Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence / Edition 1

Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence / Edition 1

by Michael Rocke
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195122925

ISBN-13: 9780195122923

Pub. Date: 03/28/1998

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

"This is a superb work of scholarship, impossible to overpraise.... It marks a milestone in the 20-year rise of gay and lesbian studies."—Martin Duberman, The Advocate

The men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that "Florenzer" in German meant "sodomite." In the late fifteenth century, as many as one in two

Overview

"This is a superb work of scholarship, impossible to overpraise.... It marks a milestone in the 20-year rise of gay and lesbian studies."—Martin Duberman, The Advocate

The men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that "Florenzer" in German meant "sodomite." In the late fifteenth century, as many as one in two Florentine men had come to the attention of the authorities for sodomy by the time they were thirty. In 1432 The Office of the Night was created specifically to police sodomy in Florence. Indeed, nearly all Florentine males probably had some kind of same-sex experience as a part of their "normal" sexual life.

Seventy years of denunciations, interrogations, and sentencings left an extraordinarily detailed record, which author Michael Rocke has used in his vivid depiction of this vibrant sexual culture in a world where these same-sex acts were not the deviant transgressions of a small minority, but an integral part of a normal masculine identity. Rocke roots this sexual activity in the broader context of Renaissance Florence, with its social networks of families, juvenile gangs, neighbors, patronage, workshops, and confraternities, and its busy political life from the early years of the Republic through the period of Lorenzo de' Medici, Savonarola, and the beginning of Medici princely rule. His richly detailed book paints a fascinating picture of Renaissance Florence and calls into question our modern conceptions of gender and sexual identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195122923
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Series:
Studies in the History of Sexuality Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1770L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Florence and Sodomy 3(16)
PART I
Making Problems: Preoccupations and Controversy over Sodomy in the Early Fifteenth Century
19(26)
Traditional Controls
20(6)
Agitation for Reform, 1400--1432
26(10)
The Attack from the Pulpit: Bernardino of Siena
36(9)
The Officers of the Night
45(42)
The Institution
47(7)
Politics and Sodomy in the 1430s
54(6)
The Turning Point in the Late 1450s
60(6)
The Magistrates at Work
66(14)
Community Controls
80(7)
PART II
"He Keeps Him Like a Woman": Age and Gender in the Social Organization of Sodomy
87(25)
Sexual Roles and Behavior
89(5)
Boys and Men
94(7)
Becoming a Man
101(11)
Social Profiles
112(36)
Young and Old
113(6)
Bachelors and Husbands
119(13)
Provenance and Residence
132(2)
Social Composition
134(14)
"Great Love and Good Brotherhood": Sodomy and Male Sociability
148(47)
Encounters
151(10)
The Character of Sodomitical Relations
161(14)
Family Complicity
175(7)
Friends, Networks, Sodalities
182(13)
PART III
Politics and Sodomy in the Late Fifteenth Century: The Medici, Savonarola, and the Abolition of the Night Officers
195(32)
The Lorenzan Age
197(4)
The Coming Scourge
201(3)
The Spirit and the Flesh: Sodomy in Savonarolan Florence
204(19)
The Suppression of the Office of the Night
223(4)
Epilogue: Change and Continuity in the Policing of Sodomy in the Sixteenth Century 227(10)
Appendix A: Penalties Levied 237(6)
Appendix B: Statistical Tables 243(10)
Notes 253(78)
Bibliography 331(16)
Index 347

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