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«VEnicE And thE VEnEto during thE rEnAiSSAncE thE LEgAcy of BEnJAMin KohL FIRENZE UNIVERSITY PRESS Reti Medievali E-Book 21 Reti Medievali E-Book ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Edited by

Michael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith

VEnicE And thE VEnEto

during thE rEnAiSSAncE

thE LEgAcy of BEnJAMin KohL




Reti Medievali E-Book


Reti Medievali E-Book

Comitato scientifico

Enrico Artifoni (Università di Torino)

Giorgio Chittolini (Università di Milano)

William J. Connell (Seton Hall University)

Pietro Corrao (Università di Palermo)

Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan (Université Paris IV-Sorbonne) Roberto Delle Donne (Università di Napoli “Federico II”) Stefano Gasparri (Università “Ca’ Foscari” di Venezia) Jean-Philippe Genet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) Knut Görich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) Paola Guglielmotti (Università di Genova) Julius Kirshner (University of Chicago) Giuseppe Petralia (Università di Pisa) Gian Maria Varanini (Università di Verona) Giuliano Volpe (Università di Foggia) Chris Wickham (All Souls College, Oxford) Andrea Zorzi (Università di Firenze) Peer-review Tutti gli E-Book di Reti Medievali sono sottoposti a peer-review secondo la moda- lità del “doppio cieco”. I nomi dei referee sono inseriti nell’elenco, regolarmente ag- giornato, leggibile all’indirizzo: http://www.rmojs.unina.it/index.php/rm/about/dis- playMembership/4.

I pareri dei referee sono archiviati.

All published e-books are double-blind peer reviewed at least by two referees. Their list is regularly updated at URL: http://www.rmojs.unina.it/index.php/rm/about/dis- playMembership/4.

Their reviews are archived.

Venice and the Veneto during the Renaissance: the Legacy of Benjamin Kohl edited by Michael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith Firenze University Press 2014 Venice and the Veneto during the Renaissance: the Legacy of Benjamin Kohl / Edited by Michael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith. – Firenze : Firenze University Press, 2014.

(Reti Medievali E-Book ; 21)

Accesso alla versione elettronica / Access to the electronic version :

Venice and the Veneto during the Renaissance: the Legacy of Benjamin Kohl / Edited by Michael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith. – Firenze : Firenze University Press, 2014.

(Reti Medievali E-Book ; 21) http://www.ebook.retimedievali.it ISBN 978-88-6655-663-3 This book is published with financial support from the Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Università degli Studi di Udine, Italy, and from Wagner College, New York, USA.

In the electronic version of the book all the illustrations appear in the text of the rele- vant essays, in color or in black and white according to the author’s choice. In the printed version they all appear in the text in black and white, and those supplied in color also appear all together in color at the end of the volume.

In copertina / Front cover: Altichiero, Allegoria della guerra di Francesco da Carrara con Venezia (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, ms. Lat. 6069 G).

© 2014 Reti Medievali and Firenze University Press Università degli Studi di Firenze Firenze University Press Borgo Albizi, 28 50122 Firenze, Italy http://www.fupress.it/ Printed in Italy Gli E-Book di Reti Medievali sono pubblicati sotto una licenza / Reti Medievali's ebooks are published under licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Benjamin Gibbs Kohl, 1938-2010.

Photograph by Erik Midelfort; edited by Christopher Smith.


–  –  –

Government and Society in Venice Benjamin G. Kohl, The Serrata of the Greater Council of Venice, 1282-1323: the documents, edited by Reinhold C. Mueller 3 Benjamin G. Kohl, The Changing Function of the Collegio in the Governance of Trecento Venice, edited by Monique O’Connell 15

–  –  –

Benjamin G. Kohl, Renaissance Padua as Kunstwerk: Policy and Custom in the Governance of a Renaissance City, edited by Monique O’Connell 187

–  –  –

This book pays tribute to Benjamin Kohl as a scholar, collaborator, teacher, mentor and friend. It specifically commemorates his commitment and contribution to scholarship by offering readers a collection of historical essays which reflect both his wide range of research interests in medieval and Renaissance Italy, and the international esteem and affection in which he was held. In publishing essays it resembles other commemorative volumes, as it does by including a profile of the historian remembered – in our case, words from both the head and the heart by Reinhold Mueller, Kohl’s lifelong colleague and friend – and also a list of his publications. But this collection differs from many others in two ways.

First, by including unpublished material written by the historian commemorated, who was working hard at various projects and went on doing so for as long as he could, until just before he died. Posthumous publication entails limitations and risks, especially since living authors are inclined to modify their writings, sometimes in much more than formal details, through to the phase of proof-reading. But Benjamin Kohl’s family, friends and colleagues have encouraged us editors to publish four of his pieces, with due care in facing those limitations and risks, and they indeed form an important part of the book. The substantial essay on “Competing Saints” was virtually readied for publication by the author himself; the sources edited in “The Serrata of the Greater Council” have been brought forward from Kohl’s draft with great understanding by Mueller. “The Changing Function of the Collegio” and “Renaissance Padua as Kunstwerk” are shorter texts prepared as conference papers, to which editing has added polish and a few titles in the footnotes; they are included here for their capacity to stimulate scholarly debate and further research. The second difference between this and many other collections is the extent to which the single essays converge in terms of place, period and subject. Our choice of a tighter focus was primarily motivated by the desire to bracket scholarly interests cultivated by Benjamin Kohl himself, and the three sections of the book do indeed reflect those interests, as the list of his publications and the profile by Reinhold Mueller both confirm.

