COMPANION TO CANTO XXXV
Annotations in the List of Works Cited:
Contributor name. The Online Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, IV: n.gloss number. The Cantos Project. Date of access.
Example: Preda, Roxana. The Online Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, IV: n.13. The Cantos Project. 5 September 2016.
((Contributor name), OCCEP IV: n.no).
Example: (Bressan, OCCEP IV: n.3). If no name is indicated, the gloss was written by Roxana Preda. In this case, the citation will have this format: (OCCEP IV: n.13).
References to The Cantos
As The Cantos Project is numbering the lines of The Cantos, references to cantos already glossed will be by canto number and line(s), as standard with classical works. Example: III: ll.7–17.
For cantos that are not yet glossed within the project, the references will be by canto number slash page number, as standard in the research on the poem. Example: III/12. The page number refers to the American edition of The Cantos by Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1998.
© Roxana Preda. Companion to Canto XXXV, 12 March 2019
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Carroll F. Terrell. A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: U of California P, 1993. Vol.1: 1980.
Ezra Pound and Music. The Complete Criticism. Ed. R. Murray Schafer. New York: New Directions, 1977.
Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso]. Metamorphoses. Ed. Hugo Magnus. Gotha: Friedr. Andr. Perthes, 1892. Perseus.
The Online Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. The Cantos Project: Cantos VII; XI; XXVI; XXX.
Ezra Pound Papers, Beinecke Library. Box no/folder no
- Mitteleuropa – G. “central Europe.” For Pound at the time of writing the canto (1931), the concept of central Europe overlapped with that of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose symptoms of decadence he delineates. It is the first time in the cantos where overtly anti-Semitic attitudes can be discerned, as Pound isolates symptoms of weakness, corruption and misdirection in Austria Hungary (and in Venice, later on in the canto) as ascribable to the Jewish presence. However, he limits himself to examples he could gather in his personal interactions and conversations he had in his travels to Vienna, Frankfurt and Paris, 1928-1931.
- Mr. Corles – Pseudonym for Alfred Perlès (1897-1990), a Jewish Austrian writer Pound met in Paris in 1931.
“Not recorded by any of Pound’s biographers, but cf. Alfred Perlès, ‘From an Ancient Diary’ in Nimbus III, I,
London, Summer 1955, pp. 6-11: ‘On a fine spring day in Paris, in 1931, I had lunch with Ezra Pound, and between the apple and cheese told him of an incident in my war experiences (1914-1918). A year or two later, I was amused to find this incident related in the somewhat poetically dehydrated lines of Canto XXXV.’ The article proceeds to give the background details to the relevant section of that canto in which Perlès appears as ‘Mr Corles’” (Hesse 346).
“The invented name “Corles” may be read as “core-less,” indicative of a man without a center. The ‘times and seasons’ passage from the Unwobbling Pivot […] helps further identify this man without a core or center as Confucius’s ‘mean man’: ‘Chung Ni (Confucius) said: the master man finds the center and does not waver; the mean man runs counter to the circulation about the invariable.’” (Pearlman 154).
- Mr Fidacz – pseudonym for the Hungarian violist and composer Tibor Serly (1900-78). Pound’s preserved correspondence with Serly begins in 1931, the time of canto composition (YCAL 48/2096-2101). Pound wrote to Olga Rudge on 4 August 1931: “letter from Zuk’s frien an musician Serly wantin I spose to convince me he is future of music// arrived in Paris, desires pleasure of conversation” (YCAL 54, 11/271).
- Nataanovitch – According to Reno Odlin and Carroll Terrell, this is a pseudonym for the American conductor Leopold Stokowsky, who was born in London of Polish parents. From the way that Pound fashions the pseudonym, which starts from a traditional Jewish name, it is evident he thinks the conductor was Jewish. Contemporary periodicals like Time and the Jewish Daily Bulletin corroborate this assumption.
- Mattias Passion – G. “Matthias Passion” (“The Passion according to Matthew”) oratorio by J. S. Bach, composed in 1727.
- Fraulein Doktor – Probably Dr. Marie Franziska Stiasny (1887-1958), whom Pound came to know on his trip to Vienna in 1928. According to C. F. Terrell, she worked at the Wilhelm Braumüller bookshop (C n. 6).
