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Si hay una plaga, preferimos estar del lado de la putrefacción

Aunque es poco probable que lean el libro Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City, en el London Review of Books Erin Maglaque escribió sobre la publicación. 

From the point of view of the Sanità, the poor were constitutionally incapable of acting in the greater interests of the city. Tracing early cases to understand the spread of the outbreak, Francesco Rondinelli, a contemporary historian of the plague, placed the blame on poor people who had selfishly visited friends and family despite the risk of contagion. He told the story of the wife of a baker who went to nurse her daughter in Trespiano but returned home sick herself, and then spread the plague among her household, resulting in the deaths of seven others. The wife of a builder went to nurse her sick sister. When her sister died, the woman took the shirt she had been wearing at her death and gave it to her daughter. This ‘loving action had cost her dearly’: she, her husband and their daughter all died. In both cases, these women were looking after family members and recycling much needed clothing; in Rondinelli’s view, their carelessness and self-interest worked to spread the plague through the city.

No doubt the poor sometimes privileged their relationships with friends, children, siblings and neighbours over the ‘common good’. But the wealthy acted no differently. Pandolfo Sacchi, a renowned court painter, was allowed to travel to a Medici villa to take up his commission to paint frescoes in the gallery. A wealthy couple, Verginia Baldovinetti and Lorenzo Frescobaldi, were given permission by the Sanità to have a wedding Mass in San Lorenzo. Rather than being forced to commit the bodies of their relatives to the mass graves outside the city walls, gente più civile were allowed to bury them in family tombs in their parish church (as long as they were buried deep and blanketed in quicklime). When the wife of the Sanità’s chancellor died of the plague, her body was buried in church. But the servants who nursed her were quarantined.

El libro aborda la peste negra del siglo XV.