The social historian, searching for the basis of a culture, often turns to a study of ordinary people. Perhaps one of the most revealing places to find them is in a court of law. In this presentatoin of nine criminal trials of sixteenth-century Rome (1540-75), where magistrates kept verbatim records, Thomas and Elizabeth Cohen paint a lively portrait of a society, one that is reminiscent of Boccaccio. These stories, however, are true. Each trial transcript is followed by an essay that interprets the beliefs, codes, everyday speech, and personal transactions of a world that is radically different from our own. The people on trial include assassins, a spell-caster, an exorcist, an adulterous wife, several courtesans, and the peasant cast of a bawdy, sacrilegious play. Out of their often pognant troubles, and their machinations, comes a vivid revelation of not only the tumultuous street life of Rome but also rituals of honour, the power and weakness of women, and the realities of social and economic hierarchies. Like cinema-verite, Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome gives us an intimate glimpse of a people and their world.
From the middle of the fifteenth century a distinctively Roman Renaissance occurred. A shared outlook, a persistent set of intellectual concerns, similar cultural assumptions and a commitment to common ideological aims bound Roman humanists and artists to a uniquely Roman world, different from Florence, Venice, and other Italian and European centers.This book provides the first comprehensive portrait of the Roman Renaissance world. Charles Stinger probes the basic attitudes, the underlying values and the core convictions that Rome's intellectuals and artists experienced, lived for, and believed in from Pope Eugenius IV's reign to the Eternal City in 1443 to the sacking of 1527. He demonstrates that the Roman Renaissance was not the creation of one towering intellectual leader, or of a single identifiable group; rather, it embodied the aspirations of dozens of figures, active over an eighty-year period.Stinger illuminates the general aims and character of the Roman Renaissance. Remaining mindful of the economic, social, and political context--Rome's retarded economic growth, the papacy's increasing entanglement in Italian politics, papal preoccupation with the crusade against the Ottomans, and the effects of papal fiscal and administrative practices--Stinger nevertheless maintains that these developments recede in importance before the cultural history of the period. Only in the context of the ideological and cultural commitments of Roman humanists, artists, and architects can one fully understand the motivation for papal policies. Reality for Renaissance Romans was intricately bound up with the notion of Rome's mythic destiny.The Renaissance in Rome is cultural history at its best. It evokes the moods, myths, images, and symbols of the Eternal City, as they are manifested in the Liturgy, ceremony, festivals, oratory, art, and architecture of Renaissance Rome. Throughout, Stinger focuses on a persistent constellation of fundamental themes: the image of the city of Rome, the restoration of the Roman Church, the renewal of the Roman Empire, and the fullness of time. He describes and analyzes the content, meaning, origin, and implications of these central ideas of Roman Renaissance.This book will prove interesting to both Renaissance and Reformation scholars, as well as to general readers, who may have visited (or plan to visit) Rome and have become fascinated and affected by this extraordinary city. "There is no other book like it in any language," says Renaissance historian John O'Malley. "It presents a coherent view of Roman culture....collects and presents a vast amount of information never before housed under one roof. Anyone who teaches the Italian Renaissance," O'Malley stresses, "will have to know this book."
Gratuitous sex. Graphic violence. Lies, revenge, and murder. Before there was digital cable or reality television, there was Renaissance Italy and the courts in which Italian magistrates meted out justice to the vicious and the villainous, the scabrous and the scandalous. Love and Death in Renaissance Italy retells six piquant episodes from the Italian court just after 1550, as the Renaissance gave way to an era of Catholic reformation. Each of the chapters in this history chronicles a domestic drama around which the lives of ordinary Romans are suddenly and violently altered. You might read the gruesome murder that opens the book—when an Italian noble takes revenge on his wife and her bastard lover as he catches them in delicto flagrante—as straight from the pages of Boccaccio. But this tale, like the other stories Cohen recalls here, is true, and its recounting in this scintillating work is based on assiduous research in court proceedings kept in the state archives in Rome. Love and Death in Renaissance Italy contains stories of a forbidden love for an orphan nun, of brothers who cruelly exact a will from their dying teenage sister, and of a malicious papal prosecutor who not only rapes a band of sisters, but turns their shambling father into a pimp! Cohen retells each cruel episode with a blend of sly wit and warm sympathy and then wraps his tales in ruminations on their lessons, both for the history of their own time and for historians writing today. What results is a book at once poignant and painfully human as well as deliciously entertaining.
How these contradictions were accommodated is a crucial part of the story Weinstein tells.
Volume 22, Diversity, is a special volume in the new series of Medievalia et Humanistica, focusing on the diversity of voices in medieval and early Renaissance literature. Six original articles explore themes of law, art, and piety at all levels of medieval and early Renaissance society, from the common audience of Malory's England to the aristocratic courts of Germany. . In addition to these six original articles, this volume offers two review articles and 28 review notices on 49 recent publications. Scholars, teachers, and students will find this volume presents a sampling of the variety and abundance of medieval and early Renaissance studies today.
