Dr. Brad Bouley — Meat is Murder: Cannibalism, Warfare, and Food Shortages in Renaissance Rome

Brad Bouley image


Location: Interactive Learning Pavillion (ILP) 1203


Talk Description:

In Rome in 1644 four butchers were accused of killing seven of their fellow Roman citizens, stripping the meat from their bones, and grinding it together with pork to make sausage, which was then sold from their shop behind the Pantheon. Although the butchers were quickly executed, their tale was not so easily forgotten. In pamphlets issued around the event, the story of the butchers turned into a morality tale about what to and not to eat. Using these pamphlets, along with trial documents, edicts, and other contemporary diaries, this paper will explore the context of this unusual story of cannibalism, the veracity of the sources, and the meaning of meat and the ways it was produced in early modern Rome.

Speaker Bio:

Brad Bouley’s research focuses on the histories of religion and science in the early modern, especially Italian, context. His first book, Pious Postmortems: Anatomy, Sanctity, and the Catholic Church in Early Modern Europe, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017. His work has also appeared in Osiris, Early Science and Medicine, Catholic Historical Review, the Sixteenth Century Journal, and the Rivista di Storia del Cristianesimo. When not conducting research on the early modern period, he enjoys running, reading science fiction, cooking, and playing with his two boys.

GRIT Talks:

"Ground-breaking Research/Innovative Technology," or GRIT Talks, is a UC Santa Barbara lecture series featuring a lineup of esteemed faculty. These 28 minute talks, followed by a 30 minute Q&A session, provide an insider look at innovative research happening at the university.