The Family During The Renaissance Essay

The Family During The Renaissance Essay

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The family during the Renaissance is a topic of study that probably does not have as many sources as art or literature during that historical period. However, several authors have now found historical sources that create a fairly close idea what the family was and how it worked during the period. The study of the famous Florentina catasto (1427-1430) is one of the sources used by the experts to identify some facts and features of the family in the Renaissance. Also, historical records of the time families themselves, called Ricordanze, allow understand precise data elements such as dates, property prices and feelings of the people who wrote those records. (Kaplish-Zuber, prologue)
Before the Renaissance, the typical family consisted of the union of a couple who got married at young age and their children. The concept of family was reduced to that simple nucleus because life expectancy was about 40 years, so becoming grandparents was something achieved by few. However, for some scholars, after Florence conquest its rival cities, the structure of the family changed. During the renaissance, man were enlightened (literate and studied various subjects) and they started to create a broader concept of family, with a larger structure. The father at renaissance decided to consider family to other close family members. (Kaplish-Zuber, 23) This concept of extended family was based in the everyday interaction. People who lived under one roof were considered family, such as were recorded in the catasto.
The family during the fifteenth century was defined as the union of people with blood ties, residing together under a common heritage. (Kuehn, 131) The family was safeguarded by the father, and if the couple have a son, by the father-son combi...


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... every two years. However, wealthy women who not necessarily breastfeeding their children, got pregnant sooner and had more children.
Labor was painful, and that pain was explained by the Christian Bible as a divine punishment to Eve for having tempted Adam. Women during the Renaissance suffered in childbirth and many of them died during childbirth. Those who survived suffered later the loss of their newborn children (King, 6). Diseases killed many children, but also the apathy of some parents also did its work. Many small children died trampled by horses, or suffocated by their own exhausted parents. Infanticide - which had been used as a way to control children who survived, especially to control the number of girls in a family- was a questionable practice during the Renaissance. Christian morality did not allow such an act (King, 8) and was even punishable by law.

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