Extracts From the Roll-Book of the Arte Della Seta, Lucca 1225
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
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
This text is part of the Internet
Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and
copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright.
Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational
purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No
permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall, October 1998