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Mechanisms of Apprenticeship in Late Medieval Genoa: Training, Actors and Networks (Thirteenth – Fourteenth Centuries)

Mécanismes d'apprentissage dans la Gênes du Moyen Âge tardif : formation, acteurs et réseaux (XIIIeXIVe siècles)
Denise Bezzina

Résumés

L’article analyse l’apprentissage dans la ville portuaire de Gênes aux xiiie et xive siècles sur la base d'un large échantillon d’actes notariés. Le but est de clarifier certains aspects de la formation, et des réseaux, et d’identifier les principaux acteurs impliqués. Trois aspects seront abordés : le premier concerne le genre et l’absence apparente des femmes dans le circuit de formation ; le deuxième porte sur la nature du contrat et les conditions qu’il établit ; la dernière partie de l’article examine les réseaux de recrutement en soulignant l’importance des liens sociaux, en particulier pour les apprentis qui venaient de lieux éloignés

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Texte intégral

  • 1 For a general introduction on the Genoa’s economy and trade see: Jeffrey Miner, Stefan Stantchev, « (...)
  • 2 The oldest cartulary belongs to notary Giovanni Scriba and contains contracts registered between 11 (...)
  • 3 Starting with Caro, who, writing at the beginning of the nineteenth century, noted that Genoa’s eco (...)
  • 4 The eleventh and twelfth century have been covered by Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli (...)

1One of the main Mediterranean commercial hubs during the late Middle Ages, and a burgeoning urban centre,1 Genoa is most probably the city that lends itself best for a long-term study of the mid-to-lower classes due to the availability of the oldest and largest repository of notarial records spanning the mid-twelfth century to more recent times.2 Despite this peculiarity, scholars have repeatedly denied the importance of the artisan population arguing that in a city whose economy was hinged on long-distance trade, the role of artisans, apprentices and salaried labourers was inconsequential.3 The topic has therefore remained understudied, especially when considering the fourteenth century,4 and still needs an overarching study aimed at identifying the shifts and developments that occurred in the two concluding centuries of the Middle Ages.

2What follows is part of a more general research on artisans in medieval Genoa; since this is a work in progress, the results that are being presented here are by no means finite and are merely aimed at charting the main characteristics of apprenticeship in the city as evident from a preliminary (especially for what concerns the fourteenth century) analysis of the extant documentation.

3Prior to delving into the discussion, a couple of premises are useful to set the general background.

  • 5 On Bologna see: Antonio I. Pini, Città, comuni e corporazioni nel medioevo italiano, Bologne, CLUEB (...)
  • 6 The first being the guild of the muleteers (1212), Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi d (...)
  • 7 On this transition see Giovanna Petti Balbi, Simon Boccanegra e la Genova del ‘300, Naples, Edizion (...)
  • 8 Giovanna Petti Balbi, Simon Boccanegra e la Genova del ‘300, Naples, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane (...)
  • 9 For comparisons see for example the studies on Marseille by Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et sa (...)

4The first premise concerns the guild system, whose efficiency in regulating labour has been contested by the few scholars of Genoa who have tackled the problem. While in other north-central Italian communes – first and foremost Florence and Bologna5 – the presence of guilds has been associated with the development of a regulated apprenticeship system, as far as Genoa is concerned, little is known about them, despite the abundance of extant sources for the central and later Middle Ages which I will explain in more detail in a few pages.
At any rate, guilds are attested in the chief Ligurian city from at least the early thirteenth century
6 and, contrary to what scholarship has traditionally affirmed, the few remaining guild-related documents – all of which have come down to us in the form of simple notarial documents – suggest that these institutions were starting to gain momentum by the second half of the Duecento. So much so, that eventually the government tried to impose checks on their ability to establish rules and regulations. These attempts at control became more evident especially from the 1330s, with the shift to a new regime under doge Simone Boccanegra (1339-1344; 1356-1363). The newly-elected doge first oversaw the creation of the office of the vicedogi, two magistrates, often from the artisan milieu, who were given broad control over guilds.7 And later, in 1356, during his second mandate, he established a special commission whose raison d’être was to reform the large assemblage of guild statutes which by the mid-fourteenth century had become a tangled stack of norms.8 The results of the continuous regulation-making process, however, have largely been lost.
The absence of statutes dating from the period spanning the thirteenth to the end of the fourteenth century implies that we cannot ascertain the extent to which guilds interfered in regulating the period of training with a master, let alone if and how guild regulations affected the social relationships underpinning apprenticeship, and
vice versa. In sum, the impression we get, at least for what concerns the period which is being considered here, is of a rather “spontaneous” development of apprenticeship, unhinged from a proper institutional framework.
Of course, this is just an impression which derives from a lack of normative sources. More importantly, the absence of these kind of documents does not imply that we are impaired from trying to understand the mechanisms of apprenticeship in medieval Genoa. In the chief Ligurian city, like in many other cities in mainland Europe where a notarial culture was deeply entrenched, apprenticeship was settled by means of a notarial deed.
9 In Genoa’s case, up until the last decades of the fourteenth century, these contracts are our only means to shed light on the nature of apprenticeship.

  • 10 Apart from Giacomo Casarino, Claudio Costantini, Oscar Itzcovich, Carola Ghiara and Luciana Gatti p (...)
  • 11 ARTIGEN online: http://www.dafist.unige.it/home/ricerca/artigen/, last consulted 12/08/2021.
  • 12 Oscar Itzcovitch, Luciana Gatti, Giacomo Casarino, « Maestri e Garzoni nella società genovese fra x (...)
  • 13 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio naziona (...)
  • 14 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio naziona (...)
  • 15 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio naziona (...)

5Secondly, if research on the topic for the central Middle Ages until recently has been scant, when it comes to charting a picture of the mechanisms of professional training in medieval Genoa, in defining the identity of the main actors and in evaluating their roles, we have to come to terms with previous research conducted on notarial documents dating from the late Middle Ages and Early Modern times. An initiative promoted in the late 1970s by a group of scholars at the University of Genoa under the supervision of Giacomo Casarino has been successful in collecting and analysing all apprenticeship contracts concluded in Genoa between 1431 and 1530.10 The outcomes of this massive investigation are the database ARTIGEN, which contains data relative to some nine thousand apprenticeship contracts, recently uploaded online,11 and a series of studies which provide a wealth of information on the topic.12 The analysis of the Genoese research group therefore constitutes a terms of reference for anyone working on the earlier period. Even though their momentous endeavour has been somewhat neglected, enjoying little circulation outside the confines of Italian scholarship, these studies constitute a perfect starting point as they provide a comprehensive picture of apprenticeship in a city on the threshold of early modernity, highlighting its main characteristics which can be summarized in three main points:
1) Firstly, research on late medieval and early modern contracts from Genoa has defined apprenticeship as a substantially gendered phenomenon since the main actors are males in almost all the contracts dating from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century;
13
2) Secondly, apprenticeship retained a certain fluidity that is evident: a) in the many cases in which youths were trained in more than one profession; b) in the presence of different clauses establishing the conditions of apprenticeship. These lay bare two opposite and contradictory situations: apprenticeship could either take the shape of extreme dependence from the master (who provided lodging, food and clothing, or a monetary salary), or else it could establish near complete independence, in that the master was obliged by contract to instruct the trainee, but was relieved from any obligation to provide food and lodging, or a salary (which in turn entailed that the apprentice enjoyed more freedom);
14
3) Thirdly, underpinning any contract is a tight network of relationships, whether connected to the family of the apprentice/master, or, more often, to the community or town of origin of the trainee. The latter pattern of relationships appears to have been prevalent in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, especially among wool workers from various localities in the
Levante Ligure – the Eastern part of Liguria – who are often seen acting as “agents” or “mediators” for placing youths from their areas with master wool workers active in Genoa.15

6So, the question is, how far can we trace back these features? Are there any turning points or substantial developments? Can we date them, even if approximately?

