Marco Dotti

«God gets like a bank». Bequests and interests in Baroque Brescia

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Bequest, Life annuity, Credit, Mass.

This article aims to analyze in a new way a series of charitable practices widespread in Old regime society, by adopting a pragmatic standpoint. The article focusses on an array of bequests ad pias causas left by a Brescia family to the most important confraternity of the town. The case study shows as bequests was a first rate investment utilized by benefactors with various purposes like getting citizenship, legal protection or profitable annuities. On this line, it also emerges that the nexus between charitable and pragmatic motivations has had positive outcomes on the assets’ management. This intricacy was typical of many assets managed by the confraternity: so, the bequests pro anima distance themselves from the solemnity of the «last will» to become life annuities and vice-versa.

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