Women, Sex and Marriage in Early Modern Venice: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women, Sex and Marriage in Early Modern Venice

1st Edition

By Daniela Hacke


282 pages

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Hardback: 9780754607632
pub: 2004-11-12
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315233574
pub: 2017-05-15
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Women, Sex, and Marriage in Early Modern Venice is the first study to investigate systematically the moral policies of both Church and State in the age of Counter-Reformation confessionalisation in Venice. Examining ecclesiastical and civil lawsuits related to illicit sex, broken marriage promises and disrupted marriages of artisan and ordinary women and men, Daniela Hacke can convincingly show how central sexual morality was to the patriarchal society of sixteenth and seventeenth century Venice. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, the author skilfully reconstructs what gender difference meant in daily life, in courtship rituals, marital disputes, and in sexual relations. In the streets and in the courts, women and men fought not only over proper gender behaviour within and outside marriage, but also about the meaning of conjugality and of domestic patriarchy. Neighbours played an active role in mediating between distressed partners and between children and parents. Their interventions and perceptions reveal much about the moral values and the networks of support within a fascinatingly heterogeneous community such as early modern Venice. The study makes important contributions to the fields of gender history, social history and the history of crime and sexuality.


'Dr Hacke makes an important contribution to gender and legal studies and to church history… a significant contribution to methodology in gender studies, to early modern legal studies, to our understanding of the Church's post-Tridentine framing of marriage as a Christian institution, and to early modern Venetian society.' Church History

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Venice and its tribunals; The Church and marital disputes: Marital litigation and the patriarchal court; Generational conflicts; Marital discord; Sexuality, the body, and unstable masculinities; The state and crimes related to marriage: The sinful city; The threat to conjugal households: adultery and bigamy; Conclusion; Index.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General