Life in Maranello in the late 15th century

The first feudal statutes with rules, penalties and offences were approved in 1475. This is a precious testimony of everyday Maranello life five centuries ago.

Maranello became feudalised with its own jurisdiction in 1464, and after a few years, a set of rules to dictate coexistence, offences and penalties were enacted.  The first feudal Lord of Maranello Teofilo Calcagnini approved the 1475 statutes, the first in its history. They were organised into 83 categories. Thanks to these, we have some information about what life was like in Maranello in the late 15th century.

For example, nobody could keep goats which had teeth, because these damaged crops. The penalty was a fine of 20 Marchesine pence. The width of public roads had to be at least 15 feet, working on Church holidays was strictly forbidden, as was the building of sheds or sties which bordered adjacent land.

The Lord of Maranello was not exactly subtle when it came to penalties for offences. A perjurer was liable to pay 100 Marchesine pounds, but if the money went unpaid, the perjurer’s hands would be cut off. Those who blasphemed had to pay the same amount, but in this case, 100 pounds had to be paid for each blasphemous word. Alternatively, the offender could be bound in shackles for 15 days, at his own expense. There was a broad range of punishments for thieves, including hanging.

In the late 15th century, another important initiative was taken as an addendum to the Statutes. In 1497, the Lord of Maranello granted faculties to hold a weekly market in the town every Wednesday. This was free and exempt from duties and taxes. This is the market that still takes place in the city, on the same day of the week, after more than five centuries.

 

 

Bibliography:

Silvano Soragni “Maranello. Dal Castello feudale… al maestro Giuseppe Graziosi” Artioli Editore, 2007.

Carmen Galloni e Silvano Soragni “Maranello, dalla preistoria alla fotocronaca” Fioranese, 1995.