C. Faith Cameletti
Tiresias: The Classical and Medieval Studies Journal of the University of Waterloo and St. Jerome’s University. Vol 2, Fall (2013)
This paper will examine notarial documents from the cartulary of Girauld Amalric of Marseille, which was written in 1248 in Marseille. Girauld Amalric’s cartulary demonstrates that Marseille’s trade relations of both short and long distances were facilitated by the notarial techniques and legal conventions of this time. The compositional form of medieval notarial documents safeguarded the validity of each transaction and held each party accountable to their contractual obligation. This contractual obligation motivated merchants to use public notaries for their commercial activities, despite fees associated with their services. As a result, notarial documents facilitated the commercial exchange between persons of different languages, cultures and locations.
Introduction and Argument
Throughout the twelfth century, Europe saw political, legal and social changes. Historians have sometimes characterized these changes as a “renaissance.” The development of urbanism along with the rediscovery of Roman law during the twelfth century had a significant effect on the economic and administrative organization of medieval towns and cities. By the mid-thirteenth century, these changes were well pronounced in Provencal society and evident throughout the business practices and documents of the public notariate. In Provence, by the mid-thirteenth century, Marseille had established itself politically as a commune, and economically as a center for trade and commerce. By examining some of Marseille’s notarial documents from the mid-thirteenth century, one can see how the growth of legalism and urbanism shaped and changed medieval trade economics, as well as how Marseille fit within the contexts of legal and urban development at this time. This paper examines Marseillaise notarial documents of 1248 from the cartulary of Girauld Amalric. Amalric’s cartulary demonstrates how notarial techniques and related legal conventions facilitated Marseille’s long- and short-distance trade.