ON SEVILLIAN GUILDS TOWARDS THE END OF THE 11th century
Eduardo ESCARTÍN GONZÁLEZ
Para citar este artículo puede utilizarse el siguiente formato:
Abstract: In the third decade of the 20th century, Lévi-Provençal discovered an Arab manuscript by the ishbīlī Ibn cAbdūn, that dealt with the commercial and artisan practices in Seville at the end of the 11th century. In the document there were references to the offices and personages who had to perform certain functions in various professions. From this manuscript, Lévi-Provençal deduced the existence of 11th-century Islamic guilds in Seville. This idea was assumed by Spanish historians, even up until the final decade of the 20th century. In the present article, the basis which sustained such an idea is analyzed with particular emphasis on the treatise by Ibn cAbdūn, since this is the only work that describes the economy of Seville at the time of Classic Islam (before the 12th century), and since this is the principal historical source cited by recent historians as a guarantee of the existence of Sevillian guilds during the Classic Islam; however, other manuscripts of Islamic authors of al-Andalus, and articles of contemporary authors are also taken into account. The result of our investigation disproves the existence of 11th century Islamic guilds in Seville.
Key words: Middle Ages, Islam, Al-Andalus, Guild, Arabian market, Souk and Consumers.
Resumen: En la tercera década del siglo XX Lévi-Proveçal descubrió un manuscrito árabe del išbīlī Ibn cAbdūn, donde se tratan las prácticas comerciales y artesanales en Sevilla a finales del siglo XI. En él hay referencias a los oficios y a personajes que debían cumplir determinadas funciones sobre la profesión. De ahí Lévi-Provençal dedujo la existencia de gremios islámicos en Sevilla. Esta idea resultó ser sugestiva y fue asumida por historiadores españoles del siglo XX, incluso en la década final de ese siglo. En el presente artículo se analizan las bases que sustentaron tal idea, haciéndose especial hincapié en el Tratado de Ibn cAbdūn por ser la única obra que se refiere a la economía de Sevilla en la época del islam clásico (antes del siglo XII) y la principal fuente histórica mencionada por dichos historiadores recientes como garantía de la existencia de gremios sevillanos durante el islam; sin embargo, también se tendrán en cuenta otros manuscritos de autores islámicos de al-Andalus y artículos de autores contemporáneos. El resultado de nuestra investigación refuta la existencia de gremios islámicos en la Sevilla del siglo XI.
Palabras clave: Edad media, Islam, Al-Andalus, Relaciones laborales, Gremios, Zoco, Consumidores.
The existence of guilds in Seville in an epoch as early as that of the Classic Islam, that is to say before the 12th century, was an idea spread in the third decade of the last century. Some historians adhered without any debate to the opinion of the French medievalist Lévi-Provençal. This historian discovered an Arabic manuscript in Morocco on commercial life in the city of Seville. He made it known in the above mentioned language and published it under the title Un document sur la vie urbaine et les corps de métiers à Séville au début du XIIe siècle: Le traité d’Ibn cAbdūn (1934). Gabrieli, without the consent of the Gallic historian, edited it in Italian: Il trattato censorio di Ibn cAbdūn sul buon governo di Siviglia (1936). Years later, Lévi-Provençal published it in French: Séville musulmane au début du XIIe siècle: Le traité d’Ibn cAbdūn sur la vie urbaine et les corps de métiers; traduit avec une introduction et des notes par E. Lévi-Provençal (1947). In Spanish there is the version of García Gómez and Lévi-Provençal entitled: Sevilla a comienzos del siglo XII. El tratado de Ibn cAbdūn (1948). The great Arabist García Gómez was a Spanish collaborator of Lévi-Provençal.
Occupied was the city when King Saint Fernando began to reorganize the local life, designating as archbishop the prelate don Remondo or Ramon, who had accompanied him in the conquest. «Good and big tenements of villas, castles and great rich places were donated to the church of Santa Maria.» He arranged the Town Council and Regiment of the city; he named many magistrates and officials, giving as ordinance and municipal legislation the "Municipal and general Jurisdiction from Toledo," granting to the Sevillian gentlemen the same benefits that were enjoyed by those of Toledo; and to those of the neighbourhood of Francos street, the king granted "tax exemption" or the right to buy, sell, and exchange freely and without taxes, thereby giving its name to this street. [In Spanish, franco = free].
It is also necessary to take into account the customs of the period. According to these, privileges which only affected the relations among the conquered people were granted if they surrendered before the city walls were stormed. Privileges were never granted if the city had to be taken by storm. For example, if the people yielded they were allowed to practise their religion, to keep the mosque, and to apply the Koran to solve their own litigations. Nevertheless, these privileges never pertained to the relationship between the conquered and the victors. In this last case, such relationships were solved according to the norms of the conquerors. Furthermore, adherence to the terms of agreement of surrender was not guaranteed. This happened in Toledo, where soon the agreement was violated and the main mosque was turned into a cathedral, as Salrach reports.15 Therefore, it is unthinkable that, after the conquests, Islamic regulations of any supposedly existing guild were left in effect, since said regulations would have affected the Christian royal exchequer and consumers.
