Elia Peraizza

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Elia Peraizza or Ilija Perajica (Italian: Peraizza Elia, Croatian: Perajica Ilija; ca. 17th century) was a Hajduk and Serdar leader of Morlachs from Dalmatia.


According to old Italian sources, he came from a large family listed as Morlachs. The family was part of a larger clan, who inhabited large territories of Dalmatia, mostly centered around Zadar and Šibenik. They had their own parochial constitution (according to the document from 1611 first mentioned and listed by the Parish Zmino in the register of the priest Bonaventure Biloglava from 1679 and 1686). Italian documents claim the "people of Peraizza" have about four hundred armed at the moment but can mobilize about 1400 more.[1]

Peraizza escaped from a Turkish prison and in 1685, with 1600 soldiers and people from the Cetina district, started an uprising.[2] He collaborated with the Venice Republic against the Turks, thus changing the entire course of the Morean War.[3] earning the title of the "sardar" and Venetian recognition of his rule over the liberated territory.

Recent research indicates that in autumn 1685 provveditore General Pietro Valier gave a large part of land around Zadar and Sibenik to "the new Morlach subjects from Lika and their harambasas Nakić (Nachich) and Peraica (Peraiza) although he doubted their intentions and had previously conducted long negotiations with them. (...)".[4] Still, according to Venetian documents, Peraica was given rule to share with fellow hajduk Stojan Janković.

Peraizza family name[edit]

Notably, another Peraizza, Francesco, was an official Venetian representative in Split around 1675. There might be confusion over the family name as it was written in four different ways in different documents (Peraizza, Peraiza, Perajica, Peraica) and by different governments. Today several variants of the name can still be found in Dalmatia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gente del Peraizza poste in diverse ville di Zara e. Sebenico giusta le notte del suo paroco .........N° 400 1400" (Famiglie Morlacchi, 1685).
  2. ^ Desnica, 1951
  3. ^ Kužić, 2005
  4. ^ Mayhew, 2008:232


  • K. Kužić, Prilog biografiji nekih Kačićevih vitezova te podrijetlu stanovništva…, Rad. Zavoda povij. znan. HAZU Zadru, sv. 47/2005., str. 191–224.
  • Boško Desnica, Istorija kotarskih uskoka II – 1684.–1749., Zbornik za istoriju, jezik i književnost srpskog naroda, XIII, SAN, Beograd, 1951.