Giovanni And Lusanna: Love And Marriage In Renaissance

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Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence by Gene Brucker provides a unique look into the life of commoners in the 15th century. This book follows the 1455 court case surrounding the alleged marriage between Giovanni della Casa and Lusanna, the daughter of Maestro Benedetto di Girolamo. Throughout this trial testimonies, from witnesses with a vast array of socioeconomic backgrounds are presented. These were people whose voices would likely have never been heard if not for this case. This particular cross-section of people creates a very clear picture of the hierarchical system in place during the renaissance. Throughout this book, it becomes clear that each person had his or her place within society. The court case …show more content…

Giovanni’s side of the story appears to be quite different than Lusanna’s. According to his procurator, Giovanni and Lusanna had been sexually involved since 1443, long before the death of Lusanna’s first husband. Numerous witnesses were brought forth, saying they had seen Giovanni and Lusanna together for years. They said that Lusanna had a reputation as a “woman of low moral character” (Brucker, p. 27). Giovanni’s procurator stated that although they had a romantic relationship, it did not make sense for Giovanni to have married someone of such a low class and reputation. In the end, Archbishop Antonius ruled in favor of Lusanna. However, later the case was presented to ecclesiastical courts in Rome, and although the records of that trial are not as clear, it appears that the judge ruled in favor of Giovanni. Brucker uses these individuals and their story to analyze renaissance society as a whole. Throughout the book, he emphasizes the strict social hierarchy and expectations of each class. He argues that although theoretically the same rules applied to every stratum of renaissance society, the standards to which each person were held and limitations they faced greatly depended on their class and gender. According to Brucker, Giovanni’s main defense was that although he and Lusanna had been sexually involved, he would not never have married her. He brought in may witnesses to show that she was not only of a lower class, she was also a

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