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Medieval Cetamura


Injunction to protect the Badia of Coltibuono (Cultusboni) – Latin language
1170’s CE

Archivio di Stato di Firenze, Diplomatico, Vallombrosa,  11…

The photo shows one page of a Latin ms. in the State Archives in Florence that cites vandalism and abuse of the monks of Coltibuono by the inhabitants of the castrum at Civitamura,  and records an injunction against them. The document dates to the 1170’s and shows the forms of lettering in use by notaries in that period.

In this document Iacobus, The head of the Vallombrosan order of monks, of which Cultusboni (Coltibuono) was a participating monastery,  recorded an injunction against a group of men living at the castles of Civitamura and nearby Montegrossoli.  Their names identify them as members of the powerful Firidolfi family  (filii Rodulfi).  The monks of Coltibuono  had complained of a number of instances of abuse and vandalism, including severe physical harm to the persons of the monks,  theft of their animals and other possessions, and vandalism of their installations such as vineyards, olive groves,  and mills.  Among other things Iacobus enjoined the Firidolfi not to bring women to the monastery and expect to stay the night there. 

As intriguing as the quarrel between the monks and the nobles may be, actually the most important point for Cetamura in these pages is the evidence that the castle belonged to the Firidolfi.  Their violent behavior against a mule train carrying grain to Florence during a famine led to the Florentines retaliating by tearing down the castle of Montegrossoli in 1198.  Very likely the castle of Civitamura was torn down at the same time and that is why we find only the foundations today.

Bibl.  A. Boglioni, “Montegrossi tra l’Impero e il Comune di  Firenze,” in Montegrossoli e Semifonte, Centro di Studi Chiantigiani, Radda in Chianti, 1993, 30, 43, note 11, Appendix 46-48 (transcription of the Latin documents). https://arts and classics professor’s help, a medieval castle returns to light in Tuscan countryside | Arts and Sciences (