Marie was secretary to the prominent Austrian educator and philathropist Eugenie Schwarzwald, whose house in Josefstädterstrasse 68 was a cultural hub for contacts and meetings with Austrian writers and artists. Armed with an introduction from Josef Bard, Pound visited the Schwarzwalds and Marie during his trip to Vienna in 1928 (Zacharasiewicz 40, 45-6).
- Tyrol – Region straddling the Austrian and Italian border. In exchange for its participation in WWI on the Allied side, Italy received promises of territorial compensation for regions in the Austro-Hungarian Empire that had a significant Italian population. Austria thus lost the South Tyrol region to Italy through the Versailles treaty in 1919.
- Joke on Italia – possibly a joke like this one: “Knock Knock. Who’s there? Italy! Italy who? Italy (will be) all over in the morning.” Source: Italy jokes – Italian Jokes.
- François Giuseppe – mock Franco-Italian version of Emperor Franz Josef’s name. He was born in 1830 and ruled the Austrian Habsburg empire from 1848 till his death in 1916.
- Lewinesholme – probably Richard Lewinsohn (1884-1968), German Jewish journalist and author of a biography of Basil Zaharoff published in 1929. In 1930, he moved to Paris as head of the Ullstein Press, but after the Nazis came to power in 1933, he was fired and stayed on as independent jounalist in exile to work for various periodicals. Wikipedia.
- Dortmund – city in Germany. Here, the reference is to “Dortmunder Pils,” a German beer (C n. 13).
- Egeria – Nymph who was consort and adviser to the Latin king Numa Pompilius. She has come to symbolize the classical idealisation of a lifelong mistress. Wikipedia.
- Hall Caine – Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine (1853-1931), English novelist. During his lifetime, he was a celebrity and very highly paid for his novels, which were internationally successful and sold millions of copies. Adultery, domestic violence, and religious bigotry were predominant subjects of Caine’s work. Wikipedia.
- dixit sic felix Elias – L. “thus spoke the happy Elias.”
- schnorrer – G. “scrounger, sponger, moocher.” Pound proceeds to mock the Jewish accent in the following lines.
Eljen – Magyar. “Hail.” This is a word that Pound found in his source, Lajos Hatvany’s Das verwundete Land (“The Wounded Country”; see Kimpel and Eaves 286).
- Hatvany – Lajos Hatvany (1880-1961), Jewish Hungarian aristocrat, writer, journalist and art collector. Pound recounts the following scene using a vignette out of Hatvany’s book Das verwundete Land (421-22) and makes significant changes to it (Kimpel and Eaves 285-87). However, he brings over from his source the idea that the Hungarian diffuse idealism and ignorance of reality led to the bad political choices, disappointments and failures of its political elites. See Sources.
- At the conference – As Austria’s partner in the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, Hungary had been on the losing side of World War I. The results were disastrous for the country, as it lost significant parts of its territory, particularly that of the present Slovakia and Transylvania. In October 1918, the monarchy was abolished by a state coup and Hungary was declared a republic under the premiership of Mihály Károlyi, who established a social-democratic government. This did not last – in April 1919, under the leadership of Béla Kun, Hungary became a Communist country, following the model of the Soviet Union.
The conference Pound refers to was a failed attempt at an armistice negotiation between Hungary and the Entente that took place in Belgrade on 7 November 1918. Karolyi’s government and delegation had hoped that by abolishing the monarchy in Hungary and allowing forms of political participation to the working-class would be enough of a foundation to establish trust and respect between victor and vanquished. Hatvany shows how wrong they were (Das verwundete Land. Pound particularly highlights Hatvany’s belated realisation that the French were not pacifist, idealistic and democratic, but had an aristocratic, militarist leadership, just like the Germans. See also part of the scene in Sources.
- Comment! Vous êtes tombé si bas? – F. “What! You have fallen so low ?”
- General Franchet de Whatshisname – General Louis Felix Franchet d’Espèrey (1856-1942) was Commander in Chief of the Allied Powers in the Balkans during WWI. He is the one who led the armistice negotiations between the Entente and Hungary in November 1918. Hatvany shows how D’Espèrey made clear to the Hungarians that their country could not be considered neutral (Hungary had declared neutrality on 1 November 1918) but a defeated enemy of the Entente; by calling them “Magyars,” he pointed out that the principle of nationalities took precedence over the integrity of the former Kingdom of Hungary – the country was going to lose territories where other ethnicities had a majority; finally that he could not assist Hungary get its coal across front lines to prepare for the winter of 1918. Armistice negotiations failed, as Karolyi’s government could not in faith bring back to Hungary the news of its utter defeat and future disintegration. (Das verwundete Land 419-29. See also Kritzman 67-87).
