Emanuela Di Stefano


At a congress aiming at analysing the topic of ‘The Use of Techniques and Work by Papermakers from Fabriano in Italy and Europe’ the target in my report is to identify some long-term features which form the preliminary aspects; the main junctions of a wide commercial network in and out of Europe, where paper production of the Marches enters at the top of its development; the routes through which business relations between traders in production and consumption turn, between the fourteenth and fifteenth century, into a so much growth; the stages of increase and recession that explain and feed the massive spread of local techniques and workers to new papermaking centres.  At last we will analyse the outcomes of a first research on the Marche sources relevant to the recruitment and circulation of workers, craftsmen and merchants.


The conditions and background

The starting point in a long-term history of the Marche paper manufacture is the thick fabric of towns, terrae and castra in the Medieval Marchia [1] where urban activities are carried out – as Sergio Anselmi wrote in a short essay in 1993 – starting a process of ‘first industrialization’: the historiographic basic problem – added he – does not consist in relating regional paper production with water-power and its numerous millraces, but in the thick fabric of towns and places ‘where people live, they produce and owing to their activities, consume writing paper’. [2]  It could seem unusual in the early 1990s to underline the link between a widespread paper manufacture which was the chief vehicle to communicate between the new mercantile class and a territory once considered differently shaped with a mainly-rural economy, according to a historiographic theory well-established.  But current studies have portrayed the image of a well-built, compound society and inside it a vital civilized mountainous region.  The same conditions which nowadays are causing, with few exceptions, the increasing marginal trend of the inner Marches at the time were strategic development factors owing to an efficient, widespread road-network – notwithstanding the rough, hard environment – which supported, through vital junctions, travels from the Adriatic coast towards Umbria, Latium and Tuscany allowing a large number of mercantile and manufacturing activities. [3]  Between the thirteenth and first-half of the fourteenth century, a period marked by deep local changes in economy and society as elsewhere, along the Apennine ridge a lot of economic, basic choices are made through the increase of activities and facilities cast beyond a mere home consumption.  People, here, in many castles, lands and towns start metal working, textile, tanning, papermaking crafts from Gubbio to Fossombrone and Pergola, from Fabriano to Camerino and Ascoli. [4]  But it is on Fabriano-Camerino stretch, in that narrow territory located between the Giano and the Chienti, within the same diocese, [5] that extraordinary flexibility evidences with stronger force – we refer especially both to wool working and paper making – so that people in the inner Marca, following similar stages in the form and meaning can achieve a deep and lasting evolution. [6]


An extensive plan

After a careful reading of regional, extraregional documentary sources we can confirm, for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the liveliness of businesses deep-rooted in the local background and outline significant stages of growth through which a manufacturing trading ‘plan’ takes place, not shared but coeval and complementary in both major paper manufacturing poles in the Marches, where their economical take-off is supported at European level both by a coexisting widespread craft fabric and great commerce.  First we concentrated our attention on unhomogeneus sources in the local archives as the little but precious Notary Archive in Camerino [7] which in its territory included, up to the late modern age, the castrum of Pioraco; then on the most ancient account books preserved in the City Archives of Fabriano [8] and at last on a very rich documentary heritage able to give suitable information for a general view: the documents in the Archivio Datini in Prato.  Pointed out by Federigo Melis’ studies, the importance of Datini’s documents, subject of our research, was well-known.  In fact, in 1989 Giancarlo Castagnari and Nora Lipparoni published all the letters issued from Fabriano and sent to Datini’s companies in Pisa and Florence [9] through which we become aware of the propulsory role played by Paoluccio di mastro Paolo, ‘an enterprising merchant of Camerino’ – according to Melis’ words – who exported the Marche paper beyond the region borders. [10]  But in that publication there was not a close analysis of the letters exchanged to get sound information about the quality and quantity of the items, the circulation and distribution systems, routes and dates.


The complete acquisition of the letters of Paoluccio di mastro Paolo exchanged with Datini’s companies in Catalonia, Florence and Pisa – obtained thanks to the valuable help of Prof. P. L. Falaschi of the University of Camerino – together with those written by Datini’s agents in Ancona, Fabriano and Sant’Angelo in Vado has been an important stage in the long-term research with first outcomes published in Spring 2005, in «Proposte e Ricerche» review. [11]  On this basis, we have tried to consider the new historiographic data which drive us to highlight some aspects such as: the incontrovertible identification of a thick well-constructed fabric of paper manufacturies where Camerino and Fabriano are gradually taking leading indisputed positions; the tight link between development of the paper mills and dinamic mercantile companies locally present – of which the same Paoluccio di maestro di Paolo is one of the best-known leaders – able to interact with the most active mercantile companies in Perugia, Tuscany, Venice, Catalonia, with the aim at exporting products towards European markets; at last the high level of organization and achievement of the regional manufacturies which can ensure high profits and drive merchants towards entrepreneurial direct production.  The picture of mercantile circuits given by the Camerte merchant’s business letters exchanged with Francesco di Marco Datini – almost continous from 1395 to 1410, but with a short appendix in 1411, the year when Datini’s system was wound up – is varied and complex: it clearly shows the wide range of action on the Mediterranean and North European markets, the horizon inside which other merchants of the Marches move. [12]  His case, therefore, becomes emblematic.


