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


The 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

FREE 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 SexualityRather 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

Michael Rocke Þ 1 DOWNLOAD

DOWNLOAD Æ Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality ↠ [Ebook] ➢ Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence Studies in the History of Sexuality ByMen 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. The Florentine Office of the Night set up to police sodomy has left an extraordinarily rich trove of material If you were caught in a compromising position in Florence or if you thought you might be you could guarantee immunity from prosecution forgiveness by confessing and naming your partners A freuent result was that if a youth announced he had had sex with a man he then named this could spark an avalanche of other men hastening to give themselves immunity by confessing that they had also had sex with the same youth The punishments for those convicted were very varied Some men were burnt to death or publicly mutilated but this was generally only in rare cases such as multiple offences including rape Many were absolved or fined even for repeat offences with multiple partnersThe sheer scale of the practice is remarkable From the Night Office statistics and population studies Rocke estimates that at one time towards the end of the 15th century approximately two thirds of the male population of Florence were implicated in sodomy Essentially everyone who was male was buggering or being buggered by everyone elseThis all raises fascinating and perhaps uncomfortable uestions for anyone who gives thought to the subject of human sexuality today Contemporary Western culture accepts male homosexuality broadly speaking only if it copies the pattern of traditional heterosexual norms ie if you have a monogamous married relationship with another adult of a similar age and status This is totally foreign to the Florentine experience indeed this contemporary Western pattern would have been regarded with particular horror and revulsion as being utterly contrary to nature Florentine men liked to have sex with teenage boys and teenage boys liked to have sex with Florentine men A lot And it was generally accepted that almost all men were sexually attracted to teenage boys and that almost all teenage boys were happy to play the submissive role with men The typical pattern of sexual behaviour for a Florentine male seems to have been this starting some time soon after puberty he began seeking out consensual sexual relations with older men in which he played the passive role; his sexual activity peaking at around the age of fifteen Once he was over 18 he ceased to play the passive role and started looking for younger males himself; he continued to play the active role in sexual relations with younger males until he reached the age of around thirty whereupon he got married and confined his sexual interests to his wife Of course there were many exceptions to this pattern but it seems to have been a remarkably prevalent one Given how utterly different it is to contemporary understandings of sexuality it raises a mass of intriguing uestions Rocke deals with some of these uestions such as how the whole understanding of sex between males was understood as part of the wider pattern of relationships social political commercial cultural within the Florentine city state But other uestions are left unanswered such as why are we so different now It's as if contemporary discourse about human sexuality has given us a particular set of assumptions and then we read this book and realise that perhaps almost all of those assumptions are profoundly inadeuate for making sense of the fascinating world that Rocke reveals