READ & DOWNLOAD ß Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality

Michael Rocke Ù 1 READ & DOWNLOAD

READ & DOWNLOAD ß Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality ê [Ebook] ➢ Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History ofMen to the notorious Jacopo di Andrea Friendships Homosexuality and Kindle #209 a young bachelor implicated with forty adolescents over a seventeen year period and convicted thirteen times same sex marriages like that of Michele di Bruno and Carlo di Berardo who were involved for several years and swore a binding oath to each other over an altar and Bernardo Lorini a former Night Officer himself with a wife and seven children accused of sodomy at the age of sixty five Mortified he sent his son Taddeo to confess for him and plead for a discreet resolution of his case Indeed nearly all Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture ePUB #187 Florentine males probably had some kind of same sex experience as a part of their normal sexual lifeRocke uncovers a culture in which sexual roles were strictly defined by age with boys under eighteen the passive participants in sodomy youths in their twenties and older men the active participants and most men at the age of thirty marrying women their days of sexual frivolity with boys largely over Such same sex activities were a normal phase in the transition to adulthood and only a few pursued them much further. Reading this opened my eyes to the fact that there are different ways of writing a history book The way I grew up with and developed an acute hunger for emphasized the story in history Tales of people who lived in another time are related within the pages allowing me to relive those experiences and analyze them through the writing This book was a different kind of history conducting a study through groups of people rather than individuals falling upon charts and numbers to back it up It’s very methodical I can’t help respecting it for the amount of hard work involved It doesn’t interest me as much as a reader but I absorbed a lot of detail about fifteenth century for Florence with a brief jaunt to the sixteenth Bernadino of Siena filled me with horror and revulsion The fact that a willing avatar of hatred was canonized the realization that he’s hurt so many people is continuing to hurt countless people today whose parents believe in some version of his intense homophobia makes me shudder I learned what I suspected that the history of homosexuality is interwined with the history of homophobia Awareness of being a group of people attracted to their own gender was raised by those who hated them and wanted them punished A happy side effect of this bigotry is it helped those being singled out to find each other I learned about the Court of Night a title which made my imagination take flight and its role of controlling sodomy by cataloging and fining those involved It was amusing and gratifying to learn that attempts to rid Florence of sodomy were so ineffective It was interesting to learn that the prominent homoerotic relationship that was accepted at the time was the same which existed in ancient Athens and Rome that of an older man and a boy It was educational learning about how sodomy was regarded by the law I could see the beginnings of classifiying people as a specific group which would later be called homosexuals with specific inclinations apart from acts of sodomy It was interesting to learn that sodomy was a lump term which loosely covered all acts which didn’t lead to procreation for which heteroseuxal couples could be punished along male couples or female couples I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped Lacking an individual or a series of individual stories to follow took much of the joy out of the readers The individuals whom did emerge for the prose made me despair of humanity having any hope for the future willing vessels of hatred such as Bernadino of Siena and Savonarola At the same time I admire the author for learning from these vessels uncovering kernels of truth from their rants and using them to conduct a study of Florence as a whole This is an excellent study even if it neglected the story aspects of history which I prefer For that this book gets four stars


Rather than precluding heterosexual experiences they were considered an extension of youthful and masculine lust and desire As Niccolo Machiavelli uipped about a handsome man When young he lured husbands away from their wives and now he lures wives away from their husbands Florentines generally accepted sodomy as a common misdemeanor to be punished with a fine rather than as a deadly sin and a transgression against nature There was no word in the otherwise rich Florentine sexual lexicon for homosexual nor was there a distinctive and well developed homosexual subculture Rather sexual acts between men and boys were an integral feature of the dominant cultureRocke roots this sexual activity in the broader context of Renaissance Florence with its social networks of families juvenile gangs neighbors patronage workshops and confraternities and its busy political life from the early years of the Republic through the period of Lorenzo de' Medici Savonarola and the beginning of Medici princely rule His richly detailed book paints a fascinating picture of a vibrant time and place and calls into uestion our modern conceptions of gender and sexual identit. Forbidden Friendships is a remarkable study of Renaissance Florence and the homosexuals who lived there Historically there have been many attempts by societies to purge themselves of homosexuals Forbidden Friendships is a tale of Florence's attempt at just that and its a story complete with gangs political persecution sex courts death and broken lives It's also fascinating and scary Oh and a good readNC

