A wedding ceremony that is a same-sex affair within… Renaissance Rome?

In the latter half of the 16th century, famous French journalist Michel de Montaigne wrote about two marriages that involved two couples of the same gender. The first one involved women from eastern France, and the other the men of Rome. In the past, gay marriages were not legally recognized by civil or religious law and sodomy, which covered many sexual activities – was an offence. Therefore, when people involved were caught, they were typically tried and punished, often with death.

These and numerous others demonstrate that, even within Renaissance Europe, marriage was a subject of intense debate.

A marriage between two people or two women may appear to be a notion that only came into existence in recent years. In the past sam, same-sex couples have adapted to marriage in different ways. I study a particular instance of this – the second of two cases cited by Montaigne in my work ” Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity and Community in Early Modern Europe.”

An evolving institution

Throughout the Middle Ages, marriage involved not just two people but also their family members, local communities, and religious and secular authorities. Each had their own opinions, sometimes even conflicting about priorities, goals and values.

Since the 12th century, the Catholic Church believed that marriage was a sacred rite that only required the consent of the spouses, which was in the form of a vow exchange. As a social institution, the marriage ceremony was founded on a legally binding contract of transfer of the property (the bridal dowry) that was signed before the notary.

In the 16th century, there was a crucial period marked by radical modifications and the enactment of strict new rules designed to stop illicit (or private) unions that the heads of families did not want. In the countries that were converted to a modern Reformed or Protestant religion, marriage was no longer a sacrament, and laws were enacted to strengthen parents to control their children.

In response to the pressure of secular governments in response to pressure from secular governments, the Catholic Church changed its position in 1563. The Council of Trent decreed that weddings must be conducted in a parish church with a licensed priest and witness presence and after the announcement of “banns” (the public announcement of the wedding ceremony).

Law changes were not always immediately translated into changes in practice, however. Disputes or disputes were not uncommon and usually led to the courtroom.

On the outskirts of the city of the pope

This is the turbulent backdrop to which unions between males in Rome were arranged.

After collating data from a variety of sources – diplomatic messages, newsletters, newspaper articles, fragments from an audio recording of a trial, and brief wills – a more complete but incomplete image of what transpired is revealed.

On the afternoon of a Sunday, the month of July, in 1578, there was a large group of men who met at Saint John at the Latin Gate. It was a gorgeous but secluded church located at the edge of Rome. A lot of them were acquaintances who had met at the church in the past on other occasions. They were mostly people of Spain and Portugal but also included a few clergy and friars. They ate and enjoyed drinks in a setting that was festive but oddly quiet. It quickly turned to panic and panic with the appearance of the police, who detained 11 people in attendance. The remainder left.

The Roman authorities were tipped off about the plan to hold a wedding ceremony, maybe not the first time, but between two members. The wedding ceremony between Gasparo and Gioseffe was not to be: The latter, who was said to be sick, did not show up. However, Gasparo was one of those who was being held prisoner and, following a trial lasting three weeks, was executed.

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