The Republic of Ragusa was an aristocratic maritime republic centered on the city of Dubrovnik in Dalmatia that carried that name from 1358 until 1808. It reached its commercial peak in the 15th and the 16th centuries, before being conquered by Napoleon's French Empire and formally annexed by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1808. It had a population of about 30,000 people, out of whom 5,000 lived within the city walls. Its Latin motto was "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro", which means "Liberty is not well sold for all the gold". Territory of the Ragusan republic was from present day Neum to the Prevlaka peninsula, including the Peljesac peninsula, islands of Kolocep, Loput and Sipan and few other smaller islands. For a few years during the 15th century it even had a rule over dalmatian islands of Korcula, Brac and Hvar. The Republican Constitution of Ragusa was strictly aristocratic. The population was divided into three classes: nobility, citizens, and plebeians, who were mainly artisans and peasants. All effective power was concentrated in the hands of the aristocracy. The citizens were permitted to hold only minor offices, while plebeians had no voice in government. Marriage between members of different classes of the society was forbidden. Although Latin was in official use until 1492, by the end of the 14th century inhabitants of the republic were mostly native speakers of Croatian. Dalmatian was also spoken in the city. Italian, official since 1492, as spoken in the republic, was heavily influenced by the Venetian language and Tuscan dialect. When Ragusa was part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, between 1808 and 1810, the Italian language was still in official use. Today's territory of this former country is part of Croatia.
See also: Croatia