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Medieval Sourcebook:
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 contracts.

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 monastery.

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 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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