Playing an active part in different places – Venice, Camerino and L’Aquila – the merchant of Camerino weaves a close net of relations with the most important companies in the Peninsula, and permanently stable relations with his business partners and agents in European and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: Cavalcanti’s company firmly settled in Alexandria and others effective in Damascus; Datini’s companies in Mallorca, Barcelona and Valencia, Alberti’s, Orlandini's, Mannini's and Mercatelli’s companies in London and Bruges, the numerous German merchants running their worehouses in Venice.  Through their mediation he sells, each year all over Europe, hundreds of bales of paper made at Pioraco – in those mills he calls meaningfully ‘my fulling-mills of Camerino’ – together with large quantities of Fabriano paper. [13]  The very wide system of relations and exchanges organized by the merchant and other dinamic businessmen of the Marches can explain more advanced penetrations.  During the twenty-third edition of Settimana Datini, in 1991, dedicated to the Production and trade of paper and book, a hypothesis had been advanced that paper circulating in Russia in the second half of 1300 with watermarks of the crown, the stag-head, the flower, the drake, the small horn, the bull-head, would come from Italy.  Through specific researches it could be definitely identified as paper coming from the Marches, Fabriano or Camerino-Pioraco. [14]


A first observation.  In a recent summarising work, Giancarlo Castagnari has pointed out the key features of Fabriano paper trade. [15]  It is clear, at a careful comparison, that the mercantile routes, the intermediary network, the wideness of the market of both the most important papermaking poles cross and overlap.  On the other hand, also in the account books of the Fabrianese merchants, not different from Camerino ones, there are paper types different from those produced in loco.  Among the others, the precious account books of Lodovico di Ambrogio testify unfavourable circumstances, market requirements, pressing and particular orders which impose the merchants of Camerino to frequently deal in Fabriano paper and those of Fabriano to order and sell products coming from Camerino, of course made at Pioraco. [16]  Except particular situations, we can exclude the merchants in both the towns may act in concert, though on European markets both the papers are continuously ordered alternately or side by side according to differences in prices, sizes and quality forcing them to frequent exchanges and close collaboration.


Common aspects and differences

Datini’s letters confirm what was already evident in the well-known Trattati di Mercatura: that since the first half of 1300 paper from the Marches has been standing out as the best and in greatest demand in Europe. [17]  Here is some evidence chosen among the most significant: Avrei voluto – on 20th September 1379, Bongianni Pucci from Genoa writes to Ludovico di Guido degli Adimari, Andrea del maestro Ambrogio and partners in Pisa – di riciute (of Fabriano) 10 balle che, essendo fini, a primo parigino ne mandavamo subito ed anche ad altri. [18]  Cardinale di Bonaccorso from Perugia, a banker and merchant in close business relation with the papacy in Avignon adds precious details: Voi volete – he writes in a letter, dated April 9 1382, sent to the partners of the company in Pisa – 10 balle di charte di Pioracho, 5 piane, 5 riciute pichole.  Queste si potranno avere [...]. a l’amicho di la le chiederemo le più fini e del migliore segno e che si vogliono per Provenza: l’amicho n'e praticho e sa chome vogliono esere fatte sechondo i paesi.  (And you want) 2 balle grandi di Fabriano, 1 piana e 1 non piana: queste abiamo chiesto a Fabriano. [19]  The overall turnover involving both the paper centres in the Marches which comes out is huge, in fact it has been calculated paper output in Fabriano reached 2,500 quintals a year in the early 1400; people working in the paper mills were about 200, excluded finishers and those of induced activities. [20]


On the base of the exceptional bulk of data in the Fondo Datini, also for the castrum of Pioraco we can suppose similar data in periods of demographic stability: the supplies sent to Datini's companies in Catalonia annually vary from 40 bales with 12 reams each in 1396 to 135 bales in 1409; those sent to London and Bruges are abundantly over one hundred only in the year 1396; [21]  Venice, Genoa, Rome and Avignon receive cospicous amounts, though impossible to quantify.  It is acceptable, therefore, that also at Pioraco paper-workers may vary from 200 to 300, equal to 35-40 per cent of people living in the place: [22] exceptional numbers reflecting the image of a community completely involved in the different stages of production, of which, moreover, there are still suggestive flashes well-preserved in the collective memory.  On this respect difference from Fabriano is pronounced. [23]  The small number of people in the castrum of Pioraco, wherein for obvious environmental and water-power reasons any manufacturing process is concentrated, highlights the peculiar vulnerability of the small community in front of the frequent crises of morbidity and mortality devastating the Marca in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  These events reduce to a poor number people working in paper mills, with catastrophic results in smaller communities where it is more difficult both to recover the global loss and find or interchange paperworkers with tangible effects on quality and continuity in manufacturing production. [24]


The problem of the link between economy and demography in the latest medieval centuries becomes a central point in a long-term research also in relation to the mobility of experienced people and papermakers, the main topic in this congress.  If, differently from the Fabriano case, the features of a manufacture decentralized in a small castrum – as Pioraco was – could cause, owing to plague, deep gaps and actual difficulties which might not be overcome in a short time, but the direct involvement in finding raw material, running trade network, organizing labour of the representatives of middle-class and nobility of a civitas maior as Camerino with a mercantile-manufacturing trend – who owned the largest part of the fulling-mills in Pioraco [25] – propulsively influenced the relationship with great markets and gave the chance to maintain fruitful trade links even in periods of crisis.


