The family was very important in renaissance Florence as it constituted the primary unit of association. Within renaissance Italy there can be seen to be three distinct ideas as to what constituted a family, the nuclear or immediate family, the extended family including aunts, cousins, grandparent and the bloodline or linage which included all ancestors who shared the family name. The Florentine concept of the family or famigilia was, as theorized by Goldthwaite, the nuclear unit, not the extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents the Kents implied. The family was important as it was a close social, emotional, economic and political unit, while there were other important social and political relationships that existed within renaissance Florence, it is only the renaissance family that can be seen as the heart of those social and political relationships.
The family was important as it was a measure of security in the unstable competitive society of Florence. The family was the single most stable unit, in a constantly changing politically charged environment; it was as colleen Byrne stated "a measure of security in a dangerous world". Therefore relationships with family members were vital for personal security and the accretion of political and social power. Weissman referred to the blood tie that existed within families as "the single most cohesive bond. The role of the family was to help in any social, political or economic matters; any member of the family could "normally expect his relatives to assist him in case of grave financial need and to give him support in lawsuits" (brucker). One example of financial add extended within a family is Donato Velluti who gave financial support to her widowed niece after her husbands death by paying for both his funeral and her mourning clothes. It was in the best interest of a family to work together as a social and political unit, just as the family name could be disgraced by one member of the family so...
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