The Social World of the Florentine Humanists

The Social World of the Florentine Humanists

LAURO MARTINES
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 440
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt13x1pt3
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  • Book Info
    The Social World of the Florentine Humanists
    Book Description:

    First published in 1963, this groundbreaking study provides a detailed picture of the social structure of Florence in the Quattrocento. Martines's work influenced a generation of scholars and illuminated a complex and multifaceted world.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9612-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
    Via S. Niccolò
  3. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION: PROGRAM AND PROBLEMS
    (pp. 3-17)

    This is a study of the Florentine humanists and their social position during the period 1390 to 1460. The substantive part of the study begins with the account in Chapter II of the factors that determined social position in Florence. That chapter maps out the larger social environment of the humanists—provides them with a world, so to speak—and governs the arrangement or in some cases the content of all the succeeding chapters. This is why the title of the book refers to the “social world” of the humanists, rather than to their “social position.”

    The title also specifies...

  6. CHAPTER TWO SOCIAL PLACE IN FLORENCE: ASSUMPTIONS AND REALITIES
    (pp. 18-84)

    Florentine sources of the fifteenth century — chronicles, diaries, letters, domestic handbooks, and public documents—exhibit a striking degree of harmony in their assumptions about the factors that determined elevated social place. Broadly speaking, four factors were commonly taken to be important: honorably-acquired wealth, a substantial record of service in public office, descent from an old Florentine family, and bonds of marriage with another family of some political and economic consequence. Possessed in full, these were the attributes which best conferred superior social rank, and the more a man lacked them the more humble or lowly was his social position.

    An...

  7. CHAPTER THREE THE FORTUNES OF THE FLORENTINE HUMANISTS
    (pp. 85-144)

    Since the chief aim of this inquiry is to define the social position of the men associated with Florentine humanism during the first half and more of the fifteenth century, we may begin—following the order set down in the preceding chapter—by trying to establish their economic situation. The question has a curious history in scholarship: it has attracted much generalization, but no detailed or systematic study. To know where we must begin, therefore, it will be useful to review the generalizations that appear to dominate the field.

    In modern historical literature, interest in the economic situation of the...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR PUBLIC OFFICE IN THE HUMANIST CIRCLE
    (pp. 145-198)

    The critical importance of public office in the history of Florence first appears at the center of political reflection in two sixteenth-century works. One, finished in 1526, was Francesco Guicciardini’s dialogue on government in Florence; the other, finished in 1534, was Donato Giannotti’s commentaries on the Florentine Republic.¹ But thereafter concentrated interest in the question gradually diminished. It was not reawakened until the end of the nineteenth century, and then only in specialized studies (e.g., Doren’s work on the guilds). The most recent large treatment, published in 1913, was Vincenzo Ricchioni’s book on the Republic’s political structure in the time...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE HUMANIST MARRIAGES: A STUDY OF FIVE FAMILIES
    (pp. 199-237)

    In the ruling sectors of Florentine society, as we have already seen, marriage was a political, social, and economic bond; it was contracted with an eye to maintaining or improving the total situation of the family. We shall do well, therefore, to describe the place in society of five families connected by marriage with the humanists.

    Of the humanists who gathered around Coluccio Salutati about 1400, the first to marry was Lionardo Bruni. Two members of the circle, Roberto de’ Rossi and Niccolò Niccoli, did not marry; another, Pier Paolo Vergerio, resided in Florence for only a very short time...

  10. CHAPTER SIX THE FLORENTINE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE HUMANIST
    (pp. 238-262)

    Because the nature of primary source materials is a determining factor in historical study, we shall find it difficult to say what the ordinary shopkeeper or lowly worker in Florence thought of the humanists. But to wonder about such a question may be an unreal or false way of looking at the fifteenth-century world, especially if the question denotes a habit of mind peculiar only to the twentieth century. For why should the humble Florentine have left a record of his attitude towards the new men of letters, having left unrecorded many other things that concerned him with far greater...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN THE RELATION BETWEEN HUMANISM AND FLORENTINE SOCIETY: AN ESSAY
    (pp. 263-302)

    Essay in the title here is intended to denote attempt or trial. I use the word in order to distinguish this chapter from the others, where the method of analysis is, I hope, somewhat positivistic. In parts of the present chapter, however, I propose to range more freely and speculatively, in an effort to draw together the major themes of this inquiry, but above all to dwell on some of its implications, chiefly in connection with the ideas of the humanists.

    Having described the social situation of Florence’s early humanists and having examined their reputation in the Florentine community, we...

  12. APPENDIX I. FORTY-FIVE PROFILES OF MEN CONNECTED WITH FLORENTINE HUMANISM
    (pp. 303-350)
  13. APPENDIX II. EIGHT TABLES ON WEALTH IN FLORENCE
    (pp. 351-378)
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 379-398)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 399-419)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 420-420)