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The Basque SerorasLocal Religion, Gender, and Power in Northern Iberia, 1550-1800$
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Amanda L. Scott

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747496

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747496.001.0001

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“Nothing More Certain Than Death”

“Nothing More Certain Than Death”

Seroras and Their Communities through Their Testaments

(p.78) Chapter 4 “Nothing More Certain Than Death”
The Basque Seroras

Amanda L. Scott

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the kinds of material and emotional expression that shaped Basque notarial documents, drawing from testaments made by seroras as well as testaments that left goods or pious donations to seroras. It also assesses the reasons seroras did or did not write testaments and the kinds of relationships and networks that were forged through pious bequests among seroras and their communities. To a large extent, testaments followed set patterns and addressed similar issues across testators. Nonetheless, there was considerable room for flexibility and creativity. Ultimately, each testament was an abbreviated and compressed statement about what the testator had valued, the friendships she had cultivated, and an attempt to extend and preserve beyond death the social and economic networks she had built during life.

Keywords:   notarial documents, testaments, seroras, donations, testators, social networks, economic networks

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