Caleb Vinson History: Renaissance and Revolution Shelford Giovanni and Lusanna Giovanni and Lusanna reveals many

of the conventions of Justice and how politics, Christianity and social systems often played a role in the final administration of Justice. The origin of this source is a historical account written by Professor Gene Brucker of the university of California at Berkeley for the purpose of conveying his interest in both the notaries of Italy and this particular case. A value of this source is that it comes from an expert in the field of Renaissance History in Florence- another value is its portrayal of Justice, Law and Society during the time period. A limitation is the source it fails to adequately document the judicial philosophy of the Judges involved in the case and fails to mention any parallel cases that may have occurred during the time period. The discussion over Giovanni and Lusanna begins with looking at societal perceptions, particularly, the class-based distinctions that were the norm in Renaissance Florence. Renaissance Florence divided society by sex, wealth, political clout and ancestry. What makes the case of Giovanni and Lusanna interesting is that “Lusanna… does not fit neatly into any of the standard roles… that were defined for women of her time and social rank.” (84.)1 Her defiance of traditional societal roles is what defines her attempt to immediately raise her social standing by seducing Giovanni- this fact did not elude “Giovanni della Casa’s procurators [whom] emphasized the height of the social barrier separating their client from his mistress.” (101.)2 Quite simply “Except for special occasions… Florentine artisans and workers did not… socialize with members of the city’s aristocracy.” (99.)3 The notaries for Giovanni were careful to use these facts, alongside political clout, to win the case in Rome. Giovanni’s political clout came both from his wealth and his ties to the Medici family4; “Giovanni… [was] linked to the Medici by ties of economic interest, physical proximity, and political allegiance” (113.)5; while Antoninus was able to circumvent this advantage in local jurisdiction, writing, “You are powerful citizens, and the church supports the small and the weak.” (114.)6 Unfortunately, despite the religious worries of Cosimo de Medici in Rome7, Giovanni was able to pursue other political measure to victory. This gives clarity into both the political and economic
Gene A. Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986)

IBID IBID 4 IBID “If Cosimo himself had been asked to intercede with his Rome contacts, he might have written or dictated a note to an influential cardinal or to his partner in the Rome bank, requesting that Giovanni’s case receive a sympathetic hearing in the Rota.” (117.) 5 IBID 6 IBID 7 IBID “Vespasiano da Bisticci wrote that Cosimo de’ Medici “had prickings of conscience that certain portions of his wealth… had not been righteously gained.” And he asked the advice of Pope Eugenius IV” (106.)
2 3

. sex.” (111. Lusanna. stood little chance of winning the case under the biased. while a defier of social stigma. but he was able to make his influence felt in Rome. it was ultimately the timeless combination of both power and money that made the difference in legal matters.Caleb Vinson History: Renaissance and Revolution Shelford worlds of the judicial parts of Renaissance Italy and how modern terms “teams of lawyers” and “papering to death” could be cross applied to Italian legal tradition. wealth-based caste system of Renaissance Florence.) Despite the influence of the Church in Renaissance society. “[Lusanna] pursued and won her case against… [Giovanni] in the archiepiscopal court. If not for the stubbornness of Antoninus in Florence Lusanna’s case would never have made it out of local court.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful