[Grant of land in Pisa, Italy, to Frater Baldiccione, signed Ildenbrandinus de Navacchio, 9 March 1240]
[Italy]: 9 March 1240
This scribal parchment is the earliest item in the collection. It documents the execution of a bequest made by the late Marcus to the Archbishop of Pisa. As was customary, Marcus’ wife Ugolinella was one of the executors. The gift was a vegetable garden adjoining a cemetery and a tannery—a rather odoriferous location. The bequest was intended to establish a house for repentant prostitutes, possibly the Sorores Repentite Hospitalis S. Marie Magdalene de Spina. In the early twelfth century, a campaign to rehabilitate prostitutes had begun, leading to the founding of convents and houses for repentant women. In medieval Italy, such houses, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, were usually founded through private initiatives. It is notable that the rector of the house is referred to as a custos, a word also used to mean a guardian or jailer.
[Grant of land in Pisa, Italy, to Frater Baldiccione, signed Ildenbrandinus de Navacchio, 9 March 1240], [Italy]: 9 March 1240, Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Accessed May 25, 2020, https://exhibits.library.duke.edu/exhibits/show/baskin/item/3933