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20 People, Groups, and Institutions: Charity and Assistance in the Duchy of Milan from the 15th to the 17th Century

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Chapter Summary

The period spanning the late Middle Ages and the start of the Early Modern Era saw the presence of an interconnected system of assistance for the poor, in which individual initiatives and organizations created by institutions (State and Church) interacted and intersected. This chapter deals with the Duchy of Milan (and its capital in particular) as a model of a system of assistance. This system is presented as an extremely fragmented one from 15th to the 17th century. Ten rectors, four of whom came from ecclesiastical institutions, representing the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the city (the Bishop, the Cathedral chapter, the chapter of Saint Antonino, the abbey of Saint Sisto and Saint Agostino) and the remaining six were nominated by the town community. The role of the Bishop of Piacenza entered into a 'mixed system' that reaffirms the ambiguous nature of the institution.

Keywords: Bishop of Piacenza; Church; Duchy of Milan; early modern era; late middle ages; Saint Agostino; Saint Antonino; Saint Sisto



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