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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 806: Urban Cohesion and Its Troubles

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Christine E. Meek, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Paper 806-aThe 14th-Century Florentine Book of the Grain Dealer: Domenico Lenzi - A Mid-Level Trader
(Language: English)
Marie D'Aguanno Ito, Georgetown University / Department of History, Catholic University of America, Washington DC
Index terms: Daily Life, Economics - Trade, Economics - Urban
Paper 806-bInterpretative Strategies of 14th-Century Waldenses
(Language: English)
Thomas Bensing, Department of History, Central European University, Budapest
Index terms: Lay Piety, Religious Life, Theology

Paper -a:
Domenico Lenzi's 14th-century account, Specchio umano (transcribed in Pinto’s Il Libro del Biadaiolo), is perhaps our best consolidated resource on the Florentine grain market for its time. Lenzi's work is so important for our modern understanding that, without other reference points, it is easy to consider it the standard for the Florentine market and grain industry. On closer observation, however, it appears that Lenzi was actually a mid-level trader who was not as connected or informed as a reading of his text would have one believe. It rather appears that Lenzi was a local or regional dealer who made close observations of the market, or what he saw of the market, from his trading post at Orsanmichele. My paper will consider Lenzi in the context of the 14th-century Florentine grain industry, its major players, political operatives, and its market operations and resources.

Paper -b:
The paper will focus on the heretical religious movement of Waldensianism in the context of the expansion to German-speaking regions in the 14th century. I will explain how changes in interpretative strategies with regards to sacred texts and traditional religious authorities (both Church Fathers as well as Valdesius) were used to justify changes in Waldensian doctrine among the in this period. This change, primarily in response to increased persecution, corresponded with a shift in the Waldensian demographics from rural to urban and fundamentally changed the interpretation of the apostolic life for the Waldensian movement.