Guilds of Florence

The guilds of Florence were secular corporations that controlled the arts and trades in Florence from the twelfth into the sixteenth century. These Arti included seven major guilds (collectively known as the arti maggiori), five middle guilds (arti mediane) and nine minor guilds (arti minori). Their rigorous quality control and the political role in the commune that the Art Maggiori assumed were formative influences in the history of Florence, which became one of the richest cities of late Medieval Europe.

The Minuto Popolo – skilled and unskilled workers including weavers, spinners, dyers, boatmen, labourers, peddlers and others – despite constituting a majority of the population, were barred from forming guilds.

Read more about Guilds Of Florence:  Formation of The "arti", Role in Government, Arti Maggiori, Arti Mediane, Arti Minori, Artists, Universities

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Guilds Of Florence - Universities
... Given the prominent role of the guilds in the government of Florence, in 1427, Florentine greater nobles, led by Rinaldo degli Albizzi and Niccolo da Uzzano, attempted to ... later, another Medici, Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, reduced the number of minor guilds from fourteen to four, by grouping disparate guilds together into "universities" ... l'Università de' Fabbricanti ("University of Artificers") - grouped together the guilds of Chiavaiuoli (locksmiths), Maestri di Pietre e Legnami (masters of stone ...