Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence

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William J. Connell
University of California Press, 2002 - History - 453 pages
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Renaissance Florence has often been described as the birthplace of modern individualism, as reflected in the individual genius of its great artists, scholars, and statesmen. The historical research of recent decades has instead shown that Florentines during the Renaissance remained enmeshed in relationships of family, neighborhood, guild, patronage, and religion that, from a twenty-first-century perspective, greatly limited the scope of individual thought and action. The sixteen essays in this volume expand the groundbreaking work of Gene Brucker, the historian in recent decades who has been most responsible for the discovery and exploration of these pre-modern qualities of the Florentine Renaissance.

Exploring new approaches to the social world of Florentines during this fascinating era, the essays are arranged in three groups. The first deals with the exceptionally resilient and homogenous Florentine merchant elite, the true protagonist of much of Florentine history. The second considers Florentine religion and Florence's turbulent relations with the Church. The last group of essays looks at criminals, expatriates, and other outsiders to Florentine society.
  

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Contents

Be Rather Loved Than Feared
13
Giannozzo and His Elders
51
in Renaissance Florence
79
Michele del Giogantes House of Memory
110
Inheritance and Identity
137
Perceived Insults and Their Consequences
155
in Florentine Memory and Oblivion
173
Naming a Nun
215
Raging against Priests in Italian Renaissance Verse
261
Liturgy for Nonliturgists
278
The Florentine Criminal Underworld
293
Lay Male Identity in the Institutions
315
Insiders and Outsiders
337
The Identity of the Expatriate
384
Clement VII and the Crisis of the Sack of Rome
409
Contributors
435

The Prophet as Physician of Souls
241

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About the author (2002)

William J. Connell holds the Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair in Italian Studies at Seton Hall University and is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is coeditor of Florentine Tuscany: Structures and Practices of Power (2000), author of La cittą dei crucci: fazioni e clientele in uno stato repubblicano del '400 (2000), and coeditor of Renaissance Essays (1993).

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