Indispensable Immigrants: The Wine Porters of Northern Italy and Their Saint, 1200-1800
By: Lester K. Little (author)Hardback
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Indispensable immigrants recreates the world of peasants who streamed into the cities of late medieval and early modern northern Italy to carry crushingly heavy containers of wine. Written in an easily accessible and unassuming style, it is solidly grounded in previously untapped archival and visual sources. In this first-ever reconstruction of the forgotten metier of wine porter, topography plays a key role in forming the labour market; in the scramble to distinguish professionals from manual labourers the term artist gets divorced from lowly artisan, and wretched diet is invoked to explain why workers are so unintelligent; the wine porters make one of their own their patron saint in thirteenth-century Cremona and other interest groups scheme successfully to get him canonised in Rome five centuries later; and when enlightened despots abolish the guilds, the wine porters' trade fades away just as the candles on their patron's altars sputter and die out.
Lester K. Little is Professor Emeritus of History at Smith College and a former Director of the American Academy in Rome
Part I: Alberto 1. The legend of Saint Alberto 2. The life of Alberto 3. The afterlife of Alberto Part II: The wine porters 4. The brenta and the brentatori 5. Topography and migration 6. Porters of the imagination Part III: Sainthood 7. Making saints 8. Sainthood by community 9. Sainthood by the papacy Index
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- ID: 9780719095221
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