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Selected documents from Genoese archives

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This section offers 17 documents dating between the late-twelfth and mid-fifteenth centuries, mostly transcribed from the notarial registers of Genoa. The documents were transcribed by Christoph Cluse. They are available in PDF format and may be used for teaching and research.

1184 May 8, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:00
Anselmo Portonario manumits his female slave Magnana
1186 October 18, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:02
Before the notary Lanfranco, Guglielmo Pelliccerio sells his female slave Maimona to Guglielmo de Bellobruno, for 6 lb.
1211 October 13, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:03
Before the notary Guilelmus Sapiens, Guglielmo Baiano, brother of the late Baiano, declares that Furada had not come from Sardinia as a slave but as free woman, of her own choice.
1291 September 5, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:04
Andreolo de Guisulfo and his wife Sibellina manumit their female slave Giovanetta.
1311 March 30, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:05
Before the notary Damiano de Camulio, Ansaldo de Scala sells to Giovanni Segrotando of Riparolo a female Circassian slave named Lucia, c. 24 years of age, for 21 lb. The slave has a daughter, c. one month old.
1311 November 21, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:07
Paysino, son of the late Antonio de Paysio, makes his last will. He leaves bequests to his former serva or ancilla Giovaneta and to his former wetnurse Giacopina. Both have children of their own (excerpt)
1316 March 19, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-20 15:38
Prohibition against trading arms, iron, wood, and slaves to Alexandria (Leges Genuenses, ed. by Cornelio Desimoni and Luigi Tommaso Belgrano, Historiae Patriae Monumenta 18 (Turin, 1901), cols 371–76).
1321 April 4, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:08
Anina de Guillelmis ows her famula (who was once a slave) part of her salary, which she promises to pay within a certain time.
1322 February 17, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:09
In a codicil to her last will, Daniseta, widow of the late Nicolino, asks her son Franceschino to manumit her slave Jacobina, whom he had once given to her. In case he should disobey, she sets aside 50 lb. to be given to her daughter Petra.
1367 January 23, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:10
Arbitration by Celestrino de Nigro, lawyer, in the case between Denegina, wife and representative of Giovanni Pantie di Enrico, and Benedetta, formerly named Christina, concerning the legal status of the latter: Benedetta shall be declared free and pay Denegina 20 lb. in return. She may also work off the sum by 5 years of unsalaried labour. Denegina shall treat her decently. Benedicta may also continue staying with Raffaele Cavallo, whose child she is nursing, for one year, but pay 7 lb. to Denegina in return.
1379 March 9, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:11
Before the notary Bartolomeo Gatto, Giovanni de Fornariis de Alexandria, draper, accords a quitclaim to Giovanni de Senis over 6 lb. 5 s. and declares him free of all obligations resulting from the pregnancy of his slave Catalina.
1381 March 21, Chios by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:12
Before the notary Giuliano de Canella, Giovanni de Goascho, notary, declares that Raffaele Musso, also notary, had lent him a Tatar slave named Cristina for nursing his baby child. Giovanni promises to return the slave upon his return to Genoa.
1393 August 4, Genua by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:14
Life insurance: Before the notary Andreolo Caito, Cristiano Cataneo, representative of Antonio Cataneo, promises to Gabriele Lercario payment of 75 lb., unless the Tatar slave Lucia, c. 38 years of age and pregnant by one Iohannes de Riparolio, should not die during childbirth.
1399, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:14
Various decrees concerning slaves and servants, in particular against those who render a female slave pregnant. These owe 25 lb. to the slave’s patron. Should she die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth, further 50 lb. must be paid. As proof is difficult in these cases, the slave’s oath should be regarded as valid testimony. Heavy punishments for a male slave who renders pregnant a woman slave owned by a different patron.
1418 March 1, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:16
Erena, a Hungarian woman formerly held as a slave by Antonius Cibo, had been declared free by the procurators. In return, she had to pay 90 lb. to Antonio, a sum that Catanus Doria had pledged to pay for her. Unable to pay off the loan, she promises to render 14 years of unsalaried service to Enrieto Doria
1420 March 7, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:17
“Locatio” of a Bulgarian servant named Maria. She is a free woman; notwithstanding, her services are rented out.
1457 October 12, Genoa by Christoph Cluse — last modified 2007-09-18 13:21
Medical expertise by Masters Andreas de la Turre and Franciscus Costacio in a case between Iohannes de Clavaro, representing Pantaleone de Dona (Doria?), and Iohannes de Brignole, concerning a Circassian slave named Catherina who had been bought by the latter. Catherina must be returned to the seller because she suffers from a tapeworm (tinia) and lack of menstruation, from which further, grave illnesses may arise.
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