Orphaned siblings and noble families in baroque Rome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The essay investigates the impact of the premature death of the father on brother and sister groups in noble Roman families of the seventeenth century. More specifically, it explores how this loss reflected on the biographical itineraries of individual members of the sibling unit; how adelphic relations between the orphans were reformulated according to order of birth and first born or cadet status, age, and sex; and what forms of solidarity and competition were engendered by the loss of a father. Since demographic historians have shown that orphanage at an early age is an important variable, the author argues that it cannot be overlooked – as historians have done so far – in studies on family relations, and especially when reconstructing childhood and adolescence experiences. The author’s investigation is mainly based on qualitative sources (letters, guardianship memorandums, account books, etc.) from the archives of the families selected for examination. These documents bear witness to the strength of kinship relationships, which provide support to the orphans during their lives, and to the role of proximity vs. distance in the evolution of inter-sibling bonds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-776
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History


Dive into the research topics of 'Orphaned siblings and noble families in baroque Rome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this