Women in the streets: essays on sex and power in Renaissance Italy
"These seven essays on women, sex, violence, and piety in Renaissance Italy," writes historian Samuel Cohn Jr., "bespeak the darker side of the Renaissance and, in particular, the decline in Italian women's status from the late fourteenth century until the Counter Reformation visitations of the 1570s. In this sense, these essays run directly counter to Jacob Burckhardt's claim for Renaissance Italy, 'that women stood on a footing of perfect equality with men." Challenging conventional views of the history of women in the Italian Renaissance, Cohn examines the lives primarily of non-elite women and looks at their experiences in various city-states and regions, thus offering a different perspective from the history of aristocratic and well-to-do women in the large city-states. Drawing on a wide range of archival documentation, Cohn also relies on large sets of quantitative material to reveal a multifaceted view of women's social worlds not seen from the letters of patrician ladies or the prescriptive judgments of Renaissance moralists. Within the larger historical contexts of the Black Death, the growth of territorial states, and the Counter Reformation, Women in the Streets charts changes in law, the structure and accessibility of the criminal courts, and the customs and mentalities that shaped women's lot, from infanticide to the control of sexual mores. Ultimately, Cohn argues, women are the protagonists of this book, whether the issue is their support of other women or the resolution of conflict in the streets of Florence, the control of their own dowries or the salvation of their own souls.
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Women in the Streets
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Arezzo artisans bequests to nuns Black Death Castel Fiorentino catasto catasto of 1427 changes chap Chojnacki Ciompi city-states Cohn contado Counter Reformation criminal daughters decline dowry funds early Renaissance elite essays female fifteenth century Florence Florence's Florentine Florentine territory florins Fucecchio Giovanni girls Giudice Herlihy and Klapisch-Zuber historians household husbands Ibid increased infant infanticide involving women late medieval legacies lineage lire male line marriage married mid-Quattrocento Molho Moreover mountains Mugello notary parish patrician patterns peasants percent period Perugia piety pious bequests Pisa Pistoia plague podesta political population prosecutions Quattrocento rape Ratio M/F wgt Raw figures records Renaissance Renaissance Florence Richard Trexler rural samples sex crimes sex ratios sexual Siena sixteenth social statistics statutes story teenth testaments testators tion Trecento Trexler Tuscany ufficiali di notte universal heirs urban vicariate courts village wealth X testators Wgt by testators Wgt by wealth widows wives woman Zarri