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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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Women and Sumptuary Law

Women and Sumptuary Law

(p.111) 6 Women and Sumptuary Law
Sumptuary Law in Italy 1200-1500

Catherine Kovesi Killerby (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores what clothing represented in early modern Italy, why it was that women were overwhelmingly the target of clothing laws, and why the laws were expressed, at times, with such misogynist venom. It examines further efforts of women to mitigate these lawsthat further curtailed an already highly regulated and restricted life. Before exploring issues of gender in relation to clothing, this chapter considers clothing in general and what it signified in medieval and Renaissance Italy. It explains that the great increase in legislation against women was brought by concerns such as societal structures and theoretical underpinnings. It adds that Renaissance Italy was a patriarchal society in which women were legally, politically, economically, and socially excluded from the public sphere.

Keywords:   Renaissance Italy, clothing, women, patriarchal, social structure, gender

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