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Abstract

The article focuses on comparing the functions of two institutions that castigated sodomy in Renaissance Italy: Florence’s the Office of the Night, and Venice’s Council of Ten. The author analyzes court cases from both Renaissance institutions as well as other first hand accounts of the culture of male sodomy in the region, explaining that Florence’s persecution of homosexual behavior was a secular tool to check the power of any political threat, while Venitian persecution originated from a theological mandate to save sinners from relinquishing their eternal salvation.

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