Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Le petit peuple dans l’Occident médiéval

 | 
Pierre Boglioni
, 
Robert Delort
, 
Claude Gauvard

Troisième partie. Culture du petit peuple. Systèmes, conduites, valeurs

The Mentality of a Used-Clothes Dealer of the XVth century

Paula Clarke

Texte intégral

  • 1 C. BEC, Les marchands écrivains: affaires et humanisme à Florence, 1375-1434; Paris La Haye, 1967; (...)
  • 2 L.B. Alberti, I libri della famiglia, ed. R. Romano & A. Tenenti, Turin, 1969; G. Rucellai, Giovan (...)

1One of the problems raised by studies of popular culture in recent decades has been the relationship of the culture of the élite of any society with that of the lower classes. What follows is intended both to shed light on the mentality of a lower-class member of an urban community in late medieval Italy, and also to contribute to the above debate by comparing the attitudes of this person (a used-clothes dealer living in Venice in the early xvth century) with those of a higher social group – i.e., the merchant writers of the late Middle Ages who have attracted so much attention from historians in recent decades. I am referring in particular to the marchands écrivains discussed by Christian Bec, and whose works have been published in part by, for example, Vittore Branca1. These merchant writers are numerous, but the most famous are undoubtedly Leon-Battista Alberti, who, in his work On the Family, embodied in Giannozzo Alberti the values of Florence’s highest commercial classes, and Giovanni Rucellai, one of the wealthiest merchant-bankers of xvth-century Florence, Alberti’s patron and the brother-in-law of Lorenzo de’ Medici, who, in his Zihaldone or Scrapbook, has left us a further insight into the attitudes and beliefs of Florence’s richest circles – attitudes which were profoundly influenced by his friend Alberti2.

  • 3 Cf. Y. Renouard, Les hommes d’affaires italiens du Moyen Âge, ed. B. Guillemain, Paris, 1968, p. 7 (...)

2Comparing a used-clothes dealer with such writers does not involve a confrontation between complete extremes; we are not dealing with noble versus peasant or pitting great wealth against complete destitution. Our protagonists lived within the same urban environment, frequented the same spaces, and were, at some level, involved in trade. Nevertheless, there was a vast social and economic gulf between a humble used-clothes dealer, member of a rather despised profession, and international commercial families like the Alberti or Rucellai. If we accept the theories of some historians, we should expect to find profound differences between the attitudes of the «men-of-affairs» active in international commerce, and those of the artisans and shop-keepers whose activities were, it is argued, confined to the immediate environs of their town. Whereas the former would have acquired a wide-ranging vision and novel (secular and even modern) attitudes, the artisan-shopkeeper would have retained more limited, traditional ideas and beliefs3. By examining the views of our used-clothes dealer, we can question whether such social and economic differences did produce this diversity in mentality, or whether there was not, instead, a common ground of belief and opinion which united these different social levels rather than separating them.

  • 4 For further information, see my article «La mentalità mercantile d’uno strazzarolo del Quattrocent (...)

3To begin, we should know something about this particular used-clothes salesman4. First, his name, which was Jacopo di Cristoforo, although he was generally known by the diminutive, Papi. There is no suggestion that he ever possessed a surname, which in itself indicates his lowly status. Although he lived in Venice, Papi was by origin Florentine. He and a good part of his family must have moved to Venice at the very end of the xivth century, possibly forced out of Florence by the increasingly oligarchic regime which was being imposed from 1382 onward. In Venice, Papi and his family were initially practically destitute, he tells us, without money, connections, employment or anywhere to live. Nevertheless, by working for a used-clothes salesman, Papi not only managed to earn enough to support his family but, gradually, put aside sufficient funds to open his own business selling used articles, in which he had considerable success. He was eventually able to marry and raise his own family, buy small properties in Venice and Florence, and even boast some acquaintance with members of Venice’s leading patrician families.

  • 5 The original will, in Papi’s hand, is conserved in the Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Cancelleria I (...)

4All this – indeed, almost all that we know about Papi – comes from the will which he wrote in Venice in 1435, when he was about 58 years old5. This testament gives us considerable insight into his mentality, as, beyond the usual dispositions regarding his property, he included in it a whole series of instructions for his sons. These can be compared to similar advice left by the «merchant writers» in their memoirs or ricordi, which often had the same goal of instructing their descendants as to how to live and how to be successful in the world.

