The geographical backdrop of the paper is Friuli, a border territory divided between the Republic of Venice and the County of Gorizia, an area in which different social, political and juridical realities encountered each other. The aim is to draw attention to the administration of assets, to decisions concerning the transmission of property including dowries, as well as to several cases of conflict over inheritance concerning the nobility that lived astride of this border. The archival documents of several of these families represent a rich historical source and are of particular significance from two points of view. The first is from that of gender, since alongside the usual ‘patrilinear’ documentary sources that family archives hold, we also find numerous writings by the hands of women, writings various in kind and purpose, that have so far been all but forgotten. Account books, family books, memoirs, diaries, and letters enable us to enter closely into the recesses of family setups and networks of kin, and of economic and patrimonial managements, all domains in which women performed important roles. We can thus trace the ways in which women were able to act when the time came to express the will to hand down or to lay claim to the transfer of assets. The fact that family and patrimonial interests in many cases straddled the border makes it particularly interesting to compare the positions and choices of men and women with regard to the different juridical regimes that characterised the Venetian and Hapsburg areas, and to the opportunities or constraints that these implied. Indeed, from this second point of view, these cases enable us to develop a more general social history of the border area, of the family strategies, of the alliances or divisions of an aristocratic elite too often interpreted from a political and conflictual view of the border.

Border Patrimonies:the Trasmission and Claiming of Property in Women's Everyday Writings in Sixteenth to Eighteenth-Century Friuli

Laura Casella
2021

Abstract

The geographical backdrop of the paper is Friuli, a border territory divided between the Republic of Venice and the County of Gorizia, an area in which different social, political and juridical realities encountered each other. The aim is to draw attention to the administration of assets, to decisions concerning the transmission of property including dowries, as well as to several cases of conflict over inheritance concerning the nobility that lived astride of this border. The archival documents of several of these families represent a rich historical source and are of particular significance from two points of view. The first is from that of gender, since alongside the usual ‘patrilinear’ documentary sources that family archives hold, we also find numerous writings by the hands of women, writings various in kind and purpose, that have so far been all but forgotten. Account books, family books, memoirs, diaries, and letters enable us to enter closely into the recesses of family setups and networks of kin, and of economic and patrimonial managements, all domains in which women performed important roles. We can thus trace the ways in which women were able to act when the time came to express the will to hand down or to lay claim to the transfer of assets. The fact that family and patrimonial interests in many cases straddled the border makes it particularly interesting to compare the positions and choices of men and women with regard to the different juridical regimes that characterised the Venetian and Hapsburg areas, and to the opportunities or constraints that these implied. Indeed, from this second point of view, these cases enable us to develop a more general social history of the border area, of the family strategies, of the alliances or divisions of an aristocratic elite too often interpreted from a political and conflictual view of the border.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1211592
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