Towards Fabriano leadership

Beyond the succession of increase and loss stages linked to dramatic events as population drop in the late Middle Ages – a subject we will later have to treat again with precise considerations – there are no doubts on the leadership of the whole paper production in the Marches for at least two centuries – the fourteenth and fifteenth – and its slow following decline but not previous to the severe economic and demographic crisis which, since the 1590s, has been bending almost uniformely the economy of the most vital mountainous areas in the region. [26]  Once more time Federigo Melis’ studies show the routes to follow to enter the individual trade transections and gather some basic elements such as: purchasers and flow sizes, paper output and delivery areas, market quotations.  In a research promoted by Emilia Saracco Previdi on the subject ‘Autonomie locali e Dominio dello Stato della Chiesa: movimenti commerciali nei secoli XIV e XV e contatti con Avignone’, (Local Autonomies and Dominion of the Church States: trade exchanges in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and relations with Avignon) which the Department of Historical Sciences of the University of Macerata is carrying out, both the letters from Perugia – a fundamental business centre between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas well pointed out by Melis [27] – sent to Datini’s offices in Pisa and Florence, and those issued by the company in Avignon have been acquired.


Through an orderly reading of the documents in the Archives in Prato we have been able to integrate and know in depth facts some of which are particularly useful in this context.  It is, in fact, well-known that in Umbria there were a lot of paper mills [28] in the late Middle Ages and merchants in Perugia were interested in exporting local paper towards extraregional markets since the fourteenth century: the Fondo Datini shows such repeated attempts, but unequivocally reveals the disastrous result of a market operation aimed at offering, when possible, paper made at Narni, Foligno and sometimes Gualdo Tadino instead of the best-known fine paper of the Marches. [29]  Also market quotations leave no doubts on the leadership of Camerino and Fabriano on national and international markets, though we know they would continously vary according to market and trade conditions: both the factors prevent us from doing an organic reconstraction of paper value on each trade market.  In the following schedule we show a first cautious comparison, without referring to the ‘signs’ marked in the papers (the crown or the scales, the mountain or the bell, the flower or the antler), often evidence of further substancial differences.




Archivio di Stato of Prato, Fondo Datini, Perugia-Pisa letters (files 537, 534), Genoa-Pisa (file 554), Avignon-Pisa (file 426), Venice-Barcelona and Venice-Mallorca (Files 926, 927, 928, 929, 1082, 1083).


·  Each bale usually consists of 12 reams of paper

·  The value of currency used in each market has not been equalized so, to have a more correct reading see notes below:


a) The phrases ricce bone or di buona ragione mean paper of inferior quality to ricce fini.

b) On this case currency par value is 24 soldos each florin.

c) On this market the franco di grossi 36 is equal to one Florentine florin, (cfr. F. Melis, Documenti per la storia economica dei secoli XIII-XVI con nota di Paleografia Commerciale a cura di Elena Cecchi, Florence 1972, p. 100, notes 4 and 5).

d) They are liras of Mallorca which at the time had a value equal to the Florentine florin. (F. Melis, Documenti per la storia economica dei secoli XIII-XVI, p. 100, note 4).

e) On this case payment will be at six months from sales agreement.

f) They are bone e bene piene papers with the bow watermark.

g) They are papers with the stag-head watermark sold al tempo.

h) They are papers with the mountain encircled watermark che piu fine non si faciono (of very good quality).


Very useful and relevant is evidence of Jacopo Soldanieri, a merchant of Perugia who has business relations with the papal court in Avignon at least since 1454. [30]  He writes to partners and agents of the company in Pisa on 18th July 1379 that the ricce papers of Pioraco with the bow and keys watermarks are not sold and non vorebono vendere a meno di 1 fiorino e mezzo per risma. [31]  It is a very high quotation if compared with the prices in the following years, when on the same market the value of the fine paper of Pioraco is no more than one florin and a quarter a ream.  The movement of prices of Fabriano paper is different with steady or even rising quotations both in Perugia, Genoa and Avignon. [32]  (Fig. 1, pag. 43).  Clues of a rather consistent decline of some Pioraco paper types between 1379 and 1383 – the year of a violent epidemic which stroke large areas in the Marca [33] – compared with the stability and rising in value of Fabriano paper on some important markets, show how complex is the history of the production and trade of the Marche paper in the late Middle Ages.  There is a theory for which since the early years of 1300 the development of both the paper poles, sometimes side by side, might be different up to the consolidation between the late 1300 and the early 1400 of Fabriano leadership, a subject matter to deepen with specific researches looking for the different economic choices made by local mercantile groups.