  • 6 Papi did, for example, engage in the import and export of goods between Venice and Florence. Thus, (...)
  • 7 Cf. the famous expression of Alberti, repeated by Rucellai, that a merchant’s hands should always (...)

5What, then, does this will tell us about the attitudes and values of a late-medieval Italian shop-keeper? First of all, it suggests that his concerns were above all pragmatic and rather self-centred; Papi was anxious chiefly for success in the world-social, but especially economic success. Consequently, much of the advice which he provides his sons involves how to succeed in business, to the point that he develops a sort of «business ethic» meriting comparison with that of the «merchant writers» mentioned above. According to the theory already outlined, we should expect to find this ethic rather different from that of the wealthier merchants, and, yet, there are some fundamental similarities. At the most basic level, Papi shares certain habits of mind which are usually associated with merchants and which suggest that his experience in business may not have been so different from theirs6. Such, for example, are his desire for order and precision, especially where money and property are concerned, and his insistence on the need to keep careful, clear accounts and make written records of all dealings7. In fact, Papi’s modest fortune, if anything, caused him to exaggerate such traits. For example, his emphasis on written proof led him to insist that those who performed the pilgrimages for the benefit of his and his relatives’ souls should not be fully paid until they brought back letters proving that they had actually visited the shrines he named.

  • 8 Cf. in particular Giannozzo Alberti’s emphasis on experience and reason as opposed to authority: L (...)
  • 9 Alberti, Libri della famiglia, p. 205-06, 214-16, 261; Rucellai, Zibaldone, p. 7-8, 18. Cf. also P (...)
  • 10 Cf. Paolo Da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 81,142, 234; Morelli, Ricordi, p. 260, 262-263; (...)
  • 11 Papi forbade his sons to form companies with others or to act as guarantors for others’ business d (...)
  • 12 Alberti, Libri di famiglia, p. 196-197, 247. Cf. also Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, n (...)

6If we look further, beyond such mental habits to Papi’s assumptions and values, we find, once again, resemblances to the merchant writers. He agrees with them, for example, on the importance of experience as a guide to truth, especially in practical matters8. He shares their sense that diligence and hard work are essential to attain one’s goals and that no less important is an efficient use of time. He seems almost to echo Alberti (who was writing his own work On the Family about the same time) in his insistence that using every moment effectively is the key to success, while wasting time is a sure road to failure9. Similar to merchant writers is also Papi’s conviction of the need not only to make money but to conserve it, by husbanding one’s resources and keeping expenditure within reasonable bounds10. Indeed, his humble means made him yet more emphatic regarding the dangers of overspending. Fully aware of how precarious his family’s well-being was, he was haunted by the fear that his sons, whose life had been less difficult than his, might dissipate the small patrimony which he had so painstakingly put together. Therefore, he not only tied their hands in every possible way so they could not alienate or waste his property11; he also declared that if either son became a wastrel, he was to be deprived of his inheritance and reduced to bread and water until he mended his ways. More concretely, Papi provided detailed advice on how to limit household expenses, counselling his sons to «buy the small beef and the small fish and leave the large ones for the gentlemen», and urging them to save money by using for his own tomb one of the stones which he had collected for rebuilding his house. While such advice clearly reveals the gap between Papi’s socio-economic level and wealthy businessmen-a gap which Papi emphasized by his emphasis on the need to be humble, as well as «serving» and «reverent» to the patrician class-it is not so different from the spirit of bourgeois thrift which Giannozzo Alberti expresses in On the Family. There, for example, Giannozzo not only laments the cost and wastage involved in giving dinners (against which Papi also warns) but even advises against using a belt because it wears the cloth and makes the garment age too quickly12.

  • 13 Cf. Alberti, Libri della famiglia, p. 232-234. F.W. Kent, Household and Lineage in Renaissance Flo (...)
  • 14 Such control over property was not, then, purely aristocratic, nor necessarily connected with stro (...)

