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Patrimony and Law in Renaissance Italy

$99.99 (F)

  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781316513538

$ 99.99 (F)
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About the Authors
  • Family was a central feature of social life in Italian cities. In the Renaissance, jurists, humanists, and moralists began to theorize on the relations between people and property that formed the 'substance' of the family and what held it together over the years. Family property was a bundle of shared rights. This was most evident when brothers shared a household and enterprise, but it also faced overlapping claims from children and wives which the paterfamilias had to recognize. Thomas Kuehn explores patrimony in legal thought, and how property was inherited, managed and shared in Renaissance Italy. Managing a patrimony was not a simple task. This led to a complex and active conceptualization of shared rights, and a conscious application of devices in the law that could override liabilities and preserve the group, or carve out distinct shares for each member. This wide-ranging volume charts the ever-present conflicts that arose and were a constant feature of family life.

    • Explains how property was managed legally and shared among those who had a stake in it
    • Distinguishes the claims of children, wives, and brothers on a family's resources, bringing into focus how age, legal standing, and gender played a role
    • Examines in a legal context some instruments of property management and reveals the limitations of the law in facilitating a family's continued wealth
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Patrimony and Law in Renaissance Italy analyzes the family as part of the sharing economy at the intersection of law, property, and households in Renaissance Italy. It is an essential work for scholars seeking to understand the entangled development of individual legal rights amidst the increasing codification of family law and the evolving familial economy of medieval and Renaissance Italy.' Caroline Castiglione, Brown University

    'This important study features the creative tension between a legal environment oriented toward individuals and a social world that prized families and patrimonies. The writings of jurists who wrestled with this tension reveal a 'sharing economy,' a form of economic behavior whose existence upends our simple teleologies of gift and market.' Daniel Lord Smail, Harvard University

    'Was familia the fixed point of reference for Renaissance Italy’s patriarchal social order? Kuehn complicates and illuminates our understanding of it. The obsession with assembling and transferring property over generations came relatively late, with legal forms evolving to make patrimony, memory, and dignitas the very substance of family identity over time. Complex, fascinating, and necessary reading.' Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781316513538
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Bartolus and Family in Law
    3. The Divisible Patrimony: Legal Property Relations
    of Fathers and Sons in Renaissance Florence
    4. Property of Spouses in Law in Renaissance Florence
    5. Societas and Fraterna of Brothers
    6. Fideicommissum and Law: Consilia of Bartolomeo Sozzini and Filippo Decio
    7. Estate Inventories as Legal Instruments in Renaissance Italy
    8. Prudence, Personhood, and Law in Renaissance Italy
    9. Addendum: A Final Case
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Thomas Kuehn, Clemson University, South Carolina
    Thomas Kuehn is Emeritus Professor of History at Clemson University. His previous publications include five books, three of which have been published with Cambridge University Press. Heirs, Kin, and Creditors in Renaissance Florence (2008) was awarded the Marraro Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book on Italian history. He has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters and coedited two volumes of scholarly essays.

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