Poverty and Charity: Europe, Italy, Venice, 1400–1700, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Poverty and Charity

Europe, Italy, Venice, 1400–1700, 1st Edition

By Brian Pullan


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860784463
pub: 1994-09-22
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The essays in this collection, first published over a thirty-year period, attempt to show how Roman Catholic communities in early modern Europe (particularly the great cities of Italy, and Venice above all) treated poor people and organized poor relief. Some essays discuss the principal groupings of poor, from the genteel, ’shamefaced’ poor to orphans and foundlings, and from working folk to idle rogues. Others examine the motives and functions of the principal types of organization that dealt with poor people, either incidentally or as their main concern: religious brotherhoods, hospitals, conservatories, public loan banks, houses for the conversion of Jews and Muslims to Christianity. One main argument is that, although Catholics and Protestants shared a dislike and fear of vagrancy and reacted in similar ways to economic crises, Catholic charity was in many respects quite different from Protestant. Les essais contenus dans ce recueil, initialement parus sur une période de trente-quatre ans, tentent de montrer comment les communautés catholiques (romaines), à l’aube de l’Europe moderne (particulièrement dans les grandes cités italiennes et surtout à Venise), traitaient les pauvres et organisaient leur soutien. Certains essais s’interessent aux principaux groupements de pauvres: des pauvres décents et honteux, aux orphelins et enfants trouvés, ainsi que des travailleurs aux bons à rien. D’autres examinent les motifs et fonctions des principaux types d’organisations qui s’occupaient des pauvres, soit de façon occasionnelle ou en tant qu’activité principale: confrèries religieuses , hospices, conservatoires, caisses d’emprunts publiques, centres de conversion au Christianisme pour Juifs et Musulmans. Un des arguments principaux étant le suivant: Catholiques et Protestants, bien que partageant la même peur et le même dégoût vis à vis du vagabondage et que réagissant de façon analogue face aux situations de crise é


'This book is a welcome collection of Pullan's work, making many of his most important studies available in one volume.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Catholics and the poor in early modern Europe; The roles of the State and the town in the General Crisis of the 1590s; Orphans and foundlings in early modern Europe; Poveri, mendicanti e vagabondi (secoli XIV-XVII); ’Support and Redeem’: charity and poor relief in Italian cities from the 14th to the 17th century; ’Difettosi, impotenti, inabili’: caring for the disabled in early modern Italian cities; Plague and perceptions of the poor in early modern Italy; Wage-earners and the Venetian economy, 1550-1630; Religious brotherhoods in Venice; Houses in the service of the poor in the Venetian Republic; The conversion of the Jews: the style of Italy; The Scuole Grandi of Venice: some further thoughts; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General