Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Universal Workplace

5 December 1585
Tommaso Garzoni

On 5 December 1585, La Piazza Universale di tutte le Professione del Mondo (the Universal Workplace of all the Professions in the World) by Tomaso Garzoni was published. In this classification of 540 professions and trades, the Augustinian Garzoni (1549-1589) presents the image of a perfectly organized society.

In a special issue of IRSH on Attitudes to Work (2011), Luca Mocarelli compares La Piazza to Leonardo Fioravanti's Dello Specchio di Scientia Universale [On the Mirror of Universal Knowledge] (1564). Both books presented and considered commercial activities such as the manufacture and trading of silk and wool and other more humble occupations.

Garzoni and Fioravanti personified two very different spirits of the Renaissance. The former was a learned man, anxious to construct a literary monument, while the latter was a great observer, intent on making full use of every kind of knowledge, even that which seemed lowly and contemptible.