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Dr William R. Day Jr

Researcher/ Assistant Librarian, Medieval European Coinage Project (vols. 12 & 13: North Italy & Central Italy)

William Day holds an MA in Medieval and Renaissance European History from the Catholic University of America (1994) and a PhD in Economic History from the London School of Economics (1999).  He also attended the Graduate Seminar in Numismatics at the American Numismatic Society (New York City, 1993) and was Visiting Researcher in History at the European University Institute (Florence, 1995-6). In 2000-1, he was part-time lecturer in Medieval History at Birmingham.  In 2001, he left Birmingham to take up the position of Research Associate in the Medieval European Coinage Project, based in the Department of Coins & Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, where he remained until 2008.  In 2008-9, he was Fellow in History at the Villa I Tatti (Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence), before joining the Medieval European Coinage project again in 2010.  In 2011, he was Research Consultant at Winton Capital Management (London), where he studied the history of financial crisis for the firm and managed its collections of artefacts and books on financial history.  He co-authored and edited Medieval European Coinage, vol. 12, North Italy, which breaks new ground by examining the coinage and monetary history of the region on a broad comparative basis. Earlier studies tended to focus on individual mints, but the new book places the coinage and history of individual mints in their broader contexts. It also corrects numerous misconceptions with respect to attribution, chronology, classification and denomination while presenting a thoroughly revised and far more coherent picture of the development of the coinage.


Research Interests

Italian Medieval and Renaissance Coinage and Monetary History, Italian Medieval and Renaissance Economic and Financial History

Major on-going projects include:

  1. Medieval European Coinage, vol. 13, Central Italy (in preparation).
  2. Florentine and other Italian personnel in foreign mints, c. 1200-1600, initiated as Fellow at the Villa I Tatti; an off-shoot of my work on MEC, studies the diffusion of Italian merchant-bankers, esp. Florentines and other Tuscans, in the administration of mints across Europe, from London to Naples and from Iberia to Central Europe; it situates the work of Italians in foreign mints within the context of their careers as merchant-bankers and considers their role in the diffusion of knowledge and the formulation of monetary policy.
  3. Financial crisis before the stock exchange, c. 1200-1600, conceived while working on modern financial crises, i.e. since 1600, for a London-based financial institution; focuses on important factors in medieval crises – mainly conflict, famine and volatility in the bi-metallic ratio – and upsurges in bankruptcies among merchant-bankers as measures of crisis.
  4. Monograph on the early development of the Florentine economy, focusing on the period 1115-1265 and provisionally titled “Florence before Dante”, under contract with Brill; an outgrowth of my work towards the PhD.

Recent/Major Publications

Medieval European Coinage 12: Italy (I), North Italy, with Michael Matzke and Andrea Saccocci (Cambridge: CUP, in press).

‘The economic foundations of San Lorenzo: the early development of the mensa capitularis (c. 1050-1350)’, in San Lorenzo: a Florentine church, ed. Robert Gaston and Louis A. Waldman (Florence: Olschki, in press).

‘Economy’, in Dante in Context, ed. Zygmunt Baranski and Lino Pertile (Cambridge: CUP, in press).

‘Percivalle dal Portico of Lucca (fl. 1330-1370): Tuscan merchant and mint-master in the Low Countries and England in the 14th century’, in Studies in honour of Peter Spufford, ed. Nick Mayhew and Martin Allen (Cambridge: CUP, submitted).

Florence before Dante: the early development of the Florentine economy, c. 1115-1265 (in preparation, under contract with Brill Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands).

‘The Cistercian monk and the casting-counter’, in Churchmen and Urban Government in Late-Medieval Italy, c. 1200-c. 1450: Cases and Contexts, ed. Francis Andrews (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 251-266.

‘Bencio Carucci of Florence in the papal mint for gold coinage at Pont de Sorgues (Avignon), 1322-1330’, in Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Conners, ed. Machtelt Israëls, 2 vols. (Florence: Olschki, 2013), II, 9-23.

‘Metrologia monetaria’ and ‘Firenze’, entries in the multi-volume encyclopaedia, Le zecche italiane fino all'Unità, ed. Lucia Travaini (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 2011), 321-31, 662-81.

‘Antiquity, Rome, Florence: transmissions across time and space in coinage during the Middle Ages’, in Rome across time and space: cultural transmission and exchange of ideas, c. 500-1400, ed. Claudia Bolgia, Rosamond McKitterick, John Osborne (Cambridge: CUP, 2011), 237-261.

‘Fiorentini ed altri italiani appaltatori delle zecche stranieri, 1200-1600: un progetto di ricerca’, Annali di storia di Firenze 5 (2010), 9-29.

‘Quasi-città irredenta: Empoli (c. 1100-1325)’, in Medieval Italy, medieval and early modern women: essays in honour of Christine Meek, ed. Conor Kostick (Dublin 2010), 46-64.

‘Le fonti numismatiche del Corpus Nummorum Italicorum per l’Italia centrale: l’esempio del fiorino d’oro del Senato Romano del primo Trecento’, in 100 anni del Corpus Nummorum Italicorum: Atti della Giornata di studio, Milano, 15 maggio 2009, ed. Adriano Savio and Alessandro Cavagna (Milan 2010), 81-89.