- bojars – East European and slavic nobility.
- VIRTUSH! – Almost tongue in cheek, Pound draws a line under his vignettes dramatising the cultural symptoms of Austria Hungary’s political decline and turns his attention to Italy in the 15th century. Unlike the Austrians, the Italians of the Renaissance had plenty of ideas of how to correct a course of decline. Their virtue lay in seeing clearly the advantages of trade and the practical measures needed to set the framework for success. Pound gives two more elaborate examples, that of Mantua in 1401 and of Venice in 1423, with a side-glance at Ferrara in 1502.
- Item – Pound is basing lines 93 to 115, relating to the case of Mantua, on an article on the subject by Alfonso Michielotto, which he found in the Rivista del diritto commerciale, 1931 (de Rachewiltz 1524). Michielotto was trying to elucidate the causes of Mantua’s economic decline at the end of the Middle Ages: his conclusion mentioned the scarcity of capital and the trade competition between the city states, as most likely causes. Michielotto also researched what the Gonzaga family attempted to do to halt the decline. Francesco I Gonzaga’s solution was to organise a referendum where citizens could write to him directly to propose solutions. Pound presents one of these (by Franciscus Abbatibus), which had the advantage of being non-usurious, since it used the product (wool cloth) as repayment and collateral for capital investment. However, as Michielotto pointed out, there is no record to show whether the solution was implemented or not. See Sources. See whole article.
- fontego – I. “Chamber.” In the Mantuan context, a fontego was a composite organisation which lent capital to producers to be repaid in cloth; a warehouse to store the pledged fabric; and a point of sale and export.
“Such a chamber had to serve producers of wool to sell their cloth directly, eliminating the retail vendors; it had a specific structure which made it quasi a public office, since its employees had to be designated by the Prince; it was they who had to fix the price of cloths with each producer, taking into account the production costs and proportionately distributing the cost of the activity of the fondaco itself across various selling prices” (Michielotto 269-70).
- scavenzaria – I. scavezaria (“shop”). Michielotto 271.
- a schavezo – I. “a schavezo,” or “scavezzo” (“sell retail”). Spelling variations in original. Michielotto 271.
- inficit umbras – L. “colours it with shadows.” (PL) (Ovid Metam X 596). The phrase, a memory of a passage in Ovid that Pound particularly loved and introduced in canto VII, is an association he made while reading the Mantua article, in which Franciscus Abbatibus recommends dyeing the cloths to make them more attractive to buyers. Michielotto 271. See also OCCEP VII: n. 33.
- Romagnols – people of Romagna, a region near Mantua.
- the March folk – people from Le Marche, a region south of Romagna.
- great use to your taxes – conclusion of Franciscus Abbatibus’ recommendation to the Marquis Francesco I Gonzaga (1366-1407). See Michielotto 271.
- una grida – I. “a proclamation.”
- stars fall from the olive tree – the stars are the white flowers of the olive tree that bloom in spring and lose their petals towards summer (C n.39)
- St John’s eve – June 23.
- Madame ὔλη– Gr. “hule” (“matter”). “Madame Matter” is Lucrezia Borgia, who was married to Alfonso d’Este of Ferrara in 1502. Pound mentioned her previously, in canto XXX: ll. 36-8, where he emphasized the mercantile aspect of her marriage. Pound’s source for Lucrezia’s biography made clear the economic advantage accruing to Ferrara out of this lucrative business:
“When Ercole D’Este was approached by Pope Alexander VI to propose that Ercole’s son, Alfonso, marry the pope’s illegitimate daughter Lucrezia Borgia, Ercole bargained the dowry hard, in the name of the honour of his family. Both his children, Alfonso and Isabella, were indignant at the prospect of such a marriage. Ercole’s demands were a sum of 200.000 ducats, control over Cento and Pieve, (cities belonging to the papacy), as well as the cancellation of the annual tribute Ferrara was paying to the Holy See for the vicariate of Ferrara (Gregorovius 182-3). Alexander acceded to these demands, though neither the cancellation of the tribute, nor control over the two cities was his own to give, but were infringements of the canon law and curtailment of the papal revenue for the sole benefit of his own family” (OCCEP XXX: n.10-11).
