I myself have only assigned this collection to students in my Italian Renaissance History classes along with Brucker's , as a kind of counter. When overwhelmed by masses of demographic data (even with the very occasional real-person narrative included), the process of feminine (and masculine) resistance to engulfing patriarchal strictures tends to be flattened and bottom-lined, losing the actual complexity of engagement. For example, see Gabriella Zarri's "Gender, Religious Institutions and Social discipline: The Reform of the Regulars" in Brown and Davis, eds.
Even given Joan Scott's recent caution about a focus on individual incidents precluding the examination of societal structures, I believe that these specific individuals' experiences provide valuable information. These experiences are important to learn, to teach, and to remember, because statistics can often make people merely deflated or angry, whereas a single individual's action can inspire. Gene Brucker, , (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986). , (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1995), where she examines three seventeenth-century women's lives for the rich details of their specific situations. This work may be copied for non-profit educational use if proper credit is given to the author and the list.
Here, he strikes down an historical given, namely that female agency was universally reigned in, in the stricter atmosphere of Post-Tridentine Italy.
Again, from a study of last wills and testaments, the author finds instead that the women of Siena at least, had transformed their own patterns of pious giving.
Instead, this demographic data predictably charts the radical diminution of women's rights over time. 20, "these records chronicle the deterioration of women's status and power....", which he ties ultimately to the "...development of the Renaissance state during the fifteenth century." (p.
Implementing Nicu Critical Thinking Programs - Casualty Essay Six Woman
The unsurprising conclusion of all but one of these essays is that women in and around the northern Italian communes between the late 1300s and the mid 1500s, lost considerable voice in the public records. 21) What is lacking here then, is a fundamentally new conclusion; what Cohn plummets the reader into that new, are masses of bleak statistics of legal constriction.For example, in the last essay, his survey of suburban villages uncovers widely-disparate taxation rates for these villages, rates under which the inhabitants struggled. This discovery, the author states, throws into question the parameters of the traditional debate not only about communal tax policy, but also about the nature of the relationship between city and country itself. This book should inspire a new generation of feminist scholars to design studies which would engage the sobering findings reported here. This broad-scale study of hundreds of testaments to convents, aims to understand an early example of a shift in bequests, which after 1363, began to focus on earthly remembrance, and began dumping the influence of mendicant piety.Those who really suffer here are the small religious houses and independent religious women, for whom the records fall silent.Here, Cohn has compared late-Trecento and early-Quattrocento last wills and testaments from Florence with wills from five other towns: Arezzo, Perugia, Siena, Assisi, and Pisa.His findings show that in Florence, and to a lesser degree, Arezzo and Perugia, women fared badly in terms of the disposition of property, which was firmly under the control of the patriarchal lineages into which they had married.Here, the author divides the territory into politically "hot" and "cold" zones, giving evidence that sexual deviance from social mores was more aggressively policed in "hot" areas, and given more leeway in the "cold".And finally, the last essay, entitled "Prosperity in the Countryside: The Price Women Paid," ends this collection by living up to what author Cohn promised at the outset: that is, to document "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..." (p.1) The author stays in the Florentine contado to explore the tax records from nineteen villages over roughly a 100-year time span (from 1365 to 1460), which show at what cost "prosperity" was bought.But one could also point to Brucker's Lusanna in 1455 as an instance where, even well into the Quattrocento, there were woman like Filippa who did still actively challenge "the system," when seriously provoked. Specific instances aside however, Cohn's findings overwhelmingly suggest a general trend of enveloping patriarchy, which eventually silenced the feminine voice in Florentine tribunals.The second essay, titled simply "Last Wills," comes to a similar conclusion.