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  • Jeremiah

Law of the Vasojevići tribe in 12 points

Point First

1. The brotherhoods of Vasojevići and Srbljaci are to make peace without complaints. Whoever does not do it willingly, will be forced.

2. A man's head is to be worth three hundred groš* and a female three hundred and one.

Point Second

3. New mosques are not to be built and old ones are to be abandoned.

4. Muslim converts are not to be killed, but every brotherhood is to return their own into the faith of the forefathers. If the converts are not willing, and resist, be free to beat them with whatever you want.

5. Whoever converts to Islam from today onwards, he will be treated as a Turk.

Point Third

6. Whoever does not help when the border-folk are attacked, let him have no part of the spoils and let no one give him a girl or marry from him.

7. Whoever kills or robs a citizen of Kolašin without the knowledge of the people of Slatina, while Kolašin and Slatina are at peace is to owe blood to the people of Slatina.

Point Fourth

8. Whoever is caught stealing from Serbs is to pay back double and the aldermen's court costs.** If he is not caught, let it be cursed.

9. Whoever steals from Turks, let it be blessed unto him.

Point Fifth

10. Whoever keeps the robbers in his house, is a friend of theirs.***

Point Sixth

11. Whichever Branković**** lets the enemy know what the aldermen and people speak, to be disappear him and all of his for ever and amen.

12. Whoever skips over his aldermen and seeks justice from foreigners, to be found guilty.

13. Whoever from today goes to the vizier in Skadar, let him not return to us anymore, and if he returns, let him be put under the logs***** and if he repents, to be let go and if he does not, to disappear.

Point Seventh

14. Caravans are not to be touched by anyone, but let them go where the roads take them. If they do any kind of damage, let them pay the damages immediately and without complaint; if he will not, the robbed ones are to hold his horses and goods until the alderman comes and let it be as the alderman says. If the alderman is not in the village, let the closest honest man make the judgment.

Point Eigth

15. Priests and monks when they go to battle are to shave their beards and wear our dress and if they will not, the leaders are not to give them ammunition.

16. God made woman and not Satan and this is to be so forever. Whoever says otherwise, let him be damned: let him not have a guardian angel in this world and on the other one let him not see paradise, but let his soul forever be in hell and suffer for his sins.

17. Priests and monks are to let the women be and whoever is caught as an inveigler and that is clearly proven, to be castrated and his priesthood revoked.

Point Ninth

18. Turks to pray on their own land. Whoever catches them doing so on his land is allowed to chase them away by force, with whatever is handy.

19. Christians are allowed on Ascension Day to place crosses on non-Christian land which surround their properties. Non-Christians can remove those from their lands only the next day after Ascension Day, not before. Whoever does otherwise, let him pay damages to the village and the aldermen's court costs.

20. Whoever is caught from today onwards to be catching witches, to be put under the logs for fifteen days. If there are damages done, let him pay them as well.

21. Whoever drowns a bastard, to be put under the pile.******

22. Whoever is caught working on holy days, let everything he does those days be spoiled and handed over to the devil and let him pay the aldermen's court cost as well.

23. Whichever blacksmith does not hit his anvil with a hammer before sunrise on Christmas and that is proven, let his anvil and hammer be broken and him and all of his disappear.

Point Tenth

24. Whoever abandons his house and family, to be stripped of all army honours.

Point Eleventh

25. That there is no other tax than the voivode's contribution.

26. The voivode's contribution is to be two groš per chimney.

Point Twelfth

27. Land of Vasojevići is to be from Nožica to Lješnica, from Bjelasica to the peak of Ružica and the church of Brezojevica, which is stuck between the Turkish towns like an angry adder between fires. * groš is a monetary unit, derived from the grossus

** at this time, the court costs would be enough to ruin a person, as the aldermen would take a few days to go over all case law and traditions before starting any hearings and for the entirety of proceedings there was an effective feast for the aldermen and their entourage, as well as covering the cost of tobacco etc for all these people

*** "a friend of theirs" means that the person hiding the robbers will be treated same as them and answer for the same crimes, even if they did not directly participate

**** "Branković" is taken as a synonym for a traitor

***** this was a method of punishment where a person would be put in a dungeon and have their arms and legs diagonally tied to two logs

****** stoning

Translated by Books of Jeremiah

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