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Les réseaux de marrainage en Italie du Nord du XVe au XVIIe siècle : coutumes, évolution, parcours individuels

Author

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  • Guido Alfani
  • Marie-France Merger Leandri

Abstract

[fre] Résumé . Dans les sociétés européennes des siècles passés, les relations de parrainage et de compérage, qui étaient tissées sous une forme de parenté particulière (la « parenté spirituelle »), jouaient un rôle social important. Bien qu'il ait des spécificités importantes, le marrainage présente encore de nombreux aspects obscurs car il a été souvent assimilé au parrainage. Avant le Concile de Trente, les marraines avaient moins d'importance que les parrains ; elles étaient même absentes dans beaucoup de communautés italiennes. C'est justement le Concile qui, en imposant une très nette diminution du nombre des parrains, revalorisa le marrainage et favorisa la participation des femmes à des systèmes complexes de parenté spirituelle. Dans le cadre de cette évolution, l'activité des marraines se dessine comme une sorte de « carrière » qui règle et conditionne l'élaboration progressive d'un réseau de relations qui a été souvent intégré dans celui des hommes (pères ou maris). [eng] Abstract . In European societies of the past, godparenthood ties, strengthened by a special kind of kinship ("spiritual kinship") had an important social role. "Godmotherhood", however, has many dark sides, because it has often been assimilated to masculine godparenthood (if not completely neglected), even if it has important specific characteristics. Before the Council of Trent, godmothers were thought to be less important than godfathers ; in many Italian communities they were usually not present at baptism. It was the Council that revalued godmothers, by imposing a scrict restriction to the acceptable number of godfathers that promoted the participation of women to complex systems of spiritual kinship. In this changing situation, the activity of godmothers is organized in a kind of "career", that regulates and conditions the progressive construction of a network of ties often integrated with that built by male counterparts (fathers or husbands).

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Alfani & Marie-France Merger Leandri, 2006. "Les réseaux de marrainage en Italie du Nord du XVe au XVIIe siècle : coutumes, évolution, parcours individuels," Histoire, économie & société, Programme National Persée, vol. 25(4), pages 17-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2006_num_25_4_2617
    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2006.2617
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