7Perhaps surprisingly, even Papi’s concept of family is similar to that of higher social ranks. Although Papi barely seems to know who his grandparents were, stating merely that they and his own parents were poor people, he nevertheless has a sense of belonging to a wider family circle to which he refers with the rather vague and, for him, difficult word attinenti, or relatives. His real family interests, however, centre on his own household, and specifically on his sons, to whom he applies traditional but still strong ideals of solidarity13. He requires them to retain a common household and property for at least twenty years, during which time each is to work for the benefit of all, earning and multiplying together, as he puts it. Papi clearly looks forward to perpetuating himself through his family, which he sees in terms of a lineage tracing its origin to himself and to the property which he has put together. He therefore insists that this property is never to be alienated, not even as a dowry or for pious causes, but is to be passed from generation to generation, first in the male line but, if it should die out, remaining with his own blood by passing to his female descendants. This property, humble and limited though it was, created for Papi social status and a means of self-affirmation sufficiently important that he provided for an eternal control over it even if his descendants died out completely. In this case, it was to pass in a perennial cycle among various pious institutions-an arrangement which, Papi flattered himself, would leave a memorial of himself enduring as long as did the world14.

8If in all these ways Papi’s assumptions resemble those of the more wealthy merchants, perhaps we can discover a socially distinct mentality in other aspects of his thought, such as his profound morality. This is completely traditional in nature, in line with popular wisdom and with the precepts of the medieval Church. Yet, for Papi this morality was concrete and applied, and it is clear that he valued virtue for its practical effects; he saw it as conducive to a clear conscience, good social relations and, in the end, to a happy life. Hence, his advice to keep away from bad company and, especially, from wicked women, whom he undoubtedly saw as leading to a bad reputation, wasteful habits and, potentially, injury to health. Similarly, he cautions his sons to leave other men’s wives alone, and to be careful of how they behave when invited to other people’s houses, where, he says, they should show modesty both in their speech and in their eyes.

9The same sense of the practical value of morality is evident in Papi’s insistence that ethical standards were relevant even in the business world. As Papi saw it, the source of his own success as a shop-keeper was the «loyalty and truth» which he had exercised constantly in his trade. Only through such behaviour, he argued, can one create the trust necessary not only to develop a loyal clientele but also to maintain good business relations with other tradesmen. While he was fully aware of how tempting it is to seek an easier or larger profit through fraud or deceit, he was convinced that, in the end, dishonesty does not pay. Fraud may work for a while, he agreed, but, once you are caught cheating someone of even the least sum, everything is up with you, as you will lose your reputation as a reliable trader, and no one-customer or business associate-will ever trust you again. Therefore, he concluded, it is much better to be satisfied with a limited but honest profit, which will prove constant and permanent, rather than opting for the quick but dishonest windfall which could lead to disaster.

  • 15 I.e. «verbal courtesy is worth a lot and costs little». This proverb had been cited earlier by Pao (...)

10Within this association of virtue with business success, Papi sees even good manners as playing their role. His own experience had evidently taught him that a courteous and pleasant attitude could make the difference between customers’ choosing his shop to do business in or going elsewhere. Hence his advice to show respect and good will to everyone, even to «the least stranger», who might, in the end, also become a client. Doffing one’s hat, combined with a pleasant greeting, Papi argues, is good business practice as well as good manners, and he cites to this effect a popular proverb that cortesia di bocca assai vale e poco costa15.

  • 16 Cf. Renouard, Hommes d’affaires, p. 231; Bec, Marchands écrivains, p. 59; U. Tucci, «Alle origini (...)
  • 17 E.g., Paolo da Certaldo advises opening one’s own letters before giving other merchants theirs and (...)
  • 18 As Rucellai, for example, writes, «avoid like the fire that anyone feels cheated or ill content... (...)
  • 19 Cf. Morelli, Ricordi, p. 225-226; Rucellai, Zibaldone, p. 5; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatur (...)
  • 20 Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 88, 146, 188, 247, 322, 323, 341; Morelli, Ricordi,(...)