- Madame la Porte Parure – lady of high fashion. Fr. “parure” denotes all the garments, lingerie, jewellery that a woman might wear as adornment.
- Romancero – collective body of Spanish folk ballads (romances). They resemble epic poetry in their heroic, aristocratic tone, their themes of battle and honour, and their pretense to historicity; but they are compressed dramatic narratives sung to a tune. Lucrezia’s family was Spanish, hence the introduction of Spanish aristocractic poetry at the Ferrarese court was her personal contribution and adornment. See Bertoni 117.
- luogo di contratto – I. place of contract. Venice drew all the commerce of the mainland it controlled to itself, by compelling the population “to buy and sell in Venice alone” (Burckhardt 37).
“All down her history the fundamental commercial idea of the state was the establishment of herself as the great receiver and distributor. That she was a producer as well — a manufacturer to some extent—is true; but she looked upon her produce chiefly as a subsidiary means for adding to the volume of goods she could supply to foreigners. Her foreign trade absorbed most of her attention. She never lost sight of her position as the mart of Europe, the place of contract, il luogo di contratto” (Brown 340).
- last man who buys – the whole wealth of a trade empire, Pound concludes on the ground of his readings, rests on the consumer, as he pays all the expenses incurred in the manufacture, transport and sale of a product.
“About 1730 Pier Giovanni Capello, patrician, senator, and one-time member of the board of trade, compiled an economic treatise in two parts: one deals with commercial principles as gathered from universal practice, the other sets forth the principles which governed the conduct of the Venetian Republic in particular. Coming late in the history of the state, Capello, in his treatise, lays down the doctrines upon which he bases the remedies he would apply to the ills from which commercial Venice was suffering. He is, for example, firmly convinced that the consumer pays the whole of the difference between initial costprice and final selling-price, or profit, as we say; the consumer being, in the case of Venice, the great foreign markets. “Whence,” he asks, “come these profits? Most assuredly, and beyond all doubt, they come out of the pockets of the last purchasers” (Brown 337).
- 9 per cent in – The Venetian import and export tariffs were 9%.
“The export duty was a nine per cent, ad valorem duty; the increase or decrease of the burden was effected by a revision of the tariff, not by an alteration of the duty. Capello lays it down as a maxim of Venetian fiscal policy that duties should never fluctuate, but that the tariff should from time to time declare the taxable value of goods subject to the duty. The intention was to prevent the foreign purchaser from reaping any benefit from the reduction of the burden. He was told that there was an unalterable export duty of nine per cent, on the value of the goods, but he was not shown the tariff which regulated that value. Rightly did Capello declare that ‘the tariff is a very subtle and secret affair, which binds together public economy and the movements of commerce for the good of the nation.’ ‘Never,’ he goes on, ‘could such a work issue worthily from the hands of mere clerks or of merchants whose sole eye is to their own private gain. The tariff should be drawn up by the government to meet the general needs of trade, viewed in its widest relations to the state. The merchant’s part is to state the natural price, to indicate the places of manufacture and of sale; the regulation of the tariff belongs to government.’ The import duty was also regulated by tariff” (Brown 350).
The Dominant – Venice.
De Gama (Vasco) – Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), Portuguese explorer who established the sea-route to India in 1497-9 by sailing around Africa. Da Gama’s expedition radically undermined the commercial advantage of Venice, which was concentrating the trade between Europe and Asia in a combination of sea and land routes (across the Mediterrannean to ports in the Levant and from there on land to India).
“As to the course of events, it was events such as the Fourth Crusade that built up Venetian commerce in the Mediterranean ; it was events such as the advent of the Turk [conquest of Constantinople, 1453] and the discovery of the Cape route [Vasco da Gama’s route around the Cape of Good Hope, 1497-99] that pulled that structure down” (Brown 339).
“This is what Priuli wrote in his Diary on receipt of the news that the Cape route was discovered :
‘All Venice was alarmed and amazed, and the wiser heads took it for the worst news that could have reached us. For every one knows that Venice has reached her commanding prestige and wealth solely by her mercantile marine, which brought in every year great store of spices, so that foreign merchants flocked to buy; and their presence and their business left us a large profit. But now by this new route the spices from the East will be carried to Lisbon, where Hungarians, Germans, Flemish, and French will go to purchase them, as they will be cheaper there than here. For the spices which reach Venice have to pass through Syria and the territories of the soldan, and everywhere they have to pay such exorbitant duties that by the time they reach Venice what cost a ducat to purchase will have to be sold for eighty or a hundred ducats. The sea route, on the other hand, is free from these burdens, and the Portuguese can sell at a lower rate. While the better heads see this, others refuse to believe the news, while others again declare that the King of Portugal cannot keep up this trade to Calicut, for out of thirteen carvels which he sent out, only six have come back safe, and so the loss will exceed the gain, nor can he easily find men to risk their lives in so long and perilous a voyage; again, it is urged that the soldan, when he realizes the danger to his revenue, will take steps—and so on, and so on; seeking, as usual, to find out reasons to support their hopes and refusing  to hear and believe what is reported to their own hurt’” (Brown 353-4).