Although we have not included a section on humanist culture, its practitioners and their writings, a subject to which Kohl devoted a significant part of his research, humanism does in fact feature in the essays, especially among

IXMichael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith

Monique O’Connell’s Chancery secretaries and the authors reviewed by John Richards in examining Altichiero’s posthumous reputation. Each single author is far better fitted than us to explain her or his work, but the short presentation that follows aims primarily to suggest the overall cohesion we have sought for.

The first and largest section is entitled “Government and Society in Venice”, and the two opening pieces are by Kohl himself, reflecting the fact that he had made a solid start on a monograph on the governance of late medieval Venice. The essay “The Serrata of the Greater Council of Venice, 1282-1323: the documents”, seeks to remedy significant flaws of omission and approximation in historians’ knowledge of the legislative sources documenting the Serrata. The Serrata notoriously influenced the short- and long-term development of Venice’s institutions of government and its ruling élite to a massive extent, and the sophistication of much previous scholarship about it is somewhat at odds with that margin of imprecision in handling the sources.

This critical edition of the laws operating the Serrata constitutes an indispensable support for future, more fully informed debate.

Kohl’s “The Changing Function of the Collegio in the Governance of Trecento Venice” targets a weak point in previous research on the post-Serrata development of the Venetian Republic’s central institutions. The Collegio evolved, largely during the fourteenth century, from its original configuration as an informal group of advisors flanking the Doge, to a more numerous, formally constituted body with broad and better defined responsibilities which made it the key institution in the executive sphere of government for the rest of the Republic’s lifespan. This paper adds to sketchy previous knowledge in tracing the development of membership of the Collegio, and its role in the administration of justice and public order, and legislative policy.

Claudia Salmini’s “Il Segretario alle voci: un primo contributo sulle origini dell’incarico e la formazione dell’archivio”, addresses issues which are currently drawing increasing scholarly attention: the way in which archives took shape, and how that reflects the purposes and manner of their creation and use in the systems of government of past societies – a richer, more nuanced approach than that required by their ordering or re-ordering for consultation by historians, and one in which archivists and historians need to work together.

But scholarly access and consultation of these registers of office-holders are also part of Salmini’s mandate, and her essay indeed marries research on their genesis with discussion of the creation of prosopographical data-bases concerning public offices held by members of the Venetian patriciate. She has in fact been an active member of two key database projects: the more recent “The Rulers of Venice 1332-1524”, spearheaded by Benjamin Kohl, and the pioneering “Segretario alle voci”, whose creation in Venice’s Archivio di Stato began as early as 1980.

Members of the ducal chancellery and their careers feature strongly in Salmini’s analysis, and the major supporting role played for the patrician regime by these functionaries has an even higher profile in Monique O’Connell’s “Legitimating Venetian Expansion: Patricians and Secretaries in X


the Fifteenth Century”. Humanist training was a salient characteristic of a small group of Venetians, both patrician and non-patrician, who used the skills thus acquired in defence of Venice’s reputation during the fifteenth-century phase of territorial expansion. Focusing more specifically on Lorenzo de Monacis, Nicolò Sagundino and Antonio Vinciguerra, the essay reconstructs their careers and their connections within the patriciate, so bracketing the whole century and analyzing the parallel evolution of the Republic’s dominions and the rhetoric of its self-justification.

Dennis Romano’s “The Limits of Kinship: Family Politics, Vendetta, and the State in Fifteenth-Century Venice”, addresses the relationship between politics and family ties within the patriciate, highlighting how the latter could damage rather than strengthen the cohesion of the Venetian ruling class.

Politically sensitive criminal trials towards the mid-Quattrocento, especially those concerning doge Francesco Foscari and his son Jacopo, engendered fear of possible vindictive action by those who had been put on trial or their kinsmen. They were therefore disqualified by the Council of Ten from roles in future judicial proceedings concerning both those who had conducted the trials and an increasingly broadly defined group of their relatives. Such judicial vengeance was a real risk, as documented by the Foscari-Loredan rivalry, but the Ten then realized that it was courting a much worse danger, of strengthening factional divisions, and in 1458 they set severe limits to this sort of restriction of patricians’ exercise of their rights.

Like Foscari, Andrea Gritti was a controversial doge, but unlike Foscari he died in office, and the political and ceremonial implications of a doge’s death are examined in Tracy E. Cooper’s “On the Death of Great Men: A Note on Doge Andrea Gritti”. The essay focuses on the management of the interregnum between doges, investigating the connection between the continuity in the life of the state and the rehabilitation of the physical body of the defunct doge, which represented a key element of the ceremonial. Cooper’s analysis draws important information from an unpublished contemporary account of Gritti’s funeral, included here as an appendix to the essay, which also identifies his immediate place of burial as the church of San Francesco della Vigna.

Stanley Chojnacki’s “Willing Patronesses: Choosing, Loosing, and Binding in Venetian Noblewomen’s Wills”, is also connected with the implications of death but focused on a less public sphere, in which women could exercise choice in social and political patronage (understood in terms of exchanges between members of social networks). It examines a broad sample of patrician women’s wills from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth century, categorizing their choice of benefactions, legatees and executors according to such criteria as piety, family loyalty and personal disposition. It pays special attention to reciprocity between wives and husbands, particularly in relation to their children’s prospects in adult life; the sources examined also extend to the womens’ husbands’ wills and to the records of sponsors in the Barbarella registrations for the sortition of young patricians given early access to the Great Council. The hierarchies of choice which emerge map women testators’

XIMichael Knapton, John E. Law, Alison A. Smith

loyalties and also register their evolution over time, especially in connection with the passage from natal to marital family.

The implications of Venetian territorial expansion and their discussion by humanists, already at the base of O’Connell’s essay, return with attention to a rather special humanist in Humfrey Butters’ “Politics, War and Diplomacy in late fifteenth-century Italy: Machiavellian thoughts and Venetian examples”.

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