Renaissance Children

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What was life like for children of the Renaissance?

Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wiki

The harshness of family life greatly affected children. Children especially were susceptible to disease and death. Several children in a prosperous merchant or noble family might die of illness in childhood. However, in a peasant family, those children who survived childhood were extremely lucky. A young peasant mother may be lucky to end up with one grown child after years of child- birth. In addition, mothers and fathers often died by the time they reached thirty, leaving children without one or both parents. Babies whose parents could not afford to keep them and babies who were born to slave mothers in wealthy houses might be left at orphanages where they would be cared for by wet nurses.


As a result, death of children and adults was considered to be a matter of fate and happened so frequently that it was considered normal. Montaigne, who lived in the seventeenth century, was quoted by Michel Pierre as writing, "I have lost two or three suckling children, not without regret, but without being much disturbed."

Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wikiChildren were generally miniatures of their parents, and were expected to dress, talk, and act as adults. The only difference between adults and children was that children had no rights. In some cases, children could be bought and sold by parents to make money. If the child were a peasant, they would be working in the fields or the kitchen as soon as possible. Middle class children whose parents were artisans or merchants would begin to learn their parent's trade as soon as possible. Noble sons were trained to become warriors and courtiers, and noble daughters learned to be accomplished and attractive in order to procure a profitable marriage arrangement for their families.

However, in the south of Europe and among the wealthy, the situation for children was a bit different. According to Charles L. Mee, Jr., "Children were meant to play, to be shielded from the worries and harshness of the grown-up world, and to work hard at their studies in preparation for the time when their presumably carefree days would end." This observation, which can be observed starting in the nobility, was part of a trend that was spreading throughout all of Europe during the Renaissance. It was the formation of the modern family. Though this change swept through the privileged class, not much changed for peasant families. The struggle and harsh lifestyle of the peasants gave them little time to worry about others.

Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wikiIn the middle and upper classes, regard toward children grew during the Renaissance. According to Michel Pierre, "One sign of this change was that in religious paintings the infant Jesus took on the features of a real child, whereas before he was always given the severe face of an adult, sometimes even a face with wrinkles." In Italy during the Renaissance, letters between husbands and wives often spoke of children, both their own and others, with warmth and affection.

Education during the Renaissance became increasingly more important and popular. Noble children often attended four to six hours of school per day and went to work or to a university at age fifteen. Usually, education started around age seven, though often younger. Upper-class girls might be sent to convents for education until either her family found her a husband or she became a nun, saving her family the expense of a dowry. Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wikiA boy's education was more extensive. A boy's education was either by a governor, college, or a tutor at home. Students, primarily in Italy, were often taught grammar and arithmetic because those were the tools of a merchant. However, privileged families such as the Medici family had their children instructed in Latin, Greek, logic, and philosophy. Boys everywhere learned a little Latin, philosophy, and rhetoric as part of a good education. If attending a school, a boy faced harsh discipline, long hours, and bad food among other uncomfortable factors of everyday life. Along with this formal education, a noble boy was taught the ways of warrior and courtier, which included riding, swordsmanship, dancing, and the arts of war.

Peasants were usually completely uneducated, stripping away from them one of the key factors in social mobility. Artisans would be educated through an apprenticeship or at home, although it was possible for a boy to attend a cathedral school to become a member of the clergy.

Marriage for noble children was usually very early as a result of the child's obligation to gain power and prosperity for their family and produce heirs to continue dynasties. In lower classes, a man did not marry until they had obtained land or established themselves in a trade. Women of those classes usually waited until their families could raise a proper dowry before they married. Women were usually significantly younger than the men they married.


Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Popular Renaissance Boys Names


GIOVANNI
GIOVANNI
ANTONIO
FRANCESCO
PIERO
PIERO
FRANCESCO
IACOPO
IACOPO
ANTONIO
BARTOLOMEO
NICCOLO
NICCOLO
ANDREA
DOMENICO
BARTOLOMEO
LORENZO
DOMENICO
ANDREA
BARTOLO






Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Popular Renaissance Girls Names
Agnella
Agnese
Agnola
Alessandra
Anastasia
Andrea
Andreuola
Angela
Antonia
Bandecca
Bartola
Bartolomea
Bella
Belloza
Bice
Bona
Buona
Catalina
Caterina
Chola
Cicilia
Ciecherella
Ciosa
Ciuta
Cristina
Dea
Diana
Dolce
Druda
Elizabeth
Fiametta
Filippa
Fiora
Flora
Francesca
Gemma
Ghinga
Ghita
Gianetta
Gilia
Ginevra
Giovanna
Giuliana
Gostanza
Grana
Isabetta
Jacopa
Joanna
Lagia
Lapa
Lena
Leonarda
Letta
Lippa
Lisa
Lisabetta
Lorenza
Lucia
Lucrezia
Madelena
Magdalena
Margherita
Maria
Marsilia
Martinella
Masina
Mea
Nanna
Mella
Nencia
Nezetta
Nicolosa
Novella
Nucca
Pasqua
Pia
Piera


Paula
Rigarda
Riguardatta
Salvaza
Sandra
Santa
Serena
Simona
Stella
Taddea
Tessa
Tita
Tomasia
Tommasa
Renaissance Children - THE  BORGIAS   wiki

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