The Sources

  • 16 Sandra Macchiavello, Antonella Rovere, « The Written Sources », dans A Companion to Medieval Genoa, (...)

7At this point, a brief note on the sources which have been used is certainly necessary. As it is widely known, the Genoese state archives preserve the oldest and most extensive collection of notarial registers in Europe, the earliest register dating to the middle of the twelfth century. A breakdown in numbers of the repository makes clear the sheer abundance of data available when compared to other coeval contexts. For what concerns the second half of the twelfth century, 11 registers have survived, which is already extraordinary if we consider that elsewhere only a few documents are still extant. The numbers then grow exponentially: 113 cartularies date back to the thirteenth century, while 332 cartularies and filze date from the fourteenth and 785 from the fifteenth century.16 Such an abundance of sources may give the false impression that documentary losses have been rather insubstantial and that what scholars can access today represents, to a certain extent, a commensurate portion of the deeds that were actually produced. But it is quite the contrary, especially for what concerns the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries: the extant material is merely a speck of the original fond.

8This paper is based on a sample of over five hundred contracts collected from thirteenth – and fourteenth – century registers. Out of these only 56 are relative to the fourteenth century: the bias is mostly due to the fact that fewer fourteenth-century deeds have been taken into account. On the other hand, another peculiarity of the Genoese documentary landscape must be underscored: the registers dating from approximately the 1270s to the end of the fourteenth century are particularly complex, as these are replete with documents related to public institutions, and especially to the civic courts, which take up the central space previously occupied by (the much shorter) commercial and other private contracts. The comparison between what has survived for the last decades of the twelfth, to the end of the thirteenth century with what is available for the century that follows is therefore disproportionate, to the extent that the number of single contracts available for the period spanning the mid-twelfth to the early 1270s probably outnumbers (and by far) the number of contracts dating from the fourteenth century, despite the staggering increase in the number of registers. More importantly, especially for what concerns artisans, it is becoming evident as I go through the sources, that craftsmen are rather underrepresented in fourteenth-century notarial records, especially if we compare this to the wealth of information available in registers from the previous century. Clearly, this sets boundaries to an analysis of the phenomenon of apprenticeship and must serve as a caveat. Especially when taking a long-term and quantitative approach by extrapolating data from a single type of contract, the global results may be misleading.

9Having clarified this aspect, I will now tackle the three points that I have underscored at the beginning of this study.

The Gender Question

  • 17 Archivio di Stato di Genova (from now on: ASGe), Notai Antichi, Cart. 75.2, notary Guglielmo di San (...)

10If fifteenth – and sixteenth – century Genoese apprenticeship contracts feature exclusively male actors, the situation seems to have been more favourable to female artisans throughout the thirteenth century: about 10% of the apprenticeship contracts in the sample, mostly dating from around the mid-thirteenth century, were concluded for girls who were placed with either a master or a mistress, the main occupations being those relative to the wool industry or to the production of spun gold, which was an exclusively female occupation. In 1289, for example, Goazanno de Agusio placed his daughter Verdena in apprenticeship with Giovanna, wife of Obertus de Fontela, who promised to teach the girl de arte filare auri (the art of spinning gold) during the 6 years in which she would remain in her home.17

  • 18 Statuti della colonia genovese di Pera, Vincenzo Promis (éd.), Turin, Stamperia Reale, 1871, chapte (...)
  • 19 The 1375 reformed statutes confirmed the previous norm, but established a waiver for female retaile (...)
  • 20 See salary tables dans: Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medi (...)

11The closure to female apprentices in the later centuries is probably tied, at least in part, to the gradual deterioration of female patrimonial rights along the late Middle Ages. The late thirteenth – / early – fourteenth century civic statutes, in fact, contain a provision, introduced for the first time in 128818 and reconfirmed in the 1375 redaction of the law codes,19 that prohibited married women from concluding contracts of more than 10 lire in value (which roughly corresponded to a yearly wage of a specialised labourer during the thirteenth century)20 without specific permission from their husbands. This would have certainly impinged on the businesses of artisan women who could no longer autonomously conclude contracts needed to run efficiently a workshop, such as bulk purchases of raw material, or commercial investments and labour partnerships.

  • 21 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 164, notary Lanfranco de Nazario, c. 2 v, 1322, November 24.

12However, we cannot simply assume that women were expelled from the labour market. As concerns the last two decades of the thirteenth and the early decades of the fourteenth century the sample of contracts from this period is insufficient to establish if the numbers of female apprentices had already dwindled, even though, so far, I have only found one female apprenticeship contract, dating from 1322. The document concerns a certain Giovannina entrusted by her father, Simon Quatuor Calege de Bissanne, a weaver, to the care of Ugolino, likewise a weaver, and his wife for 7 years in order to learn the trade.21

  • 22 On the matter, see: David Herlihy, Opera Muliebria. Women’s Work in Medieval Europe, New York, McGr (...)
  • 23 See for example Sharon Farmer, The Silk Industries of Medieval Paris: Artisanal Migration, Technolo (...)
  • 24 See for example the collective volume, Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di storia economica, « F. (...)
  • 25 Maria P. Zanoboni, Donne al lavoro nell’Italia e nell’Europa medievali (secoli xiii-xv), Milan, Jou (...)

13The absence of female apprenticeship contracts may be a direct result of the general absence of labour-related contracts in fourteenth-century notarial registers from Genoa, which, as stated, tend to contain abundant public documentation as opposed to private contracts. But it is undeniable that by the end of the Middle Ages we can detect a drastic reduction of female apprentices in the “regulated channels” of apprenticeship. The disappearance of women from labour-related contracts is also in line with what scholars have observed in other coeval north-central Italian cities, a phenomenon that has been associated with the ever-increasing hierarchical closure of the guilds and the introduction of restrictions towards female participation in these institutions along the fourteenth century, resulting in the deterioration of labour conditions for women.22 This rather grim image of female work is seemingly in contrast with the situation that can be detected in some north European cities, where female artisans had their own guilds, or else could become guild members.23 More recent scholarly literature, however, has added complexity to this sweeping view, firstly, by underscoring how even in Northern Europe, women who could access guilds were still a minority and secondly, by drawing attention on forms of “undeclared work”, that is, all those activities which escaped guild control.24 In her synthesis on women and work in medieval Italy and Europe, Maria Paola Zanoboni went as far as to suggest that most women considered working within the confines of guild legislation negatively, preferring to perform their artisanal activities free from the fetters of institutional control. In this way, in fact, they could profit from fiscal advantages, and become more competitive, many times with the help of merchants who were more than happy to pay for cheaper products to trade in international markets.25 If we consider women’s proclivity for concealing their activities from the prying eyes of guilds, we can easily understand why references to female training start to become rarer in written sources, also in view of the fact, that many girls were already trained within the family and that apprenticeship agreements could easily be concluded informally, without resorting to a written contract, and this much before the concluding centuries of the Middle Ages.

