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First Edition   ©2013

Street Life in Renaissance Rome

A Brief History with Documents

Rudolph M Bell (Rutgers University)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-62297-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-312-62297-8
  • Paper Text , 208 pages

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Traditional histories of the Renaissance usually focus on the era's development of high art and culture. In this intriguing volume, Rudolph M. Bell offers an alternative — and broader — portrait, highlighting daily life in Renaissance Rome, the center of western Christendom. Bell's introduction provides a look at this era from the bottom up, focusing on the streets of Rome to view the era's impact on ordinary citizens, the plight of social outcasts, and the dangers of urban life. A rich collection of primary sources and illustrations bring to life the experience of everyday Romans, including women, the homeless, the ostracized (especially Jews), and other marginalized people. Protestant and Catholic reformers are also present, allowing for discussion about critical themes in sixteenth-century religious history. Documents include poetry, short fiction, songs, letters, trial records, household inventories, a diary entry, a papal bull, and travelers' accounts. Additional pedagogy includes a chronology, questions for consideration, and selected bibliography.
"This provocative volume challenges students to move beyond the more conventional history of Renaissance Rome. Instead of being invited to gaze once more at the familiar sights of the great Renaissance artists and architects, students are presented with intriguing and vivid glimpses of the Eternal City's street life, religiosity, prejudices, sexuality, and spectacle."

— Jennifer McNabb, Western Illinois University