The Art of Executing Well
Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy
Edited by Nicholas Terpstra
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Art of Executing Well by Nicholas Terpstra
Book DescriptionIn Renaissance Italy a good execution was both public and peaceful -- at least in the eyes of authorities. In a feature unique to Italy, the people who prepared a condemned man or woman spiritually and psychologically for execution were not priests or friars, but laymen. This volume includes some of the songs, stories, poems, and images that they used, together with first-person accounts and ballads describing particular executions. Leading scholars expand on these accounts with articles explaining particular aspects of the theatre, psychology, and politics of execution. The main text is a manual, translated in English for the first time, on how to comfort a man in his last hours before beheading or hanging. It became an influential text used across Renaissance Italy. A second lengthy piece gives an eyewitness account of the final hours of two patrician Florentines executed for conspiracy against the Medici in 1512. Shorter pieces include poems written by prisoners on the eve of their execution, songs sung by the condemned and their comforters, and popular broadsheets reporting on particular executions. It is richly illustrated with the small panel paintings that were thrust into prisoners' faces to distract them as they made the public journey to the gallows. Six interdisciplinary essays explain the contexts and meanings of these writings and of execution rituals generally. They explore the relation of execution rituals to late medieval street theater, the use of art to comfort the condemned, the literature that issued from prisons by the hands of condemned prisoners, the theological issues around public executions in the Renaissance, the psychological dimensions of the comforting process, and some of the social, political, and historical dimensions of executions and comforting in Renaissance Italy.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781931112888
(155mm x 230mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Truman State University Press
Publisher: Truman State University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Nicholas Terpstra
Mapping Space, Sense, and Movement in Florence, Hardback (February 2016)
"Mapping Space, Sense, and Movement in Florence explores the potential of digital mapping or historical GIS as a research and teaching tool which can describe the spatial, kinetic and sensory dimensions of the early modern city of Florence"--Provided by publisher.
Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World, Hardback (July 2015)
This book examines the emergence of the religious refugee as a mass phenomenon from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries.
Lost Girls, Paperback (September 2012)
Terpstra's meticulous investigation not only uncovers the sad fate of the lost girls of the Casa della Pieta but explores broader themes, including gender relations, public health, church politics, and the challenges girls and adolescent women faced in Renaissance Florence.
Art of Executing Well, Hardback (June 2008)» View all books by Nicholas Terpstra
In a feature unique to Italy, the people who prepared a condemned man or woman spiritually and psychologically for execution were not priests or friars, but laymen. This book includes some of the songs, stories, poems, and images that they used, and also first-person accounts and ballads describing particular executions.
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