I TATTI STUDIES IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE HISTORY
Cover: Abortion in Early Modern Italy, from Harvard University PressCover: Abortion in Early Modern Italy in HARDCOVER

Abortion in Early Modern Italy

Not yet available

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$49.95 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674248090

Publication Date: 01/01/2021

Text

352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

6 photos

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History

World

A comprehensive history of abortion in Renaissance Italy.

In this authoritative history, John Christopoulos provides a provocative and far-reaching account of abortion in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. Drawing on portraits of women who terminated—or were forced to terminate—pregnancies, he finds that Italians maintained a fundamental ambivalence about abortion, despite injunctions from civil and religious authorities. Italians from all levels of society sought, had, and participated in abortions. Early modern Italy was not an absolute anti-abortion culture, an exemplary Catholic society centered on the “traditional family.” Rather, Christopoulos shows, Italians held many views on abortion, and their responses to its practice varied.

Bringing together medical, religious, and legal perspectives alongside a social and cultural history of sexuality, reproduction, and the family, Christopoulos offers a nuanced and convincing account of the meanings Italians ascribed to abortion and shows how prevailing ideas about the practice were spread, modified, and challenged. Christopoulos begins by introducing readers to prevailing medical ideas about abortion and women’s bodies, describing the widely available purgative medicines and surgeries that various healers and women themselves employed to terminate pregnancies. He also explores how these ideas and practices ran up against and shaped theology, medicine, and law. Catholic understanding of abortion was changing amid religious, legal, and scientific debates concerning the nature of human life, women’s bodies, and sexual politics. Christopoulos examines how ecclesiastical, secular, and medical authorities sought to regulate abortion, and how tribunals investigated and punished its procurers—or didn’t, even when they could have.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane