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The rise of communal schools in florentine Tuscany: 1262 to 1400

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Chapter Summary

The earliest subsidies prevalent in Tuscany tended to be in the form of provision for housing: communes would give teachers monetary payments to subsidize the rent of their personal lodgings and/or teaching premises, or provide a house for the same purposes at public expense. Grammar masters were the first to be consistently salaried in Florentine Tuscany. The first commune in Florentine Tuscany known to have paid a salary to an elementary teacher was Volterra. Abacus teachers were highly sought after in Florentine society. A basic aim of education in fourteenth-century Florentine Tuscany was to ensure an overall literate population. The most bizarre form of quality assurance encountered in the fourteenth century comes from Pistoia in the years 1398 to 1399. It is little wonder that Petrarch vilified the city as a mere mercantile and textile hub, inimical to Latin culture: 'mercatrix et lanifica nostra'.

Keywords: abacus teacher; communal salary; Communal school; Communal Schools; elementary teacher; Florentine; Florentine Tuscany; petrarch; Pistoia

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