Note of a Double Loan Arising from a Tax, 1203
Abbot Hubert is here borrowing from a money-lender (Manno) to pay back a debt to
Iacopo the Jew. The rate of interest is 20 per cent per annum and there is a double
pledge, monastic property in the one case, and the guarantee of Iacopo, son of Galgani in
the other. The clause about the renunciation of protection of the law and the clause about
the payment of damages in the event of a dispute arising are typical clauses in medieval
In the year 1203. May twenty-ninth. To the witnesses investigating this matter, namely,
Cambio Giungni, Maczo the son of Melliorelli Galigarii, and Rugerio Tebaldoli, greeting.
Hubert by divine consent Abbot of the church and monastery of St. Michael of
Passignano, foreseeing advantages to the said church and for payment of usury to Iacopo,
son of Uguiccioni the Jew, for the denarii which he had received from him in payment of
taxes to the commune of Florence on behalf of the community of Summofonte has accepted
from Manno, son of the late Gianni Macci, twenty pounds of good denarii, which denarii he
promised to return and pay to him in the next six months or before with interest of four
denarii per pound per month. Otherwise he has promised to give him double the sum as a
penalty and to emend and pay all damage and expenses arising because of this, and he has
promised to give the same interest if he holds it beyond this time. And for the better
observing of all these terms and for holding them inviolable and for payment of the
penalty, if there be need, he has pledged and handed over to him as a pledge Guernerius
his colonus and a man of Mezola, brother of Peruczi, with all his possessions, serfs, and
service. And if this pledge be unsuitable, or if it be made over to some other person, or
if any one have prior claim, he has pledged to him as guarantee all the other goods of the
monastery worth triple the debt and has received free possession from him. But if it be
void he may then hold, sell, pledge, or alienate the said pledge in any way and take as a
penalty logria not reckoned in the said debt and in all these matters he has
renounced all claim to money not specified. Besides, Iacopo, son of the late Galgani,
renouncing all aid of law in this case, and constituting himself chief debtor, has
promised to the said Manno, under pain of double penalty, to give and pay all the said
debt, capital and interest within one month from the time of the investigation if the said
abbot does not pay and if action (in court) is granted against the said abbot and
Done at Florence, etc.
From: P. Santini, ed., Documenti dell'Antica Costituzione del Comune di Firenze,
in Documenti di Storia Italiana, (Firenze, 1895), Tome X, Vol. I, p. 372; 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. 177-178.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998