Merchant Families, Banking and Money in Medieval Lucca: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Merchant Families, Banking and Money in Medieval Lucca

1st Edition

By Thomas W. Blomquist


296 pages

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Hardback: 9780860789710
pub: 2005-05-27
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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.


'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

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.

About the Author

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

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General