon) in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Cusco School

The Cusco School (Escuela Cuzqueña) or Cuzco School, was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru (the former capital of the Inca Empire) during the Colonial period, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It was not limited to Cuzco only, but spread to other cities in the Andes, as well as to present day Ecuador and Bolivia.There are high amount of Cusco School's paintings preserved, currently most of them are located at Cusco, but also currently there are in the rest of Peru and in museums of Brazil, England and United States.

Freedom of navigation

Freedom of navigation (FON) is a principle of customary international law that ships flying the flag of any sovereign state shall not suffer interference from other states, apart from the exceptions provided for in international law. This right is now also codified as article 87(1)a of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Not all UN member states have ratified the convention; notably, the United States has signed, but not ratified the convention. However, the § United States enforces the practice; see below.

Hernán Venegas Carrillo

Hernán Venegas Carrillo Manosalvas (c.1513 – 2 February 1583) was a Spanish conquistadorfor who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca and Panche people in the New Kingdom of Granada, present-day Colombia. Venegas Carrillo was mayor of Santa Fe de Bogotá for two terms; in 1542 and from 1543 to 1544.

List of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller

This is a list of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller, including its continuation as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta after 1798. It also includes unrecognized "anti-Grand Masters" and lieutenants or stewards during vacancies.

The title "Grand Master" is applied retrospectively; the medieval heads of the order took the title of custos ("guardian") of the hospital. The title magister ("master") is used on coins minted in Rhodes, beginning with Foulques de Villaret. The first to use the title Grandis Magister ("Grand Master") was Jean de Lastic (r. 1437–1454); the title Grandis Magister is found on coins minted by Pierre d'Aubusson (r. 1476–1503). Later Grand Masters in Rhodes used Magnus Magister.

After the loss of Rhodes, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and his successors went back to using simple Magister, abbreviated M.H.H. for Magister Hospitalis Hierosolymae. Use of Magister Magnus is taken up again in the 17th century, under Antoine de Paule (r. 1623–1636).The title of Prince and Grand Master (Principe e Gran Maestro del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta) is in use from 1880,

when Franz Joseph I of Austria granted the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire to the Grand Masters.

The title has remained in use after the dissolution of the Austrian Empire in 1919.

Numbered lists of Grand Masters of the Order, with portraits and attributed arms, are published from the early 17th century, with updated editions appearing throughout the 18th century.

The numbering of Grand Masters in use by the Order by the early 18th century, published in the 1719 Statutes of the Order,

lists the Blessed Gerard as founder without number, counting Raymond du Puy as first Master of the Hospital, Foulques de Villaret as 24th, Riccardo Caracciolo as 32nd,

Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam as 43rd and the then incumbent Ramon Perellos y Roccaful as 63rd.

Llotja de la Seda

The Llotja de la Seda (Valencian pronunciation: [ˈʎɔdʒa ðe la ˈseða], Spanish: Lonja de la Seda, English "Silk Exchange") is a late Valencian Gothic-style civil building in Valencia, Spain. It is a principal tourist attraction in the city.

Memorias históricas (Capmany)

Memorias históricas sobre la marina, comercio y artes de la antigua ciudad de Barcelona. (. Historical Records on marine, trade and arts of the ancient city of Barcelona) As its title indicates, is a summary paper on the Navy, the trade and the arts of the city of Barcelona, written by the famous Antonio de Capmany y Montpalau.

President of the Balearic Islands

The President of the Balearic Islands is the head of government of the Balearic Islands, one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain, while the monarch Felipe VI remains the head of state as King of Spain (and therefore of the Balearic Islands).

Principality of Catalonia

The Principality of Catalonia (Catalan: Principat de Catalunya, Latin: Principatus Cathaloniæ, Occitan: Principautat de Catalonha, French: Principauté de Catalogne, Spanish: Principado de Cataluña) was a medieval and early modern political entity in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. During most of its history it was in dynastic union with the Kingdom of Aragon, constituting together the Crown of Aragon. Between the 13th and the 18th centuries it was bordered by the Kingdom of Aragon to the west, the Kingdom of Valencia to the south, the Kingdom of France and the feudal lordship of Andorra to the north and by the Mediterranean sea to the east. The term "Principality of Catalonia" remained in use until the Second Spanish Republic, when its use declined because of its historical relation to the monarchy. Today, the term Principat (Principality) is used primarily to refer to the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, as distinct from the other Catalan Countries. and usually including the historical region of Roussillon in southern France.

