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Daily Life in Renaissance Italy

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Overview

Discover what life was like for ordinary people living in Renaissance Italy. How was their society organized? What were their homes like? What dangers did they face? These and other questions are answered in detail to provide the reader with a unique view of the world of the Italian Renaissance. A multitude of settings and socioeconomic backgrounds are presented, from urban life to country life, from upper-class to peasant-class, to paint a full portrait of the different kinds of existence of people of this culture.

Recipes, profiles of actual individuals, and over 40 illustrations help bring the period to life. Learn what they ate, what their homes were like, how they spent their leisure time, what their work was like, and much more. Modern readers will be surprised to find fundamental similarities between our lives today and the lives of these people living over 500 years ago, as well as to discover that many of the perceptions they may have of this time period are inaccurate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[P]rofessors Elizabeth and Thomas Cohen have deftly crafted a text that bridges the chasm between often-outdated popular notions of the social and cultural history of Renaissance Italy and the rich scholarship that has deepened and refined professional historians' approaches, insights, and debates in Renaissance studies over the last few decades….[T]he straight-forward yet at times imaginitive prose provides for readers--presumably an audience of generalists interested in the Renaissance, beginning undergraduate students, or academics who are not specialists on Renaissance Italy--a long-awaited and much desired synthesis….[T]he authors have offered a way to understand the Renaissance on its own terms and by including, wherever the archival sources and the abundance of specialized scholarship to date make it possible, the entire range of society within its scope…[I]t leaves us with an understanding of Renaissance Italians as actors in daily life."

-

H-Net Reviews

"This book is suitable for the study of world history and women's studies classes. It would also be useful for students who are trying to recreate the Renaissance for a paper, a re-enactment or a drama."

-

Blanche Woolls & David Loertscher (GaleGroup.com)

"Students from high school on up will find this work quite useful for the range of general and specific information regarding Renaissance Italy. Written in readable prose, it is likely to be cherished by many an armchair historian, creative writers, and readers of historical fiction. Daily Life in Renaissance Italy is recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."

-

American Reference Books Annual

"This book provides an intimate glimpse into the private and personal lives of Renaissance Italians…information is complete and very useful for school and public libraries."

-

VOYA

"[A] rich synthesis of some of the central concerns and insights that have shaped the social history of early modern Italy in the last generation. As a primer, directed at an audience of early undergraduates(even final-year high school students), and a more general readership, it serves both as an entree to thinking historically and to the social anthropology of Italy between roughly 1400 and 1600. On both counts it is an excellent introduction, above all for its lightness of touch. A wealth of material and an often nuanced, if compacted, analysis is put across with great economy, clarity, and imagination….[a] finely tuned work, both in its content and methodological apparatus….The poise and lucidity of the exposition should make this book an invaluable pedagogical tool, a point of departure, as the authors say in their conclusion, for the student's own explorations."

-

The Sixteenth Century Journal

"…a very engaging and useful book. It is the kind of text which every undergraduate should be required to read at the beginning of a course on Renaissance social history; and, it is a book which instructors could use with profit for exemplary material for lectures, given the authors' success in bringing the world of the Italian Renaissance so gracefully to life."

-

Renaissance Quarterly

"Clearly written as a textbook for undergraduates in renaissance survey classes, this volume fits that niche well and also offers a suggestive overview of the current state of scholarship on everyday life in renaissance Italy….[t]his textbook is on cutting edge of exciting new knowlage….[t]he everyday world that they present is at once alien and familiar, strange, and exciting. Students should find this book an intriguingly different perspective on the Italian renaissance."

-

Journal of Social History

From the Publisher

"[P]rofessors Elizabeth and Thomas Cohen have deftly crafted a text that bridges the chasm between often-outdated popular notions of the social and cultural history of Renaissance Italy and the rich scholarship that has deepened and refined professional historians' approaches, insights, and debates in Renaissance studies over the last few decades….[T]he straight-forward yet at times imaginitive prose provides for readers--presumably an audience of generalists interested in the Renaissance, beginning undergraduate students, or academics who are not specialists on Renaissance Italy--a long-awaited and much desired synthesis….[T]he authors have offered a way to understand the Renaissance on its own terms and by including, wherever the archival sources and the abundance of specialized scholarship to date make it possible, the entire range of society within its scope…[I]t leaves us with an understanding of Renaissance Italians as actors in daily life."

-

H-Net Reviews

"This book is suitable for the study of world history and women's studies classes. It would also be useful for students who are trying to recreate the Renaissance for a paper, a re-enactment or a drama."

-

Blanche Woolls & David Loertscher (GaleGroup.com)

"Students from high school on up will find this work quite useful for the range of general and specific information regarding Renaissance Italy. Written in readable prose, it is likely to be cherished by many an armchair historian, creative writers, and readers of historical fiction. Daily Life in Renaissance Italy is recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."

-

American Reference Books Annual

"This book provides an intimate glimpse into the private and personal lives of Renaissance Italians…information is complete and very useful for school and public libraries."

-

VOYA

"[A] rich synthesis of some of the central concerns and insights that have shaped the social history of early modern Italy in the last generation. As a primer, directed at an audience of early undergraduates(even final-year high school students), and a more general readership, it serves both as an entree to thinking historically and to the social anthropology of Italy between roughly 1400 and 1600. On both counts it is an excellent introduction, above all for its lightness of touch. A wealth of material and an often nuanced, if compacted, analysis is put across with great economy, clarity, and imagination….[a] finely tuned work, both in its content and methodological apparatus….The poise and lucidity of the exposition should make this book an invaluable pedagogical tool, a point of departure, as the authors say in their conclusion, for the student's own explorations."

-

The Sixteenth Century Journal

"…a very engaging and useful book. It is the kind of text which every undergraduate should be required to read at the beginning of a course on Renaissance social history; and, it is a book which instructors could use with profit for exemplary material for lectures, given the authors' success in bringing the world of the Italian Renaissance so gracefully to life."

-

Renaissance Quarterly

"Clearly written as a textbook for undergraduates in renaissance survey classes, this volume fits that niche well and also offers a suggestive overview of the current state of scholarship on everyday life in renaissance Italy….[t]his textbook is on cutting edge of exciting new knowlage….[t]he everyday world that they present is at once alien and familiar, strange, and exciting. Students should find this book an intriguingly different perspective on the Italian renaissance."

-

Journal of Social History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313361142
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Series: Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 595,816
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chronology
1 Italy in the Renaissance 1
2 Society: Who Was Who 17
3 Dangers 41
4 Family and Other Solidarities 53
5 Hierarchies 71
6 Moralities: Honor and Religion 89
7 Keeping Order 109
8 Media, Literacy, and Schooling 127
9 Spaces 147
10 Time 163
11 Life Cycles: From Birth Through Adolescence 177
12 Life Cycles: From Marriage Through Death 199
13 Houses, Food, and Clothing 215
14 Disease and Healing 239
15 Work 253
16 Play 275
17 Last Words 295
Resources and Bibliography 299
Index 305
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