The “Censi” Contracts and the Compagnia di San Paolo in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
by Paola Giordano
The series of publications under the title Collana dei Quaderni dell’Archivio Storico was inaugurated with the appearance of this book edited by Paola Giordano, who carried out an in-depth research into the documents housed in the San Paolo Historical Archives’ located at the “Vineyard of Madama Reale”.
The censo was a credit contract largely used during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The two parties agreed to exchange a capital with a income. The buyer of the rent received periodically a fixed amount of money including interests.
Paola Giordano gives an exhausting picture of the close net of credit agreements and provides an analysis of some contracts of censo stipulated by the old Compagnia di San Paolo, whose counterparts were the City of Turin or noble families. The study displays the peculiarities of a contract that can be considered an ancestor of today’s banking tools.
In the introduction, Carlo Montanari provides a survey of the juridical, economic and moral implications of the contract of censo, based on an analysis of the ecclesiastical regulations as well of the Savoyard legislation and the old Piedmontese juridical literature.
P. GIORDANO, I censi presso la Compagnia di San Paolo nei secoli XVIII e XIX,
with a preface by I. Soffietti and an introduction by G. Montanari,