The problem of labour mobility in the Middle Ages

The above long introduction let us emphasyze – with the support of a wide, omogeneous documentary collection as Datini’s letters are – evidence differently acquired as: in the fourteenth century paper from the Marches conquers European markets and Fabriano gets definitely leadership in the 1380s and 1390s, though inside a manufacturing and trading system which is local, interregional, widespread and articulate.  But it is not easy, using the same sources, to point out the numerous social consequences in economy and demography linked to the economic recessions that, at different times, involve paper production showing not to be the only but one of the strongest causes forcing papermakers to leave such a high-qualified manufacturing area.  The problem of mobility of men in the Middle Ages and, within it, that of the circulation of workers, craftsmen and merchants is not easy, since it is neither linked only to the single factor of demographic instability nor to the classic case of the relationship between town and country; but it is strongly determined by peculiar events either of the one or the other urban economy or by one of its driving industries, precise economic aspirations, interventions aimed at favouring population increase. [34]  We must, here, limit the analysis to the emigration flows inside the Marca, where the phenomenon gets, as elsewhere, different forms and directions. It is a large part of Italy once was felix but already deeply marked by repeated plagues – in 1348-1350, in 1360-1363, in 1374, in 1383, in 1399-1400, only within the fourteenth century [35] –, the region receives groups of the Slavs and Albanians who settle in large rural areas starting a widespread colonization and peopling the countryside. [36]  Sudden falls and inadequate recoveries affect any sector of the production machinery, they break trading systems and turn civitates and terrae into walled villages which preserve next to nothing urban, but the memory of the Gold Age, the felix age. [37]  These facts cause a continous hard research in towns, lands and castra of solution formulae through a strong stimulating policy for the immigration of unskilled, skilled workers and craftsmen.


Reading on all through the municipal Riformanze of which precious organized series since 1300 have been preserved in the Municipalities of the Marches, we are able to highlight the consistency of migration flows both identifying the measures for population increase started by the City Councils – in particular authorizing the rights of citizenship, granting tax-exemptions, through donations of municipal buildings or plots of land – and measures to discourage from outflows through money penalties and revocating the rights previously granted. [38]  In the late Middle Ages the recruitment of professionals and craftsmen is one of the targets of the principal communities in the Marches interested almost everywhere in re-launching manufacturing industries such as: cloth weaving, papermaking, tanning, iron and wood working. [39]  Within the limits of a strong promotion of an immigration ‘selectivity’ we must mainly organize today’s theme of the Introduction’ of techniques and skilled labour in paper industry in our region and also in Romagna and Montefeltro, nowadays in the territory of the Republic of San Marino. [40]  The archive research is the indispensable base for a deep knowledge but, of course, it must be driven towards different directions.  The causal analysis of the phenomenon must, in fact, be recollected with a large quantitative investigation to measure the real consistency of information, where the archive sources are better preserved, but starting from the awareness of a limit very difficult to overcome which is in any research of this kind: that of the prevailing ‘one-way’ information taken from fiscal sources, notarial deeds, domicile and citizens’ records, which lets us almost certainly evaluate the centripetal motion, but occasionally even gives information on the opposite centrifugal one, that of emigration from a place. [41]


Mobility and dispersion in the medieval 'Marchia'

About this subject we have to clear that local studies based on ‘quantitative’ data can support theories and induce reflections for a wider history of peopling and immigration, confirming the potential capacity of archive researches on a wide geographic range. [42]  A meaningful example comes from the analysis of the late medieval Reformationes of a civitas nova in fast growth as Macerata, where there is evidence both of the instability of the artisans recently settled and the irradia’tion of the wool workers, tailors, weavers, carpenters and blacksmiths from Nocera-Fabriano-Camerino triangle. [43]  The Apennine mountains take the indispensable function of ‘export area’ of skilled workers who in a great number flow to the centres of medium-low-hilly areas which were in a precise stage of evolution. We cannot be surprised, in this context, that in 1403 Benedetto di ser Gregorio, a merchant coming from Fabriano, stipulates agreements with the Consiglio di Credenza of the city to start making dyed woollen cloth and who later in 1412 tries to set up mills to manufacture carta bambagina, obtaining from the City Council the privilege to import or export cincios, filtros et paraturas [...] sine aliqua solutione gabelle vel pedatii. [44]  (See Fig. 2, pag. 48)  We cannot know, at the present stage of our researches, whether his plan had a tangible development, nor how long his paper production was, but it is acceptable his plants might, anywhere, work with the possible employment of paper-makers from Fabriano.


What come out from the Riformanze of Macerata is the attempt to reproduce the Fabrianese techniques of paper art, but it is even a real entrepreneurial model since its start is certainly driven by an economical and peopling policy set up by the managerial class of Macerata to improve the town and its territory which had a mainly-rural vocation but an uncertain manufacturing trend.  A different case is that of the paper mills at Ascoli – one of which was owned by the Camera Apostolica – as they were located since 1300 in a social-economic environmental fabric which encouraged manufacturing activities.  Archive researches have evidenced, next to few entrepreneurs and local techniques, the continous flow of masters and famuli coming either from Pioraco or Fabriano. [45]  It is worth dwelling upon the numbers and individual places of origin emerged from an investigation where the limit is given by the irregular chronological data maybe linked to the gaps in the source: the Notary Archives in Ascoli.