  • 26 On the Genoese silk industry see: Jacques Heers, Genova nel ‘400. Civiltà mediterranea, grande capi (...)

14It is perhaps an interpretation that can be somehow applied to Genoa. Paradoxically, in fact, the period in which the presence of female apprentices and mistresses becomes imperceptible in our sources coincides with the rise and subsequent rapid expansion of the silk industry in the city.26 The production of such luxury commodities, which was further fostered by hefty investments by the urban mercantile and political elite, would have needed the technical know-how of female artisans, traditionally employed in the production of textiles, and particularly in a related occupation: gold thread spinning, which, as stated before, was exercised exclusively by females. Again, this underscores another limit in extrapolating data from single types of contracts: a more cogent picture of the degree of inclusion of female artisans will probably be obtained from a more general consideration of the presence of women in notarial records.

The Nature of Apprenticeship: Contracts, Conditions and Relationships

15The second point that emerged from previous research on late medieval and early modern Genoese records concerns the contents of apprenticeship contracts, and the nature of the relationship between master and apprentice. As stated earlier, late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century contracts have evidenced two diverging situations when it came to the conditions of apprentices: either total “dependence” or a more marked “independence” from the master.

  • 27 Carlo G. Mor, « Gli incunaboli del contratto di apprendistato », Archivio giuridico, t. 156, 1964, (...)
  • 28 Roberto Greci, « Il contratto di apprendistato nelle corporazioni bolognesi (xiii-xiv secc.) », dan (...)
  • 29 This version of the apprenticeship contract can be found, for example, in the acts of notary Bartol (...)

16Before delving into the discussion, however, we should turn briefly our attention to the apprenticeship contract. It is a well-known fact that the apprenticeship contract derives from the late Roman lease contract for movables and immovables (locatio-conductio). This is evident from the opening words of the deed: Ego loco tibi, i.e. “I am leasing to you”, much as if it were the apprentice who was being leased. In analyzing the late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century examples of Genoese apprenticeship contracts, the noted legal historian Carlo Guido Mor has pointed out that around this period, the phraseology of the standard apprenticeship contract was significantly modified from a juridical perspective.27 More specifically: the formulary Ego[X] loco et ingaudo [X] (I [X] am leasing to you [X]) was progressively substituted by Ego [X ] promitto tibi [X] facere et curare ita quod [X] stabit tecum (I [X] promise you [X] to make sure that [X] will remain with you). Such an affirmation has been contested on the basis of compilations of formularies from thirteenth-century Bologna which show how the phraseology used by notaries depended on their educational background and culture, and that the locatio-conductio version of the contract continued to be used well beyond the twelfth century.28 This is evident in Genoa as well: while the newer formularies gained ground, the locatio-conductio version of the contract continued to be used throughout the thirteenth century.29

17Secondly, the contract invariably bound the apprentice to his or her master or mistress, establishing the obligation for the trainee to remain with, and serve the master artisan unless the latter gave specific permission to the apprentice to take leave. This was clearly beneficial to whoever placed the child in apprenticeship (the parents, or a relative, an acquaintance or a legal guardian, if the trainee was orphaned to one or both parents) since this meant one less mouth to feed with the additional advantage that the child would acquire a trade enabling him/her to fend off for him/herself once the training was over. The master or mistress, on the other hand, was responsible for teaching and for providing all that was necessary for the well-being of the child.

  • 30 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.2, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 40 r, 1256, March 6.

18By its very nature the apprenticeship contract is synallagmatic, it is therefore a bilateral agreement by which each party was required to provide something to the other. Yet this supposed reciprocity could be tampered with by introducing additional clauses. Thus, the personal conditions of apprentices, the number of years of training, the chores that had to be carried out, the possibility of the child to be reunited with his or her natal family, and even the degree of liability of the master for any harm suffered by the trainee during apprenticeship, often depended on the bargaining capacity of the contracting parties. Such a case, for example, is attested in 1256: Delianna widow of Fulcherio de Uxercema, acting together with her son, placed her other son Albertino in apprenticeship with Martino lanerius (wool worker). In the closing clauses of the contracts, the widow declared that she would not retain Martino responsible if her son died whilst under the artisan’s custody.30

  • 31 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 129, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 89 r, 1256, August 8.
  • 32 In this sense we can refer to a much later case, the well-known fifteenth-century Bolognese mason, (...)

19It is certainly more difficult to establish the contents of training, what kind of knowledge and which skills were imparted, and how. Such information can be found only rarely, for example in contracts for apprentices trained in weaving. These contracts invariably establish that trainees were to learn how to weave with both right and left hand (textere manu dextera et sinistra). It is also possible that youths received some form of education: in 1256, Contessina di Santo Stefano wife of Manuele placed young Giovannino, son of the late Enrico Roangio tabernarius, a relative or perhaps an acquaintance of hers, in apprenticeship with Pietrobaldo lanerius so as to learn how to weave and to keep his books (occasione addiscendi textere pannos et scribendi raciones tuas).31 This is the only reference which I have found so far, but it is not that far-fetched to hypothesize that some form of literacy was not uncommon among apprentices.32 In a context in which artisans needed to conclude different kinds of contracts (from business partnerships to long-distance trade agreements or to credit-based contracts such as simple loans), learning even a very basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic would have been useful to keep track of investments and expenditures.

  • 33 « de Porta Sancti Andree, olim pancegolus et nunc ponderator ad cabellam casei », ASGe, Notai Antic (...)
  • 34 Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze Universi (...)

20As concerns the tendency for youths to be instructed in more than one trade: so far I have found no record of apprentices being trained in multiple professions, though one cannot simply conclude that this was not the case, since, at least until the fourteenth century, when the number of apprenticeship contracts grows exceedingly high, it is extremely difficult to find references to the same apprentice more than once. In addition to this, one has to take also into account cases of homonymy, which are very frequent. It is certain, however, that a degree of mobility existed: artisans did not necessarily practice just one trade during their lifetimes. For example, a certain Giovanni de Clavaro “of St. Andrew’s Gate, once a baker, now a weigher in the office of the collectors of the cheese tax”33 is attested in a document dated May 29, 1300. His surname and occupational titles already tell us plenty on Giovanni’s identity: it is clear that this artisan was a migrant who hailed from Chiavari (some 37 km east of Genoa) and who had settled in the chief Ligurian city, near Porta Sant’Andrea, one of the main entrances to the city. Giovanni had begun his career as a baker and somehow managed to find work as a communal officer, albeit among the lowest ranks, serving as a weigher in the office for the collection of the cheese tax. The contract in question, a partnership for commerce in Genoa (societas terrae) drawn up with Richelda daughter of the late Guillelmus de Rumagio de postestacia Clavari, Giovanni’s wife, further tells us about his pursuits. According to the agreement, Richelda invested, for the duration of 20 years, the sum of 30 lire with which her husband was to trade and sell in Genoa (mercari et negoci[a]ri …in Ianua) on condition that he gave Richelda the capital and half of the profits after the end of the partnership. Therefore, apart from his daily job, Giovanni was active in buying and selling (unspecified) commodities. Here it is evident that artisans were employed in multiple activities, especially of the commercial kind, an inclination common to most inhabitants in a city in which craftsmen could easily exploit the opportunities offered by long-distance trade given the presence of simple but flexible contracts that could potentially be a source of supplementary income.34 It is highly probable that during their training, apprentices became very much acquainted with these forms of contractual agreements.

