Roman Tales: A Reader’s Guide to the Art of Microhistory

1st Edition

Thomas V. Cohen

Routledge
June 10, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 240 Pages
ISBN 9781138636934 - CAT# Y323215
Series: Microhistories

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Summary

Roman Tales: A Reader’s Guide to the Art of Microhistory explores both the social and cultural life of Renaissance Rome and the mind-set and methods of microhistory.

This book draws the reader deep into eight stories: a Christian-Jewish picnic plus an ill-aimed stone-fight, an embassy-driven attack on Rome's police, a magic prophetic mirror, a stolen dwarf, an immured mad hermit, a truly odd elopement, a thieving child who treats his cronies to dinner at the inn, and the bizarre misadventures of a stolen roll of velvet. It meditates on the resources and lacunae that shape the telling of these stories and, through them, it models an historical method that contrives to turn the limits of our knowledge into an advantage by writing honestly and movingly, to bring a dead past back to life, exemplifying and stretching the genre of microhistory. It also discusses strategies for teaching through intensive use of old documents, with a particular focus on criminal tribunal papers.

Engagingly written, Roman Tales outlines the main principles of microhistorical research and draws the reader outwards towards a wider exploration and discovery of sixteenth-century Rome. It is ideal for researchers of microhistory, and of medieval and early modern Italy.

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