11Here, in Papi’s insistence on ethical behaviour in business affairs, should, according to the theory outlined at the start, lie a fundamental difference between the mentality of the shop-keeper and that of the international merchant. For the activities of the latter would have required them to abandon such moral attitudes and adopt an unscrupulous, «modern» approach, which placed pursuit of profit before all other considerations16. Yet, Papi’s reasoning is very convincing, and we can well ask whether his position was not valid for the commercial world of his time and whether merchants did not rather agree with him than with those historians who trace the beginning of modernity to businessmen’s supposedly ruthless pursuit of profit. In fact, if we look more closely at what the merchant writers were actually saying, we discover that they did not advise unscrupulous and immoral methods as the best way to succeed in the business world. While they were not always above the occasional sharp practice17, they, no less than Papi, were aware that success in business depended on attracting and keeping customers and commercial correspondents; therefore they too insisted on the honest and courteous behaviour which would achieve these ends and gain them the good reputation necessary for permanent and reliable commercial relations18. Like Papi, they warn against deceivers, insist on the need to maintain faith, and regard the moderate but sure gain as preferable to the large profit which might prove dubious or harmful19. Moreover, our merchant writers insist on moral behaviour even beyond business affairs, stressing the importance of virtue and repeating traditional ethical advice against lying, gambling, prostitutes, and drunkeness20.

  • 21 He does not, however, condemn usury, and seems to regard borrowing money at interest as a normal p (...)

12If the difference between the attitudes of artisan-shopkeeper and international businessman cannot, then, be found at the level of ethics and its application to commerce, perhaps we can discover it in yet another highly traditional side of Papi’s thought – his profound religiosity and, above all, his sense of a complete harmony between religious precept and good business practice. This latter conviction arose from Papi’s traditional view of God not only as the creator of the universe but as the active determiner of events within the world. For Papi, this meant that the events of human life, including success or failure in the business world, were the direct result of divine will. Moreover, Papi had a firm faith in divine justice; what happens to human beings is the reward or punishment given by God of each person’s behaviour. Therefore, in order to attain success in the business world, one has to act not only honestly but also in accordance with the divine will. Hence Papi’s recommendations not just to hear mass every day and to be generous in giving alms, but even to apply in business the Christian golden rule of not doing onto others what you would not want them to do to you21.

  • 22 Cf. Renouard, Hommes d’affaires, p. 231 passim; BEC, Marchands écrivains, p. 60, 110, 276-277.
  • 23 Cf. Morelli, Ricordi, p. 150-151: the blindness induced by our sins makes us believe that the even (...)
  • 24 E.g., Rucellai, after advising honesty and diligence, continues that he would hope that God would (...)
  • 25 On avoiding illicit contracts, cf. Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 115, 128, 305, 3 (...)
  • 26 Cf. G. Dati, L’«Istoria di Firenze» dal 1380 al 1405, ed. L. Pratesi, Norcia, 1902, p. 15: «It’s a (...)
  • 27 Cf. Vespasiano da Bisticci’s comment that Cosimo de’Medici’s famous donations to ecclesiastical in (...)
  • 28 Although Paolo da Certaldo does so: Libro di buoni costumi, no 132.
  • 29 Ibid., nos 5, 110, 116, 117, 281, 338, 345; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, book II; and t (...)

13Here, then, in Papi’s conviction of the harmony between religious principle and business success, we should finally have found the difference between our humble shopkeeper and the great merchants of the period. For, according to the historians mentioned at the start, the requirements of international commerce would have compelled the merchant to act along purely pragmatic and secular lines, eliminating religious, as well as moral, principles from commercial practice and even reducing the basic relationship between man and God to a form of commercial contract22. Yet, once again, if we turn to the merchant writers themselves, we find that they do not express the secular, modern attitudes so often attributed to them. Rather, they too are notably religious, along the traditional lines of medieval Catholicism. This involves, as with Papi, the conviction that the events of human life are determined by God as a reward or punishment for the manner in which an individual behaves23. Indeed, while our merchant writers recognize the contribution which they themselves can make to their business success, they nevertheless continue to see the hand of God as the major force behind it24. They therefore agree that permament business success requires behaving in the way which God desires, which involves the application of religious precepts, such as avoiding illicit or usurious contracts25. They seriously believed that wealth obtained by illicit means would prove impermanent26, and feared that unrepented sins, by provoking divine wrath, might result in the loss of all their hard-won gains27. While few went so far as to urge doing onto others what you would have them do to you28, these merchant writers did insist on the need for a religious life, including regular church-attendance, and making amends for sins by alms-giving, contrition and penitence29. Such attitudes certainly did not prevent businessmen from committing sins and even from resorting to illicit business methods, but they do mean that such behaviour continued to be seen within the traditional terms of virtue and vice, Christian behaviour and sin, and that commercial activity even at its upper levels did not lead to new, «modern» values or create for merchants an unscrupulous, secular worldview different from that of our humble shop-keeper.

