do u ever wish you could be like. a greco-roman lady in a 19th century painting. just lounging all day, looking bored. probably got ur tiddies out. thats the life
every neoclassical/early romantic piece of art is the dream honestly like
hang out in this rose garden with your girlfriend while she dumps flower petals on you. nice
alternatively hang out with your whole squad of nymph gfs in some water. just you and your gal pals, and this guy i guess. letting your tiddies hang out and all that
take a nap on these pillows surrounded by beautiful ancient frescoes, what’s not to love
tiddies out, nap game on, divine boyfriend, not a care in the world. these ladies have it so good
Dressed in gorgeous flowing clothes, hair game on point, sitting on warm marble by the seaside, responding ambiguously to yet another handsome suitor’s advances
I love this era so much.
Napping on outdoor furniture that somehow never gets musty, and it’s warm enough to wear a gauzy nightie.
In Roman community baths, it was customary for men to stand and applaud when a well-endowed peer entered the water.
While I don’t roleplay as any Italian Renaissance characters, it is one of my areas of knowledge and I have many books that I think would be helpful or useful to the roleplayer who wishes to add historical, political, economic, and intellectual context to their work.
- Lisa Jardine & Jerry Brotton, Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West
- Highly recommended for any Armand player. Explains how Ottoman Empire and Venice interacted through economic and cultural exchange. Lots of stuff to be learned here, and just a great and easy read. If you can’t get to anything else in the book, at least get the preface and the first chapter (I think; it’s been years since I’ve read it though I remember all the lecture slides), which give a great summary and taster about the topic and the authors’ approach. You probably would want to continue after that. This is one of my favorite books.
- Gene Brucker, Florence: The Golden Age, 1138-1737
- Tons of pictures, giant book, great survey of the feel of the time period.
- Joanne M. Ferraro, Marriage Wars in Late Renaissance Venice (2001)
- Venetians be suing each other, guys, all the freakin’ time, over marriage contracts. First-person stuff, lots of records, it’s awesome and lively and oh my god how sassy must Armand have gotten?
- Okay to be honest, it’s mostly legal gossip, actual depositions, legal records, etc. Give it a skip if you really don’t care about he-said-she-said.
- Jerry Brotton, The Renaissance Bazaar: From The Silk Road to Michelangelo (2002)
- Really lively read about how Armand probably shopped, told by a recently deceased scholar who was a giant of European Renaissance history. Really cool depiction of how East and West exchanged culture and also created some serious problems that we deal with today.
- Ulinka Rublack, Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (2010)
- Because Bianca’s pearls in her hair and Armand’s hose and doublet meant something. Also, lots of fun pictures here, and you can imagine the various costumes Marius would have used to disguise, perform, and hint at a different identity.
- Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods
- Super awesome street-smart history (with pictures) about how multicultural the economics of Ottoman Empire-infused Italy was. Just super cool and wide-reaching.
- Heather Gregory, Selected Letters of Alessandra Strozzi
- Probably the best book for figuring out what Marius would have nagged Armand and Ricardo about. It’s this awesome Italian lady who just writes letters to her sons nagging them about stuff they forgot to do.
- Francesco Petrarca (trans. David Marsh), Invectives
- Stop giving Armand boring essays to read for homework, Marius.
- Jon Thiem, Lorenzo de’ Medici: Selected Poems and Prose (1992)
- Lorenzo really liked making dick jokes. Let Armand write some, too!
- Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists and Painters
- Pretty much Vasari going around Italy throwing shade at everyone and gossiping.
- Paolo Uccello really hated cheese and Michelangelo was a dick who snatched really nice pieces of wood from competitors by auctioning early.
- Peter Robb, M: The Man Who Became Caravaggio
- To be honest, this is a pretty controversial biography of Caravaggio, or as Robb claims, “Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio”.
- It’s Caravaggio shittalking, dueling, and fucking his way across Italy until the fuzz finally comes after him. Oh, and he apologizes to his patrons a lot and then paints horse butts next to priest faces, so this book kind of made him my childhood hero.
Books I have NOT read but know of:
- Guido Ruggerio, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime, and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice
- Find out if Marius (and those gold-painted giggling guys testing Armand) were legit.
- Judith Brown, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy
- I think this is just a fun title about an important topic that probably gets ignored a lot.
- Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence
I have more sources I can recommend, but these are nice to get started and were sitting on my bookshelf.
While I appreciate your historical attention to detail, I’m afraid this doesn’t really apply to me, my dear.
What a strange question to ask our dear Lestat. My great city existed well before even his ancestors were conceived, and thus I doubt he would be a very knowledgeable fount on this subject.
The people of Rome knew that lead must be dangerous, as we were not blind to the ailments that seemed to follow those who worked in casting lead. They breathed in the caustic fumes and were left pallid and sickly, and from this we gathered that lead must be rather unwholesome.
Although lead was widely accepted as a dangerous metal, many still believed it to be necessary in some aspects. It was used to line aqueducts and fashioned into pipes–nevermind that clay pipes were entirely more sought after, even by those such as myself who were rich enough to afford otherwise. Medicines and cosmetics as well were made of great quantities of lead, despite the wide belief that it should not be ingested directly if at all possible. Some greats such as Pliny and Columella argued that in leaden vessels was the only way to prepare Defrutum, a sweet syrup used to make products such as wine more desirable.
Many attest that a rise in lead poisoning stemming from the Roman’s love for wine was perhaps a cause of the empire’s decline, though there is little evidence to support this. It is true that lead poisoning would have greatly impacted the sperm count of adult males, or the ability to carry a child in females, and even would have been fatal to the children themselves–as wine was the predominant drink for all citizens, regardless of age–but this means very little when you realize the people of Rome had no interest in rearing children, or even marriage. In fact, it came to a point where the people were so focused on a childless state, that Agustus himself attempted to intervene, much to no avail.
As for the sexual arousal, I can only speak from personal experience. My sex drive was what I assume to be average for a man my age. I sought a wife early on, I sought to make love, and I sought to be loved. I never happened upon any urges that were out of the ordinary, or struggled with a drive for physical contact more mighty than I could handle–though, some of those who read Armand’s poor account of Venice may greatly disagree. Of course, by then my need for mortal sexual intercourse had long been dead, and I base my words solely on the desire for something greater: the sharing of immortal blood.