Liber Paradisus

The Liber Paradisus (Book of paradise ) is a book containing the text of the law adopted in 1256 by the Municipality of Bologna for the abolition of serfdom and liberation of all the peasants.


After the battle of Fossalta ( 1249 ) almost all the noble families of the landscape suffered a heavy defeat at Bologna. This triggered an ethical and economic debate on the legal status of the farmers who were the feudal lords until then owned.

On August 25, 1256 all citizens of Bologna were invited by the bells of Arengo to Piazza Maggiore to the show. The Podestà and the People's captain announced the release of about 6,000 addicts in treasury of about 400 men, alone in the family Prendiparte ( owner of the eponymous tower in the city center ) served more than 200 people. These were given their freedom against the payment of compensation by the municipality. Ten lire per head ( eight for children under 14 years ) corresponded roughly estimated the prices of the former slave market.

In the event also Rolandino de ' Passeggeri gave a speech:

A fresco by Adolfo de Carolis depends to commemorate this event in a large hall in the palazzo del Podestà.

The liberation of 5,855 people cost the community 54 014 lire. The decisive factors were less ethical reasons rather than moral, economic considerations. It was hoped that a higher power which is now perhaps better motivated farmers, who could be additionally taxed in the future.

However, the Liberated of leaving home from the corresponding diocese was prohibited. In some cases, the peasants were freed in certain localities summarized ( in Italian franchement ) what can be some village names, such as Castelfranco, derived at the former border of the Duchy of Modena.

The "Book of paradise "

By this act ( one of the main liberation acts of the peasants in the Middle Ages ), who was also known as the Paradisus voluptatis ( paradise of pleasure ), Bologna was the first Italian city (and perhaps one of the first in the world) that abolished serfdom.

1257 was the administration of the municipality of writing a book of four notaries, in which the names of all the emancipated peasants were enumerated in detail. The book, which is now preserved in the State Archives at the Piazza dei Celestini, is referred to as the paradise because " paradisum " the first word of the text is (reminds its first sentence that God gave the first man the paradise as a pleasure garden).

Beginning of the book: Paradisum voluptatis plantavit dominus Deus omnipotens a principio, in quo posuit hominem, quem formaverat, et ipsius corpus ornavit veste candenti, sibi et donans perfectissimam perpetuam libertatem