Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy

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University of Chicago Press, Jun 15, 1987 - History - 338 pages
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Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, a brilliant historian of the Annales school, skillfully uncovers the lives of ordinary Italians of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Tuscans in particular, young and old, rich, middle-class, and poor. From the extraordinarily detailed records kept by Florentine tax collectors and the equally precise ricordanze (household accounts with notations of events great and small), Klapisch-Zuber draws a living picture of the Tuscan household. We learn, for example, how children were named, how wet nurses were engaged, how marriages were negotiated and celebrated. A wealth of other sources are tapped—including city statutes, private letters, philosophical works on marriage, paintings—to determine the social status of women. Klapisch-Zuber reveals how women, in their roles as daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers, were largely subject to a family system that needed them but valued them little.

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Fascinating, precise, and insightful study of women in the households of late medieval and early modern Florence. Quality scholarship that continues to offer fresh insights decades later.

Selected pages


State and Family in a Renaissance Society The Florentine Catasto of 142730
Demographic Decline and Household Structure The Example of Prato Late Fourteenth to Late Fifteenth Centuries
A uno pane e uno vino The Rural Tuscan Family at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century
Kin Friends and Neighbors The Urban Territory of a Merchant Family in 1400
Childhood in Tuscany at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century
The Cruel Mother Maternity Widowhood and Dowry in Florence in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Blood Parents and Milk Parents Wet Nursing in Florence 13001530
Female Celibacy and Service in Florence in the Fifteenth Century
Zacharias or the Ousted Father Nuptial Rites in Tuscany between Giotto and the Council of Trent
The Griselda Complex Dowry and Marriage Gifts in the Quattrocento
An Ethnology of Marriage in the Age of Humanism
The Mattinata in Medieval Italy
The Name Remade The Transmission of Given Names in Florence in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Holy Dolls Play and Piety in Florence in the Quattrocento

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