In the space of almost two centuries, from 1414 to 1600, among master-tenants or famuli later become tenants of fulling-mills at Ascoli there are not less than 10 paper-makers coming from Pioraco, 2 from Camerino previously habitatores at Pioraco and 4 from Fabriano. [46]  They are clear data which confirm, though within the thick varied fabric of paper manufacturing in the Marches, the leadership of the production style of Camerino and Fabriano and show the strong interest of a civitas maior with trading and manufacturing vocation as Ascoli -where raw silk, cloth, fustian cloth and dyed cotton yarn were already produced for exportation [47] – in taking off a local paper manufacturing centre.  On the contrary, paper mills at Esanatoglia can be considered as a phenomenon of dissemination of papermaking art inside the Camerino territory.  It is a centre that during the Middle and Modern Ages is called as one of the terre raccomandate in the district of Camerino.  Some data are unmistakable; in fact from the notary deeds studied by C. Mazzalupi we can deduce one or more paper mills were owned by the Varano family; agreements of societas, though dating back to 1500, between local tenants and representatives of the middle-class of Camerino as the Vicomanni; papermakers from Pioraco frequently work here, but the Fabrianese papermakers do more rarely. [48]


Just a final remark.  Though it is too early to take a stock, from the investigations done we can draw a clear-enough picture which let us see the main migration routes in the Marca in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  It seems less relevant, in fact, there is no evidence of the names of the tenants and workers in paper mills located at S. Severino [49] in 1350, and both of workers and masters in the fulling-mills working at Tolentino in 1325, as confirmed by a certain cartolarius olim de Eugubio among the witnesses in the process of St. Nicholas’ canonization. [50]  At a comprehensive analysis of the data the territoral distribution of paper-makers in the Marches is clear enough and shows the extent of pre-existent and well-established trading systems: to the south of Ancona-Fabriano stretch masters and workers coming from Camerino-Pioraco prevail, even though not exclusively, in the table of the origins; in the territory to the north of the Esino, while the Pioraco component is disappearing, a lot of tenants and workers coming from Fabriano are spreading.  Typical examples are the cases of Fossombrone and Fermignano, where during 1400 paper mills are run by paper masters and workers from Fabriano who are constantly present on the place. [51]


This research needs further wider documentary investigations, in fact it seems unclear and incomplete both the quantitative approaches to the subject of infraregional circulation of papermakers – the reference is to wages, number of families and individuals emigrated, quantity and quality of production started up – and the answers to general or only subregional, local questions which may explain factors, conditions and chronological evolution of so a widespread diffusion of industries and skilled workers since the close of the thirteenth century. Notwithstanding the many recent and remote studies there are still a lot of historiographic questions open also in the Marca, which, between the Middle and Modern Ages, is yet an investigation field with very rich further openings.



1. The fabric consists of 5 civitates maiores and civitates and terrae, among the latest 9 magnae, 22 mediocres, 26 parvae, 13 minores, to which castra and villae must be added: Sella, P., Costituzioni Egidiane dell'anno MCCCLVII, Rome, 1912. To know the subject in detail, even from the demographic side, see Saracco Previdi, E., Descriptio Marchiae Anconitanae, Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Marche, Fonti per la storia delle Marche, n.s. III, Ancona, 2000.

2. Anselmi, S., Produzione e consumo di carta nell'Italia centrale: secoli XIV-XIX, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere nelle Marche e nell'Umbria dalle manifatture medioevali all'industrializzazione, Monographic books of Proposte e ricerche, n. 13, 1993, p. 313. About the cultural needs of the territory see Falaschi, P. L., Studia e Università, in Angelini, W., and Piccinini, G., Editors, La cultura nelle Marche in età moderna, Milan, 1996, pp. 178-189 and Borraccini R.,Verducci, M., La tipografia nelle Marche. Tessere per un mosaico da comporre, in La cultura cit., pp. 68-81.

3. See the recent work of synthesis by Pinto, G., Produzioni e circuiti mercantili nella Marca centro-meridionale (secc. XIII - inizio XVI), in Fermo e la sua costa. Merci, monete, fiere e porti fra tardo Medioevo e fine dell'età moderna, vol. II, Grottammare, 2004, pp. 7-20; Id., Le città umbro-marchigiane, in Le città del Mediterraneo all'apogeo dello sviluppo Medievale: aspetti economici e sociali, Pistoia, 2003. On aspects of road-network and its links with trade, Di Stefano, E., La viabilità interregionale nelle fonti sammarinesi dei secoli XV e XVI: lo snodo umbro-camerte, in Studi maceratesi, 38 (2004), pp. 471-485.

4. Cf. Pinto, G., Produzioni cit., also for up-to-date bibliography.

5. Fabriano and its territory are included, in the Middle and Modern Ages, under the diocese of Camerino, the largest in the Marches together with the diocese of Fermo cf. Sella, P., Editor, Rationes Deciniarum Italiae nei secoli XIII-XIV. Marchia, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Studi e testi, Vatican City, 1950.

6. As regards Fabriano refer to Castagnari, G., Dall'impresa artigiana all'industrializzazione, in Id. Editor, La città della carta. Ambiente società cultura nella storia di Fabriano, Fabriano, 1986, pp. 193-262 and Pirani, F, Fabriano in età comunale. Nascita e affermazione di una città manifatturiera, Florence, 2003; for Camerino see Di Stefano, E., Una città mercantile. Camerino nei tardo medioevo, in «Studi e testi per la storia della città di Camerino», 4, Camerino, 1998.

