Apprenticeship and Wage Labor in Castelló d'Empúries 1260-1300

Elizabeth Comuzzi , '11


This paper examines complex labor patterns within craft guilds in the thirteenth-century Catalonian town of Castelló d’Empúries through analysis of the town’s notary records. It looks closely at the economic relationships between apprentices and master craftsmen, as well as laborers and artisans. Comparing different types of labor contracts illuminates a series of relationships (journeyman and apprentice, trained and untrained craftsmen, child and adult, specialized and unspecialized) that shaped Castelló’s labor system. Through these, the role of apprenticeship in both the communal and the larger medieval economic network becomes patently fluid, especially in regards to the ways in which apprentices are treated, and placed, in the labor hierarchy.