Merchants enter into combinations and agreements among themselves taking oaths, and forming brotherhoods for the purpose of aiding one another, establishing prices as to how much a yard they shall pay for every kind of cloth, and also how much they will give according to the weight and measure of other articles, and no less. Moreover, artisans enter into combinations among themselves as to the prices they will pay for each of the articles which they make use of in their trades. They also enter into agreements that no one else can work at their trades, except those whom they receive in their associations, and moreover that those received in this way shall none of them finish what others have begun. They also established a combination of another kind, by which they agreed not to teach their trades to others, excepting such as are descended from their own families; and for the reasons that many wrongs have resulted therefrom, we decree that any brotherhoods, contracts, or combinations, such as those aforesaid, or any similar to them shall be established with the knowledge and consent of the king, and that if this is done without said knowledge and consent, they shall not be valid; and also that all those who establish any in this way from this time forward, shall forfeit all their property to the king, and that in addition to this they shall be banished forever from the country. We also decree that where the superior judges of a town consent to the establishment of said combinations, or if after they have been established, they do not cause them to be dissolved, if they are aware of their existence, or do not send word to the king that he may dissolve them, they shall pay to the king fifty pounds of gold.
2. The guilds in their medieval context
The guilds were widespread, typically medieval, work institutions which, in some countries, lasted until the 18th century and even the beginning of the 19th century. Historical precedents of organizations of the professions had already been in existence, although they cannot be considered equal to the medieval guilds. In the populous cities under the Roman Empire, craftsmen of the same trade were meeting in collegia. Dopsch believes that, in some kingdoms arisen from the collapse of the Roman Empire, the collegia survived and turned into the guild organization.18 Among these appears the Visigothic kingdom, which ended up settling in Roman Spain. Dopsch bases the survival of the collegia of the Visigothic kingdom on what, at the beginning of the 7th century, Isidore of Seville said about the collegiati: «they were very humble people who were populating the cities.»19 Such an affirmation rests on the authority of Stutz.20 However, apparently the latter author must have also spoken by hearsay since it would be incomprehensible to extract that theory from directly reading the book of Isidoro of Seville. Let us see what Isidoro of Seville textually writes:21
They are called collegiati those who have committed some crime and find themselves submitted under the custody of some collegio. They are debased riffraff, children of unknown father. [Collegiati dicuntur, quod ex eorum collegio custodiisque deputentur, qui facinus aliquod commiserunt. Est enim sordidissimun genus hominun patre incerto progenitum.]
From such a phrase it is not possible to know the role of the collegio, but it is very clear that the collegiati considered by Saint Isidore were not members of a guild, but a few low criminals who, instead of being in a jail, were interned and guarded in some collegio; this not necessarily being a craft workshop belonging to a productive organization of a guild type.
3. General concepts on the guilds
Hitherto, the word guild has been used under the assumption that its meaning is very well known. However, in order to tackle research, a very clear understanding of the nomenclature used is required. Therefore, if we speak about guilds, it will be necessary to specify what we mean by this term, especially since this word did not exist in classic Arabic. When analyzing ancient texts translated from Arabic, the assignments, functions and people that characterize the guild would have to be verified, and not blindly set in the words chosen by the translator, since, sometimes, as was seen above in Dopsch, these translations only reflect an individual opinion and lack conceptual content. First of all, a guild is an organization of members of a trade (or guildsmen). In order to give better meaning to this concept, we can inquire into the three combinations and agreements about craftsmen contemplated by Alfonso X in his Las Siete Partidas (Partida V, Title VII, Law II) supra: firstly, to set prices of the products to the benefit of the guildsmen; secondly, to prevent the practice of the trade by non-members of a guild; thirdly, to forbid the teaching of the trade to non-descendants of the guildsmen. It can be clearly shown that none of these combinations and agreements exists in the treatise by Ibn cAbdūn or in any other ḥisba handbook.
4. Analysis of the guilds according to their mention in the treatise by Ibn cAbdūn
The paragraphs in Ibn cAbdūn’s work where guilds are mentioned are:28
§43: The muḥtasib will have to order that each guild had every Friday a town crier to shout loudly the invocation ‘God is the greatest’ at the same moment the imām says it.29
Notice that ‘guild’ is used instead of ‘trade’ and that from the context of the epigraph it is not possible to deduce if guild refers to an organized group or to a set of persons who only have the practice of the same profession in common.
§172: There will have to be among the second-hand dealers a wise man who, in the case of catching one of their own selling a suspicious object, seizes it and makes the thief proclaim the truth, so that the one looking for the object can come to claim it, if he happens to give its description.
From the assignment of this task to this ‘wise man’ and the way the draft was written, it cannot be estimated by any means that the second-hand dealers belonged to a guild. Furthermore, it is not clear that this personage was one of the second-hand dealers, since the words «there will have to be among the second-hand dealers» are insufficiently explicit. What we do know is that Ibn cAbdūn proposed a function for this personage: that the members of the trade had to be watched so that they would not sell stolen objects. Since this norm is a proposal, it is evident that the above-mentioned ‘wise man’ did not exist at the moment when Ibn cAbdūn wrote his treatise. It is frankly doubtful that, had there been a real guild of second-hand dealers, the draft of this norm would have been in the same tone as that transcribed above.
