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Jouer sur les mots pour contourner la loi : l’exemple de la domesticité madrilène aux XVIe siècle et XVIIe siècles

Abstract : Using primary sources such as parish inventories from the late 16th century and notarial acts from the 17th century, this article explores how the Masters of high Madrilenian high nobility houses played on words in order to bypass the sumptuary laws which aimed at limiting the number of their servants. In order to transgress the law without actually dealing with it, the Masters adopted two kinds of strategies. The first one consisted in staying out of focus from the authorities about the real relations that united most of the people of the house to the Master. They would thus declare indefinable statuses to both census takers and notaries, mentioning for example criados, familiares, paniaguados and mozos, which enabled them to hide a great number of servants. On the contrary, the second strategy was inspired from treaties on economics which described the perfect organisation of an important house and relied on the employment of a maximum of different substantives to prove that each servant had a unique and essential part, with specific duties which were in no way redundant. In both cases, the potential of the lexicon was efficiently used and the authorities had great difficulties to eradicate these domestic microcosms of people whose existence and use would not be proved easily.
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Contributor : François-Xavier Mas Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, October 26, 2020 - 12:24:28 PM
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Sarah Pech-Pelletier. Jouer sur les mots pour contourner la loi : l’exemple de la domesticité madrilène aux XVIe siècle et XVIIe siècles. Viviane Arigne; Sarah Pech-Pelletier; Christiane Rocq-Migette; Jean-François Sablayrolles. Études lexicales. Mélanges offerts à Ariane Desporte, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, pp.45-60, 2020. ⟨hal-02978275⟩



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