7. The ‘Fondo’ is preserved in the Sezione di Archivio di Stato in Camerino.

8. They are precious registers and have been studied by a lot of scholars. Refer to Lipparoni, N., II ruolo dei mercanti fabrianesi nella commercializzazione della carta e nella organizzazione dell'attività produttiva tra XIV e XV secolo, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Contributi italiani alla diffusione della carta in Occidente tra XIV e XV secolo, Fabriano, 1990, pp. 61-82.

9. Castagnari, G., and Lipparoni, N., Arte e commercio della carta bambagina nei libri dei mercanti fabrianesi tra XIV e XV secolo, in «Atti e memorie della Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Marche», 87 (1982), in particular pp. 209-213.

10. Melis, F, Aspetti della vita economica medievale (Studi nell'Archivio Datini di Prato), Siena 1962, p. 220. See, for a first approach, Di Stefano, E., II carteggio di un mercante camerte con Francesco di Marco Datini, 1395-1410, in «Proposte e ricerche», 37 (1996), pp. 78-93.

11. Di Stefano, E., La carta marchigiana sul mercato europeo e il caso di Camerino nei secoli XIV-XV, in «Proposte e ricerche», 54 (2005), pp. 194-221.

12. The sources show unequivocal evidence: starting from 1325, and with regular frequency, Venice grants the merchants of Camerino and San Severino (from 1334 those of Fabriano), but also merchants of other towns in the inner Marca, exemptions from customs duties on the goods shipped to Venice. The grant of the Venetian citizenship often added the right to trade on an international range equal to cives originarii: for details and definite archive references see Di Stefano, E., Una città mercantile, op. cit., pp. 28-29 e Id., La carta marchigiana sul mercato europeo, op. cit., pp. 199-202.

13. Ibidem, in particular pp. 207-213.

14. Cfr. Kachtanov, S. M., Le papier occidental en Russie du XIVe au XVI' siecle: les voies de penetration et sa typologie, in Cavaciocchi, S., Ed., Produzione e commercio della carta e del libro. Secc. XIII-XVIII, II series, Atti delle Settimane di Studi dell’Istituto "F. Datini" di Prato, 23, Florence, 1992, pp. 251-267. To compare with the signs in the papers from Pioraco and Fabriano sent towards the end of 1300 by Paoluccio di maestro Paolo from Camerino: Di Stefano, E., La carta marchigiana, op. cit., p. 203, pp. 209-210, pp. 214-215.

15. Castagnari, G, L'arte della carta in area fabrianese tra basso Medioevo ed età moderna. Sviluppo e declino, in «Proposte e ricerche», 56 (2006), pp. 174-193.

16. For purchases of Pioraco paper see the well-known work by Zonghi, Aurelio, Le antiche carte fabrianesi alla Esposizione generale di Torino, Fano, 1984, p. 8 and the recent, precise essay by Lipparoni, N., Il ruolo dei mercanti fabrianesi, op. cit., in particular p. 73 and note 12. As regards Camerino see Di Stefano, E., La carta marchigiana sul mercato europeo, op. cit., passim.

17. Cfr. Balducci Pegolotti, F, La pratica della mercatura, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1936, p. 294, who includes the carte marchiane among the spezierie in demand on the market ante 1340.

18. Archivio di Stato di Prato, Fondo Datini, the Genoa-Pisa letter 101202

19. Ibid., the Perugia-Pisa letter 303120

20. Castagnari, G., L'arte della carta in area fabrianese, op. cit., pp. 180-181.

21. Di Stefano, E., La carta marchigiana sui mercati europei, cit., passim.

22. On the base of the Inventario Borgesco of 1502, preserved in the Archivio di Stato of Modena and in a hand-written copy in the Biblioteca Valentiniana of Camerino, at the beginning of 1500 Pioraco counted 111 fiscal fires (including la villa de Gemmo, but excluding Seppio, which was at the time a villa directly dipendent on Camerino). By a global estimate that includes, even roughly, people free of tax and graziati (the clergy and poor, widows and pupilli, i.e. poor only orphans), the community did not reach 650 inhabitants. In the same year 1502 Camerino counted 1200 fiscal fires, equal to 6,000-6,500 inhabitants (but we cannot exclude a larger number since there were the archbishop's see, the court of the Varano, a number of religious communities).

23. We do not have exact figures available, but scattered, about the medieval Fabriano: 3,600 fumantes (about 16,000-18,000 inhabitants) refer both to the district and the town as shown in the Descriptio Marchiae and concerning the early decades of 1300 (in this connection see Saracco Previdi, E., op. cit., p. 47). We know it for sure that in 1472 no more than 1,004 families equal to about 5,000 inhabitants lived in the town and its close surroundings: cfr. Castagnari, G., Dall'impresa artigiana all'industrializzazione, cit., p. 219.

24. About the dreadful consequences of the plague on the economic, social and demographic fabric of the small communities in the Apennines see Di Stefano, E. Dinamica del popolamento in una comunità dell'Appennino centrale. Sarnano nei secoli XIII-XVI, Monographic books of «Proposte e ricerche», n. 15, 1994.

