By edited by Annliese Nef ; French and Italian texts translated by Martin Thom.
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Extra info for A companion to medieval Palermo : the history of a Mediterranean city from 600 to 1500
115 Registrum, IX, 14. 116 PCBE, II, Venantius 7, pp. 2257–58. This figure should be distinguished from the patrician homonym from Syracuse. 117 PCBE, II, Venantius 7, p. 2257; PLRE, III, Venantius 3 and 4, pp. 1368–69. The affair is addressed in Registrum, II, 36. Venantius offers 30 pounds of gold to the treasury, when the asking price is 100 pounds. I therefore follow Laniado, Notables municipaux, p. 163 n. 312, who regards the 30 pounds of gold mentioned in the letter as an overbid. Conversely, I take my distance from him when he then identifies Venantius with a simple vir clarissimus.
When using these seals to found a historical argument tied specifically to Palermo, it is necessary to tread lightly, although some points may be advanced. The first point of any importance concerns the apparent longevity of the municipal curia of Palermo. 56 Nothing therefore indicates that they refer to still existing realities. At Naples, alongside formulaic letters also distinguishing the clergy, the ordo and the plebs, one finds, concerning the very same subjects and at the same dates, more informal missives mentioning only the clergy and the nobiles.
In fact, the majority of senators lived in towns on the east coast. If one correlates this fact with the abundance of religious foundations, one might well wonder whether the two phenomena are not linked, with the proliferation of pious houses reflecting the decline of the traditional elites or the importance of absentee landowners concerned to protect their properties by consecrating them to God. Gregory the Great’s foundations do moreover fit neatly within this same framework, and mention might also be made of the two great Roman hospitals of the Valerii and of the Anicii which were endowed on the territory of Palermo.
A companion to medieval Palermo : the history of a Mediterranean city from 600 to 1500 by edited by Annliese Nef ; French and Italian texts translated by Martin Thom.