Guido Ruggiero's the Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice

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Introduction Unfortunately, in today's society, sexual promiscuity and perversion is rampant. From the sexual revolution of the 1960s till today's modern age, sex has been seen as a liberating source for some and a cause of scandal for others. But we can all agree that sex can be seen everywhere from TV, to movies, to the internet. One might think that in the early centuries, such disregard for the privacy and dignity of the sexual act never existed. But as we can see in Ruggiero's The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice, historical facts beg to differ. By using criminal records, he takes us into a world that, although it is many centuries long ago, is much like today's society in their way of committing…show more content…
More and more we see in our culture, that sex before marriage is a normal thing. Although my beliefs are contrary to popular opinion, this paper does not set out to express my opinion but, to a certain extent, contrast what today's society is to Renaissance Venice. All acts of fornication in Venice, at that time, where considered as heinous crimes and therefore punishable by law. Ruggiero shows this by recounting several cases of fornication that were brought to the attention of the authorities. For example, he sets forth the case of Giacomello Bono, who had sexual relations with Nicolina, the niece of a master craftsman. They describe his crime as being committed "not fearing God, law or justice, moved by the stimulation of sexual dissoluteness, in contempt of God and with dishonor for modesty, shame, and clear contempt of Master Blasio, her uncle". As we can see in this case, and in the other cases he presents in this chapter, the greatest crime in sexual deviance is not so much the sexual act itself, but more importantly honor, in dishonoring someone, not just the person who had intercourse, but to the person in charge of him/her and as a grave offense and dishonor to God. Ruggiero dedicates the third section of the book on Adultery: Marriage and Sex. Occasionally adultery could lead to bloody violence, but more regularly it created property problems and threatened to disrupt social relationships

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