Bills of Sale for Saracen Slave Girls, 1248
In the thirteenth century Saracen slaves were being sold in Marseilles. The
character of the transactions and the price at which a slave girl might be sold are
indicated in the documents. In the case of Aissa there was a profit of five solidi on the
1. Bill of Sale for Purchase of one "Aissa", 1248:
May the nineteenth, in year of the Lord 1248. We, William Alegnan and Bernard Mute, of
Cannet, have sold jointly in good faith and without guile to you, John Aleman, son of
Peter Aleman, a certain Saracen maid of ours, commonly called Aissa, for a price of nine
pounds and fifteen solidi in the mixed money now current in Marseilles.
2. Bill of Sale for Purchase of one "Aissa", 1248:
July the second. I, John Aleman, citizen of Marseilles, in good faith and without
guile, sell and transfer to you, Peter Bertoumieu, son of the late Raymond Bertoumieu, a
certain Saracen maid of ours, commonly called Aissa, for a price of ten pounds in the
mixed money now current in Marseilles, which I confess to have had and to have received
from you, renouncing the benefit of all laws, etc. And if the said Saracen maid is worth
more at any time in the future I grant it all with the price, or I give all that extra
worth to you and yours, etc.
From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age,
(Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. II, p. 172, reprinted in Roy C.
Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee:
The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p. 302.
This text is part of the Internet
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.
Nopermission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall, September 1998