Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.631034
Title: Plague epidemics and public health in Mantua, 1463-1577
Author: Leonard, Marie-Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 092X
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access through EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 31 Oct 2017
Access through Institution:
Abstract:
This thesis investigates how health officials sought to preserve or recover good health during plague epidemics in Mantua, from 1463-1577. Scholarship on health boards in Italy has focused primarily on larger cities such as Milan, Florence and Venice, while many smaller cities and states which formed part of the wider network of interdependent health offices have yet to receive significant attention. This study attempts to address this imbalance by focussing on Mantua, a hitherto neglected area in the heart of northern Italy. Historians have shown by the sixteenth century health offices had wide-ranging responsibilities, yet their most important function remained tackling plague outbreaks through measures including trade and travel bans, quarantine periods and lazaretti. An analysis of the Mantuan health office’s actions and reactions reveal that it does not fit neatly with the health board model historians have established elsewhere in northern and central Italy. I will argue that while the hallmarks of the ‘Italian system’ of public health procedures are evident, closer examination of their organisation and composition reveals that they were shaped by the incidence and severity of outbreaks. Above all, however, they were dependent upon and defined by the evolving state apparatus and by participation of the wider community, both lay and ecclesiastic. Contrary to the view that permanent Italian health offices enforced plague regulations uniformly, there was a degree of flexibility in application within the structures created to fight plague. Further, it will be argued that by examining in detail symbolic acts, such as processions, in conjunction with practical methods we see with greater clarity how civic and ecclesiastical authorities worked together in the attempt to restore the city to good health. By exploring the dialogues between civic authorities, the people they governed and interactions between specific health agencies across the peninsula, this thesis contributes to the understanding of the Gonzagan state-building process and concepts of public health in Renaissance Italy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.631034  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D History (General) ; DG Italy
Share: