«Liber focorum ... civitatis Regii Lepidi»

         AS RE, AC RE, Estimo, n. 1 «Liber focorum quarteriorum ac viciniarum, et territorii civitatis Regii Lepidi sub anno MCCCXV»; 1 original register, 430x300 mm, 9 paper sheets + 123 parchment sheets; 18th-century binding consisting of two wooden boards covered in reddish brown leather, embossed with brass studs. Published by Tacoli Nicola, Parte seconda d’alcune memorie storiche della città di Reggio di Lombardia. Parma, 1748; pp. 1-106.

         The register was created for fiscal purposes, in order to determine the share of salt tax to be paid by households (fuochi) in the city of Reggio Emilia, in its hamlets (Ville), and in the various Communities subject to the tax, located throughout the territory of the District of Reggio Emilia.

         The “Liber” is one of the most important mediaeval statistics documents in Italy, providing a wealth of information on urban life in the 14th century.

         The city appears to be divided into four quarters, further split into vicinie or parishes, in their turn subdivided into neighbourhoods, and, lastly, into fuochi. There were also seven villages, hamlets, appendages and castles.

         The fuochi are indicated by the name of the head of the family, whose profession, craft or trade is often also provided, together with information on property and real estate.

         The sheets in the register are in a good state of preservation, while the binding is in mediocre condition, primarily due to the removal of 122 sheets (almost half of the codex) at an unknown date. These sheets contained two city statutes and thirteen craft statues, to which a separate part of the archive is dedicated. Unfortunately, the binding was not restored and reduced in size following this removal.

         Nicola Tacoli published the “Liber” almost in its entirety, but the copy was made by scriveners from the municipal archive, who were the only persons authorised to do this. The transcription is of great informative value, but is rather unreliable in philological terms, given the arbitrary reading of numerous names of people and places.

         Unfortunately a critical edition of this important document has not yet been published.


N.B. Any gaps in the numbers of the pages below are due to the removal of papers or blank pages.


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