  • 35 On this aspect: Michel Balard, La Romanie génoise (xiie- début du xve siècle), Rome, École français (...)
  • 36 A similar situation is described for Venetian Crete by Elizabeth Santschi, « Contrats de travail et (...)
  • 37 The contracts relative to the fourteenth century which I have collected so far are too few to exclu (...)
  • 38 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio naziona (...)

21In this regard, another typical practice in late medieval Genoa elucidates how young boys could come to realise very early on during their training the inherent potential of these commercial contracts. This practice is connected to Genoa’s rapid territorial expansion. By the end of the twelfth century, the chief Ligurian city had managed to obtain considerable advantages in many ports scattered along the Mediterranean.35 Needless to say, this expansion was central in fostering long-distance trade. However, it was not only merchants who profited from the favourable conditions available outside their motherland, but craftsmen as well are attested in documents relative to these colonies. So it comes as no surprise that one can find reference to apprenticeship contracts including the clause “to serve in [matters related to] the trade in the house and outside, on land and sea” (servire di misterio in domo et extra, in terra et mari) which implies that part of the training was conducted outside the city, especially in those professions generally associated with seafaring.36 This practice accounts for about 6% of the thirteenth-century contracts collected,37 but is almost absent in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. By the late Middle Ages, when the guilds gained more strength, these institutions started to enforce restrictions on the possibility to spend part of the apprenticeship outside the city.38

  • 39 Franco Franceschi, « I salariati », dans Ceti, modelli, comportamenti nella società medievale (seco (...)
  • 40 Given that it is extremely difficult to date guild statutes, Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella (...)
  • 41 Franco Franceschi, « I salariati », dans Ceti, modelli, comportamenti nella società medievale (seco (...)
  • 42 Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà co (...)
  • 43 See for example the studies on Marseille by Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et salariat à Marseil (...)
  • 44 Simonetta Ortaggi Cammarosano, Libertà e servitù. Il mondo del lavoro dall’ancien régime alla fabbr (...)

22Although the few surviving late thirteenth-century guild-related documents suggest that the local guilds were constantly rethinking the rules that governed their professions, increasingly regulating their trades, the framework of the contract remained unchanged, while the conditions of apprenticeship remained largely a private matter, which was negotiated between the contracting parties. In this sense, the most important development in apprenticeship, particularly evident in documents concerning the textile industry – which occupied most of Genoa’s workforce – is the practice to provide the trainee with a monetary wage, in addition to food, clothing and lodging. The presence of this “intermediate” form of engagement, has been viewed by scholars as an indication that apprenticeship was not merely a period of training at whose core was the acquisition of the technical knowledge pertaining a craft. Rather, such a transition entailed that it was the youth’s role as a worker which started to be emphasized.39 Such a tendency is attested in prescriptive sources from Piacenza,40 Tuscany41 and Bologna42 dating from (possibly) the late thirteenth, but more so from the fourteenth century, and even outside Italy.43 Moreover, remunerated apprenticeship seems to have remained a constant, surviving well into the seventeenth century in various Italian centers.44

  • 45 Oberto Scriba de Mercato (1190), Mario Chiaudano, Raimondo Morozzo Della Rocca (éd.), Turin, Editri (...)
  • 46 A paltry sum, if we consider that half a century later a paid apprentice was paid about 3-5 denari (...)

23The Genoese case proves that this shift in the perception of the apprentice’s role as a worker predates the first such attestations by almost a century, since the first extant contract in which an apprentice was entitled to a salary is dated 119045. On May 7 of that year Lombardo di Valle Tidona (located between Pavia and Piacenza) concluded an apprenticeship contract with Ienoardo ferrarius (smith), a master craftsman, by which Lombardo committed to remain with the artisan and serve him for six years, while Ieonardo promised his apprentice to teach him his trade and to provide him with decent clothes, food and lodging as well as 14 denari per year as a salary (pro feudo).46

  • 47 Mario Chiaudano, Mattia Moresco (éd.), Il Cartolare di Giovanni Scriba, 2 vols., Turin, S. Lattes, (...)
  • 48 The first being the guild of the muleteers (1212), Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi d (...)
  • 49 On the problem see Carlo M. Cippola, Before the Industrial Revolution. European Society and Economy (...)
  • 50 Compensation for the master varies from case to case: a lamb each Easter (See Arturo Ferretto (éd.) (...)
  • 51 Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà co (...)
  • 52 For example, in Orléans, while the payment (mostly in kind) to the master was rather uncommon it st (...)

24This change in the concept of apprenticeship had presumably already been established prior to the formal appearance of guilds, probably through informal agreements among craftsmen who shared a common occupation. Dating as far back as the mid-twelfth century, there are clues that suggest that the artisans who plied the same trade started to associate, at least informally, to decide on norms and rules that had to be followed. The very first reference to these “informal” associations can be traced to as early as 1158.47 In December of that year, in fact, Anselmo Baston, a pot maker, promised his father-in-law – likewise a pot maker, who in the same contract donated to his daughter his house and workshop – to work with him. More importantly, Anselmo also committed to earn the profit that is [agreed upon] among the men of our trade (lucri qui est inter homines nostre arti) which seems to indicate that despite the importance of an individual’s bargaining capacity in setting a price for one’s work, artisans of the same trade sought to contain competition by establishing “salary caps”, and this more than half a century before the very first references to a guild system.48 The appearance of monetary wages could possibly be related to an increase in the use of money, yet one must always keep in mind that the sums of money mentioned in notarial documents during the period under scrutiny are to be taken as a unit of account, since it is impossible to ascertain whether these were always paid in actual coins.49 On the other hand, contracts for salaried apprenticeship contain no reference to payment provided in kind, other than the obligation to provide apprentices with food, lodging and clothing. Agreements for non-monetary payments can be found in the few contracts –5, almost all dating from the first half of the thirteenth century – in which it was the person placing the child in apprenticeship who promised to pay the master for his teaching.50 This is in contrast, for example with the situation observed in other Italian communes,51 and even elsewhere outside the peninsula,52 where contracts established a payment for the master.

  • 53 For example, in Piacenza the payment almost always consisted in a goose on All Saints’, 2 capons on (...)

25Resuming our discussion on paid apprenticeship, if we turn our attention to other Italian contexts in which it has been attested, this practice was usually placed tightly under the guilds’ control. Most notably, in Piacenza, far from providing apprentices with a congruent payment for their work, remuneration was used by guilds to restrict membership, in that paid apprentices were eventually barred from achieving mastery.53 Here, late thirteenth-century guild statutes established two different paths for the trainees: some received training and no wage (fanticelli addiscendibus), while others received training and a salary but were forbidden to achieve guild membership (fanticelli de mercedibus), almost as a compensation for being relegated to a subordinate status.

  • 54 Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et salariat à Marseille avant la peste noire », Revue historique, (...)

26In Genoa, instead, paid apprenticeship seems to have never become a restrictive measure: by the mid-thirteenth century, an apprentice’s salary became an acknowledgement of the trainee’s productivity, as it were, and it remained thus up until the threshold of modernity. Put simply, unlike Piacenza, in Genoa an apprentice who received a salary during his training was not barred from achieving mastery. In this sense, a suitable comparison for the Ligurian city is to be found outside the Italian peninsula. Studies by Francine Michaud have evidenced a similar situation in Marseille. Here, in fact, notarial registers have yielded abundant documents relative to paid apprentices, but, like in Genoa, apprenticeship seems to have been unhinged from guilds, whose statutes (the earliest dating from the fifteenth century) fail to regulate apprenticeship.54

  • 55 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio naziona (...)

