Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and Power at the End of the Renaissance / Edition 1

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Mining the rich Venetian archives, especially the unusually detailed records of Venice's own branch of the Roman Inquisition, Guido Ruggiero provides a strikingly new and provocative interpretation of the end of the Renaissance in Italy. In this boldly structured work, he develops five narrative accounts of individual encounters with the Inquisition that illustrate the double-edged metaphor of how passions were both bound by late Renaissance society and were seen in turn as binding people. In this way new perspectives are opened on magic, witchcraft, love, marriage, gender, and discipline at the level of the community and beyond. Witches, courtesans, prostitutes, women healers, nobles, Cardinals, and renegade priests and monks speak from these pages describing their lives, beliefs, hopes, fears, and lies. With an imaginative flair for storytelling and impeccable scholarship, Ruggiero exposes the rich complexity of the culture and poetics of the everyday at the end of the Renaissance and illuminates a previously unexplored chapter in Italian history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a colorful book, lively, very teachable. It exposes beliefs and customs that only occasionally surface in the records of high culture, but clearly pullulated."—Journal of Social History

"These tales introduce historians to a fascinating cast of characters, and historians of sexuality can find much of interest here."—Journal of the History of Sexuality

"Good tales abound in this book...tales of the magical binding of love and lust within and without marriage, often across boundaries of class and status."—Sixteenth Century Journal

"Ruggiero has interesting stories to tell. He draws out the implications of the stories without inflicting dreary theory on the reader. And he obviously knows his Venetian sources well."—American Historical Review

"This imaginative work on the history of marriage, magic, witchcraft, and sexuality in the Republic of Venice in the late-sixteenth century offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the 'illicit' through a series of carefully constructed 'dossiers' of the Inquisition. Guido Ruggiero has written an important and provocative book; his approach is novel; and the result is sure to engage a broad range of readers."—John Martin, Trinity University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195083200
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Carne Vale and Carnival 3
1 Love Bound: Andriana Savorgnan, Common Whore, Courtesan, and Noble Wife 24
2 "More Dear to Me Than Life Itself": Marriage, Honor, and a Woman's Reputation in the Renaissance 57
3 That Old Black Magic Called Love 88
4 The Women Priests of Latisana: Apollonia Madizza and the Ties That Bind 130
5 "The Fortune-Telling Friar": Fra Aurelio di Siena and the Wages of Sin 175
Afterword: The Poetry of the Everyday and Binding Passions 223
Notes 229
Bibliography 265
Index 275
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