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Public lectures and Book presentation | Renaissance history | 6 & 10 December

The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in association with the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites you to two public lectures:

6pm-7pm Thursday 6 December 2012

Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence
Prof. Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto
What was killing the girls in the Florentine orphanage known as the House of Compassion? Dozens of Florentine women pooled their resources to open the Home in 1554. It soon grew to become the largest girls’ shelter in Florence and the most innovative orphanage in Renaissance Italy. Yet this safe house was also a dangerous place. Before too long, girls were dying there by the dozens. Was it forced labour that killed them? Prostitution or sexual abuse? Or possibly even syphilis? Where were the authorities? We will look at all these questions as we recreate the world in which teenage girls lived and died in Renaissance Florence.
Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He is the Articles Editor for Renaissance Quarterly and he has published widely on confraternities, hospitals, and modes of execution in Renaissance Italy.
6pm-7pm Monday 10 December 2012
The Ideal Student in Renaissance Italy
Dr Jonathan Davies, University of Warwick
There was significant interest in student behaviour in the Italian states during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This interest can be seen in a series of manuals published between 1588 and 1604. In part these works parallel the numerous advice books for a wide variety of individuals which were published during this period. However, they were also the descendants of guides dating back to the thirteenth century. These works share several similarities. They discuss the methods and means of studying. Their scope goes beyond the university and they provide an education for life. There is an emphasis on moral and religious qualities which is present from the thirteenth century and which should not be seen as a product of the Catholic Reform. However, there are also some important differences. Annibale Roero’s Lo scolare (Pavia, 1604) rejects the traditional advice that the student should not be violent. Instead it accepts and addresses the widespread violence at Italian universities in the early modern period. Its championing of the student-soldier reflects the values of the noble students to whom it was addressed.
Jonathan Davies is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Warwick. His research has used universities to understand the connections between cultural, economic, political, religious, and social developments in Tuscany between 1350 and 1600. His publications include 'Florence and its University during the Early Renaissance' (Leiden: Brill, 1998) and 'Culture and Power: Tuscany and its Universities, 1537-1609' (Leiden: Brill, 2009). He is the editor of 'Aspects of Violence in Renaissance Europe' (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013). He is now working on violence in early modern Italy, again using students and professors as a focus.
At the conclusion of Dr Jonathan Davies' lecture, Prof. Nicholas Terpstra will launch Prof. Peter Howard's book ‘Creating Magnificence in Renaissance Florence’ (Toronto: CRRS, University of Toronto, 2012). 
Drinks and light refreshments will follow.
Salone Grollo, Monash University Prato Centre
Palazzo Vai, via Pugliesi 26, Prato
Please confirm your attendance for the 10 December event: 
Tel. 0574 43691  Email:
This invitation is also available in downloadable format below.