27By the end of the Middle Ages, apprenticeship experienced further developments in the chief Ligurian city: rather than becoming a ploy through which to restrict the access to guilds, the wages given to apprentices eventually came to replace the obligation of the master to provide food and clothing, thus giving, as Casarino has affirmed, more personal freedom to the trainees.55 The role of salaried apprentices, who seem to have been ubiquitous during the late Middle Ages, demands further investigation: the divergent developments in the conditions of young workers established by this type of contract that are evident in different parts of north-central Italy and elsewhere in Europe might be a key in assessing the development of labour relationships in early modern times.

Networks, Social Ties, and Territorial Mobility

28The third and last point that can be evaluated from apprenticeship contracts concerns social relationships (and territorial mobility). Despite the rather rigid and arid legal phraseology, at the very basis of the apprenticeship contract lay a web of social ties, which can, at least to a certain extent, be clarified by looking at the identity of the contracting parties.

  • 56 Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze Universi (...)
  • 57 Paola Guglielmotti, Ricerche sull’organizzazione del territorio nella Liguria medievale, Florence, (...)

29Here, it must be stressed that throughout the central and later Middle Ages the workforce active in Genoa was made up first and foremost by migrants/outsiders, who could either choose to settle permanently in the city, or else to learn a craft or work for some time there and then return to their hometown, or even migrate elsewhere. In fact, beginning from at least the early decades of the thirteenth and throughout the fourteenth century, most craftsmen mentioned in notarial records carry a place name as their surname. Research on the earlier registers corroborates and reinforces Casarino’s findings in this respect: a preponderant majority of the topographic indications used by way of surname by artisans are relative to towns and boroughs located in a specific area of Liguria, the Levante, that is, the eastern part of the current-day region.56 One should also observe that the area spanning from the immediate outskirts of Genoa to Punta Corvo, close to Lerici, in the easternmost tip of Liguria, is where the Genoese commune was most successful in extending its influence.57 In general, data confirms the Ligurian Levante as the specific area which over the span of more than three centuries was the main basin that provided the workforce which populated the city’s workshops.

  • 58 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 70, notary Guglielmo di San Giorgio, f. 267 v-f. 268 r.
  • 59 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 80, notary Leonardo Negrino, f. 23 v.

30Clearly, certain migrants provided a sort of foothold for other youths who intended to pursue their training in the city, acting as intermediaries for aspiring artisans from their own hometowns. The presence of these intermediaries is of course evident when a youth was placed in apprenticeship by an individual who did not belong to his family. To cite a couple of examples: in April 1266 a certain Benno from Ginestra, located near Sestri Levante, placed in apprenticeship for 14 years young Provincialino, the son of Guilloto, an inhabitant of the same borough, with a certain Venturo, a chest maker from Rapallo: all places mentioned are located in the eastern part of Liguria.58 Similarly, on Februrary 2, 1281, Guglielmo, a master carpenter from Recco, again in the Levante, some 20 km east of Genoa, placed in apprenticeship for eleven years, Giacomino, the orphaned son of Pietro also from Recco, with a fellow carpenter who worked in Genoa.59 The role of these “agents” or “intermediaries” in recruiting apprentices destined for the city’s workshops was continuous throughout the central and later Middle Ages.

  • 60 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 80, notary Leonardo Negrino, f. 36 r, 1281, February 18.
  • 61 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.2, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 16 r, 1256, January 22.
  • 62 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.1, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 240 r, 1256, April 10.

31Otherwise, youths could be placed directly in apprenticeship by their fathers/mothers/immediate kin with fellow townsmen, without resorting to intermediaries. To cite one of the many examples, in 1281, a certain Giovanni from Chiavari placed his son in apprenticeship with Guglielmo, an apothecary, also a native of Chiavari.60 In other cases, however, those who placed youths in apprenticeship came from rather distant places (even outside Liguria). In 1256, Bonaccorso di Firenze (from Florence) placed his son, Marinetto, in apprenticeship with Guglielmo del Bisagno, a Genoese weaver.61 A few months afterwards, Rolando di Struppa, a Genoese wool worker, placed Mameto florentinus (from Florence) in apprenticeship with Michele de Ruxerano.62 This suggests that the “recruitment networks” were often also the result of social bonds created among migrants from different areas once they settled in the city; bonds that could be tied to a specific neighbourhood, one’s guild, or one of the many forms of association typical of civic life in medieval north-central Italy.

  • 63 Giovanna M. Orlandi, Il cartolare di Damiano di Camogli (1299), M.A. thesis, University of Genoa, a (...)
  • 64 Notary Simone Vatacii is omnipresent in Damiano di Camogli’s acts: Giovanna M. Orlandi, Il cartolar (...)

32As stated before, beyond apprenticeship and labour contracts, artisans typically concluded an array of other contracts required to run their businesses efficiently and can be most commonly observed in contracts pertaining to the purchase of raw materials. For example, between April and May of 1299 Michele Vatacii, a draper, represented by his business partners, and a wool worker, Bernardo di Chiavari, concluded at least seven sales of unfinished cloth to artisans specialised in the finishing of textiles (shearers and fullers).63 The contracts were registered in the house of Michele’s father, notary Simone Vatacii, but drawn up by another notary, Damiano di Camogli, who was very close to Simone.64 Notary Simone Vatacii’s house, therefore, was a veritable touchstone for his son’s network of clients, with wool worker Bernardo di Chiavari acting as an intermediary.

33When considering informal recruiting networks, as well as commerce-related networks, therefore, it is important to stress the notary’s role in maintaining and holding together, or perhaps better, in acting as linchpin for these social ties, some pre-existing, others created anew after these newcomers settled in the city. Most of the notaries in fact attracted a very specific clientele, that could be linked to the specific spot in which they worked, or else to their role in the public administration of the city.

  • 65 Predono corresponds to what is nowadays referred to as Salita del Prione a few hundred meters away (...)
  • 66 See appendix in Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi di arti e mestieri durante il secolo (...)
  • 67 The acts that can be attributed to this notary are scattered in twenty registers. The notary’s acts (...)
  • 68 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 167, notary Lanfranco de Nazario, c. 91 r., 1335, August 20 (the documen (...)

34A case in point is notary Matteo de Predono,65 active around the mid-thirteenth century. Apart from drawing up private contracts, this professional probably worked for the consules foritani, the magistrates who oversaw matters concerning outsiders. So it comes to no surprise that craftsmen, especially wool workers (a fair share of whom were migrants) figure as his main clients, and that his acts yielded the largest share (roughly 40%) of the apprenticeship contracts on which this study is based. Matteo was also the notary to whom the wool workers’ guild made recourse so as to draw up some of the few guild-related documents that have survived.66 His professional profile, therefore, placed him at the centre of a web of social ties involving artisans and their apprentices. A similar mechanism can be seen in the first half of the fourteenth century, in the case of notary Lanfranco de Nazario, active from at least the early 1300s till the late 1340s, and the only fourteenth-century notary whose registers I have analysed so far with a clientele that was prevalently made up of artisans.67 Lanfranco drew up his contracts either outside a draper’s shop in the Genoese neighbourhood of Maddalena, or near one of the city gates, Porta Sant’Andrea, one of the main access points to the city, where the notary lived, and where many wool workers also resided. It is not surprising, therefore, that much like Mattteo de Predono, many of Lanfranco’s clients were employed in the wool industry, and that he is similarly the author of a guild-related document, further strengthening his profile as the notary of choice of the artisan population.68 The social relationships created among the circle of individuals who required the services of notaries must have also played a role in directing the recruitment of the trainees.

