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Pharmacies as centres of communication in early modern Venice

de Vivo, Filippo (2007) Pharmacies as centres of communication in early modern Venice. Renaissance Studies 21 (4), pp. 505-521. ISSN 0269-1213.

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This article explores a hitherto neglected aspect of the apothecaries’ profession and of their pharmacies’ social and cultural function. In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Venice, pharmacies were amongst the most important centres for the retrieval and redistribution of information. News was one of the vast array of goods on sale in Venetian pharmacies, and people did not only go there to buy medicines, but also to discuss current affairs, religious beliefs, and political trends. Such activities affected both the Venetians’ perception of pharmacies, and the pharmacies’ physical arrangement. The clientele consisted of a relatively wide cross-section of Venetian society, including both members of the political élites (Venetian patricians, foreign diplomats, professional informers), and others who were excluded from the formal avenues of politics. The sources examined in this article include Inquisition records, notarial inventories, and above all the reports of the many secret informers in the pay of the Inquisitors of State. (pp. 505–521)

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): apothecaries, male sociability, material culture, medical marketplace, political information, public sphere
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2008 15:58
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2014 13:34

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