Occupations from Renaissance Florence

by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith), Siren Herald

© 2008-2010 by Julia Smith. All rights reserved.
Version 1.1, updated 08 March 2010

This is a listing of the occupations and their meanings recorded in two sets of documents from late medieval and Renaissance Florence that have served as the basis of academic studies. The more complete is the Tratte, a listing of men who were eligible for certain offices between 1282 and 1532; it can be found at http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/tratte/. The second is the Florence Castasto, a 1427 census of the wealth of households in Florentine dominions; it can be found at http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/catasto/. In each case, the researchers went to the original documents and recorded information from them into a delimited database. For the Tratte, the actual occupational terms were recorded as given in the documents; for the Catasto, only codes associated with the occupations are given in the database, and terms are found in the codebook (http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/catasto/newsearch/catasto_codebook.html).

This includes all occupations recorded in the Tratte, which include both Latin and vernacular (Tuscan Italian) terms. The Latin terms are generally in use earlier, though they presumably only reflect the documentary rather than the spoken terms. However, the Tratte is limited in the occupations represented. Only relatively affluent individuals were eligible for public office, so lower class jobs are not well represented. The forms recorded in the 1427 Catasto cover the entire range of wealth and prestige. However, it is a fragmentary list; many standard occupations are recorded only in their English equivalents. The terms are also moderately normalized. Nonetheless, I think them representative of 15th c. Florentine forms.

Occupations from the Tratte:

Vernacular (Tuscan Italian)LatinMeaning
 arrotatorknife grinder
 boldronariu[s]fleece seller
 capsettariu[s] box maker
 cardaiuoluswool carder
 cardatorwool carder
 conciatorhide dresser
 farinaiuolu[s]flour merchant
 lavatory(cloth) washer
 m. lapidummaster stoneworker
 m. petrarummaster stoneworker
 materassaiu[s]mattress maker
 pectinatorwool carder
 pettinatorwool comber
 tabernarius, tavernariustavern keeper
 lanifexwool "maker"
affinatore cheese-maker
agoraioagorarius? sewer of cloth
allicciator[e]  [sausage-maker]
architettor[e] architect
armaiuoloarmaiuolusarms maker
arte di lana, de arte lane member of the wool guild
arte. p. s. m. [member of the silk guild]
assaggiator[e] assayer (of gold)
balestrierebalistariuscrossbow maker
banderaiobandierarusbanner maker
bastaio, bastierebasteriuspack-saddle maker
battiloro gold beater
biadaiuolobiadaiuolusgrain/fodder merchant
bilanciaiobilanciariu[s]scale maker
borsaioborsarius, bursariuspurse maker
brigl[i]aio, brigliaio bridle-maker
c mstro srepa master [builder]
caciaiuolocaciaiuoluscheese and sausage seller
calderaiocalderariuscoppersmith/kettle maker
cambiatorecambiatormoney changer
campsor [money changer]
capo maestro master [builder]
cappucciaio ? hood maker
cartolaiocartolariuspaper seller
casettaio, cassettaiocassettariu[s], cassettaiuschest maker
cavaliereeques, milesknight
ceraiuoloceraioluswax seller, maker of wax images
chiavaiuolochiavaiuolu[s]key maker
cimatorecimatorwool cloth shearer (finisher)
cofanaiocofanariuscasket maker
coiaiocoiariusleather worker
coltellaio cutler, knife maker
coltellinai[o]coltellinar[ius]cutler, knife maker
coltriciaiocoltriciari[us]mattress/bedding maker
copertoiaiocopertarius, copertorari[us]maker of bed covers
corazzaiocorazzariusmaker of armor plating
d. decretalid. decretoru[s]master of decrees/canon law
dipintore painter
dottoredoctor legum, legum doctordoctor [of law]
farsettaiofarsettariu[s]doublet maker
ferrabuoi iron worker
ferraioferrariusiron worker
ferraiuoloferraiuolusiron worker
ferratoreferrator, ferratoriusiron worker
ferravecchi[o]ferraveccar[ius], ferravechiu[s]seller of scrap (old) iron
fibbiaiofibbiariusbuckle maker
ficiarius ? cutler
fondacaiofondacariuswarehouse keeper
forbiciaioforbiciaius, forbiciariu[s]maker of scissors
fornaciaio, forniciaiofornaciariu[s]kiln maker
forzerinaio safe maker
forzerinari[o] cooper?
galigaiogaligariusleather worker/tanner
gioielliere jeweler
giudiceiudex, iurisperitu[s]? judge
granaiuolo grain merchant
guainaioguainaius sheath maker
guarnarius cloak maker
intagliator[e] engraver
lanaiolanariuswool seller
lanaiuololanaiuoluswool seller
lanternaio lantern-maker
lastraiuololastraiuolu[s]flag-stone worker
legnaiolo, legnaiuololegnaiuoluscarpenter
linaiolo, linaiuololinaiolus, lanaiuolus, linaiuoluslinen seller
linarius linen seller
m. legnamini, m. lignamini master of carpentry
m.campane bell-maker
m.intagliat[ore] master of engraving
m.ritagli master stonecutter
maestromagistermaster/medical doctor
maestro abac[?] ?
maniscalco blacksmith
mastrosarto master tailor
mercante, mercatantemercator(great) merchant
mileshieros knight
mugnaio miller
oliandolooliandolusoil seller
orpellaioorpellariustinsel maker
ossaio bone-worker
ottonaioottonariusbrass worker
pagliaiuolo ? [innkeeper]
pallaio ball-maker
pannaiolopannaiuolus, pannariuscloth seller
pannilinaio seller of unfinished cloth
pannilinipannilinusseller of unfinished cloth
pelacane tanner
pellicciaiopellicarius, pellicciari[us]furrier
pelliparius furrier
pettinagnol[o]pennaiuoluswool comber
pezzaiopezzariusleather cutter
pianelarius slipper maker
pianellaiopianellariu[s]slipper maker
pizzicagnol[o] cheese and sausage seller
pizzicagnol[o] cheese and sausage seller
pizzicagnuopizzicariuscheese and sausage seller
pollaiuolopollaiuoluspoultry seller
prete priest
rangonaio ?
refaiuolo threader
rigattiererigatteriusused clothing seller
rimendator[e] sewer of wool cloth
ritagliator[e] wool seller
riveditoreriveditorfinisher of woolen cloth
saggiator assayer
scardassier[e] wool carder
scarpellato sculptor
scultore sculptor
sensale broker, middleman
setaiuolosetaiuolussilk seller
spadaiospadariussword maker
spronaiospronariusspur maker
stagnatariu[s] tin worker
stamaiuolostamaiuolusspinner (with distaff)
stampatore artisan who stamps hole in leather
stovigliaiostovigliari[us]earthenware dealer
sutor tailor, cobbler
tavolieretabulerius, tavolariusbanker (lit. "tabler")
tintoretinctor, tintordyer
tiratoretiratorstretcher of wool cloth
torcitore twister (of rope) ?
torniaio turner (wood)
vaiaiovaiariusfurrier (specializing in vaire)
vinattierevinatteriuswine seller