§44: The Qāḍī [the highest judge of the city] will have to designate one member in each guild who is a faqīh [a man versed in the Koran], well-educated and an honest member, so that, in the case of any differences that may arise in the practice of his profession, he reaches an agreement between the parties, without them having to approach the secondary judge. This measure is excellent, and the Qāḍī will prescribe that they observe the decision and the opinion of this mediator, who will treat them with greater benevolence and who will spare them from having to publicize their disagreements.30
Here it is relevant to make the same observation as in §43: that nothing is lost by changing the translation of ‘guild’ into ‘trade’. In reality, however, it is more confusing to use guild instead of trade. The substitution of one word for another seems to be a deliberate attempt by the translator to propagate the idea of the existence of guilds.
§110: The sellers will be prohibited from reserving fixed places in the portico of the main mosque or in another place, because, this way, a quasi-right of property is created, which generates constant differences and disputes between these sellers. Let the one who arrives first, occupy the place.
Much can be said about the characterization of a guild in this paragraph:
§214: Moneychangers must be prohibited from practising usury. In the country no other currency than that of the official mint must be in circulation, because the variety of mints provokes the currency to depreciate, the exchanges to multiply, and the economic circumstances to be altered and veer from the ordinary course. At the head of the moneychangers there must be an honest and wise man who would inform those of his guild about the changes in tender, who would know who proceeds correctly and who proceeds wrongly, and who would correct any abuses.32
These phrases, apart from being normative, are eminently descriptive of existing realities: usury was practised and, among the moneychangers, total anarchy existed, given that everyone did what they felt like. It was necessary to eliminate this situation by creating a post and naming a person in charge of correcting abuses. Such an individual is described as an honest and wise man. Moreover, it should be heeded that ‘guild’ is used here to refer to a disorganized group, that of the moneychangers, who did as they pleased, and, consequently, their professional group did not constitute a true guild due to its lack of a minimum of cohesion.
§101: The bearers of every guild must have a fixed stopping point, from which they will not separate.33
This regulation runs counter to the meaning of guild as an organization, since here it implies that the bearers were not at the service of each trade and, furthermore, that everyone was placing themselves where they wanted. This would not have happened had the guild been organized already, since for its own good the institution itself would have already seen to it that a place be assigned to the bearers who were providing a service to its members.
§134: If someone works on gold or silver belonging to another person, and then part of the metal turns out badly, then he who worked must reimburse the corresponding quantity to the other, since he cheated and betrayed the owner of the metal who relied on him. It is necessary to sanction the fraudulent merchants who are caught, regardless of the guild they belong to, but especially pertaining to the guild of metal, since the one who commits fraud with metal knows perfectly the way metal has to be treated.34
Again, we observe that it would be the same thing to use the word ‘guild’ or ‘trade’, since there is no additional information that supports the existence of guilds in Seville before the 12th century. The same can be said for the recommendation in the following paragraph:
§143: There will be no dealing with women in the matter of buying or selling but only on the part of men of trust and honour, whose integrity and loyalty are known to all, and this has to be taken care of by the individuals of the guilds.35
In this paper we suppose that the word used by Ibn cAbdūn was ‘trade’ and not ‘guild’. To confirm this supposition we concentrate on Gabrieli’s translation; this one does not use the word ‘guild’, which can be verified by reading his paragraphs transcribed in the footnotes. Additionally, we can regard the information provided by Bosch, who says that Ibn cAbdūn uses the word ṣinā‘a, which means trade, and he never uses sinf (not even its plural asnāf), a word which, without being equivalent to guild, alludes to an «associative corporation of people of the same trade or industry of craft.»36
5. Analysis of the guilds according to the functions of the amīn
In the Spanish translation of Ibn cAbdūn’s text, a personage linked to the guilds, the alamín [amīn in Arabic], is mentioned on many occasions. Such a person is also called, in an indistinct way, ‘syndic’ by the translator. First of all, the word amīn lacks meaning for those unfamiliar with Arabic lexicon. Its meaning would have to be interpreted by every individual reader from the context of the functions assigned to the personage. However, the juxtaposition of syndic (for amīn = faithful, fiduciary) and guild (for ṣinā‘a = craft, trade) turns out to be understandable since intuitively syndic is associated with an individual designated in a corporation to guard over its interests. The question lies in whether syndic is a correct translation of amīn.
§91: The standard of these measures will be in the possession of the muḥtasib and of the alamín or faithful verifier of the weighers and measurers’ guild, who is the most suitable person to preserve and verify them.37
This is the suggestion by Ibn cAbdūn: to finish with the proliferation of weights and measures that did not obey a defined standard, and which merchants were using to the detriment of consumers. To stop this, it was necessary to define and maintain standards. It was logical that these were guarded by the muḥtasib, or magistrate who guarded over the good functioning of the souks, and by the alamín, who was the faithful or fiduciary person (that is to say, in this case, a public inspector), or person responsible for verifying the weights and measures.38 In this way the merchants would be prevented from using weights or measures that did not have a corresponding verification. If it is known that the alamín [amīn] was the faithful or fiduciary person who verified the weights and measurers in ancient times, the explanation of «or faithful verifier of the weighers and measures’ guild» is not necessary; this phrase is rather an addition with the premeditated intention of inducing the association of two ideas: that of the amīn and that of a guild. On the other hand, in those times there were public weighers and measurers according to Ibn cAbdūn:
§215: The public weighers and measurers must be honest and advanced in age, because their craft supposes that they are trustworthy in points of integrity, religion, and piety. The axes of the scales must be lengthy and their pans must be light, as we have already said before.39 The bars of the Roman balances will also have to be long, and the orifice in which the pivot of the indicator moves must be in the bar and not in the tab, because this system is closer than the others to the exact weight.
