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Sumptuary Law in Italy 1200-1500$
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Catherine Kovesi Killerby

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247936.001.0001

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Ambition and Social Order

Ambition and Social Order

(p.61) 4 Ambition and Social Order
Sumptuary Law in Italy 1200-1500

Catherine Kovesi Killerby (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the attempts by governments to tackle the wider variety of problems presented by the changes due to sumptuary policy, as well as to cope with the problems of public order experienced by any state, no matter how stable. It demonstrates how sumptuary measures were used as a means of social and political control. It begins by discussing the governments' concern regarding modesty in outward apparel, and the avoidance of any clothing that might lead to, or encourage, immoral activities. It examines the governments' concern regarding behaviour at, and social practices during, public occasions such as weddings, funerals, christenings, and feasts in general. It adds that legislators were also concerned with the fundamental structure of society. This chapter also discusses laws that was supposed to apply to all citizens no matter what their status but did, however, make an extra distinction concerning servants and slaves.

Keywords:   government, public order, social control, political control, modesty, immorality, social structure, social practices

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