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Funeral workers’ experience with ‘contagious corpses’
Silvia Romio

The extremely high death rates in northern Italy during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic called for exceptional rules and suspension of funeral practices and burial rites. Additionally, forms of collective burial, typical of a wartime scenario, and mechanical methods and timing were reintroduced into the handling of corpses. Although several academic studies have highlighted how the absence of funeral ceremonies and ‘dignified burials’ has caused prolonged and deep suffering for the mourners and for many of the caregivers and health workers, few have so far focused on funeral workers. This article focuses on the intimate, emotional and ethical experiences of a group of funeral workers in northern Italy who handled COVID corpses and had to take the place of the mourners at the time of burial. Through an anthropological analysis of their oral memories, this work attempts to analyse their expressions of discomfort, frustration, fear and suffering.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Plague-spreading conspiracies in the Western Alps

This book highlights one of the most fascinating aspects of the history of early modern plague. Any understanding of the plague-spreading conspiracies in the western Alps during the century after 1530 will have to overcome a number of interpretative hurdles. It considers Geneva's previous experiences of plague before discussing the actual events of 1530, the first appearance of the plague-spreading phenomenon. Geneva evidences that the city's magistrates were following the best practices for dealing with the disease being developed in northern Italy. Those implicated in the conspiracies were usually poor female migrants working in the plague hospitals under the direction of educated professional male barber-surgeons. These 'conspirators' were subsequently tried for spreading plague among leading and wealthy people from urban areas so that they could rob them while the afflicted homeowners were confined to their beds. The book examines the courts, the judiciary and the part played by torture in the trials, which frequently concluded with the spectacular and gruesome execution of the suspects. It considers the socio-economic conditions of the workers and in doing so highlights an early modern form of 'class warfare'.

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

rise of mass military mobilisations ( Farré, 2014 ). In the memory of the humanitarian movement, the Battle of Solferino stands as the inaugural event leading to the adoption of the first diplomatic treaty with humanitarian aims. A Franco-Sardinian coalition led by Napoleon III was fighting the Austrian army led by Emperor Franz Joseph. It was outside Solferino, a small town in northern Italy, that one of the bloodiest battles since the end of the Napoleonic Wars was fought

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Religious culture and civic life in medieval northern Italy

Most people would agree that the hospital functions as one of the 'first duties of an organized society' as a public service for those members of the community who are in need. In the thirteenth century, hospitals represented a nexus of exchange between church officials, the community, the needy, and the pious or ambitious individual. This book presents a survey that offers an overview of the role of the hospital in affairs of the urban community, suggesting how changes within that community were reflected in the activities of the hospital. It locates the rise of the hospital movement in northern Italy within the context of the changing religious, social, and political environment of the city-states. The book introduces the hospital's central function in the distribution and administration of charity. It illustrates how the hospital and other charitable organizations played a role in the appropriation of power and influence by urban citizens. A comprehensive investigation of twelfth and thirteenth century hospitals' foundational charters follows. The book then delves into a detailed description of the physical plant of the hospital, the daily life of individuals, and rules and statutes followed by its members. It considers the social composition of donors, workers, and recipients of hospital services. Jurisdictional disputes among the city leaders, the community, individual religious orders, ecclesiastical authorities, and larger political forces. Finally, the book explores the process of consolidation and bureaucratization of hospitals in the fifteenth century and the emergence of state control over social services.

The wine porters of northern Italy and their saint, 1200–1800

This book recreates the world of peasants who streamed into late-medieval and early modern northern Italy to carry containers of wine, brenta. It focuses on Saint Alberto, who was a wine porter in the city of Cremona, which imported workers in the thirteenth century - Fernand Braudel called them 'indispensable immigrants'. Alberto's legend is a mix of significant and recurring forms of behaviour - after finishing his daily work as a field hand, kneeling before a cross to say his prayers. It is from the annals of Reggio Emilia, Piacenza, Parma, and Cremona that one can glean information about Alberto. Alberto's transformation from historical non-person to celebrity began within a few days of his burial. Claims of his frequent praying in Saint-Mattia derived from the news of his healing miracles, and the book presents factual accounts of his posthumous reputation. The ecclesiastical authorities of Cremona consigned the chapel of Saint-Alberto to the wine porters of their city. The book deals at length with brentatore, the Italian wine porter, and brenta. It is from the scatological imagination of Teofilo Folengo and other works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that one gets a glimpse of how wine porters were perceived by others. The book looks at who orchestrated Alberto's cult as campaigning for one's own sainthood is really rather unseemly.

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Diana Webb

città , pp. 100 (northern Italy), 148 (Tuscany). 32 A depiction of one such Sienese miracle, performed by the Augustinian friar Agostino Novello, was included by Simone Martini in an altarpiece celebrating the saint, now in the Sienese Pinacoteca. See A. Martindale, ‘The child in the picture: a medieval perspective’, in D. Wood (ed

in Saints and cities in medieval Italy
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Sally Mayall Brasher

This study synthesizes information from primary and secondary sources written in both Italian and English to provide a comprehensive examination of the foundation, administration, and evolution of the medieval hospital in northern Italy between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. 15 This research is focused primarily on hospitals in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. However, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries this regional designation is somewhat meaningless due to the independence of the individual city-states and the overlapping episcopal jurisdictional

in Hospitals and charity
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Sally Mayall Brasher

The hospital movement of the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries in northern Italy provides a lens through which to view the transformation of political power, religious life, and the social agency of urban citizens of the region. Traditional definitions of poverty and need, as well as suggestions of a Christian's responsibility to such need, no longer satisfied city-dwellers who saw a much greater demand and variety of suffering in their community than ever before. In addition, they felt vulnerable in the face of such need. Security

in Hospitals and charity
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C. E. Beneš

-run governments of what became essentially independent city-states all across northern Italy. While they generally thought of themselves as republican, they were hardly democratic, and usually favoured the political participation of the local nobility and/or wealthy urban elites. 14 Nonetheless, the combination of economic growth, political autonomy, and clear physical demarcation—i.e. by city

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
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The ‘Carolingian moment’
Paul Fouracre

, for this gives us a rare, if rough, indication of the amounts of oil that might be obtained from northern Italy, and from the Garda region in particular. It should be noted, however, that Bobbio, situated as it was in the Trebbia valley in Piacenza, could, unlike the Frankish monasteries, collect its oil more or less locally. Olives could be grown in Liguria and in some of the valleys leading away from the coast, but Garda was the main source of its oil. 13 The documents in question here are two ninth-century inventories drawn up for Bobbio in which the

in Eternal light and earthly concerns