14We can, then, conclude that the socio-economic differences between the humble shop-keeper and the great merchant did not lead to contrasting world-views. Certainly, not every merchant would have shared all of Papi’s attitudes, such as his humility or, even, his sense of a complete harmony between religious precept and good business practice. Such a belief too easily glossed over continuing conflicts between Christian ideals and commercial exigencies and was possible only because Papi avoided the subject of usury. Nevertheless, businessmen even of the highest levels did agree with Papi in their acceptance of the traditional, religious concept of the universe dominant in their day, and in their determination to comprehend their own pragmatic activities and assumptions within it. Thus, instead of élite versus petty-bourgeois mentality, we can postulate a common culture which extended beyond the commercial classes to include learned circles, and, at some level, the population as a whole. Moreover, our analysis also demonstrates that we cannot look for the origins of «modernity» in any new, secular, «modern» mentality supposedly created by international businessmen of the late Middle Ages.

Notes

1 C. BEC, Les marchands écrivains: affaires et humanisme à Florence, 1375-1434; Paris La Haye, 1967; V Branca, Mercanti e scrittori. Ricordi nella Firenze tra Medioevo e Rinascimento, Milan, 1987.

2 L.B. Alberti, I libri della famiglia, ed. R. Romano & A. Tenenti, Turin, 1969; G. Rucellai, Giovanni Rucellai ed il suo Zibaldone, I, ed. A. Perosa, London, 1960. Rucellai’s work was influenced by the Trattato del governo della famiglia attributed to Agnolo Pandolfini, which is, in turn a reworking of the third book of Alberti’s Della famiglia. Reference will also be made to other works by various «merchant writers».

3 Cf. Y. Renouard, Les hommes d’affaires italiens du Moyen Âge, ed. B. Guillemain, Paris, 1968, p. 7-9,236-47 and «Affaires et culture à Florence aux xive et xve siècles», most recently in his Études d’histoire médiévale, Paris, 1968, p. 484-496; G. Luzzatto, «Piccoli e grandi mercanti nelle città italiane del Rinascimento», in In onore e ricordo di Giuseppe Prato: saggi di storia e teoria economica, Turin, 1931, p. 27-49; BEC, Marchands écrivains, p. 20.

4 For further information, see my article «La mentalità mercantile d’uno strazzarolo del Quattrocento», Studi veneziani, 40 (2001), which will include an edition of the will mentioned below.

5 The original will, in Papi’s hand, is conserved in the Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Cancelleria Inferiore, Miscellanea, Notai diversi, 25, n. 1787. Another copy exists in the same archive: Notarile, Testamenti, 792, n. 214 of a register of the notary Vettore Pase.

6 Papi did, for example, engage in the import and export of goods between Venice and Florence. Thus, like many shopkeepers and even artisans, his commerce was not confined to the local sphere.

7 Cf. the famous expression of Alberti, repeated by Rucellai, that a merchant’s hands should always be covered with ink: Libri della famiglia, p. 251; Zibaldone, p. 6. Also, Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, ed. S. Morpurgo, Florence, 1921 & A. Schiaffini, Florence, 1945, no 245; Giovanni Morelli, Ricordi, ed. V. Branca, Florence, 1956, p. 228-29; B. Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, ed. U. Tucci, Venice, 1990, p. 171-175.

8 Cf. in particular Giannozzo Alberti’s emphasis on experience and reason as opposed to authority: Libri della famiglia, p. 200.

9 Alberti, Libri della famiglia, p. 205-06, 214-16, 261; Rucellai, Zibaldone, p. 7-8, 18. Cf. also Paolo Da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 19, 126, 346; Morelli, Ricordi, p. 149.

10 Cf. Paolo Da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 81,142, 234; Morelli, Ricordi, p. 260, 262-263; Giannozzo Alberti’s discussion of masserizia or husbanding one’s resources, Libri di famiglia, especially p. 195-205; Rucellai, Zibaldone, p. 15-17.