In this paragraph, Ibn cAbdūn, as it is seen, does not refer to the joining of the public weighers and measurers to a guild, neither does he specify their mission. Nevertheless, it is understood that they had to be government employees, or private professionals with a public function, to whom to turn to in order to verify the quantities of purchased goods or to carry out the measurement or the weighing when these services were requested of them.
§72: In the possession of the muḥtasib, or hung in the main mosque, there will have to be standards of the thickness of bricks, of the size of roof tiles, of the width and thickness of suspenders and of beams, as well as of the thickness of boards for flooring. These standards, made of hard wood, not susceptible to woodworm, will be hung on nails high on the wall of the main mosque and will be preserved carefully, in order to be able to come to them when it is believed that the mentioned materials are bigger or smaller than the standard, while other equal standards will be in the possession of the foremen for their work. This is one of the most important and essential things that have to be taken into account.
In this case it is evident that the responsibility did not fall on the shoulders of the alamín of a guild of builders, since the alamín is not even mentioned, nor the organization. It is logical that the foremen had to have these standards, but another set of standards might very well be guarded by the alamín of his guild (if it existed), instead of (or as well as) being on the wall of the main mosque. If the guild of builders had existed, Ibn cAbdūn would not have forgotten to name the alamín as a safekeeper of the standards. However the function of the alamín as being in charge of verifying weights and measures is independently of the existence of guilds. This is corroborated by what is said by Ibn cAbdūn a bit later (§92), where he mentions the alamín in his typical function of controlling weights and measures, and not as a syndic belonging to a guild:
§92: Regarding the standards of weights and measures, all well-calibrated and verified iron models must be in possession of the alamín. The standard measures of oil will have to carry the mark on the neck, which has to be narrow, because if the width of the neck is just a finger wider than normal, it is enough for the capacity to increase greatly. Everything has to be measured according to the ancient custom, and it would be well if it were possible to achieve that a standard measure of one arroba [standard measure of about 12.56 litres, or 22 British pints] of oil be equal to one arroba of weight [standard weight of about 11.5 kilograms, or 25 Castillian pounds], as it is in the case of the measure of wheat. When pouring the oil in the measure, it will be done little by little, because with the bubbling that takes place when pouring, the mark is soon reached; but if then it is left to rest a little, it will be seen that the measure is short.
On the typical function of the alamín, Ibn cAbdūn insists:
§95: The weights will have to be of glass or of iron, well made and verified, with a patently clear mark of the alamín. The merchants will not be allowed to use them of stone, because there is no way of verifying them. The weights of arrate [equal to 16 Castillian ounces] of the merchants and those smaller of all the measuring scales of the city, in all the professions, will have to be verified two or three times a year.
Let’s focus our attention in the last phrase, which does not allude to the guilds, but to the professions. There the word guilds might have also been used instead of professions.
§187: In the cattle fairs there must be a syndic [amīn] to make binding decisions for the parties if a difference between them emerges. In the same way, in every guild there must be a syndic.41
Now it is clear that Lévi-Provençal and García Gómez translate amīn as syndic instead of the correct translation as faithful person or fiduciary (public inspector). It is a question of an expert in the matter, who acts as an arbitrator to whose decision the litigants must comply with.42 Ibn cAbdūn considers the function of mediation to be important in smoothing the differences arising from the apparently abundant commercial deals among buyers and sellers. That is why he extends the institution of the arbitration in a general way to any profession. In order to attain this goal, he proposes that there be an amīn in every ‘guild.’ But notice that Ibn cAbdūn wants to establish a rapid form to solve mercantile conflicts through a mediator. Ibn cAbdūn calls him amīn. However, Lévi-Provençal and García Gómez unjustifiably translate this word as syndic, due to what García Gómez explains in his footnotes, to which we, in turn, commented on our note 37. Such a name should not cause any problem of interpretation if the function to be performed were perfectly defined; and, in effect, it is: it is a question of an arbitrator or mediator to dissolve conflicts. The question, and with it the confusion, arises at the moment when the translator chooses the word ‘syndic’ as equivalent to amīn; and then the trick of associating syndic with guild is complete: «In the same way, in every guild there must be a syndic,» that is the translation given. A question immediately appears: why does the translator give the name syndic to an arbitrator who must make peace in disputes arising between sellers and buyers? To answer this question, it is necessary to consider four things: 1) that the Arabic word amīn is translated without acceptable justification as syndic; 2) that this amīn is not a syndic, as far as a member of a professional entity to whom certain functions are entrusted that characterize its entity as a guild, but merely a mediator in the possible conflicts that might arise; that is to say, this person belongs more to the judicial field than to that of a guild; 3) that this amīn acts in the role assigned to him without the existence of the guilds, since in order to act as a mediator in conflicts arising in cattle fairs, and, by extension, in any class of profession, no guilds are required. The same thing happens with the highest judge and the auxiliary judge: they settle litigations that come up in the trade with absolute independence from whether the professions are corporately organized; and 4) that the tone of the principle is purely programmatical, characteristic of a desire more than of reality.
