Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Trasgressioni: Seduzione, Concubinato, Adulterio, Bigamia (XIV-XVIII Secolo)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Trasgressioni: Seduzione, Concubinato, Adulterio, Bigamia (XIV-XVIII Secolo)

Article excerpt

Trasgressioni: Seduzione, concubinato, adulterio, bigamia (XIV-XVIII secolo). Edited by Silvana Seidel Menchi and Diego Quagliono. [Annali dell'Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento, Quaderni, Vol. 64: I processi matrimoniali degli archivi ecclesiastici italiani, Vol. III.] (Bologna: Il Mulino. 2005. Pp. 686. euro40.00.)

The sixteen contributions in this book originated as papers presented at conferences held between 1998 and 2001 under the auspices of the German Historical Institute in Trent. This is the third volume in a series-a fourth, which will concentrate on marriage tribunals, is reportedly in preparation-that draws much of its historical evidence from the records of late medieval and early modern marriage cases preserved in Italian historical archives. That in itself would make this and the other volumes of the series an interesting and important contribution to the history of Christian marriage and sexual behavior. Records of Italian ecclesiastical courts have hitherto been very little studied so that the material that the authors of the papers in these books used has much new to tell us about the ways in which the normative rules in law books and the doctrinal theories of academic lawyers interacted with the behavior of real people and the practices of courts when they handled some of the most private yet vital areas of personal life in the remote past.

Trasgressioni is divided into two sections. The first part comprises five essays, most of which focus on the development of the normative rules that were supposed to govern sexual behavior between the twelfth century and the nineteenth. Anna Esposito opens the volume with a study of the statutes of the papal states concerning adultery, concubinage, and bigamy between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. …

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