By Daniel Philip Waley
This booklet portrays the existence and associations of an exceptional medieval Italian urban, Siena, during the surviving files and structures of the interval. legislation, council mins, files of the commune's profit and expenditure, wills and different charters from the 13th century are one of the ample fabric which makes up the image of the town republic's associations and people who ran them. the most issues are the political associations of town, and the involvement of the electorate in them. The preoccupations of the Sienese as printed of their conciliar discussions are studied, in addition to their attitudes to executive and well-developed forms, their territorial overlordship in southern Tuscany, and their involvement in international relations and struggle. the faith of the Sienese can also be investigated. it is a portrait of a distinct, yet now not untypical, society which was once engaged in an scan in oligarchic self-government. even supposing the milieu used to be city, Siena's bankers and tradesmen, craftsmen and people interested by shipping and agricultural labour, have been in lots of situations landowners: the town was once depending on and vastly concerned with its rural setting. The precocity of the commune's governmental equipment and the wealth of knowledge that has survived suggest that the medieval lifetime of this well-known and gorgeous Tuscan urban could be depicted in complete and convincing element.
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The essays by M. Tangheroni, M. Cassandro, G. Cherubini, G. Pinto and F. Cardini in the lavishly illustrated Banchieri e mercanti di Siena (Rome, 1987) provide an excellent summary of the present state of knowledge. 36 See E. B. and M. M. Fryde in C. Econ. , 3, pp. 448-9. 37 See for example the case brought to the papal court by Sienese financiers in 1258 concerning their failure to secure repayment of 4,600 marks by the archbishop of Cologne (A. Schulte, Geschichte des mittelalterlichen Rondels und Verkehrs zwischen Westdeutschland und Italien mit Ausschluss von Venedig (Leipzig, 1900), 2, pp.
It does nevertheless give a general notion of the economic standing of the twenty-six occupations most frequently cited. Moreover various points emerge from it incontrovertibly. Of the five highestpaying categories, which stand well above the rest, only one (the spicers) are engaged in commerce in the normal sense. There is a marked bunching in the middle of the table between average payments of 2 1. and of 14 s. which covers fourteen occupations, most of them crafts. Had the list extended to trades appearing nine times (rather than ten and above) this middle category would have been reinforced by the more prosperous furriers (pelliciarii: 1 1.
They were present at the fairs by 1216 and from the early 1220s were involved in textile purchases there as well as in banking. Loans to prelates elsewhere in France are recorded by 1217 and to the English crown in 1228. In the following year the collector of a papal tenth to assist the war against Frederick II operated in England with Sienese help, and 33 CG61,ff. 133ff;#/S, CS, pp. 231,272,278. 34 Cost. 1309-10, l , p . 427. 35 The Sienese were closely connected with rise of the papacy as an 'international' fiscal power.