§204: The sailors will not be allowed to cross any woman with a look of having a dishonest life, whereby it will be reported to the guild syndic of the guild. Prescribe also to them that nobody is allowed to enter with containers to buy wine from the Christians, and, if someone is caught, break the container and inform the syndic so that he may punish the sailor.
The way this paragraph is translated gives the impression that it refers to the syndic of the guild of the sailors. Constable mentions this passage,43 where Ibn cAbdūn proposes the norm to be applied to the river administration, and gives the Arabic words that Ibn cAbdūn uses together with their translation; it turns out to be a ‘superintendent of the river’ (amīn ‘alā al-wādī; we know that amīn = faithful person, public inspector; and wādī = river), «among whose obligations was that to take charge of the sailors.»44 What is more, even Lévi-Provençal uses a terminology similar to that of Constable: «The policing of the port is the responsibility of an amīn of the river, who monitors not only the passengers, but also the navigators.»45 However, when the French historian and his Spanish collaborator translate the text (as observed in the transcription of §204) they do not take into account that the amīn is of the river, with duties of policing the port, and they place him in the guild of the sailors. Such a guild has all the signs of having being invented off the cuff.
«Sausages and meatballs have to be made with fresh meat, and not with the meat of a sick animal nor that of a beast which died without having its throat slit because this would be cheaper.»
For this reason, the authors of the manuals of ḥisba see to it that the beasts destined for human consumption be properly sacrificed. The slaughterer must be an expert in his profession and must know very well how to slit throats so that the animal is completely bled; and the knife has to be a long one, for that same purpose. Of lesser importance was whether the slaughterer was chosen by the butchers or was named by the muḥtasib; that which held more relevance was that he was a good throat-slitter. Finally, it is necessary to take into account that, in the manual of ḥisba by Ibn cAbd al-Ra’ūf, the amīn named by the muḥtasib as the slaughterer was not a member of a guild; he was an expert master in the art of throat-slitting who transmitted his knowledge to others, regardless of whether the group of butchers ware corporately organized or not.
From our studies, we conclude that there were no guilds in Ibn cAbdūn’s epoch. Romero holds the same opinion, stating that from everything mentioned by Ibn cAbdūn, «it does not follow that such professions, or at least some of them, were corporately organized.»50 It is our opinion that the ishbīlī intended there to be an organization directed by the public authorities to monitor the souks, to prevent fraud, to carry out quality control of the products, and to mediate in conflicts. The latent idea in Ibn cAbdūn’s mind, and in those of the other authors of the manuals of ḥisba, was not to organize the professions but the souks, for consumer protection against the producers. On this matter, there is yet more indirect proof of the non-existence of guilds in that epoch. It is found in §131 of Ibn cAbdūn’s treatise, where he recommends that clients be compensated for the powder and residues left by drugs by means of «a tare of compensation, set according to the opinion of the merchants and in agreement with the buyer.» Notice that he makes no mention of either an amīn or a guild. The agreement had to be established directly between merchants and buyers themselves on an individual basis. It would have been absurd to propose such a norm if there had been a pharmacists’ guild. Even if the sale of drugs had not been specialized and the drugs were sold by shopkeepers in general, the norm would have been completely different if the retailers had been organized in guilds.
Speaking in socio-economic and political terms, the Moslem organizations (sinf, rifa, firqa, tāi'fa) constitute authentic corporations or not? Masignon and his followers wanted to make guilds of them.52 However, these so-called guilds do not emerge until the 14th century, with the appearance of the Ottomans. There were none in al-Andalus, not even a small trace of them can be found in the documents of Geniza, and Le Tourneau never managed to see them in Fez.53 Likewise, the alamines should not be considered heads of guilds, but merely as people responsible for the profession facing the public authorities, appointed for fiscal purposes to better control their colleagues. Therefore, given the silence of the sources, one is forced to follow the observations of Baer,54 Cahen,55 Goitein,56 Raymond,57 and Stern,58 to conclude the non-existence of corporate organizations of craftsmen in the Muslim world before the 15th century, and then their existence only in the Ottoman territory thereafter.
The historians mentioned by Chalmeta studied work situations in diverse periods of time outside the al-Andalusarea. Nevertheless, Chalmeta specifies very clearly that in al-Andalus there were never any guilds.
Recibido el 4 de abril de 2012, corregido del 5 al 8 de junio de 2012 y aceptado definitivamente el 12 de diciembre de 2013.
