12.2 The Making of Renaissance Society- III: The Family

  1. I.                   The Family in Renaissance Italy
    a.      Important role
    •                                                               i.      Family= extended household of parents, children, and servants, as well as grandparents, widowed moms, and unmarried sisters
    • 1.      Relatives or those with same surname lived around each other
    •                                                             ii.      Old family names (Medici, Ztrozzi, Rucellai)= prestige
    •                                                           iii.      Bond= great security in dangerous world
    • 1.      Crime committed by one family member fell on entire family, ensuring that retaliation by offended family would be a bloody affair
  2. Marriage
    •                                                               i.      Strengthening business or ties
    • 1.      Details when children were two or three and reinforced by legally binding marriage contract
    • a.      Size of dowry important
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Could involve large sums and was expected
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Indication of whether bride moving up or down in society
    • 1.      Large: daughter marries higher status man
    • 2.      Smaller: man of lower social status
    • a.      Her rep would raise husband’s rep
  3. Father- Husband=center
    •                                                               i.      Gave his name, responsible for it in legal matters
    •                                                             ii.      Managed finances and made crucial decisions of kid’s lvies
    •                                                           iii.      Authority absolute until death or freedom of kids
    • 1.      Adulthood for kids came when father went before judge and emancipated them
  4. Women
    •                                                               i.      Wife managed household= autonomy
    •                                                             ii.      Women of upper/ middle classes to remain home under father/ husband supervision
  5. Primary Function of Women
    • 1.      Upper-class wives frequently pregnant
    • a.      Gave infants to wet nurses
    • 2.      Poor women not due to nursing own babies
    • 3.      Childbirth painful and deadly (10% deaths)
    • a.      Gregorio Dati recalled three out of four wives died in childbirth
    • 4.      Surviving moms faced death of kids
  6. Children
    •                                                               i.      50% of kids born in merchant families died before 20
    •                                                             ii.      Resulted in desire to have as many kids as possible to make sure male heir 
  7. Sexual Norms
    •                                                               i.      Lack of emotional attachment in arranged marriages led to extramarital relationships, especially among groups whose lifestyle offered it
    •                                                             ii.      Sexual license for male normal for princes and courts
    •                                                           iii.      Women executed for it or punished
  8. Sexual Norms: Age difference
    •                                                               i.      Age differenceàsexual outlets outside marriage
    • 1.      13 years
    • a.      Females between 16-18
    • b.      Males later due to environmental factors, ewealth, and demographics (30s-40s)
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Large number of unmarried menà extramarital sex/ prostitution (necessary vice that needed to be regulated, not eliminated)
    • Prostitutes wear gloves and bell
Card Set
12.2 The Making of Renaissance Society- III: The Family