RENAISSANCE NUMBER CRUNCHERS’ GIFT TO HISTORY
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RENAISSANCE NUMBER CRUNCHERS’ GIFT TO HISTORY

The Renaissance-era citizens of the Italian city of Prato had a particularly zealous practice that is about to help today’s historians open a remarkable window on to their lives. The upper classes of this satellite city to Florence were diligent account keepers, a trait that seems at once prosaic and modern. It is what you might expect of a social stratum comprising mostly textile merchants, except their dedication to ‘the books’ went beyond toting figures. “They started to insert reflections on what was happening at the time,” explains Associate Professor Peter Howard, a Florentine historian.

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RENAISSANCE NUMBER CRUNCHERS’ GIFT TO HISTORY