Bit of a backdrop to this talking point, during the 1400s Venetian and Florentine nobility started writing dancing manuals, which included detailed instructions for the protocol and ceremony male courtiers had to follow while in public. The standards set in these books were considered the norm for noble male behavior. When the merchant and middle classes gained wealth and political influence in the 1500s, nobility felt their status was threatened.

Simultaneously lower nobility and wealthy merchants were debating that noble status was not defined by predefined social standing and family Legacy, but by merit and virtue. Some merchant families were living the lives of nobility, while some nobles in Venice were poor and homeless.

To secure their power and authority I think nobility published even more specific manuals for male behavior in order to enforce their pious respect towards higher nobility, prevent merchant and middle classes from reaching noble status, and to make sure men in Italy did not go against traditional societal norms in regards to social structure.

They used works by Erasmus, Castiglione, Caroso, Ebreo, Machiavelli, and other influential noblemen to detail the expectations for social behavior, and the punishments for misbehavior was made worse to the point of complete removal of social status and aid by the 1600s.

I think nobility did this because of the rising power of the merchant class, and the debate among other nobles on the qualifications for noble status.

Source: reddit post


Read:  Looking for any and everyone's favorites from books, documentaries, and podcasts that cover any ancient history up to the medieval eras. As well as early Native American history.

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