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By Cynthia Skenazi

In Aging Gracefully within the Renaissance: tales of Later existence from Petrarch to Montaigne Cynthia Skenazi explores a shift in attitudes in the direction of getting older and offers a historic point of view on a vital challenge of our time. From the past due fourteenth to the tip of the 16th centuries, the aged topic turned some degree of latest social, clinical, political, and literary consciousness on each side of the Alps. A move of secularization tended to dissociate previous age from the Christian training for demise, re-orienting the idea that of getting older round pragmatic issues comparable to healthiness care, intergenerational relationships, and amassed insights one could desire to cross alongside. Such alterations have been observed by way of increasingly more own debts of later existence. indexed via Choice magazine as one of many notable educational Titles of 2014 This identify is accessible on-line in its entirety in Open Access

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Additional info for Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance: Stories of Later Life from Petrarch to Montaigne

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30 To Giovanni Colonna in Letters on Familiar Matters, (Rerum Familiarium Libri), ed. and trans. Aldo Bernardo, vol. 1, VI, 3, pp. 301–302. ,” Le Familiari, vol. 2, p. 66. ” 28 chapter one Ficino and Zerbi For Petrarch, the care for the self is a strategic game, it is part of a process of self-representation through a number of daily practices closely linked to intellectual and religious concerns. From the end of the fifteenth century on, however, the increasing number of elderly men from the wealthy classes created a market for issues related to longevity.

A sound mind in a healthy body 37 his method. But how old was Cornaro at the time of his death? Was he in his seventies, as some critics suggest; in his late nineties, as he claimed; or over one hundred years old, as his admirers proclaimed? He was quick to boast about his longevity, probably attributing to himself a few extra years. He became a legendary figure and his elevated social status promoted favorable responses to his self-portrait as a sober senior. Cornaro seemed immune to the negative effects of senescence.

Ironically, Petrarch’s reactions to standard medical treatment improved the doctor’s health of mind. ”27 In Petrarch’s letters, it is the patient rather than the doctor who takes on this pedagogical role. In some way, book XII’s two letters remind physicians of their professional duties as defined by Plato’s Laws (IV, 720b–e): a conscientious doctor does not limit himself to writing prescriptions, but enters into conversation with the patient, listens to his observations and daily habits, and leads him to the right kind of life.

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