1 Among these: L. Seco de Lucena, “Origen islámico de los gremios”, in Revista del Trabajo, Vol. 34, 1942, p. 853-855; T. de Aquino García y García, La corporación laboral en la historia de Sevilla, Sevilla, Gráficas Tirvia, 1951; J. D. González Arce, “Sobre el origen de los gremios sevillanos”, in En la España Medieval, Vol. 14, 1991, p. 163-182; F. García de Cortázar and J. González Vesga, Breve historia de España, Barcelona, Círculo de Lectores, 1995, p. 141-143; A. García Sanjuán, “La organización de los oficios en al-Andalus a través de los manuales de ḥisba”, in Historia. Instituciones. Documentos, Vol. 24, 1997, p. 201-233.
2 J. D. González Arce, “Sobre el origen de los gremios sevillanos”, in En la España Medieval, Vol. 14, 1991, p. 163-182, and A. García Sanjuán, “La organización de los oficios en al-Andalus a través de los manuales de ḥisba”, in Historia. Instituciones. Documentos, Vol. 24, 1997, p. 201-233.
3 L. Seco de Lucena, “Origen islámico de los gremios”, in Revista del Trabajo, Vol. 34, 1942, p. 853-855.
4 A. Collantes de Terán, “La formación de los gremios sevillanos. A propósito de unos documentos sobre los tejedores”, En la España Medieval, Madrid, 1980, p. 89-104.
5 P. Chalmeta, “Kitāb fī ādād al-ḥisba” [Book of the good government of the souk by al-Saqaṭī); translation into Spanish in Al-Andalus, XXXII/1, p. 125-162; XXXII/2, p. 359-397; XXXIII/1, p. 143-196 and XXXIII/2, p. 367-434; Madrid and Granada, 1967 and 1968.
6 P. Chalmeta, El “señor del zoco” en España: edades media y moderna, contribución al estudio de la historia del mercado, Madrid, Instituto Hispano-Árabe de Cultura, 1973; and P. Chalmeta, “Organización artesano-comercial de la ciudad musulmana”, in Simposio Internacional sobre la Ciudad Islámica: ponencias y comunicaciones, Zaragoza, Institución Fernando el Católico, 1991.
7 V. Romero, Los gremios de Sevilla, Sevilla, Padilla Libros Editores & Libreros, 2001.
8 L. Seco de Lucena, “Origen islámico de los gremios”, en Revista del Trabajo, Vol. 34,1942, p. 854-855.
9 V. Romero, Los gremios de Sevilla, p. 42.
10 J. M. de Mena, Historia de Sevilla, Barcelona, Plaza & Janés, 1991, p. 97.
11 Ídem, p. 97.
12 M. González Jiménez, “Orígenes de la Andalucía cristiana”, in Historia de Andalucía I: La Andalucía dividida (1031-1350), Madrid, CUPSA Editorial, and Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 1980.
13 V. Romero, Los gremios de Sevilla, p. 28-31.
14 J. M. de Mena, Historia de Sevilla, p. 100.
15 J. M. Salrach, “Feudalismo y expansión (siglos XI-XIII)”, in A. Domínguez Ortiz (dir.), Historia de España, Vol. 3, chapter 3, Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 1989, p. 270.
16 M. González Jiménez, “Orígenes de la Andalucía cristiana”, in Historia de Andalucía I: La Andalucía dividida (1031-1350), Madrid, CUPSA Editorial, and Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 1980, p. 143.
17 Alfonso X, Las Siete Partidas, Vol. IV: “Family, Commerce, and the Sea”; “The Worlds of Women and Merchants”; Part V, Title VII, Law II, translated into English by Samuel Parsons Scott; edited by I. Robert and S. J. Burns, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001, p. 1056-1057.
18 A. Dopsch, Fundamentos económicos y sociales de la cultura europea (De César a Carlomagno), Madrid, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1982 , p. 456-457.
19 Ídem, p. 457.
20 Who wrote the article, “Das karoling Zehentgebot”, in Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanistische Abteilung,Vol. XXIX, 1908.
21 I. de Sevilla, Etimologías, Vol. I, bilingual edition by Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, Madrid, 2000, p. 779.
22 ḥisba is a term that, without being from the Koran, was assimilated into the legal principle of the Koran for eradicating the evil and fomenting the good; it was used by means of a magistrate of the souk, al-muḥtasib [in Spanish: almotacén], to censure the bad customs in general and the fraudulent mercantile practices in particular.
23 P. Chalmeta, El “señor del zoco” en España: edades media y moderna, contribución al estudio de la historia del mercado, p. 201-202.
24 P. Chalmeta, “Kitāb fī ādād al-ḥisba” [Book of the Good Government of the Souk by al-Saqaṭī]; translation into Spanish in Al-Andalus, XXXII/1, p. 125-162; XXXII/2, p. 359-397; XXXIII/1, p. 143-196 and XXXIII/2, p. 367-434; Madrid and Granada, 1967 and 1968.