- Omnes de partibus ultramarinis – L. “all from overseas regions.”
“The feeder of this emporium, this reservoir of capital in goods, was twofold, home and foreign. The home feeder gave natural produce, chiefly salt and salted fish, as well as some manufactures, with which we shall have to deal when we come to the question of protection. The foreign feeder, by far the more copious, gave ‘omnes de partibus ultramarinis divitias,’ the richness and variety of which belong to common knowledge. The valves which regulated the inflow and outflow of this reservoir were a double taxation on imports and exports. By means of this instrument the supply of goods could be regulated and over-stocking or depletion rectified by raising the import and lowering the export dues in the one case; by reversing the process in the other” (Brown 340).
- needing salt – Venice achieved a virtual monopoly on the salt commerce on the Italian mainland. Pound adds the detail, as it happens to corroborate with the Malatesta story. Domenico Malatesta of Cesena, finding himself in his brother Sigismondo’s losing war with the Pope, received military aid by secretly selling Cervia to Venice in April 1463. Cervia was an important source of salt and had been an important part of his income: its loss meant that total defeat could not be far away. Pound touches on this secret treaty in cantos XI: ll.55-56 and XXVI: ll.18-39. See OCCEP XI:nn.19-20; and XXVI: nn. 9-22.
“As regards natural products, Venice was poorly off. But she possessed one of prime importance—namely, salt, which in the course of her early history gave her a decided hold over her neighbours on the mainland, and, in a certain way and on the smaller scale of those earlier days, may almost be compared with England’s virtual monopoly of coal. Salt was a necessity of life to her neighbours. Cassiodorus observed, when discussing the Lagoons, that men may live without gold or silver, but not without salt. Venice was alive to her advantage, and went to war to preserve her monopoly. The mainlanders were forced to come into Venice for their salt; they brought their native produce with them, and took away some of the goods that Venice was accumulating by sea, thus materially adding to the wealth of the city” (Brown 339).
- who commands sea – “For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself” (Sir Walter Raleigh, quoted in Brown 342).
- Victoria – Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain 1837-1900. Pound compares the lessons he learned about the relationship between Venice and its cities on the Italian mainland with the situation of 19th century Britain, whose wealth was similarly relying on colonial trade. It is a correlation also maintained by the author of his source, the Scottish historian Horatio Brown.
According to Noel Stock, who had it from private conversation with Pound, the tag about Queen Victoria was the caption to a caricature of John Bull and a handkerchief which Pound saw in A.R. Orage’s office of the magazine The New Age. He mentioned the drawing in canto 46 and repeated the tag about Victoria in canto 97 (Stock 51).
- undersell, overbuy –
“The Venetians were masters of the situation, and their preferential treatment in the mainland markets of Northern Italy enabled them to pursue the policy Capello ascribes to them of outbidding at purchase and underselling at sale, a policy which proves that they were conscious of their power as an emporium, and were determined to retain it by securing a monopoly. At purchase they outbid competitors and left them with no stock wherewith to trade. At sale they undersold competitors and so kept the market” (Brown 341).
- A.d. 1423 – The year of Doge Tomasso Mocenigo’s death, considered to be the time of Venice’s highest development. On his deathbed, Mocenigo warned his peers not to elect Francesco Foscari as his successor, as Foscari would lead needless wars which he would lose and thus considerably weaken Venice. Mocenigo’s successors, however, did not heed his warning and his prediction came true (Stahl 284).
- no export of sand, alkali, rags – materials needed in Venice’s manufactures, glass and paper.
