Edition: 2022
Pages: 308
Series: EL
ISBN: 9788858119952

Sibyl’s Tears. The history of the men who invented banks

Amedeo Feniello


Other Press (English worldwide); Shaanxi People's Publishing (Chinese Simpl.)



Popes, kings, bankers, noblemen, knights, priests, cardinals, but also ordinary men and women: the story of those who in one hundred incredible years discovered how to generate wealth through wealth.

Starting in 1240 (in a period of history spanning one hundred years), there was a violent upheaval involving the first money changers and lenders in Northern Italy, which later spread to the highly articulated system of Florentine banks and the nascent apparatuses of the national states. The upheaval would prove rapid, tumultuous, and complex, transforming profit into a new and beguiling notion, the mirage of a new world founded on an axiom – not just the predictable one of the attainment of wealth but the creation of something going beyond riches, rendering our very possessions dynamic. All of a sudden, money became a life force.
In this vivacious and meticulously documented account, Amedeo Feniello describes the exemplary tales of those who were among the first to savour the euphoria of financial risk (but also the depression of debt and bankruptcy.)

The author

Amedeo Feniello

Amedeo Feniello works for Isem-CNR in Cagliari and teaches Medieval History at the University of L’Aquila. For Laterza he contributed to Storia mondiale dell’Italia (ed. Andrea Giardina, 2017) and is the author of works including Sotto il segno del leone. Storia dell’Italia musulmana(2011), Dalle lacrime di Sybille. Storia degli uomini che inventarono la banca (2013), Storia del mondo. Dall’anno 1000 ai giorni nostri (with F. Canale Cama and L. Mascilli Migliorini, 2019) and I nemici degli italiani (2020).

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