chapter  3
10 Pages

From the Decima to DECIMA and back again: the data behind the data


Descriptio codicum The Decima was organized in four manuscripts, each containing the census for one of the four quarters of Florence, namely Santo Spirito, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, and San Giovanni. Table 3.1 shows the details of each manuscript in the Florentine State Archive deposit for the Decima Granducale , with the number of folios and of entries:

Each entry preserved the owner’s and tenants’ names, the estimated value of and rent on the property, and the number of mouths in the household (i.e. total number of residents), amongst other information. The quarter of San Giovanni contains the largest number of entries, followed by Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella, and Santa Croce. San Giovanni, with 7.34 people/entry, is also the quarter with the largest demographic density per entry, compared to the overall concentration of 6.63. The census produced a total of 8,742 entries, each reporting to a property, and a total of 58,023 people, with the female population slightly surpassing the male one (51.32/48.67 per cent). It is impossible, however, to establish how comprehensive this list was and whether all social categories were, indeed, accounted for.