READ & DOWNLOAD Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality

Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of SexualityThe Homosexuality and Male Culture Epubmen Homosexuality and eBook #10003 of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that Florenzer in German meant sodomite Indeed in the late fifteenth century as many as one in two Florentine men had come to the attention of the authorities for sodomy by the time they were thirty In the seventy years from to some men in a city of only were investigated for sodomy Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture ePUB #187 were convicted and thousands confessed to gain amnesty Michael Rocke vividly depicts this vibrant sexual culture in a world where these same Forbidden Friendships PDFEPUBsex acts were not the deviant transgressions of a small minority but an integral part of a normal masculine identityIn The Office of the Night was created specifically to police sodomy in Florence Seventy years of denunciations interrogations and sentencings left an extraordinarily detailed record which Rocke uses to its fullest in this richly documented portrait He describes a wide range of sexual experiences between males ranging from boys such as fourteen year old Morello di Taddeo who prostituted himself to fifty seven. I believe this may be the most important book yet written on human sexuality During the generation or so in which historians have been openly discussing variations in sexual behaviour it has often been shown that modern ways of thinking about sexuality are little than culturally induced assumptions and fundamentally different to those made by most historical societies The available evidence had not however uite amounted to proof until Rocke put it well beyond reasonable dispute with this monumental study of 15th century Florence uniue in what her records are detailed enough to establishTo simplify including ignoring exceptional individuals who have always existed only starting around 1700 in northern Europe and only spreading to most of the world in the 20th century did society adopt its present idea of a heterosexual majority opposed to a homosexual minority mostly comprised of men whose behaviour challenged traditional gender roles Contrarily under the old system of thinking which had prevailed since ancient times it was assumed that men in general were attracted to both women and boys but not to other men This assumption survived mediaeval Christendom despite the terrible conflict it implied with Christian condemnation of sodomy In even sharper contrast to modern thinking traditional society was far indulgent of boys taking the passive role than of men doing so the transitional nature of boyhood avoiding the threat to gender role playing that everyone supported The growing understanding of this profound change has been sometimes bitterly contested by so called essentialists who refuse to believe people brought up with fundamentally different cultural beliefs could have felt differently to them sexually either because they lack the imagination to escape the parochialism of our own notions or because whether straight or gay they feel threatened by the implications for the alleged immutability since birth of their own orientation I find their resistance depressing as I think knowing our sexual culture and individual tastes could have been constructed differently should be liberating and enrichening I am therefore glad that Rocke has cleared up the matter for anyone interested and open minded enough to peruse the mountain of evidence here presentedI shall not attempt than a very brief summary of what Rocke has established about homosexuality in Florence or how Florence was uniue in having between 1432 and 1502 an Office of the Night with the sole purpose of controlling endemic sodomy Its extraordinarily thorough records as well as those of the other Florentine courts with jurisdiction have enabled him to draw some irrefutable conclusions about Florentine men in general Amazingly by age forty at least two of every three men had been incriminated in sodomy at least once backing up opinions of the time that nearly no one hasn't committed such mischief Rocke is extraordinarily well read in the literature of the time which he uses brilliantly both to illustrate humanly the court records and to enliven his textMost of the most salient characteristics of Florentine sodomy will be familiar to students of ancient Greece though not of course the statistical evidence There was only a single male sexual culture with a prominent homoerotic character In Florence and probably elsewhere as well sodomy between males assumed a hierarchical form that would now be called 'pederasty' Normally men over the age of eighteen took the so called active role in sex with a passive teenage adolescent Relations in which roles were exchanged or reversed were rare and occurred almost solely between adolescents while sex between mature men was with very few exceptions unknown Sodomising boys was never felt to be incompatible with heterosexual pursuits though the numbers continuing to be involved with them after marriage were much smaller As in classical Athens men married late at thirty which contributed to the prevalence of pederasty Some striking differences from ancient Greece were that in Florence pederasty flourished despite fierce official hostility both men and boys were highly promiscuous and men sometimes fellated their boysRocke's findings provoke one extremely important uestion neither he nor anyone else I have heard of has ever attempted to answer what effect does ubiuitously practised pederasty have on a society The ancient Greeks believed erotic bonds between men and boys were vitally important in transmitting skills and virtues from one to the other and historians such as W A Percy have backed them up by underlining the correlation in time between the Greek miracle and the institutionalisation of pederasty there 15th century Italy in general was considered the mother of sodomy and Florence in particular was in Savonarola's words defamed throughout all of Italy for it One might well say exactly the same about their respective reputations at the forefront of the extraordinary cultural flowering known as the Renaissance a flowering that included the revival of the naked male youth as a worthy subject of art by artists themselves often well known for their love affairs with boys Is this just an amazing coincidence I suggest it is a stunning indictment of the intellectual cowardice of our times that decades after abundant evidence has been furnished that at least the two most culturally renowned societies in European history were eually renowned for a now forbidden form of love no general study of this uestion has been attemptedSome may find this a book to refer to or dip into for fascinating insights and riveting anecdotes rather than to read from cover to cover Though Rocke's style is lucid and elegant he never strays far enough from balanced examination of the statistical evidence to become less than heavy reading I can only guess it is this that has held Forbidden Friendships back from the far widespread acclaim it richly deserves I strongly urge anyone to read it who has the slightest interest in either how Renaissance Italians thought or its broader sexual implications for humanityEdmund Marlowe author of Alexander's Choice a modern British tale of Florentine style a masculino wwwdp1481222112