25 P. Chalmeta, “Kitāb fī ādād al-ḥisba”, in Al-Andalus, XXXII/1, p. 141.
26 P. Chalmeta, “Kitāb fī ādād al-ḥisba”, in Al-Andalus, XXXII/1, §77.
27 Such as those by G. Baer, “Guilds in Middle Eastern History”, in Cook, M. A. (ed.): Studies in the Economic History of the Middle East, London, 1970, p. 11-30; C. Cahen, “Y a-t-il eu des corporations professionnelles dans le monde musulman classique? Quelques notes et réflexions”, in A. Hourani and S. Stern, The Islamic City, Oxford, 1970, p. 51-63; and, in C. Cahen, Les peuples musulmans dans l’Histoire Médiévale; Damas: Institut Français, 1977; and G. Makdisi, “La corporation à l’époque classique de l’Islam”, in Religion, Law and Learning in Classical Islam, Hampshire and Brookfield, Variorum, 1991.
28 Ibn cAbdūn, Risāla fī qadā’ wa-l-ḥisba [Treatise of the Judicature and of the ḥisba], Spanish version by Lévi-Provençal and García Gómez, Sevilla a comienzos del siglo XII: El tratado de Ibn cAbdūn, Madrid, Moneda y Crédito, 1948. There are facsimile reeditions by the Servicio de Publicaciones del Ayuntamiento de Sevilla and by the Fundación Cultural del Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos Técnicos de Sevilla. Italian version by F. Gabrieli, “Il trattato censorio di Ibn cAbdūn sul buon governo di Siviglia”, in Rendiconti delle Classe de Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, Reale Accademia Nacionale dei Linzei, 1936.
29 Gabrieli translates it this way: «Il muḥtasib debe ordinare ai membri di ogni arte che si prendano per il vernedi un annunciatore incaricato di far loro sentire il takbīr quando l’imām lo pronuncia.»
30 According to Gabrieli: «Il Qāḍī debe stablire per ogni arte uno dei loro, esperto nel fiqh, dotto e retto, che metta pace quando tra loro sāorge una lite in una delle loro faccende, senza che debbano arrivare al giudice.»
31 According to Gabrieli: «Il muḥtasib deve ordinare gli artigiani, e porre ognuno con i suoi simili in luoghi ben determinati; ciò è più degno e sicuro.»
32 According to Gabrieli: «Al cambio della moneta deve presiedere una persona dabbene e virtuosa, che informi gli artigiani dei valori correnti, e di quelli buoni e dei cattivi, raddrizzando gli abusi che venisse a riscontrare.»
33 According to Gabrieli: «I portatori debonno avere per ogni arte un luogo [di stazionamento] ben noto da cui non debonno allontanarsi.»
34 According to Gabrieli: «I frodolenti colti sul fatto vanno repressi in ogni mestiere, specialmente nel saggio dei metalli; [...].»
35 According to Gabrieli: «Con esse [le done], nella compra e vendita, deve tratare solo una persona fidata e dabbene, di notoria honestà e fidatezza; a ciò debbono vegliare gli artigliani.»
36 J. Bosch Vilá, La Sevilla Islámica 712-1248, Sevilla, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla, 1984, p. 370-373.
37 Here the translator has included this footnote: «In Arabic “amīn”, a word still used in Morocco, to designate the “syndic of a guild»: cf. W. Marçais, Arabic Texts of Tangier, p. 223. However, the Dictionary of the Spanish Language offers a different meaning for the word amín, namely: «In Morocco, a civil servant entrusted to collect the funds, to make payments, and to administer goods on account of the government.» Bear in mind that Spain exercised its protectorate for many years in the north of Morocco (and also in a strip in the south, now in the Sahara), and, therefore, the information of the Royal Spanish Academy is not of hearsay, of what others say, but first hand and experienced in situ. For the word alamín, the aforementioned dictionary provides this equivalence: «Official who in ancient times verified the weights and measurements and appraised the supplies.» On the other hand, the assimilation of amīn with syndic of a guild given by the translator is not correct because there is an anachronism, since amīn in the context of Ibn cAbdūn’s treatise refers to a reality of the 11th or 12th century and the amīn of Morocco with which he compares it is much more recent, and it is already known that the meaning of words tend to evolve with the passing of time and with different geographical regions; therefore, there is no guarantee that they mean the same thing or that they obey to only one reality. What is more, from the philological point of view, the meaning of amīn was, in classic Arabic, ‘faithful or fiduciary’ [in Spanish fiel, or person who does not defraud the confidence entrusted to him, and to whom, consequently, certain public services have been assigned to be carried out with accuracy and legality]; and, by what is said further on in §91, this seems to be the meaning with which Ibn cAbdūn uses the word. For this interpretation we refer to F. Corriente, Diccionario de arabismos y voces afines en iberorromance, Madrid, Editorial Gredos, 1999, who defines the word alamín or amín as: «Inspector of weights and measures or of other activities: from the Andalusian alamín < cl. amīn ‘trustworthy; secretary’. Of the same root, but as a modern Arabic expression, transmitted by more modern Mediterranean and/or European contacts, without an Andalusian phase, they are lami ‘certain Turkish authority in Palestine’ (pt.), amim (pt., only Morais) ‘syndic or magistrate’ and amín (cs.) ‘governmental administrator’.» And if we consult the Encyclopédie de l'islam, nouvelle édition, Paris, 1991, we find this: «Amīn = sûr, en qui on peut se fier. Comme substantif, celui à qui l'on a confié quelque chose, surveillant, administrateur.» Then some more technical meanings appear; in all, amīn designates the «titulaire de diverses fonctions ‘de confiance’.»