Occupations from the Catasto not Found in the Tratte

Vernacular (Tuscan Italian)LatinMeaning
asinaio ass dealer
bambaciaio wholesaler of cotton
bandettaio town crier, auctioneer
banditore town crier, auctioneer
barattolaio cooper
bartlettaio cooper
becchino grave-digger
buffone buffoon, jester
bullettaio scribe, letter writer
calafato caulker of ships
candelaio candle maker
carnaiolo meat processor
carretaio carter
cartaio paper-maker
cavallaio horse dealer
cimbalaio cymbal player, musician
copertoaio decker for ships
cordatore rope-maker
corriere messenger, town crier
cuoco cook
curandaio cloth bleacher
dipintore painter
divettino wool-beater
drappiere draper
fante servant
fattore clerk
fiaschiaio flask-maker
filotoiaio spinner
forbelarme burnisher (of arms)
funaiolo bag-maker
lanino wool manufacturer
legnaio carpenter
manovale day laborer
marianaio sailor
mescitore di vino wine seller
messo messenger, town crier
meziere standard bearer
miniatore miniature-maker
mulatiere mule driver
muratore brick layer
ortolano grocer
oste innkeeper
pannelaio wool cloth seller
pattiere sewer of wool cloth
pergatore cleaner of raw wool
pesatore weigher
pescatore fisherman
pezzaio leather worker
piffero fife player
portatore carrier of goods
saccaio sack-maker
scamatino wool-beater
scegliattore wool selector/sorter
schermidore fencer
scribe scribe
segatore sawer of wood
sevaiolo tallow dealer
spedaliere administrator of hospital or other charitable institution
speranaio saddler (pack?)
stagaio tinsmith
stufaiolo oven worker
tessitore weaver
topaiolo maker of locks for doors
treccone seller of fruits and vegetables
veghegiatore wool-beater
vetturale transporter (of people or goods)
vigilaio fireman


Occupations from:

OCCUPATION TITLES (OCNAME), CODES (OCSTAT) AND NUMBER OF RECORDS--ALL SERIES. http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/tratte/doc/Nocname1.html
Codebook of the 1427-29 Catasto Data File for Florence. http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/catasto/newsearch/catasto_codebook.html

Other Sources Consulted:

de Felice, Emidio, 1978. Dizionario dei Cognomi Italiani. Milano: A. Mondadori
Rebora, Piero, et al., 1977. Casell's Italian Dictionary: Italian-English, English-Italian. London: Cassell.
de Roover, Raymond and Henrietta Larson, 1963. The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank: 1397-1494. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rubinstein, Nicolai, 1966. The Government of Florence Under the Medici (1434 to 1494). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Trexler, Richard, 1980. Public Life in Renaissance Florence. New York: Academic Press.

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