Shepherds

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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darkerhorse
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Shepherds

Post by darkerhorse »

I have an 1815 Rivelli record from Sicily for a direct ancestor whose occupation was usually referred to as shepherd (pastore) in civil records but he owns (inherited) land classified as arable (seminativa) not pasture (pascolo).

In Sicily, around 1800, how did a shepherd (pastore) typically get access to land for grazing his sheep?

Would he own his pasture?

Would he pay someone else for grazing rights?

Was there free land available for grazing?
darkerhorse
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Re: Shepherds

Post by darkerhorse »

aiutu, pi piaciri
continuo
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Re: Shepherds

Post by continuo »

Before the collapse of feudalism, the feudal lord held exclusive control of common areas on their fief (pastures, lands for grazing, rivers, roads, etc). There were rules, restrictions, costs and all manner of injustices regarding use. But in general, most peasants could have a reasonable expectation of access to pasture as a feudal right.

Things begin to change once the feudal system ends. Common areas are enclosed as large estates are broken up and end up in the hands of the local gentry. Peasants are supposed to be distributed a portion of the commons in compensation for loss of their feudal rights. But for a number of reasons, many peasants end up with nothing and are worse off than before.

The Rivelli you cite is around the time of the end of feudalism. If there is no reference to your ancestor owning pasture land, he would most likely have rented it. Of course, that's assuming he owned the sheep. It is worth pointing out that when someone is referred to as "pastore" in a civil record that doesn't necessarily mean that they own the sheep that they tend. Though if he did own the sheep that should be detailed in the rivelli.
darkerhorse
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Re: Shepherds

Post by darkerhorse »

Thanks for your helpful reply.

Four of his five sons (and most of his grandsons) were also called pastore. The term pecoraio is used a few times.

The fifth son (referred to as "Don") was a proprietor or land owner which he might have inherited from his father-in-law who was a large land owner and whose family members were addressed as "Don" or "Donna".

I suspect the father and his four shepherd sons didn't own their own sheep or pastures.
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