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Expansion, Instability, and Mobility in the Urban Élite of Renaissance Verona: The Example of the Verità Family

By Alison A. Smith


This essay presents a demographic and economic survey of all Verità households in Verona during the first two centuries of Venetian rule, in order to examine the changing nature of local élites in Terraferma cities, a theme that was of great interest to Benjamin G. Kohl. Veronese noble families that maintained or improved their economic and social position during this period did so by adapting to rapidly changing circumstances, and developing a wide range of strategic solutions to meet these challenges. In the Verità family there were high levels of instability and decline among many households and branches in the family, as well as cases of rapid and spectacular increases in wealth. Allegiance to the patriline was both a powerful ideal and a source of practical support, but household heads used it selectively as they made their way in the world. Maintaining the economic independence of individual branches and households was the fundamental principle of estate organization among members of this family, as will be shown by a detailed discussion of the division of the estate of Gabriele Verità in 1439. The social geography of the family (with some exceptions) was characterized by residential independence throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries

Topics: D111 Medieval History
Publisher: 'Firenze University Press'
Year: 2014
OAI identifier:

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