Vittorio Formentin

A merchant letter in Romanesco from the end of the 14th century

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Medieval Merchant Letters; Medieval Postal System; Grain Trade in the Middle Ages; Old Romanesco.

The author publishes a letter written by the Roman merchant Iacobello dei Cosciari and addressed in Genua to the captain of a Ligurian ship carrying a cargo of grain that could not be unloaded in the port of Rome owing to a setback. This text, together with other related letters published here, gives an idea of the workings of the merchants' postal system of the late Middle Ages, ensuring the rapid diffusion of news of commercial interest. From a linguistic and philological perspective, Iacobello's letter is a very rare, indeed unique, example of direct merchant writing from 14th century Rome.

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