Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4046
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Angelos , Mark.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Women in Genoese "Commenda" Contracts, 1155-1216 [one out of four commenda contracts, investment partnerships for Mediterranean trade, involved women].
  • Source: Journal of Medieval History 20, 4 (December 1994): Pages 299 - 312. Special Issue: The Genoese and Their Rivals in Medieval Mediterranean Commerce: Studies in Honour of Hilmar C. Krueger on His Ninetieth Birthday.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Commenda Contracts Economics Genoa, Genova, Italy International Trade Investments Merchants
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 12-13
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  • Table: Nine tables, some unnumbered. Table page 300 shows the number of commenda contracts by notary and the number and percent involving women. Table One shows the number of commenda contracts with women and without women, 1155-1198 and 1200-1216. There is also a breakdown of commenda contracts by type (societas and accomendatio). Table Two shows the total amount of investment for commenda contracts with women and without. Table Three shows ranges for individual investment by sex in contracts with women. Table Four shows the geographic area of the investments in commenda contracts with women and without women. Table Five lists the number and percent of commenda contracts by the roles of women. Table page 306 lists the number and percent of commenda contracts by family members for whom women made investments. Table page 306 lists the number and percent of commenda contracts by the roles of investors who acted on behalf of women. Table page 307 lists the number and percent of commenda contracts by the identification of the women. Table page 308 lists the number and percent of commenda contracts by women's family connections.
  • Abstract: An examination of the earliest notarial documents preserved in the State Archive of Genoa reveals that Genoese women were regular and active participants in their city's commercial operations through the use of the popular "commenda" partnership contract. In fact, women recorded investments in nearly one-quarter of over 4000 surviving contracts dating from 1155 to 1216. Nearly three-quarters of all women named in "commenda" contracts were investing their own property within the act and most of the remainder were proctoring investments for someone else. Women's individual investments were, on the average, less than half as large as men's, and women tended to concentrate their commercial involvement into long-distance trade rather than local or regional ventures. Study of family investment patterns reveals two especially important connections involving women. Women married to travelling merchants invested their husbands' property during their spouses' long periods of absence, and widows sought to increase both their own property and the patrimony left to their sons by putting capital from both sources into trading ventures. [Reprinted from Journal of Medieval History 20, Angelos, "Women in Genoese commenda contracts, 1155-1216," 299, 1994 with permission from Elsevier Science.]
  • Author's Affiliation: Manchester College
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1994.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03044181
  • Material/Technique :
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