[Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani]. Manuscript on paper, in Latin. Italy (northern Tuscany), third or fourth quarter of the 14th century

Autore STATUTES OF VERRUCOLA AND FIVIZZANO.
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Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani

295x220 mm. [12] leaves. Collation: I4 II8. 32 lines per page. Text block 210x135 mm. Written by a unique hand in a fine minuscule chancery script in black and red. With a few marginal notes in the same hand. Headings, initials and “Capitula” numbers in red ink. Initials and “Capitula” numbers set out. The script is very close to that of the 1376 Statuta Bononie, a beautiful manuscript illuminated by the celebrated artist Nicolò da Bologna and now preserved at the Bologna State Archive. If not to the same hand, the scripts of the two manuscripts can be attributable to the same workshop.

Watermark in the center of six leaves showing a horn (in French huchet), very close to Briquet 7262 (Pisa, 1380) and 7664 (Pisa, 1385). It seems to be a common watermark in late 14th-century documents from northern Tuscany, as documented for the example by a group of letters from Massa/Luni dating to 1381 not at the Lucca State Archive.

Late 18th-century boards covered with colored paper. Book block loose. Some leaves partially detached. Light water stain on the outer margin. All in all well preserved. Untrimmed.

 

This unfortunately fragmentary manuscript is apparently the earliest testimony of the otherwise lost old Verrucola and Fivizzano statutes[1]. Before the discovery of this manuscript, according to our researches, the oldest known copy of the Fivizzano or Verrucola Statutes dated back to 1567.

The first leaf of the manuscript most likely belongs to a missing part of the Statuta Verucole and is not directly related to what follows. The following 11 leaves in fact contain altogether 44 articles, which seem to belong to the final part or a sort of “addenda” to the statutes of Verrucola.

Nowadays “Fortezza della Verrucola” [2] is just an imposing fortified building in private hands, but in the 14th century, under the domination of the Malaspina family, it was a populous village. Fivizzano, which is only a thousand meters away, is today on the contrary a small village, while at the time the manuscript was written, it was just a borough, remarkable only for its weekly marketplace.

In the article dedicated to toll collecting, called De pedaliis occipiendis (l. 11v), it is stated that for “quicumque homo sive persona que emeret Fivezani vel in curia Verucole aliquas merces vel res ut sunt caseus, oleum, coramen, ferrum et alia”, if these goods do not exceed a certain value, they are free of customs duty, and this had been decided in order to maintain, promote and enlarge the “forum” of Fivizzano. This article shows that at the time Verrucola and Fivizzano were a sole territorial and political entity[3].

The first leaf of the manuscript opens with an unnumbered short article dealing with the authority of the “Rector” and its “Curia”, whose judgement cannot be invalidated. It then contains 3 numbered articles: 131 (Ultimum statutum de amnibus maleficiis), 132 (De mollendinariis) addressed to millers, and 133 (wrongly numbered 134: De officio Notatii Potestatis), which occupies the last 3 lines and the whole following verso. The text is though incomplete. As stated, this looks like the only surviving leaf from a lost part of the statutes.

Leaf 2r begins with the final part of art. 116. The text from art. 117 to art. 130 is complete but for the last lines of art. 130 (l. 4v), which deals with the export and import regulation on wine: “nec vinum de Vernacia nec vinum Grecum nec aliquid alium nisi nostratum”.

After l. 4 at least one leaf is missing, containing articles 131-134 (clearly not the same articles as in l. 1). Leaf 5r contains the final part of art. 134 and the beginning of art. 135. The text from art. 135 to art. 160 (l. 11v) is complete.

The final leaves 11v and 12 contain 5 more unnumbered articles. The first is the abovementioned De pedaliis accipiendis, which lists several goods and their tariffs. The second deals with the punishment against unfaithful customs officers (“Pedagerii”). The third explains to what extent merchants' books can be trusted. The fourth imposes that “Potestates-Rectores”, at the end of their mandate, must be subject to a “Sindicationem”, that is a scrutiny of their actions. The fifth and final extra article sets a monthly salary of 15 “libre imperiales” for the “Rector-Potestas”; the salary also includes the pay for two servants and two employees (“Corerii”) responsible for the service of the documents of the “Curia Verucole”.

 

[1]E. Branchi, Storia della Lunigiana Feudale, Bologna, 1971, p. 330: “Verrucola ebbe ab antico leggi e costituzioni particolari che andarono perdute”.

[2]It is important to specify that the Verrucola indicated in the present manuscript is Verucole de Bosi (or Bosorum) in Lunigiana, not to be mistaken with the neighboring Verucole de Gherardenghis in Garfagnana.

[3]Verrucola today has only about 50 residents.

  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani
  • Statuta Curie Verucole et Fivezani