Akira Nakanishi CUO UNIVERSITY
ON THE LIFE OF LUCA PACIOLI
Abstract: Many aspects of Luca Pacioli's life remain to be clarified for us. The author has, through personal research, thrown light on Paciloi's last resting place and his date of death.
Luca Pacioli is famous among accountants as the "Patriarch of Accounting". The career of this internationally known monk has been the subject of intensive research by many scholars. Yet, there are still aspects of his unique life in the golden age of the Renais-sance to be clarified. Among these are the date and place of his death and his final resting place.
Date of Death
Recently the editor of the Journal of Accountancy wrote "Pacioli, an Italian mathematician who is considered the 'Father of the Balance Sheet,' lived from about 1445 to 1520".1 But it is now widely held in his own country that he passed away in 1517. A new publication by the headquarters of the Franciscan Conventuali Order lists his name as a famous deceased member: "il matematico Luca Pacioli da Sansepolcro (1517)".2 This dating of his death is probably a result of the scientific investigations of Don Ivano Ricci, which resulted in the book, Fra Luca Pacioli - L'uomo e I Scienziato pub-lished at Sansepolcro in 1940.
In researching old documents in the archives of Sansepolcro, Don I. Ricci, the late chief librarian there, found two significant letters from the Convento di S. Francesco (Monastery of St. Francis) of that city. The first, dated April 15, 1517, was addressed to mem-bers attending the annual meeting of the Franciscan Order at Assisi and states: "We, all the friars, do justly hope to have Master Luca Pacioli elected as the Provincial Minister of Assisi, as he is so virtuous, duly aged and respected by the people of this district. .. ." The second, dated October 20, 1517 and addressed to their pro-vincial minister requests a pardon for the violence of two friars who were the nephews of Luca Pacioli, using the expression "la bona memoria di m°. Luca (in the good memory of the late Master