Italian Men's Names in Rome, 1473-1484

by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2003 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 1.1, updated 13 June 2003


The source for the names presented in this article is D. S. Chambers "Studium Urbis and Gabella Studii The University of Rome in the Fifteenth Century" which appears in Cecil H. Clough, ed. Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance; Essays in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976).

The Studium Urbis, a civic university, was founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303. The funding for the Studium Urbis, specifically teaching salaries, was provided for "in the form of a surchange on the tax paid on imported wine (gabella vini forensis) sold in Roman taverns." [Chambers, p. 70] The gabella vini forensis came to be called gabella studii as it was a tax that supported the Studium Urbis.

The instructors were supposed to be paid once per term (four times a year). However, for various reasons, the payments were delayed at times. Included in his article on the Studium Urbis, Chambers includes two lists of payments to instructors. The second list, which appears in Appendix 5.2, includes both the payment date and the mandate date for each payment. The mandate date indicates the term for which the payment was made. In many cases, the payments were made weeks or months after the completion of the term.

From an onomastics point of view, the incredibly useful aspect of Chambers' second list is that it refers to many instructors multiple times. Since he did not standardize or normalize the names in this list, but rather included them in the form in which they appear in the original payment records, we can see spelling variation within each instructor's name. Also of interest, in the introduction to Appendix 5.2 (p. 88), Chambers states:

The spelling of names of persons and places has not been standarised (e.g. Foligno appears as Fulcineo on f. xir and Fuligno on f. 28r and there are many minor variants of surnames).

In this article, I have grouped the entries by instructor. Therefore, unless otherwise stated, frequency counts in this article refer to the number of people with that name.

Proceed to a description of the names found in Chambers' article.


I would very much like to thank the members of the Academy of Saint Gabriel for their support and feedback through the drafts of this article. I would especially like to thank Maridonna Benvenuti (Andrea Hicks) and Arval Benicoeur (Josh Mittleman) for their aid in identifying some of these names. Any mistakes that may be included in this article are most certainly mine, not theirs.


D. S. Chambers. "Studium Urbis and Gabella Studii The University of Rome in the Fifteenth Century". Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance; Essays in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller. Cecil H. Clough, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976).

Additional References:

De Felice, Emidio. Dizionario dei nomi Italiani. (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, 1986).

De Felice, Emidio. Dizionario dei cognomi Italiani. (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, 1978).

Arval Benicoeur and Talan Gwynek. "Fourteenth Century Venetian Personal Names" (WWW: Privately published: 1999, 2003)

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