Venice as the Polity of Mercy: Guilds, Confraternities, and the Social Order, c. 1250-c. 1650

By Richard Mackenney

© 2019

This study re-examines Venice’s political economy from the viewpoint of its ordinary people or popolani who, despite the commonly held view that they were excluded from political life by the nobility or nobili, actually organized and ran for themselves hundreds of corporations within the city-state. Mercy was central to this popolani’s Christian values and those who offered mercy to their fellow men and women in temporary hardship were investing in the expectation of reciprocity in their own time of need. Beginning by tracing a formative linking of religion, economy, and polity from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, Venice as the Polity of Mercy then chronicles the collapse of this triad during the struggles between church and state in the mid-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, followed by a revitalizing reconnection of economy and polity within a different religious climate after the plague of 1630. As such, Richard Mackenney’s book offers up a revitalized image of Renaissance Venetian society as dynamic rather than static, as well as a new understanding of the city’s significance through a reconfiguration of its history and artwork.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.6in x 9.1in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP003959

  • PUBLISHED JAN 2019

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

    ISBN 9781442649682
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2018

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

Quick Overview

Venice, Polity of Mercy presents a history of the people of Venice from the mid-thirteenth century to the mid-seventeenth, and provides a new perspective on the changing relationship of their economic, political and religious life.

Venice as the Polity of Mercy: Guilds, Confraternities, and the Social Order, c. 1250-c. 1650

By Richard Mackenney

© 2019

This study re-examines Venice’s political economy from the viewpoint of its ordinary people or popolani who, despite the commonly held view that they were excluded from political life by the nobility or nobili, actually organized and ran for themselves hundreds of corporations within the city-state. Mercy was central to this popolani’s Christian values and those who offered mercy to their fellow men and women in temporary hardship were investing in the expectation of reciprocity in their own time of need. Beginning by tracing a formative linking of religion, economy, and polity from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, Venice as the Polity of Mercy then chronicles the collapse of this triad during the struggles between church and state in the mid-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, followed by a revitalizing reconnection of economy and polity within a different religious climate after the plague of 1630. As such, Richard Mackenney’s book offers up a revitalized image of Renaissance Venetian society as dynamic rather than static, as well as a new understanding of the city’s significance through a reconfiguration of its history and artwork.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.6in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    "Venice as the Polity of Mercy challenges the persistent image of Venice as a patrician dominated, top-down, hierarchical regime. The central question of Venetian history is how to explain its unusual stability and lack of the riots, regime changes, and civil and factional struggles that characterized other Renaissance states. Richard Mackenny offers a new and persuasive answer to that old question by challenging the idea that patricians controlled popular life through strict oversight of popular institutions such as confraternities."


    Monique O’Connell, Dept. of History, Wake Forest University

    "Mackenney links his analysis of institutions and behaviour to the physical spaces of the city, showing how political and social relationships were deeply affected by the places where people lived, worked, and worshipped. This is one of the most important and ground-breaking aspects of Venice as the Polity of Mercy."


    Alison Smith, Department of History, Wagner College
  • Author Information

    Richard Mackenney is a professor in the Department of History at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
  • Table of contents

    List of Figures
    List of Tables and Appendices
    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: Economy, Polity, and Religion, c. 1250–c. 1650
    The Venetian Popolo: Anonymous or Autonomous?
    The Spectrum of Representation
    The Sources and Their Scope
    The Stones of Venice

    1 Venice as Mercantile System, c. 1250–c. 1300
    Polity, 1297
    Polity, 1268
    Economy, 1271
    Religion, 1247

    2 Proliferation and Punctuation, c. 1300–c. 1500
    The Confraternities of Venice
    Before the Black Death, 1300–48
    The Impact of the Plague
    From the Black Death to the Bianchi, 1348–99
    The Bianchi, 1399
    The Franciscan Revival and Social Change, c. 1400–c. 1450
    Plague and Patronage, c. 1450–c. 1500
    The Vision of the Polity

    3 Who Were the Venetians, c. 1500–c. 1600?
    Metropolis and Cosmopolis
    Rooms at the Inns, 1530–1
    L’arte dei fabbri
    Strands of Identity
    "Quel ramo del lago di Como"
    The Tale of "Il Medeghino"

    4 Officers and Office in the Mercers’ Guild, c. 1450–c. 1600
    A Little Republic?
    Arte dei marzeri and Scuola di San Teodoro
    Officers and Members
    Oligarchs or Plutocrats? A Test Case
    Official Business

    5 Monuments to Mercy, c. 1500–c. 1600
    Arti and Scuole in the Sixteenth Century
    The Scuole del Venerabile
    The Sovvegni
    The Scuole and the Stones of Venice
    The Wider Network

    6 The Venetians and the Confessional State, c. 1550–c. 1600
    The Autonomy of the Venetian Laity
    The Agencies of the Confessional State
    The Inquisition and the Venetian Laity
    The Visitation of 1581
    Venice and the Defence of Political Absolutism
    Tintoretto and the Last Fight

    Conclusion: A Final Realignment of Economy, Polity, and Religion? c. 1600–c. 1700
    Morbidity in an Age of Decline: The Suffragi
    Family Ties
    An Envoi: Decadence or Shift?

    Maps
    List of Abbreviations
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

Related Titles