Conclusion

35To sum up, while clear boundaries exist to the possibility of taking a quantitative approach and of precisely dating shifts and breaks in the practices of apprenticeship, a long-term perspective has served to identify a few characteristics which appear to have been constant. Firstly, the importance of negotiation, bargaining capacity, and unwritten rules in shaping the conditions under which apprentices were to serve their masters, and, conversely, masters were to impart their knowledge to their trainees. But the most persistent aspect underscoring apprenticeship, and labour in general, is the apparently unbroken migratory movement from the eastern part of the region to the city which, despite demographic fluctuations, remained a constant for over three centuries, continuously replenishing the city with fresh labour force – be they apprentices or skilled workers. By the fifteenth century, this influx of apprentices (and labourers) was made easier thanks to intermediaries, often natives of the same town or village of the aspiring artisans, who became a solid foothold for those who wanted to learn a trade in the city.

36Furthermore, we can also observe some developments, especially in regard to the relationship between gender and “regulated apprenticeship”, which by the end of the Middle Ages seems to have become a male prerogative. If the female presence in apprenticeship contracts, while not preponderant, is still noteworthy up to the end of the thirteenth century, by early modern times girls seem to have become excluded from the “regulated” channels of apprenticeship. Yet, the absence of females from these kind of documents does not imply that women were barred from the labour market, it rather suggests that women found employment through informal channels.

37All in all, however, the most important changes that can be observed are in the evolution of paid apprenticeship – attested in Genoa as early as the end of the twelfth century – which eventually took different shapes and forms also in other late medieval cities. If in other north-central Italian cities paid apprenticeship eventually became a means to exclude quite a fair share of youths from achieving mastery (thus reinforcing the guilds’ hierarchy), in the chief Ligurian city, this practice seems to have differed from such logics, remaining largely a compensation for the apprentice’s work and skills. It is perhaps remunerated apprenticeship, a type of contractual agreement which is present not only in Genoa, but elsewhere in Italy and in Europe, that has the most potential in yielding invaluable new information on the development not only of professional training, but, more generally, on the development of labour relations.

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Notes

1 For a general introduction on the Genoa’s economy and trade see: Jeffrey Miner, Stefan Stantchev, « The Genoese Economy », dans Carrie Beneš (éd.), A Companion to Medieval Genoa, Leyde, Brill, 2018, p. 395-426. The city’s population during the period under scrutiny, has been estimated to have increased from about 20/40 thousand individuals at the end of the twelfth century, to 50/60 thousand people around the 1250s, only to drop to 45 thousand individuals in the post-plague period. Quite obviously, since these demographic data are very broad approximations, based on different sources and conducted by scholars who have taken different approaches, they can be considered as merely indicative of the city’s population: Paola Guglielmotti, Genova, Spolète, CISAM, 2013, p. 44-46.

2 The oldest cartulary belongs to notary Giovanni Scriba and contains contracts registered between 1154 to 1164; the register has been edited: Mario Chiaudano, Mattia Moresco (éd.), Il Cartolare di Giovanni Scriba, 2 vols., Turin, S. Lattes, 1935. All the registers dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries have been inventoried: Giorgio Costamagna (éd.), Cartolari notarili genovesi (1-149). Inventario, 2 vols., Rome, Ministero dell’Interno, 1956-1961; the same endeavour has been undertaken for what concerns the fourteenth century, albeit the inventory covers only a part of the fond: Marco Bologna (éd.), Cartolari notarili genovesi (150-300). Inventario, Rome, Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, 1990. The remaining part of the medieval fond has been inventoried in more recent years and can be consulted online: http://www.asgenova.it/AriannaWeb/main.htm;jsessionid=858E161E000897D7B2FC274BD0A8464C#archivio, last consulted 12/08/2021.

3 Starting with Caro, who, writing at the beginning of the nineteenth century, noted that Genoa’s economy was dominated by mercantile interests, while artisan activities were irrelevant: Georg Caro, Genova e la supremazia sul Mediterraneo (1257-1311), vol. 1, Società Ligure di Storia Patria, nuova serie 14, 1974, p. 20. This idea has been reinforced by Roberto Sabatino Lopez, one of Genoa’s most prominent scholars: Roberto S. Lopez, « Le origini dell’arte della lana », dans Studi sull’economia genovese nel medioevo, Turin, S. Lattes, 1936, p. 70.

4 The eleventh and twelfth century have been covered by Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2015; for the period spanning the mid-fifteenth to the early decades of the sixteenth centuries see the series of studies authored by the members of the Genoese research group: Oscar Itzcovitch, Luciana Gatti, Giacomo Casarino, « Maestri e Garzoni nella società genovese fra xv e xvi secolo », dans Quaderni del Centro di studio sulla storia della tecnica del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle richerche, 1979-1982, 3-5, 9.

5 On Bologna see: Antonio I. Pini, Città, comuni e corporazioni nel medioevo italiano, Bologne, CLUEB, 1986. On Florence: Franco Franceschi, Oltre il « Tumulto »: i lavoratori fiorentini dell’arte della lana fra Tre e Quattrocento, Florence, Olschki, 1993. For other north-central Italian contexts see the following collective volumes which provide either a general overview on the artisan world in the area during the Middle Ages, or specific case studies: Roberto Greci, Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, CLUEB, 1988; Donata Degrassi, « Organizzazioni di mestiere, corpi professionali e istituzioni alla fine del medioevo nell’Italia centro settentrionale », dans Marco Meriggi, Alessandro Pastore (éd.), Le regole dei mestieri e delle professioni, secc. xv-xix, Milan, F. Angeli, 2000, p. 17-35; Tra economia e politica: le corporazioni nell’Europa medievale, Atti del ventesimo convegno internazionale di studi (Pistoia 13-16 maggio 2005), Pistoia, Viella - Centro italiano di studi di storia e d’arte, 2007. Further bibliographical suggestions dans: Denise Bezzina, « Organizzazione corporativa e artigiani nell’Italia medievale », Reti Medievali - Rivista, t. 14, 1, 2015, p. 351-374.

6 The first being the guild of the muleteers (1212), Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi di arti e mestieri durante il secolo xiii con documenti e statuti inediti », Giornale storico e letterario della Liguria, t. 6, 1905, p. 245.

7 On this transition see Giovanna Petti Balbi, Simon Boccanegra e la Genova del ‘300, Naples, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1995, p. 78-80.

8 Giovanna Petti Balbi, Simon Boccanegra e la Genova del ‘300, Naples, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1995, p. 256.

9 For comparisons see for example the studies on Marseille by Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et salariat à Marseille avant la peste noire », Revue historique, t. 278, 1994, p. 3-36, and also, « De la coutume à la réalité: le versement salarial à Marseille, d’après les actes notariés à la fin du Moyen Âge (1248-1400) », dans Patrice Beck, Philippe Bernardi, Laurent Feller (éd.), Rémunérer le travail, Pour une histoire sociale du salariat, Paris, Picard, 2014, p. 408-423; on the Orléannais: Françoise Michaud-Fréjaville, « Bons et loyaux services: les contrats d’apprentissage en Orléanais (1380-1480) », Actes des congrès de la Société des historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public. 12e congrès, Nancy, Presses universitaires de Nancy, 1981, p. 183-208, and also Françoise Michaud-Fréjaville, « Crise urbaine et apprentissage à Orléans, 1475-1500 », dans Monique Bourin (éd.), Villes, bonnes villes, cités et capitales. Mélanges en l’honneur de Bernard Chevalier, Tours, Presses universitaires de Tours, 1989, p. 13-23.

