Communities and crisis : Bologna during the Black Death


    • Wray, Shona Kelly


Communities and crisis : Bologna during the Black Death

by Shona Kelly Wray

(The medieval Mediterranean : peoples, economies and cultures, 400-1453 / editors, Michael Whitby ... [et al.], v. 83)

Brill, 2009

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [277]-288) and indexes



Bologna is well known for its powerful university and notariate of the thirteenth century, but the fourteenth-century city is less studied. This work redresses the imbalance in scholarship by examining social and economic life at mid-fourteenth century, particularly during the epidemic of plague, the Black Death of 1348. Arguing against medieval chroniclers' accounts of massive social, political, and religious breakdown, this examination of the immediate experience of the epidemic, based on notarial records--including over a thousand testaments--demonstrates resilience during the crisis. The notarial record reveals the activities and decisions of large numbers of individuals and families in the city and provides a reconstruction of the behavior of clergy, medical practitioners, government and neighborhood officials, and notaries during the epidemic.


Acknowledgements List of Tables, Figures, and Maps A Note on Currency, Names and Titles Introduction 1. The Notarial Evidence: Testaments in the Libri Memoriali, Demaniale, and the Provvisori 2. Illuminating the Dark Century: Notarial Evidence on Bologna's Civic Life 3. Social Reactions of the Populace during the Black Death 4. Public Persons during the Black Death 5. Neighbourhood Activity during the Black Death 6. The Individual and the Family Conclusion Map of Bologna Map of Parishes of Bologna List PArisches for Map of Parishes of Bologna Appendix A Appendix B Bibliography General Index Index of Medieval Bolognese Individuals (1348)

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