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Addressing a traditional view of Renaissance Venetian society as unchanging, chapter 18 discusses two ways members of the ruling patriciate experienced variety and movement. One is the contrast between families that dwelt in certain neighborhoods for several generations and others that moved from parish to parish during individual lifetimes. The other way is the experience of married, and especially remarried, women, who moved from family to family propelled by the vicissitudes of their marital experience. Using examples from the patrician Venier and Vitturi clans, this essay argues that beneath its relative political stability, the Venetian regime witnessed changes that affected relations between families. The principal dynamic that fueled those changes was marriage, especially dowries, which altered property profiles of the families of both brides and grooms. Amplifying that structural dynamic of change was the unpredictable effect of personal relations between individual persons, especially spouses.

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