25. Di Stefano, E., Una città mercantile, cit., pp. 47-52; Id., La carta marchigiana sul mercato europeo, cit., p. 197 and note 11, pp. 206 and passim.

26. Cfr. Fioretti, D., Risorse alimentari e crisi demografica nei Fabrianese fra Cinque e Settecento, in «Proposte e ricerche», 16, 1986, pp. 19-28; Di Stefano, E., La crisi del Seicento nell'area appenninica: il territorio camerte, in «Proposte e ricerche», 17, 1986, pp. 73-85.

27. Melis, E, Aspetti della vita economica medievale, op. cit., p. 223.

28. See Marinelli, B., La valle del Menotre e l’attività cartaria nei Medioevo and Metelli, G., Carta e cartiere folignati tra Cinquecento e Settecento, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere nelle marche e nell’Umbria, op. cit., pp. 185-208 and pp. 209-209-242, the earlier Faloci Pulignani, M., Le antiche cartiere di Foligno, Foligno, 1909 and Bettoni, F, La montagna di Foligno, in «Proposte e ricerche», 56, 2006, in detail pp. 65 ss.

29. Here, we refer only to some archive information: Archivio di Stato of Prato, Fondo Datini, the Perugia-Pisa letter from the compagny of Berizo and Antonio di Bonanno dated 21st April 1388 No. 101269 and 11th August 1388, codex 101290; the Perugia-Pisa letter from Jacopo Soldanieri dated 12th July 1379 codex 402166, of 23rd November 1379 codex 402169 and of 16th December 1379 codex 402172.

30. Cfr. Clenisson J. and Mollat, Guilleaumme, Correspondences des legats et vicaires genereux Gil Albornoz et Andrein De la Roche (1353-1367), Paris, 1964, p. 26

31. Archivio di Stato of Prato, Fondo Datini, the Perugia-Pisa letter 402167.

32. bid., in particular the Avignon-Pisa letter of April 1383, envelope 426, codex 504272, partially reproduced in Fig. 1.

33. A clear reference to the plague that rages in the Marca – and in the district of Camerino, in particular – is written in a resolution of the Senate of the Serenissima on 22nd September 1383 through which they allow, on request Magnifici Domini Rodulfi de Camarino, intimi amid nostri, that a Venetian vessel, a lignum custodiae Ripariae nostrae Istriae quod est paratum ad exeundum vadat ad terram Fluminis et levet ipsum dominum Rodulphum cum sociis, familiaribus et arnesis suis et conducat Venetias libere quia recessit de partibus suis pro epidemia in partibus Marchiae (Archivio di Stato of Venice, Senato. Misti, 38, c. 76v). On the gravity of the plague of 1383 and its consequences see Di Stefano, E., Dinamica del popolamento, op. cit., in particular pp. 64-65.

34. For a clear picture refer to Comba, R., Emigrare nei Medioevo. Aspetti economico-sociali della mobilita geografica nei secoli XI-XVI, in Comba, R., Piccinni, G., Pinto, G., Ed., Strutture familiari, epidemie, migrazioni nell'Italia medievale, Naples, 1984, pp. 45-74; the author studies in depth problems relevant to the recruitment of labour in industrial sector Cherubini, G, I lavoratori nell'Italia dei secoli XIII-XV: considerazioni storiografiche e prospettive di ricerca, in Artigiani e salariati. Il mondo del lavoro nell'Italia dei secoli XII-XV, Atti del decimo Convegno Internazionale (Pistoia, 9th-13th October 1981), Pistoia, 1984, pp. 1-26. Still some general features, Forestieri e stranieri nelle città basso-medievali, Atti del Seminario Internazionale di Studio (Bagno a Ripoli, 4th-8th June 1984), Florence, 1988.

35. The awful series of plagues that raged through the Marchia in the second half of 1300 – moreover punctually concomitant with those spreading in the rest of the peninsula – can be gathered from documents preserved in the historical Municipal Archives in the Marches: cfr. Di Stefano, E., Dinamica del popolamento, cit., pp. 53-70.

36. Anselmi, S., Editor, Italia felix. Migrazioni slave e albanesi in Occidente. Romagna, Marche, Abruzzi: secoli XIV-XVI, Quaderni di «Proposte e ricerche», No. 3, 1988

37. As to this see Giannatempo, M., Dietro un'eclissi: considerazioni su alcune città minori dell'Italia centrale, in Italia 1350-1^50: tra crisi. Trasformazione, sviluppo, Atti del XIII Convegno del Centro Italiano Studi di Storia e d’Arte, Pistoia, 1993, pp. 41ss.

38. There is a large bibliography on the subject. We just refer to Pini, A. I., La popolazione di Imola e del suo territorio nel XIII e XIV secolo, Bologna, 1976, pp. 17ss; Id., Un aspetto dei rapporti tra città e territorio nel medioevo: la politica dernografica "ad elastico" di Bologna fra il XII e il XIV secolo, in Studi in memoria di Federigo Melis, I, Naples, 1978, pp. 365-408; Pinto, G., La politica demografica delle città, in Emigrare nel Medioevo, op. cit., pp. 19-43.