38 The Dictionary of the Spanish Language defines the term alamín (according to the transcription appearing in the previous note). Furthermore, in Spain, the post of ‘fiel contraste’ [faithful verifier] existed (Chalmeta, El “señor del zoco” en España: edades media y moderna, contribución al estudio de la historia del mercado,1973, p. 606); on the other hand, Tomás de Mercado , Suma de Tratos y Contratos; Editora Nacional, Madrid, 1975, p. 168) alludes to some magistrates called ‘fiel ejecutor’ [faithful executive or public inspector], whose assignment was to appraise the price of the most necessary articles.
39 In §91, which is a paragraph previously analyzed and transcribed (though not on its entirety).
40 Gabrieli does not translate it into syndic, but into ‘fiduciary’: «a ciò deve vegliare un fiduciario non venale, che vada all’ammazzatoio ogni giorno.»
41 Gabrieli translates this way: «Nel mercato delle cavalcature va messo un fiduciario, al cui giudizio si deve ricorrere nelle contestazioni. Così per ogni mestiere ci deve essere un fiduciario.»
42 Here it is a question of an arbitrator who makes those of the professions agree with their clients, whereas in §44, supra transcribed (epigraph 4), the reference is to an arbitrator who dissolves differences between members of the same craft.
43 O. R. Constable, Comercio y comerciantes en la España musulmana. La reordenación comercial de la Península Ibérica del 900 al 1500, Barcelona, Ediciones Omega, 1997, p. 140.
44 Gabrieli had already given the same translation: «e debbono informarne il soprintendente del guado.»
45 É. Lévi-Provençal and E. García Gómez, Sevilla a comienzos del siglo XII: El tratado de Ibn cAbdūn, Madrid, Moneda y Crédito, 1948, p. 22.
46 Ibn CUmar, Aḥkām al-sūq [Ordinances of the Souk], Spanish translation by E. García Gómez in Al-Andalus, XXII/2, p. 253-316, Madrid and Granada, 1957; Ibn CAbd al-Ra’ūf, Risāla fī ādād al-ḥisba wa-l-muḥtasib [Treatise of the Good Government of the Souk and of the Muḥtasib], French translation by R. Arié under the title “Traduction annotée et commentée des traités de ḥisba d’Ibn al-Ra’ūf et de cUmar al-Garsīfī», in Hespéris-Tamuda, I/1, pp. 5-38; I/2, p. 199-214; and I/3, pp. 349-364, Rabat, 1960; al-Saqaṭī, Kitāb fī ādād al-ḥisba [Book of the Good Government of the Souk], translation into Spanish by P. Chalmeta in Al-Andalus, XXXII/1, p. 125-162; XXXII/2, p. 359-397; XXXIII/1, p. 143-196 and XXXIII/2, p. 367-434; Madrid and Granada, 1967 and 1968.
47 The caliph cAbd to al-Mu’min ordered, at the end of 1147, the prosecution of those selling and consuming grape must, and, afterwards, in August, 1148, he sent a letter ordering the strict observation of the Koran, that those responsible for the sale and consumption of wine would be prosecuted, and, furthermore, that, in the legal trials, «the confiscation of goods had to be carried out with the legal supervision of an amīn» (A. González Moreno, “Invasiones norteafricanas y movimiento nacionalista en al-Andalus», in Historia de Andalucía, Vol. II: Al-Andalus. De la desmembración del califato a la conquista cristiano-feudal, Sevilla, Biblioteca de Ediciones Andaluzas, 1981, p. 175).
48 P. Chalmeta, El “señor del zoco” en España: edades media y moderna, contribución al estudio de la historia del mercado, Madrid, Instituto Hispano-Árabe de Cultura, 1973, pp. 375-376.
49 A. García Sanjuán, “La organización de los oficios en al-Andalus a través de los manuales de ḥisba”, in Historia. Instituciones. Documentos, Vol. 24, Sevilla, Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla, 1997, p. 216.
50 V. Romero, Los gremios de Sevilla, Sevilla, Padilla Libros Editores & Libreros, 2001, p. 28.
51 P. Chalmeta, “Organización artesano-comercial de la ciudad musulmana”, in Simposio Internacional sobre la Ciudad Islámica: ponencias y comunicaciones, Zaragoza, Institución Fernando el Católico, 1991, p. 108-109. We are grateful to Dr. Bramon who has provided us with this information.
52 L. Massignon, “Le corps de metier et la cité islamique”, in Revue International de Sociologie, Vol. 28, 1920.
53 R. Le Tourneau, Fès avant le protectorat, Casablanca, Société marocaine de librairie et d'édition, 1949.
54 G. Baer, Egyptian Guilds in Modern Times, Jerusalem, 1965. (Note by Chalmeta).
55 C. Cahen, “Les corporations professionnelles...”, in The Islamic City, Oxford, 1970. (Note by Chalmeta).
56 S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society..., U.C.A., 1967. (Note by Chalmeta).
57 A. Raymond, Artisans et commerçants..., Damasco, 1973. (Note by Chalmeta).
58 S. Stern, “The constitution of the Islamic city”, in The Islamic City, Oxford, 1970. (Note by Chalmeta).
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