The first reference to Catalonia and the Catalans appears in the Liber maiolichinus de gestis Pisanorum illustribus, a Pisan chronicle (written between 1117 and 1125) of the conquest of Menorca by a joint force of Italians, Catalans, and Occitans. At the time, Catalonia did not yet exist as a political entity, though the use of this term seems to acknowledge Catalonia as a cultural or geographical entity.

The counties that would eventually make up the Principality of Catalonia were gradually unified under the rule of the Count of Barcelona. In 1137, the County of Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were unified under a single dynasty, creating what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon; however, Aragon and Catalonia retained their own political structure and legal traditions, developing separate political communities along the next centuries. Under Alfons I the Troubador (reigned 1164–1196), Catalonia was regarded as a legal entity for the first time. Still, the term Principality of Catalonia was not used legally until the 14th century, when it was applied to the territories ruled by the Courts of Catalonia.

Its institutional system evolved over the centuries, establishing political bodies (such as the Courts, the Generalitat or the Consell de Cent) and legislation (constitutions, derived from the Usages of Barcelona) which limited the royal power and secured the political model of pactism. Catalonia contributed to further develop the Crown trade and military, most significantly their navy. Catalan language flourished and expanded as more territories were added to the Crown, including Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples and Athens, constituting a thalassocracy across the Mediterranean. The crisis of the 14th century, the end of the rule of House of Barcelona (1410) and a civil war (1462–1472) weakened the role of the Principality in Crown and international affairs.

The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 laid the foundations of the Monarchy of Spain. In 1492 the Spanish colonization of the Americas began, and political power began to shift away towards Castile. Tensions between Catalan institutions and the Monarchy, alongside the peasants' revolts provoked the Reapers' War (1640–1659). By the Treaty of the Pyrenees the Roussillon was ceded to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the Crown of Aragon supported the Archduke Charles of Habsburg. After the surrender of Barcelona in 1714, the king Philip V of Bourbon, inspired by the model of France imposed the abolutism and a unifying administration across Spain, and enacted the Nueva Planta decrees for every realm of the Crown of Aragon, which suppressed the main Catalan, Aragonese, Valencian and Majorcan political institutions and rights and merged them into the Crown of Castile as provinces.

Quito School

The Quito School (Escuela Quiteña) is a Latin American artistic tradition that constitutes essentially the whole of the professional artistic output developed in the territory of the Royal Audience of Quito — from Pasto and Popayán in the north to Piura and Cajamarca in the south — during the Spanish colonial period (1542-1824). It is especially associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost exclusively focused on the religious art of the Catholic Church in the country. Characterized by a mastery of the realistic and by the degree to which indigenous beliefs and artistic traditions are evident, these productions were among of the most important activities in the economy of the Royal Audience of Quito. Such was the prestige of the movement even in Europe that it was said that King Carlos III of Spain (1716–1788), referring to one of its sculptors in particular, opined: "I am not concerned that Italy has Michelangelo; in my colonies of America I have the master Caspicara".

Ramon Perellos y Roccaful

Perellos redirects here; for other uses of the term, see: Perello (disambiguation).

Ramon Perellos y Roccaful, known in Spanish as Raimundo Rabasa de Perellós y Rocafull and in his native Catalan of Valencia as Ramon Perellós i Rocafull (1637 in Valencia – 10 January 1720 in Valletta) was the 64th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta from 1697 until his death. He was of Spanish origin and was 60 years old when he was elected as Grand Master.

The Maritime Rescue Museum

The Maritime Rescue Museum is an old rescue shipwreck station located in the port of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in the Baix Empordà region. It was built in the 19th century and it is protected as a Bé Cultural d'Interès Local, a cultural asset of local interest.

As of 2017, it is a branch of the Museum of History of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, dedicated to marine rescue.

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