In the eleventh century Lucca had learned the secrets of Byzantium, and in A.D. 1148 Roger II of Sicily taught the craft to his citizens of Palermo. Florence had its silk craft, or Arte della Seta, in the thirteenth century, though this Arte was really a group of gilds engaged in this manufacture. A record was kept of the names of members, and of associated gilds.
In the name of God, Amen. This is the roll-book or record of each and all of the masters of the craft of merchants of St. Mary's Gate of the city of Florence, registered in the acts, and by the acts, of the said craft as owing allegiance to, and being sworn to the same craft by law of the said craft at the times mentioned below, made, composed, and drawn up from those acts passed at the time of the consuls, Dono de Barberino, Guido del Chiaro, Sir Guido de Lucca, and James Jambollario, prudent men of the said craft, according to the form stated in the chapters mentioning the said craft concerning the making of this roll-book in order that there might be certainty and record about the matter. In the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord, 1289, in the month of March before the feast of the Annunciation of Holy Mary, glorious virgin.... In the time of the consuls Claro, son of Guido Arlotto de Ultrarno, Sinibald, son of Bartolo, Caccialupo, son of Caccia of St. Mary's Gate, Cardinal, son of Marcovaldo of St. Cecilia, Dono Spinello, and Arrigo, son of Rinuccino de la Pressa de Calemala.
The underscribed have sworn on behalf of the masters of the said craft: [Dates, names, and the number of men from each craft follow].
From: P. Santini, ed., Documenti dell'Antica Costituzione del Comune di Firenze, Vol. I, p. 541, in Documenti di Storia Italiana, Tome X (Florence, 1895); reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 245-246.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998