Housecraft and statecraft

Housecraft and statecraft

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Unlike modern households, those of late medieval and early modern European society included many individuals not related by blood or marriage. Prominent among these were domestic servants, members of the lower classes whose duties ranged from managing of the household to raising the children. Within the confines of the household, the powerful and the powerless came together in complex and significant ways. In Housecraft and Statecraft, historian Dennis Romano examines the realities and significance of domestic service in what was arguably the most important city in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe--Venice. Drawing on a variety of materials, including humanist treatises on household management, books of costumes, civic statutes, census data, contracts, wills, and court records, Romano paints a vivid picture of the conditions of domestic labor, the difficult lives of servants, the worries and concerns of masters, and the ambivalent ways in which masters and servants interacted. He also shows how servants--especially gondoliers--came to be seen more and more as symbols of their masters' status. Housecraft and Statecraft offers a unique perspective on Venice and Venetian society as the city evolved from a merchant-dominated regime in the fifteenth century into an aristocratic oligarchy in the sixteenth. It traces the growth, within the elite, of a new sense of hierarchy and honor. At the same time, it illuminates the strategies that servants developed to resist the ever more powerful elite and, in so doing, demonstrates the centrality of domestic servants in the struggles between rich and poor in early modern Europe.Lotto calculated the yearly cost of his own maintenance while he was living in the house of a friend in Treviso at 25 ducats per ... But apparently Lotto was not obliged to pay anything else to Lucia, since he recorded aquot;promessoli ducati quatro aanbsp;...

Title:Housecraft and statecraft
Author:Dennis Romano
Publisher:Johns Hopkins Univ Pr - 1996-10-04


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