“As to Venetian industries, there is a tendency among historians to minimise their importance, but, though traffic in foreign goods was undoubtedly the most important branch of her commercial activity, industries furnished no small part of the national wealth, and were carefully protected by the government. The main branches were glass, cloth, silk, leather, paper, soap, and their derivatives. Trade secrets were guarded by severe punishments. The exportation of raw material was forbidden—sand and alkali, for instance, in the interests of the glass trade, rags in the interest of the paper-makers” (Brown 344).
- Wasir – Turkish high official, the equivalent of a minister.
“On the other hand, the government was well aware of the importance of maintaining the high quality of Venetian goods which it was endeavouring to force upon the markets of the world, “che riescano le manifatture di Venezia della più esquisita perfezione; anzi per esse leggi è prescritto il metodo a ciaschedun’ arte di ben lavorare acciochè le manifatture loro siano grate a’ compratori.” Rules for the proper manufacture of goods were formulated and government officers saw that they were carried out, and in case of failure the defective goods were destroyed. Two instances may serve by way of illustration. Early in the seventeenth  century the lieutenant grand vizir at Constantinople complained to the Venetian ambassador that the quality of Venetian woollens and silks had fallen off, “the only good thing about them,” he declared, “is their name”; if this went on the vizir threatened to prevent Venetians from discharging such goods in Constantinople. The ambassador replied that the state regulations were excellent; every diligence was used to ensure superior quality; inferior qualities were burned in public. The bad quality found in Constantinople was introduced under the name of Venetian by Jews through the port of Ragusa” (Brown 345-6).
- Ragusa – Italian name for Dubrovnik, a town in contemporary Croatia on the Dalmatian coast.
- Venetian bottoms –Venice ensured a monopoly on transport, wares had to be transported by Venetian ships.
“The double achievement roused Venice to a consciousness of her prospects in the carrying trade, and that consciousness expressed itself in the Statuti Nautici (1229-55), a code drawn up to govern the merchant service. The ruling idea was very much the same as that which inspired our own Navigation Act of 1651, the attempt to secure for Venetian bottoms the carrying trade of the world. Elaborate provisions were made to exclude the foreigner. No Venetian merchant might trade in foreign bottoms; no insurance could be effected on goods in foreign bottoms; no Venetian might sell his ships to a foreigner. The object was to secure, if possible, that the trader and the carrier should be one and the same person, the Venetian merchant, or, if separate persons, that both should at least be Venetians” (Brown 347).
- Mocenigo – Tomasso Mocenigo (1343–1423) commanded a crusading fleet that sacked Nicopolis (now Nikopol, Bulg.) in 1396. Elected doge in 1414, he extended Venetian dominion over the Trentino, Friuli, and Dalmatia. Yet his statesmanship was essentially pacific, and he is best remembered for a deathbed address in which he described with many details the flourishing commercial state of Venice and admonished against military adventures. See also n. 47.
- load line – a load-line, also called Plimsoll line, is “a marking on a ship’s side showing the limit of legal submersion when loaded with cargo under various sea conditions.” Google dictionary.
“No ships might be built outside Venice ; this to ensure uniformity of build and identical behaviour under stress of weather, so as to enable a Venetian merchant fleet to keep company more easily. A load line was established; large deck cargoes, as hindering the efficient handling of ships in storm or in action, besides endangering their stability, were strictly prohibited” (Brown 348).
- Tola – I. from “tavola,” (table) – duties on the import and export of goods.
“We must now consider the way in which the state secured its revenue from this wealth—that is to say, how it taxed trade and how it regulated its taxation.
Apart from the monopoly of salt, the government raised its revenue by taxation: the property tax (decime), stamp taxes on purchase and sale (messetaria), guild taxes (tansa), and so on. But the revenue which flowed directly from commerce was raised by the two great duties on imports and exports. Each of these customs had its own custom-house: the imports were taxed at the Tola (tabula, tavola) da mar, eventually known as the Tola, or dogana dell’ intrada; the exports at the Tola de' Lombardi, a name which clearly indicates the earliest line of exportation, eventually known as the Tola d’ insida (= uscita). But all goods which would now come under the head of excise, octroi or dazio consumo (dazio di grassa), such as grain, wine, oil, meat, vegetables, wood, stone, hemp, etc., had a separate custom-house; the duty on such goods being both light and fluctuating, it was considered undesirable to include them in the protection tariff, which was high and as permanent as the government could keep it” (Brown 349).
- octroi – I. “Excise duties” – taxes for the circulation and sale of goods produced and used within a country. (Brown 349, see n.54).
- decime – I. “Property tax.” (Brown 349, see n.54).