Formula “Que il Sache le Mestier, et il a de Quoi»: How to Become a Craftsman in Paris in the 13th Сentury
Table of contents
Formula “Que il Sache le Mestier, et il a de Quoi»: How to Become a Craftsman in Paris in the 13th Сentury
Publication type
Ekaterina Kirillova 
Affiliation: Institute of World History
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The article considers the key to determine the medieval master formula that required a craftsman to know his craft and to have the means, necessary for his independent work (que il sache le mestier, et il a de quoi). The different components of the formula, the variants of its records in the Parisian regulations of the thirteenth century (“Book of crafts” of Etienne Boileau) and the nuances of meaning were analyzed. The most stable part of formula – the expression «to have the means» (se il ont de quoi). Few options (single or plural, feminine or masculine) correspond to the nature of craft and the construction of the phrase and reflect rather the individual characteristics of the writer, than the substantive points. The other part of the formula – “to know the craft” – gives a greater variety of expressions. The verb «to do» (faire) is of particular importance here, it enhances the practical component (but not adds it because it is unconditional): it is emphasized that the master has not only the necessary knowledge, but also knows how to use them. This verb caused the need to clarify how the future master has to own his craft, and to expand and complicate the formula, adding new expressions (“de touz poinz”, “bien et loialment”, etc.). The formula “to know the craft and to have the means” is found in 41 regulations: taking into account the various forms and spellings of words – 37 variants of the formula; taking into account only the number (singular or plural) and the different word order – 28 variants. This traditional for the Parisian regulations formula was alive, not a «frozen» expression; it expressed a common position of professional communities – to allow the corporation only worthy people. Then it almost ceased to apply, and was replaced with the more specific requirements: what meant “sufficient” for knowledge and skills required to obtain the title of master and what were the criteria of means for a craftsman.
“Book of crafts” of Paris, formulas, “que il sache le mestier, et il a de quoi” – ”to know the craft and to have the means”
Publication date
Number of characters
Number of purchasers
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
Cite Download pdf 200 RUB / 1.0 SU

To download PDF you should sign in

Full text is available to subscribers only
Subscribe right now
Only article and additional services
Whole issue and additional services
All issues and additional services for 2017


Additional sources and materials

  1. Registry remesel i torgovli goroda Parizha / per. L. I. Kiselevoj, pod red. A. D. Lyublinskoj // Srednie veka. M., 1957. Vyp. IX. S. 309–362. M., 1958. Vyp. Kh. S. 171–221.
  2. Kirillova E. N. «Kniga remesel» Eht'ena Bualo: autentichnyj tekst ili logika izdatelej // Srednie veka. M., 2006. Vyp. 67. S. 28–55.
  3. Kirillova E. N. Pokupka remesla v Parizhe XIII v. // EhNOZh «Istoriya». 2017 (v pechati).
  4. Bourlet C. Le Livre des métiers dit d’Étienne Boilleau et la lente mise en place d’une législation écrit à Paris (fin XIIIe – début XIVe siècle) // Médiévales 69. Automne 2015. Travailler à Paris (XIIIe – XVIe siècle). P. 19–48.
  5. La Mare N., de. Traité de la police, où l’on trouvera l’histoire de son etablissement, les fonctions et les prerogatives de ses magistrats, toutes les loix et tous les reglemens qui la consernent. T. II. P., 1709.
  6. Le Livre des métiers / publ. par R. de Lespinasse et Fr. Bonnardot. P., 1879. Réimp. Genève, 1980.
  7. Lespinasse R., de. Introduction historique au Livre des métiers // Livre des métiers. P. I–CLIV.
  8. Règlements sur les arts et métiers de Paris, rédigés au XIIIesiècle et connus sous le nom du Livre des métiers d’Etien Boileau / pub. par G.-B. Depping. P., 1837.



No posts found

Write a review