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Neighborhood Activity During The Black Death

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Chapter Summary

Neighborhood has long been recognized and studied as a fundamental aspect of late medieval and Renaissance urban life. Neighborhood bonds might dominate other social connections, as one may have felt a stronger affinity and connection for a peer tradesman in one's neighborhood than elsewhere. This chapter investigates the social networks and interactions within the parishes and neighborhoods during the Black Death in Bologna. By means of the general database of testators from the Memoriali of 1337 and 1348 and the sample of 255 testaments from the plague months with data entered on witnesses, the author defines some neighborhood areas by means of the location of testators's residences and by the actions of individuals, principally witnesses, during the epidemic. Any discussion of neighborhood must begin with the parish. Occupational zoning seems apparent also among the many smiths who appear in the wills.

Keywords: Black Death; neighborhood activity; parish



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