Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence, 1537–1609

by John K. Brackett

This book examines in detail the Florentine system of criminal justice under the reign of the first three Medici grand dukes, from 1537 to 1609. The author discusses the structure and functions of the court, the operation of the two city prisons, and the definition and treatment of the major categories of crime. His main purpose is to shed light on the character of the Medicean state by examining the effectiveness of its main instrument of social control. The study is important for the amount of detail that it offers for such an early period, and it helps to vitiate the usefulness of the term 'absolutist,' which conveys a misleading picture of the early modern state.

  • Cambridge University Press; February 1992
  • ISBN: 9780511879111
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence, 1537–1609
  • Author: John K. Brackett
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"This is an important book on a neglected topic and period of Florentine history. It adds texture to the increasingly lively debate about the origins of the modern state, and it further qualifies the received wisdom that Medicean Tuscany was 'absolute.'" Carol Bresnahan Menning, Sixteenth Century Journal