1st Edition

Merchant Families, Banking and Money in Medieval Lucca

ISBN 9780860789710
Published May 26, 2005 by Routledge
296 Pages

USD $140.00

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Book Description

This volume brings together a series of studies by Professor Blomquist on the evolution of banking in Lucca from the 12th and 13th centuries. They describe how the leading bankers operated, how they invested, and how they pursued their family interests. In particular, they trace the transformation of money changers, or campsores, into deposit and transfer bankers, who deployed their capital in trading ventures as well as in banking. Moreover, the author shows how Lucchese merchant-bankers expanded their operations from Italy, first to the fairs of Champagne and ultimately to all of Europe's major commercial centres. Special attention is given to the use of the exchange contract, or cambium, as an instrument of credit and of transfer. Problems of coinage and foreign exchange are also treated extensively, including the origins of the Tuscan grossi and the Lucchese gold groat. The collection concludes with a study of the cloth trade and another concerning the first consuls in Lucca.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Acknowledgements; Merchant Families, Trade and Government: The Castracani family of thirteenth-century Lucca; Lineage, land and business, in the thirteenth century: the Guidiccioni family of Lucca; Lineage, land and business, in the thirteenth century: the Guidiccioni family of Lucca; La famiglia e gli affari: le compagnie internazionali lucchesi al tempo di Castruccio Castracani; City and country in medieval Tuscany: the Ricciardi family and rural investment in thirteenth-century Lucca; The drapers of Lucca and the marketing of cloth in the mid-thirteenth century; The first consuls at Lucca: 10 July 1119. Banking: Commercial association in thirteenth-century Lucca; The dawn of banking in an Italian commune: thirteenth century Lucca; The early history of European banking: merchants, bankers and Lombards of thirteenth-century Lucca in the county of Champagne; Some observations on early foreign exchange banking based upon new evidence from thirteenth-century Lucca; Administration of a thirteenth-century mercantile-banking partnership: an episode in the history of the Ricciardi of Lucca; De Roover on business, banking and economic thought. Money: Alle origini del 'Grosso' Toscano: la testimonianza delle fonti del XII secolo; The second issuance of a Tuscan gold coin: the gold groat of Lucca, 1256; Alien coins and foreign exchange banking in a medieval commune: thirteenth-century Lucca; Index.

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Thomas W. Blomquist is Emeritus Professor of History at Northern Illinois University, USA.


'Written with precision and lucidity, [the 16 essays] take us straight to the heart of important issues in the history of thirteenth-century Lucca. The essays are based upon a thorough and enviable knowledge of the city's notarial archives... These essays have had a real impact upon current understanding of thirteenth-century Tuscany and it is a boon to have them collected. Taken together they represent a considerable achievement.' Economic History Review