11 Papi forbade his sons to form companies with others or to act as guarantors for others’ business dealings, actions against which merchant writers also cautioned: cf. Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 100, 226 ans Morelli, Ricordi, p. 225-226.

12 Alberti, Libri di famiglia, p. 196-197, 247. Cf. also Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 141-143.

13 Cf. Alberti, Libri della famiglia, p. 232-234. F.W. Kent, Household and Lineage in Renaissance Florence, Princeton, N.J., 1977, discusses concepts of family during this period.

14 Such control over property was not, then, purely aristocratic, nor necessarily connected with stronger dynastic sentiments. Cf. R.A. Goldthwaite, Private Wealth in Renaissance Florence, Princeton, N.J., 1968, p. 271-275.

15 I.e. «verbal courtesy is worth a lot and costs little». This proverb had been cited earlier by Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, no 351 and in the Zibaldone da Canal, ed. A. Stussi, Venice, 1967, p. 111.

16 Cf. Renouard, Hommes d’affaires, p. 231; Bec, Marchands écrivains, p. 59; U. Tucci, «Alle origini dello spirito capitalistico a Venezia: la previsione economica», in Studi in onore di A. Fanfani, Milan, 1962, III, p. 554.

17 E.g., Paolo da Certaldo advises opening one’s own letters before giving other merchants theirs and using slightly different measures in buying and selling grain: Libro di buoni costumi, nos 251 and 152 respectively.

18 As Rucellai, for example, writes, «avoid like the fire that anyone feels cheated or ill content... A loved seller will always have a lot of buyers and among guildsmen good fame and concourse are more important than wealth»: Zibaldone, p. 5. Cf. Alberti, Libri della famiglia, p. 249-50; Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 83, 84, 106, 173, 239; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, p. 164-165.

19 Cf. Morelli, Ricordi, p. 225-226; Rucellai, Zibaldone, p. 5; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, p. 157-158, 163, 178-179.

20 Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 88, 146, 188, 247, 322, 323, 341; Morelli, Ricordi, p. 252-253, 257-260, 263; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, book III. The acquisition of virtue is a constant theme in Alberti’s Libri della famiglia.

21 He does not, however, condemn usury, and seems to regard borrowing money at interest as a normal practice.

22 Cf. Renouard, Hommes d’affaires, p. 231 passim; BEC, Marchands écrivains, p. 60, 110, 276-277.

23 Cf. Morelli, Ricordi, p. 150-151: the blindness induced by our sins makes us believe that the events of our lives are produced by fortune or by our own intelligence rather than through the will of God, but this is not true, as everything proceeds from Him, but according to our merits. Cf. Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 335, 339.

24 E.g., Rucellai, after advising honesty and diligence, continues that he would hope that God would therefore favour him and that, through the favour of God first and then through a good name among men, every day his earnings would increase: Zibaldone, p. 5. Morelli succeeded in combining the principles of diligence and divine favour by arguing that God wants you to help yourself and through your own efforts to achieve perfection: Ricordi, p. 149-151.

25 On avoiding illicit contracts, cf. Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, nos 115, 128, 305, 321, 342, 352; Morelli, Ricordi, p. 225, 249-251; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, p. 193-201.

26 Cf. G. Dati, L’«Istoria di Firenze» dal 1380 al 1405, ed. L. Pratesi, Norcia, 1902, p. 15: «It’s an infallible judgement that the possessions which come through bad means depart and lead the man too down the bad road». Also, Paolo da Certaldo, Libro di buoni costumi, no 305.

27 Cf. Vespasiano da Bisticci’s comment that Cosimo de’Medici’s famous donations to ecclesiastical institutions were motivated by his fear that, if he did not repent for the sins which he had committed both in commerce and in politics, he would not be able to retain his wealth: Le Vite, ed. A. Greco, Florence, 1970 & 1976, II, p. 177-178.

28 Although Paolo da Certaldo does so: Libro di buoni costumi, no 132.

29 Ibid., nos 5, 110, 116, 117, 281, 338, 345; Cotrugli, Libro dell’arte di mercatura, book II; and the references to God and to his own attendance at Mass by Giannozzo degli Alberti: Libri della famiglia, e.g., p. 211, 290.

Auteur

McGill University

© Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2002

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540