10 Apart from Giacomo Casarino, Claudio Costantini, Oscar Itzcovich, Carola Ghiara and Luciana Gatti participated in the project.

11 ARTIGEN online: http://www.dafist.unige.it/home/ricerca/artigen/, last consulted 12/08/2021.

12 Oscar Itzcovitch, Luciana Gatti, Giacomo Casarino, « Maestri e Garzoni nella società genovese fra xv e xvi secolo », dans Quaderni del Centro di studio sulla storia della tecnica del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle richerche, 1979-1982, 3-5, 9. For the purpose of this study volume 4 of the series is of particular importance: Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982.

13 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982, p. 20.

14 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982, p. 111-113.

15 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982, p. 62-66 and 92-93.

16 Sandra Macchiavello, Antonella Rovere, « The Written Sources », dans A Companion to Medieval Genoa, Leyde, Brill, 2018, p. 43-44.

17 Archivio di Stato di Genova (from now on: ASGe), Notai Antichi, Cart. 75.2, notary Guglielmo di San Giorgio, f. 172 v, 1289, May 8.

18 Statuti della colonia genovese di Pera, Vincenzo Promis (éd.), Turin, Stamperia Reale, 1871, chapter CIX, De vendicione minori set contractus valeat, p. 115-117

19 The 1375 reformed statutes confirmed the previous norm, but established a waiver for female retailers who were allowed to conclude as many contracts as they wanted without their husbands’ consent. Giustina Olgiati, Gli statuti trecenteschi di Genova, unpublished LLM dissertation, University of Genoa, 2005, chapter XXXXV, Quod contractus minorum et mulierum valeat ut infra et de mulieribus non detinendis personaliter pro debito, p. 134-138. I am thankful to Dr. Olgiati for letting me have a copy of her unpublished dissertation.

20 See salary tables dans: Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2015, p. 72-81. Money is given in lire, soldi and denari: 1 lira = 20 soldi = 240 denari.

21 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 164, notary Lanfranco de Nazario, c. 2 v, 1322, November 24.

22 On the matter, see: David Herlihy, Opera Muliebria. Women’s Work in Medieval Europe, New York, McGraw Hill, 1990 p. 122-126; and also Roberto Greci, « Donne e corporazioni: la fluidità di un rapporto », dans Angela Groppi (éd.), Il lavoro delle donne, Rome-Bari, Laterza, 1996, p. 71-90.

23 See for example Sharon Farmer, The Silk Industries of Medieval Paris: Artisanal Migration, Technological Innovation and Gendered Experience, Philadelphie, Pennsylvania University Press, 2017, chapter 4: Gender, Work and the Parisian Silk Industry, p. 106-136. For a historiographical appraisal on scholarship that has considered the relationship between women and guilds see: Clare Haru Crowston, « Women, Gender and Guilds in Early Modern Europe: An Overview of Recent Research », International Review of Social History, t. 16, 2008, p. 19-44.

24 See for example the collective volume, Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di storia economica, « F. Datini », Il commercio al minuto. Domanda e offerta tra economia formale e informale (secc. xiii-xviii), Atti della Settimana di Studi Internazionale di Storia Economica F. Datini, Prato, 4-7 maggio 2014, Florence, Firenze University Press, 2015. On the small number of female guilds even in Northern Europe see: François Rivière, « Women in Craft Organisations in Rouen (14th-15th Century) », dans Eva Jullien, Michel Pauly (éd.), Guilds and Craftsmen in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, Stuttgart, Steiner Verlag, 2016, p. 93-124. (Or in François Rivière, « Les femmes dans les métiers organisés à Rouen aux xive et xve siècles : des droits exceptionnels en Normandie comme en Europe », dans Anna Bellavitis, Virginie Jourdain, Virginie Lemonnier-Lesage, Beatrice Zucca Micheletto (éd.), Tout ce qu’elle saura et pourra faire. Femmes, droits, travail en Normandie du Moyen Âge à la Grande Guerre, Mont-Saint-Aignan, Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2015, p. 29‑42.)

25 Maria P. Zanoboni, Donne al lavoro nell’Italia e nell’Europa medievali (secoli xiii-xv), Milan, Jouvence, 2016, p. 56.

26 On the Genoese silk industry see: Jacques Heers, Genova nel ‘400. Civiltà mediterranea, grande capitalismo e capitalismo popolare, Milan, Jaca Books, 1991, p. 157-165.

27 Carlo G. Mor, « Gli incunaboli del contratto di apprendistato », Archivio giuridico, t. 156, 1964, p. 9-45.

28 Roberto Greci, « Il contratto di apprendistato nelle corporazioni bolognesi (xiii-xiv secc.) », dans Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, 1988, p. 162-175.

29 This version of the apprenticeship contract can be found, for example, in the acts of notary Bartolomeo Fornarii, active between the 1240s and the late 1260s.

30 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.2, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 40 r, 1256, March 6.

31 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 129, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 89 r, 1256, August 8.

32 In this sense we can refer to a much later case, the well-known fifteenth-century Bolognese mason, Gaspare Nadi, who in his diary reported that he had learnt how to read and write as a child, while he was a boy servant in a well-to-do family, and received his education alongside his master’s son, Gaspare Nadi, Diario Bolognese, Corrado Ricci, Alberto Bacchi della Lega (éd.), Bologne, Romagnoli Dall’Acqua, 1886, p. 5.

33 « de Porta Sancti Andree, olim pancegolus et nunc ponderator ad cabellam casei », ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 130, notary Giovanni Draco, f. 175 r, 1300, May 23.

34 Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2015, p. 83-122.

35 On this aspect: Michel Balard, La Romanie génoise (xiie- début du xve siècle), Rome, École française de Rome, 1978 and Georges Jehel, Les Génois en Méditerranée occidentale (fin xie- début xive siècle). Ébauche d’une stratégie pour un empire, Amiens, Centre d’histoire des sociétés - Université d’Amiens, 1993.

36 A similar situation is described for Venetian Crete by Elizabeth Santschi, « Contrats de travail et d’apprentissage en Crète vénitienne au xive siècle d’après quelques notaires », Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte, t. 19, 1, 1969, p. 50.

37 The contracts relative to the fourteenth century which I have collected so far are too few to exclude that this practice saw a decline during the Trecento.

38 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982, p. 74-79.

39 Franco Franceschi, « I salariati », dans Ceti, modelli, comportamenti nella società medievale (secoli xiii-metà xiv). Atti del diciassettesimo convegno internazionale di studi, Pistoia, 2001, p. 185-191; also, Maria P. Zanaboni, Salariati nel medioevo (secoli xiii-xv), Ferrare, Nuovecarte, 2009, p. 34-39.

40 Given that it is extremely difficult to date guild statutes, Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà contrattuali », dans Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, CLUEB, 1988, p. 238-239.

41 Franco Franceschi, « I salariati », dans Ceti, modelli, comportamenti nella società medievale (secoli xiii-metà xiv). Atti del diciassettesimo convegno internazionale di studi, Pistoia, 2001, p. 185.