39. Pinto, G., Produzioni e circuiti mercantili nella Marca centro-meridionale, op. cit., pp. 7-20.

40. About aspects of mobility in San Marino and Romagna, Di Stefano, E., Commerci, prestito e manifatture a San Marino nel Quattrocento, Quaderni del Centro Sammarinese di Studi Storici, Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino, No. 20, 2000.

41. Comba, R., Emigrare nel medioevo, op. cit., p. 54. On the problems concerning paper manufacturing sector, Sabbatini, R., La produzione della carta dal XIII al XVI secolo: strutture, tecniche, maestri cartai, in Tecnica e società nell'Italia dei secoli XX-XVI, Atti dell’undicesimo Convegno Internazionale (Pistoia, 28th-31st October 1984), Pistoia, 1987, pp. 37-70, in particular pp. 50ss.

42. For a general approach to the archive sources refer to Pinto, G. Forestieri e stranieri. nell'Italia comunale: considerazioni sulle fonti documentarie, in Forestieri e stranieri nelle città basso-medievali, op. cit., pp. 19-27. Within sub-regional and local areas see Di Stefano, E., Popolamento e immigrazione a Macerata nel tardo Medioevo, in «Proposte e ricerche», 27 (1991), pp. 192-203, later widened and revised in Id., Mobilita della popolazione e politiche demografiche comunali: Macerata nel tardo Medioevo, in «Proposte e ricerche», 31 (1993), pp. 51-122. A cross-analysis of various sources could bring to a detailed picture: the use of land registers is fundamental, as shown in the essays by Saracco Previdi, E., Per una ricerca sulla situazione economica e sociale in un catasto dell'anno 1268, first in Studi Maceratesi, 10 (1976), then in Convivere nella 'Marchia' durante il Medioevo. Indagini e spunti di ricerca, Ancona 1986 e Id., I possessi immobiliari in un catasto maceratese del 1268, in Atti e Memorie della Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Marche, VIII, IX (1975), republished in Convivere nella 'Marchia', op. cit., pp. 81-97.

43. Di Stefano, E. Mobilità della popolazione e politiche demografiche comunali: Macerata nel tardo Medioevo, op. cit., in particular p. 70 and documentary appendix.

44. Archivio di Stato of Macerata, Priorale. Riformanze, No. 10, c. 99v.

45. Eustacchi Nardi, A. M., La cartiera di Porta Cartara in Ascoli Piceno: dal Medioevo all'età contemporanea, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere nelle Marche e nell'Umbria, cit., pp. 123-140; Nardi, A. M., Borzacchini, V., Guidotti, A., Gli opifici di Porta Cartara ad Ascoli Piceno. Storia e futuro di un complesso industriale, Ripatransone, 1996.

46. Both the workers, later tenants of a mill, are Angelo Francesco and Nicola di Domenico, both from Fabriano (Nardi, A. M., Borzacchini, V., Guidotti, A., Gli opifici di Porta Cartara ad Ascoli Piceno, op. cit., Scheda comparativa, year 1584). On the basis of the sources quoted the exact number of the workers from Pioraco and Fabriano immigrated to Ascoli cannot be calculated for some inconsistencies in the data gathered, though accurately shown, that come out in the comparison with the data quoted in the essays, in the documentary appendix and in the comparative table set at the end of the work.

47. Pinto, G., Ascoli tra Due e Trecento: linee di una ricerca, in Istituzioni e società nelle Marche (secc. XIV-XV), Ancona, Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Marche, 2000, pp. 263-288; Id., Città e spazi economici nell'Italia comunale, Bologna, 1996, pp. 187-201.

48. The man considered is Natale di Angelo from Fabriano whom Landolina, the widow of Simone di Francesco from Esanatoglia, leases out the Vitali’s paper mill for two years at the price of two florins a month: Mazzalupi, C., Le cartiere del Comune di Santa Anatolia dal XV al XIX secolo, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere, cit., pp. 73-89 and in particular p. 77.

49. Cfr. Paciaroni, G., La fabbricazione della carta a Sanseverino Marche dal Medioevo al Novecento, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere, cit., pp. 91-122. Here the paper mills worked at least since 1350.

50. A Baldello cartarius olim de Eugubio is among witnesses at the process in July 1325: cfr. Occhioni, N., Editor, II processo per la canonizzazione di S. Nicola da Tolentino, Ecole franchise de Rome, Roma, 1984, pages 15, 24, 28.

51. It is fundamental the reference to Luzzatto, G., Un'antica cartiera dei Montefeltro a Fermignano, in Atti e memorie della Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Marche, 11 (1904), pp. 87-98 and Leonardi, C, La cartiera di Fermignano, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere, cit., pp. 141-162, where you can find numerous archive data and a complete bibliography on the place concerned. As regards the paper mills at Fossombrone see Volpe, G., Le cartiere della via Flaminia da Fano a Sigillo, in Castagnari, G., Editor, Carta e cartiere, cit., pp. 163-183, the data, here, must be integrated with those drawn from the bibliography of Fermignano.



This article was first published in L’impiego delle tecniche e dell’opera dei cartai fabrianesi in Italia e in Europa, Giancarlo Castagnari Editor.  © Cartiere Miliani Fabriano – Fedrigoni Group, p. 51-66.