Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality Read & Download ¸ 5

review Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality

Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality Read & Download ¸ 5 ☆ The men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that Florenzer in German meant sodomite Indeed in the Bachelor implicated with forty adolescents over a seventeen year period and convicted thirteen times; same sex marriages like that of Michele di Bruno and Carlo di Berardo who were involved for several years and swore a binding oath to each other over an altar; and Bernardo Lorini a former Night Officer himself with a wife and seven children accused of sodomy at the age of sixty five Mortified he sent his son Taddeo to confess for him and plead for a discreet resolution of his case Indeed nearly all Florentine males probably had some kind of same sex experience as a part of their normal sexual lifeRocke uncovers a culture in which sexual roles were strictly defined by age with boys under eighteen the passive participants in sodomy youths in their twenties and older men the active participants and most men at the age of thirty marrying women their days of sexual frivolity with boys largely over Such same sex activities were a normal phase in the transition to adulthood and only a few pursued them much further Rather than precluding heterosexual experiences they were considered. Reading this opened my eyes to the fact that there are different ways of writing a history book The way I grew up with and developed an acute hunger for emphasized the story in history Tales of people who lived in another time are related within the pages allowing me to relive those experiences and analyze them through the writing This book was a different kind of history conducting a study through groups of people rather than individuals falling upon charts and numbers to back it up It’s very methodical I can’t help respecting it for the amount of hard work involved It doesn’t interest me as much as a reader but I absorbed a lot of detail about fifteenth century for Florence with a brief jaunt to the sixteenth Bernadino of Siena filled me with horror and revulsion The fact that a willing avatar of hatred was canonized the realization that he’s hurt so many people is continuing to hurt countless people today whose parents believe in some version of his intense homophobia makes me shudder I learned what I suspected that the history of homosexuality is interwined with the history of homophobia Awareness of being a group of people attracted to their own gender was raised by those who hated them and wanted them punished A happy side effect of this bigotry is it helped those being singled out to find each other I learned about the Court of Night a title which made my imagination take flight and its role of controlling sodomy by cataloging and fining those involved It was amusing and gratifying to learn that attempts to rid Florence of sodomy were so ineffective It was interesting to learn that the prominent homoerotic relationship that was accepted at the time was the same which existed in ancient Athens and Rome that of an older man and a boy It was educational learning about how sodomy was regarded by the law I could see the beginnings of classifiying people as a specific group which would later be called homosexuals with specific inclinations apart from acts of sodomy It was interesting to learn that sodomy was a lump term which loosely covered all acts which didn’t lead to procreation for which heteroseuxal couples could be punished along male couples or female couples I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped Lacking an individual or a series of individual stories to follow took much of the joy out of the readers The individuals whom did emerge for the prose made me despair of humanity having any hope for the future willing vessels of hatred such as Bernadino of Siena and Savonarola At the same time I admire the author for learning from these vessels uncovering kernels of truth from their rants and using them to conduct a study of Florence as a whole This is an excellent study even if it neglected the story aspects of history which I prefer For that this book gets four stars

Michael Rocke ´ 5 review

An extension of youthful and masculine lust and desire As Niccolo Machiavelli uipped about a handsome man When young he lured husbands away from their wives and now he lures wives away from their husbands Florentines generally accepted sodomy as a common misdemeanor to be punished with a fine rather than as a deadly sin and a transgression against nature There was no word in the otherwise rich Florentine sexual lexicon for homosexual nor was there a distinctive and well developed homosexual subculture Rather sexual acts between men and boys were an integral feature of the dominant cultureRocke roots this sexual activity in the broader context of Renaissance Florence with its social networks of families juvenile gangs neighbors patronage workshops and confraternities and its busy political life from the early years of the Republic through the period of Lorenzo de' Medici Savonarola and the beginning of Medici princely rule His richly detailed book paints a fascinating picture of a vibrant time and place and calls into uestion our modern conceptions of gender and sexual identity. This was an absolutely amazing book on renaissance Florence This book gave me something a lot of history books don't something new to learn and think about I admit that I love history but this book definitely gave me something I find that a lot of history books get regurgitated in a way that makes non fiction history books somewhat dull to read for most I love how the author structured the book I love how he approached the topic and how he analysed facts in certain ways I appreciate that he gave an opinion without being too biased He approached the topic relying heavily on data rather than sources but he used the sources to add depth to the facts Overall this book changed the way I look at Florence in a renaissance setting completely If someone is looking at either history gender studies Italian studies or even just investigating the identities that emerged in Italy I would greatly suggest this book I think this is one of the few books that really discusses this topic in depth and it is amazing and uniue because of it I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat

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Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of SexualityThe men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that Florenzer in German meant sodomite Indeed in the late fifteenth century as many as one in two Florentine men had come to the attention of the authorities for sodomy by the time they were thirty In the seventy years from 1432 to 1502 some 17000 men in a city of only 40000 were investigated for sodomy; 3000 were convicted and thousands confessed to gain amnesty Michael Rocke vividly depicts this vibrant sexual culture in a world where these same sex acts were not the deviant transgressions of a small minority but an integral part of a normal masculine identityIn 1432 The Office of the Night was created specifically to police sodomy in Florence Seventy years of denunciations interrogations and sentencings left an extraordinarily detailed record which Rocke uses to its fullest in this richly documented portrait He describes a wide range of sexual experiences between males ranging from boys such as fourteen year old Morello di Taddeo who prostituted himself to fifty seven men to the notorious Jacopo di Andrea a young. In fifteenth century Florence a judicial agency known as The Office of the Night left written records that allow this author Michael Rocke to put together a uniuely detailed picture of homosexual relations in that medieval city But what do we learn I'm of two minds about the result The author's presentation is weakest where he thinks it's strong and strongest in its secondary documentation Rocke's idea is to take the records of thousands of reports and prosecutions for sodomy between 1432 and 1502 and put together a picture of same sex activity sufficient to contrast with our modern ideas of homosexuality He eventually does achieve his goal but not by crunching numbers The author thinks he's doing a scientific study of the records but he's only playing with percentages This researcher is fascinated with his subject but he's too close to it to attain the objectivity needed to present this to the public His great weakness is his profound understanding of Italian culture during that period which leads to a failure to establish the necessary premises A major factor affecting sexual relations between older and younger males in that period was the marriage age; men of any standing didn't normally get married until their thirties Although it comes up over and over the writer never tries to explain why men married so late Nor does he give us any background on the relations between unmarried males and females that would help us understand why young adults seemed to prefer male teenagers to women Nor does he seem to know anything about the mass of the population the poor the servants and slaves the dispossessed rural laborers and so on He assumes his readers already have some knowledge of medieval Florence For these reasons along with a weak use of statistics he cannot show how sodomy as it was called fit in with the larger society This writer has a bad habit too of ualifying every conclusion he does reach to the point that it means nothing and contradicting himself as he continues crunching the numbers He admits that judicial records alone cannot give us a good picture of same sex relations but misses the chance to provide enough background to give his conclusions greater weightNevertheless the book becomes a worthwhile read once the author gets the number crunching out of his system The one thing he does do to good effect is supplement the court records with other documentation such as personal letters uotes from sermons and political edicts material that opens a window on how people at the time thought about sodomy This reinforces some of what the court records indicateThe confusion brought out in the book isn't entirely the author's fault but rather our own To compare the state of same sex relations then and now takes extraordinary care not just because people in medieval Florence had confused notions of what homosexual attraction amounted to but also because we ourselves do A big part of this discussion concerns apparently straight men who under certain circumstances turn to other males for sex The book convincingly establishes that the circumstances that would lead a usually heterosexual man to do this were often drastically different in fifteenth century Florence from what they are today If that's true it means among other things that even now we still do not have a solid enough understanding of male sexuality to explain it or label it The one common element driving such men both then and now appears to be differences in power and statusAnother oddity in Florenc