Cover: Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy, from Harvard University PressCover: Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy in HARDCOVER

Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy

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$53.00 • £42.95 • €47.50

ISBN 9780674971899

Publication Date: 03/20/2017


This is a major contribution not only to the history of the late medieval family and the Italian church, but also to historical methodology. With her subtle analysis, Cossar persuades us that scholars must be attentive to archival documents as carefully crafted instruments of those who participated in their creation, rather than as transparent windows onto the past.—Shannon McSheffrey, author of Marriage, Sex, and Civic Culture in Late Medieval London

Cossar’s research has implications for our understanding of the state of the clergy and their relationship to the laity on the eve of the Reformation in Italy. It is a rich study based on testaments, inventories, and visitation records, and it is a rewarding read that will find a broad audience among not only historians of religion and of Italy, but also historians of other European areas.—Thomas Kuehn, author of Heirs, Kin, and Creditors in Renaissance Florence

An original and important contribution to the growing body of scholarship on clerical concubinage between the Gregorian reform and the Council of Trent and to the social history of late medieval Italy. Cossar’s exploration of the composition and dynamics of the household embraces all its components: the priest himself and his domestic partner, of course, but also their children, the priest’s mother, servants, and slaves. Specialists will welcome her arguments for treating archival records as crafted artifacts and seeing Venice as more closely resembling its neighbors on the north Italian mainland. All medievalists will want to take note of what Cossar has to say about church and religion, culture and society, families and households, in Italy in the half-century after the great pandemic of 1348.—Daniel E. Bornstein, author of The Bianchi of 1399: Popular Devotion in Late Medieval Italy

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