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Ephemeral cityCheap print and urban culture in Renaissance Venice$
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Rosa Salzberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087035

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087035.001.0001

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(p.158) Conclusion
Ephemeral city

Rosa Salzberg

Manchester University Press

The Conclusion begins with a case study of the unlicensed peddling of printed orations in Venice in the midst of the plague epidemic of 1575-7. These and other ephemeral prints produced during the plague suggest how Venetians had become accustomed to encountering a great array of cheap print on their streets in the first century after the arrival of the press, some of it permitted by the authorities but much of it unofficial and unlicensed. The Conclusion suggests that although the flood of print would only increase in later centuries, the Venetian authorities largely succeeded in channelling it into safe and acceptable streams, so that it could not be used to seriously threaten the established status quo. Nonetheless, it argues that cheap printed texts, as a dynamic part of urban culture, could never entirely be controlled and that they remain a crucial resource for the historian seeking access to the ephemeral urban culture of the Renaissance.

Keywords:   plague, orations, printing press, Venice, authorities

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