I offer insight into the principles by which the salaries of Italian Renaissance professors were determined. There is a longstanding
fascination with the fact that some professors during the Renaissance had extremely high salaries. It has been suggested that
at the top of the salary scale were the superstars, professors who could attract many students and raise the prestige of the
university. Through an analysis of data on the salaries of professors at Padua in 1422–1423, I argue that much of the differences
in salaries can be explained in terms of the stage of career of professors. Those professors who have taught the longest tend
to be paid the most. Hence, there is little evidence for the superstar thesis.