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Medieval Sourcebook:
Use of the Currencies of Lucca and Pavia, 1182

While Byzantine and Islamic money was used as a standard in Mediterranean Europe until the Crusades, other coinage systems were afterwards in vogue. One of these new systems, i.e., that of Lucca, was encouraged by Pope Lucius III. The existence of another system widely used in Italy and emanating from Pavia at the same time is accounted for by the rivalry of Popes and Emperors. The existence of standard money does not imply the absence of minting for local purposes.

In the year of the Lord 1182.

Alexander, the Pope, died and was succeeded by Lucius, born of noble parents of Lucca, according to common talk. He conceded to the people of Lucca the right of coining money. In money matters he placed this city above all other cities of Tuscany, Campagna, Romagna, and Apulia, the Emperor Frederic and his son Henry being rulers at the time. And the said money became more common in those parts from that time; and he commanded all the dwellers in those regions, pilgrims, and travelers, from whatever city or province they came, to use that money in their business transactions. Whence it is to be observed that two currencies were in ancient times concurrent in Italy; because Pavia in Lombardy, by the favor of Frederic, whom the said city always followed, had its own coinage, but in those parts where the Church ruled, the money of Lucca was used because the said city was always subject to the Roman Church. Wherefore the laws make special mention of those two currencies, as Innocent III, who came twenty years after Lucius, wrote in his decretal about the taxes.


From: C. Minutoli, ed., Ptolemaei Lucensis Annales, in Documenti di Storia Italiana, M. Tabarrini, ed., (Florence, 1876), Tome VI, pp. 59-60; 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. 139-140.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

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


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