42 Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà contrattuali », dans Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, CLUEB, 1988, p. 237.

43 See for example the studies on Marseille by Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et salariat à Marseille avant la peste noire », Revue historique, t. 278, 1994, p. 3-36, and also, « De la coutume à la réalité : le versement salarial à Marseille, d’après les actes notariés à la fin du Moyen Âge (1248-1400) », dans Patrice Beck, Philippe Bernardi, Laurent Feller (éd.), Rémunérer le travail, Pour une histoire sociale du salariat, Paris, Picard, 2014, p. 408-423.

44 Simonetta Ortaggi Cammarosano, Libertà e servitù. Il mondo del lavoro dall’ancien régime alla fabbrica capitalistica, Naples, Liguori, 1995, p. 29 and the following.

45 Oberto Scriba de Mercato (1190), Mario Chiaudano, Raimondo Morozzo Della Rocca (éd.), Turin, Editrice Libraria Italiana, 1940, doc. 471, 1190, May 7, p. 185-186.

46 A paltry sum, if we consider that half a century later a paid apprentice was paid about 3-5 denari per day. See salary tables in: Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2015, p. 72-81.

47 Mario Chiaudano, Mattia Moresco (éd.), Il Cartolare di Giovanni Scriba, 2 vols., Turin, S. Lattes, 1935, doc 323, 1158, December 27, p. 170-171.

48 The first being the guild of the muleteers (1212), Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi di arti e mestieri durante il secolo xiii con documenti e statuti inediti », Giornale storico e letterario della Liguria, t. 6, 1905, p. 245.

49 On the problem see Carlo M. Cippola, Before the Industrial Revolution. European Society and Economy (1000-1700), Londres, Blackwell, 1993 (3eéd.), p. 165 and the following.

50 Compensation for the master varies from case to case: a lamb each Easter (See Arturo Ferretto (éd.), « Liber Magistri Salmonis Sacri Palatii Notarii 1222-1226 », Atti della Società Ligure di Storia Patria, 36, 1906, doc. XXVIII, p. 12-13, 1222, January 14); one mina of wheat each year (ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 29, notary Bartolomeo Fornarii, f. 39 r, 1253, April 7); a lamb or a capon each Easter and a basket of eggs on Christmas (ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 70, notary Guglielmo di San Giorgio, f. 199 v, 1266, March 25); a goat and 40 eggs each Easter and a capon each Christmas (ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.1, notary Matteo di Predono, f. 5 r, 1248, January 5); two mine of wheat the first year of apprenticeship (ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.1, notary Matteo di Predono, f. 83 r, 1251, January 24). Only one contract provides for a monetary payment: the parties agreed that the master would be paid 20 soldi each year in July for victualis et doctrina, i.e. food and teaching (ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 74, notary Guglielmo di San Giorgio, f. 40 r, 1280, June 22).

51 Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà contrattuali », dans Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, CLUEB, 1988, p. 230.

52 For example, in Orléans, while the payment (mostly in kind) to the master was rather uncommon it still accounts for 18% of the contracts, while in Genoa this practice can be observed in about 1% of apprenticeship contracts. For the data on Orléans see: Françoise Michaud-Fréjaville, « Bons et loyaux services : les contrats d’apprentissage en Orléanais (1380-1480) », Actes des congrès de la Société des historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public. 12e congrès, Nancy, Presses universitaires de Nancy, 1981, p. 207.

53 For example, in Piacenza the payment almost always consisted in a goose on All Saints’, 2 capons on Christmas and a lamb on Easter, Roberto Greci, « L’apprendistato nella Piacenza tardo-comunale tra vincoli corporativi e libertà contrattuali », dans Corporazioni e mondo del lavoro nell’Italia padana medievale, Bologne, CLUEB, 1988, p. 237, p. 239.

54 Francine Michaud, « Apprentissage et salariat à Marseille avant la peste noire », Revue historique, t. 278, 1994, p. 6-7. The scholar has further studied the issue of salaried apprentice dans Francine Michaud, « De la coutume à la réalité : le versement salarial à Marseille, d’après les actes notariés à la fin du Moyen Âge (1248-1400) », dans Patrice Beck, Philippe Bernardi, Laurent Feller (éd.), Rémunérer le travail, Pour une histoire sociale du salariat, Paris, Picard, 2014, p. 408-423. A similar absence of guild regulations in matters concerning apprenticeship is evident also in the Languedoc area, André Gouron, La réglementation des métiers en Languedoc, Paris, Minard, 1958, p. 267-268.

55 Giacomo Casarino, I giovani e l’apprendistato. Istruzione e addestramento, Gênes, Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1982, p. 80-82.

56 Denise Bezzina, Artigiani a Genova nei secoli xii-xiii, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2015, p. 21-37.

57 Paola Guglielmotti, Ricerche sull’organizzazione del territorio nella Liguria medievale, Florence, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press, 2005, p. 41-54.

58 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 70, notary Guglielmo di San Giorgio, f. 267 v-f. 268 r.

59 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 80, notary Leonardo Negrino, f. 23 v.

60 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 80, notary Leonardo Negrino, f. 36 r, 1281, February 18.

61 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.2, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 16 r, 1256, January 22.

62 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 31.1, notary Matteo de Predono, f. 240 r, 1256, April 10.

63 Giovanna M. Orlandi, Il cartolare di Damiano di Camogli (1299), M.A. thesis, University of Genoa, academic year 2016/2017, docs. 16, 28, 41, 44, 59 (April-May 1299); ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 149.1, notary Damiano di Camogli, f. 53 v-54 r, 1299, May 29.

64 Notary Simone Vatacii is omnipresent in Damiano di Camogli’s acts: Giovanna M. Orlandi, Il cartolare di Damiano di Camogli (1299), M.A. thesis, University of Genoa, academic year 2016/2017, docs. 16, 28, 41, 44, 59 (April-May 1299), p. 25.

65 Predono corresponds to what is nowadays referred to as Salita del Prione a few hundred meters away from the cathedral of San Lorenzo, in the very heart of the city: Luciano Grossi Bianchi, Ennio Poleggi, Una città portuale del medioevo. Genova nei secoli x-xvi, Gênes, SAGEP, 1980, p. 46. Incidentally it is also where notary Simone Vatacii’s house was probably located, as the notary is sometimes referred to as Simon Vatacii de Predono.

66 See appendix in Federigo L. Mannucci, « Delle società genovesi di arti e mestieri durante il secolo xiii con documenti e statuti inediti », Giornale storico e letterario della Liguria, t. 6, 1905, p. 245.

67 The acts that can be attributed to this notary are scattered in twenty registers. The notary’s acts are inventorized in: Cartolari notarili genovesi (150-300). Inventario, Rome, Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, 1990, p. 290-299.

68 ASGe, Notai Antichi, Cart. 167, notary Lanfranco de Nazario, c. 91 r., 1335, August 20 (the document refers to the cheese makers guild).

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Denise Bezzina, « Mechanisms of Apprenticeship in Late Medieval Genoa: Training, Actors and Networks (Thirteenth – Fourteenth Centuries) »L’Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques [En ligne], 24 | 2022, mis en ligne le 25 avril 2022, consulté le 05 octobre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/acrh/25438 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/acrh.25438

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Denise Bezzina

University of Genoa, University of Padua;
E-Mail: denisebezzina [arobase] hotmail [point] com

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