Trials (Impostors and imposture) -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
Costume -- Social aspects -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
Venice (Italy) -- Social life and customs -- 18th century.
This essay is the story of the crimes, pursuit, and eventual arrest in Venice of an eighteenth-
century imposter named Tomaso Gerachi. His principal charge was having "falsified
his essence" by wearing the noble toga and assuming noble titles in order to gamble
with patricians. Among the court documents is a 54-page self-defense dictated by Gerachi
that provides a rare glimpse into the mind of the imposter. The extraordinary efforts to
arrest, convict, and punish him suggest that the case involved more than a commoner
dressing out of station. Its many layers, revealed over the course of his pursuit and interrogation,
expose a range of sensitive issues for eighteenth-century Venice, including noble
identity, the mingling of classes under the cover of masks, and an emergent view of identity
that rejected social roles for a more malleable, "sincere" self.
Libertinism -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
Children and sex -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
This article studies a judicial case that came before Venetian law in 1785 concerning a
man accused of taking a sexual interest in an eight-year-old girl. The article attempts to
place this case in the social, legal, and cultural context of eighteenth-century Venice, and
addresses the question of what it meant to prosecute such a case in the late eighteenth
century, before the existence of any clear concept of the sexual abuse of children. The
article uses Casanova's memoirs as the principal cultural point of reference for considering
the libertine view of children as sexual targets.
Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of, 1647-1680 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Libertinism in literature.
The conceptual systems of romance and libertinism appear to offer opposing solutions to
human frustration, and Rochester's poetry is typically read as endorsing one or the other
perceptual mode. But such a neat division between idealized courtly love and unimpeded
creaturely passion is untenable. I propose to demonstrate Rochester's awareness of the
cohesion of romance sanguinity and libertine cynicism through a discussion of his use of
the pastoral mode, which absorbs the ideals of both Greek romance and Epicurean libertinism.
Unfortunately, these discourses of love and freedom encourage aggression and
hypocrisy even as they promise to secure idyllic harmony, and the detached hedonism
cultivated by Rochester's speakers thus conspicuously fails to transcend the disturbing
maelstrom that is human desire. Far from escaping the salacious or sentimental aspects of experience, efforts to surmount erotic disappointment reveal that libertinism itself occupies
the realm of romance: both offer the compensatory fictions without which human
experience would be intolerable.
Impersonating an officer -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
Law enforcement -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
Police -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
Between 1685 and 1720, twenty-nine men were caught impersonating law officers in
Westminster. Though these cases may seem small in number, they represent the most
common type of imposture in this period. This article argues that the impersonation of
officials is an important window into the unique nature of identity and law enforcement
in early eighteenth-century London. The metropolis had grown to the point where parish
constables might not be recognized, and the low origins and reputed venery of many
officials made this an appealing avenue for impostors. In an anonymous urban environment
before photo identification, people looked at dress, demeanor, and symbols of office
to determine identity, all of which worked to the advantage of these Westminster impostors.
Idols and images -- France -- History of doctrines -- 18th century.
Idols and images in art.
Idols and images in literature.
Idolatry in art.
Many texts and visual images produced in France from the later seventeenth century through
the mid-eighteenth displayed a concern with idolatry. Literary figures from La Fontaine
to Voltaire, ecclesiastics including Bossuet and Jurieu, and antiquarians and theorists of
art such as Charles Perrault, La Font de Saint-Yenne and Antoine Le Mierre also associated
the worship of false gods with sculpture. Bound up with interest in ancient and non-
European mores and forms of worship, the idolatry-sculpture linkage also fed into contemporary
political and religious debates. Huguenots, Jansenists, and philosophes utilized
the connection to assist in promoting their views. Several public political and religious
monuments appear to have been created partly in reaction to their charges.
Addison, Joseph, 1672-1719. Dialogues upon the usefulness of ancient medals.
Great Britain -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
Neoclassicism (Literature) -- Great Britain.
Aesthetics, British -- 18th century.
Joseph Addison's Dialogues upon the Usefulness of Ancient Medals (1721) is difficult to
square with his critique of the uselessness of the antiquarian scholar/pedant. This essay
examines how he separates his numismatic project from antiquarianism by discovering in
the art of ancient money a tool for the production of social stability. As such, numismatic
representation has important political uses: it provides Addison with a forceful mode of
communication without hermeneutic risks and solves the problems of civic virtue and
monetary value associated with England's financial revolution. This usefulness, however,
demonstrates that Addison is not committed to a public sphere model of rational/critical
debate but instead seeks to produce and manage community through aesthetic force.