In this book, William Caferro asks if the Renaissance was really a period of progress, reason, the emergence of the individual, and the beginning of modernity. An influential investigation into the nature of the European Renaissance Summarizes scholarly debates about the nature of the Renaissance Engages with specific controversies concerning gender identity, economics, the emergence of the modern state, and reason and faith Takes a balanced approach to the many different problems and perspectives that characterize Renaissance studies
Secrets played a central role in transformations in medical and scientific knowledge in early modern Europe. As a new fascination with novelty began to take hold from the late fifteenth century, Europeans thirsted for previously unknown details about the natural world: new plants, animals, and other objects from nature, new recipes for medical and alchemical procedures, new knowledge about the human body, and new facts about the way nature worked. These 'secrets' became popular items of commerce and trade, as the quest for new and exclusive bits of information met the vibrant early modern marketplace. Whether disclosed widely in print or kept more circumspect in manuscripts, secrets helped drive an expanding interest in acquiring knowledge throughout early modern Europe. Bringing together international scholars, this volume provides a pan-European and interdisciplinary overview on the topic. Each essay offers significant new interpretations of the role played by secrets in their area of specialization. Chapters address key themes in early modern history and the history of medicine, science and technology including: the possession, circulation and exchange of secret knowledge across Europe; alchemical secrets and laboratory processes; patronage and the upper-class market for secrets; medical secrets and the emerging market for proprietary medicines; secrets and cosmetics; secrets and the body and finally gender and secrets.
Dale Shuger presents, from the records of the Spanish Inquisition, a social corpus of early modern madness that differs radically from the 'literary' madness hitherto studied by Cervantes critics.
Mount Vesuvius has been famous ever since its eruption in 79 CE, when it destroyed and buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. But less well-known is the role it played in the science and culture of early modern Italy, as Sean Cocco reveals in this ambitious and wide-ranging study. Humanists began to make pilgrimages to Vesuvius during the early Renaissance to experience its beauty and study its history, but a new tradition of observation emerged in 1631 with the first great eruption of the modern period. Seeking to understand the volcano’s place in the larger system of nature, Neapolitans flocked to Vesuvius to examine volcanic phenomena and to collect floral and mineral specimens from the mountainside. In Watching Vesuvius, Cocco argues that this investigation and engagement with Vesuvius was paramount to the development of modern volcanology. He then situates the native experience of Vesuvius in a larger intellectual, cultural, and political context and explains how later eighteenth-century representations of Naples—of its climate and character—grew out of this tradition of natural history. Painting a rich and detailed portrait of Vesuvius and those living in its shadow, Cocco returns the historic volcano to its place in a broader European culture of science, travel, and appreciation of the natural world.
Discover what life was like for ordinary people in Renaissance Italy through this unique resource that paints a full portrait of everday living.
How and why did a medieval female saint from the Eastern Mediterranean come to be such a powerful symbol in early modern Rome? This study provides an overview of the development of the cult of Catherine of Alexandria in Renaissance Rome, and explores how her imagery was used to support the religious, political, and/or social agendas of individual patrons and religious orders.
Discusses the legal, social, and religious position of women in the Greco-Roman world and during the Middle Ages
Renaissance plays and poetry in England were saturated with the formal rhetorical twists that Latin education made familiar to audiences and readers. Yet a formally educated man like Ben Jonson was unable to make these ornaments come to life in his two classical Roman plays. Garry Wills, focusing his attention on Julius Caesar, here demonstrates how Shakespeare so wonderfully made these ancient devices vivid, giving his characters their own personal styles of Roman speech. In four chapters, devoted to four of the play's main characters, Wills shows how Caesar, Brutus, Antony, and Cassius each has his own take on the rhetorical ornaments that Elizabethans learned in school. Shakespeare also makes Rome present and animate by casting his troupe of experienced players to make their strengths shine through the historical facts that Plutarch supplied him with. The result is that the Rome English-speaking people carry about in their minds is the Rome that Shakespeare created for them. And that is even true, Wills affirms, for today's classical scholars with access to the original Roman sources.
In fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, many leading citizens constructed and furnished distinctive studies for themselves. The study was an individually designed room for private and social use - as an office, library, a family archive or treasury, as the nucleus of an art collection, or as a space for contemplation. This book is an account of the Renaissance Italian study and its contents. Illustrated with depictions of studies and the precious and unusual objects they contained, the book examines the significance of the study to its owner and visitors, its structure and location, and the prized possessions that might fill such a special room.
An insider's view of court life during the Renaissance, here is the handiwork of a 16th-century diplomat who was called upon to resolve the differences in a war of etiquette among the Italian nobility.
These essays bring attention to the designs that the English Renaissance playwrights imposed on their work. Among the patterns explored are those inspired by the literature, drama, or poetics of classical times and visual patterns derived from traditions of stage presentation.
Ovid's Metamorphoses gains its ideal twenty-first-century herald in Stanley Lombardo's bracing translation of a wellspring of Western art and literature that is too often treated, even by poets, as a mere vehicle for the scores of myths it recasts and transmits rather than as a unified work of art with epic-scale ambitions of its own. Such misconceptions are unlikely to survive a reading of Lombardo's rendering, which vividly mirrors the brutality, sadness, comedy, irony, tenderness, and eeriness of Ovid's vast world as well as the poem's effortless pacing. Under Lombardo's spell, neither Argus nor anyone else need fear nodding off. The translation is accompanied by an exhilarating Introduction by W. R. Johnson that unweaves and reweaves many of the poem's most important themes while showing how the poet achieves some of his most brilliant effects. An analytical table of contents, a catalog of transformations, and a glossary are also included.
Burckhardt's 1860 magnum opus on the development of the Italian Renaissance, here reissued in the two-volume English translation of 1878.

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