For example, we see him borrow money to pay a gambling debt in one city, which he agrees to pay at a later time in a different currency “When I asked Calcidonio degli Alberti for 500 florins, he replied that he didn’t have any cash, but that he would give me a bill of exchange for some place. I decided not to make any more demands on my friends, but accepted a bill of exchange from Calcidonio for 500 gold florins, payable in Montpellier” (Brucker 83).
While Dati’s origins may have been drastically more humble from those of Pitti’s, the businessman was able to acquire wealth and gain political influence in Florence. Florence was a kind of republic, though not a democracy. While other city states were ruled by one person or family, magnate families were forbidden to hold office. As the 14th century ended, the rich guild-system of government grew increasingly suppressive. It was the merchants in the wool industry, known as journeymen, who revolted in the late 1300s and toppled the existing oligarchy. A new government was established that recognized the guilds and included them in the city council. Yet, by 1381, the ruling families regained power and the Medicis would virtually control Florentine politics for more than 100 years. In Dati’s autobiographical account of the era, we see insights into the manner and mode of the politics of the day, one that was heavily dependent on the military. Military pride was g