Elite Marriage Networks in Renaissance Italy: Mapping Kinship

Presentation by Renee Baernstein (Miami University).

The paper analyzes patterns of aristocratic marriage alliance across regional states of Italy during the period of Spanish domination (1535-1600) to argue that cross-regional marriages helped build a shared Italian culture and language long before the political unification of Italy was viable.  Gender roles in cultural transmission.  Drawing on models such as Stanford’s “Republic of Letters” mapping website, the paper combines cartographic and textual analyses of social networks.

Renee Baernstein is Associate Professor of History and Miami University. She teaches the history of Renaissance, Reformation, and Counter-Reformation Europe. Her current book project, Gender and Marriage in Baroque Rome: The Colonna Family, argues that the unique characteristics of the Papal political system, particularly clerical celibacy, created in the ruling class a family environment conducive to women holding powerful but hidden and mistrusted positions of influence.

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