Villa Le Balze Studies


Villa Le Balze Studies
Editorial Board
Fabrizio Ricciardelli (Georgetown University), Chairman
Stefano U. Baldassarri (The International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai)
Alison Brown (University of London, Royal Holloway)
Humfrey C. Butters (University of Warwick)
Christopher S. Celenza (American Academy in Rome)
Samuel K. Cohn Jr. (University of Glasgow)
Matteo Duni (Syracuse University)
Marcello Fantoni (Kent State University)
Franco Franceschi (Università di Siena)
Stefano Lorenzetti (Conservatorio di Musica di Vicenza)
David Marsh (Rutgers University)
Giuseppe Mazzotta (Yale University)
Massimo Miglio (Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo)
Luca Molà (European University Institute)
Josiah Osgood (Georgetown University)
Giuseppe Palmero (Université de Aix-en-Provence)
Alessandro Polcri (Fordham University)
David Rundle (University of Oxford)
Enrico Spagnesi (Università di Pisa)
Daniel Smail (Harvard University)
Ilaria Taddei (Université de Grenoble II)
Andrea Zorzi (Università di Firenze)

Proceedings of the International Conference
Georgetown University at Villa Le Balze, 3-4 May, 2010

Georgetown University

edited by

Le Lettere

In copertina: G. Sercambi, Come si fenno alquanti chavalieri e corsensi
paili e batteosi moneta, et per più vituperio s’apicoron acini, in
Le croniche, vol. I, CLVI, Salvatore Bongi (Lucca: Tipografia Giusti,
1892), p. 122. A.S.L. bibl. Mss. 107 c. 61 r.
Fotografia di Lucio Ghilardi.

Il convegno è stato patrocinato da:

Copyright © 2012 by Casa Editrice Le Lettere – Firenze
ISBN 978 88 6087 569 3


Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Preface by Josiah Osgood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Introduction by Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. and Fabrizio
Ricciardelli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Andrea Zorzi, Legitimation and Legal Sanction of
Vendetta in Italian Cities from the Twelfth to the
Fourteenth Centuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Fabrizio Ricciardelli, Violence and Repression in
Late Medieval Italy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Ilaria Taddei, Recalling the Affront: Rituals of War in
Italy in the Age of the Communes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Samuel Kline Cohn Jr., Repression of Popular Revolt in
Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy . . . . . . . . .



Francesco Benigno, Reconsidering Popular Violence:
Changes of Perspective in the Analysis of Early
Modern Revolts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

» 123

. . . . . . » 273 Index of names and places . . Popular Resistance to Military Occupation During the Italian Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Polizzi and Randazzo . . . . . . . . » 291 . . . » 221 Alizah Holstein. . . . . . . . . » 191 PART THREE: VIOLENCE AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Paolo Grillo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Nourished on the Milk of Eloquence”: Knowledge as Social Contest in Mid-Trecento Rome . . . . . . . . . The Long Life of the Popolo of Milan. .6 CONTENTS Fabrizio Titone. . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . » 167 Christopher Carlsmith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signorial Citadels in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy . . . . » 237 Christine Shaw. Presentation and Practice of Violence in Late Medieval Sicily in Piazza. . . . . . . . 145 Patrick Lantschner. » 257 John Easton Law. . . . . . . . . “The Nourisher of Seditions”: Insurgent Coalitions and the Political Volatility of Late Medieval Bologna . . . . . . Revolts against the Visconti in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries . . . . . . . . “Cacciò fuori un bastone bianco”: Conflicts Between the Ancarano College and the Episcopal Seminary in Bologna . . . . . . . . .

dear friend and generous maestro .To Bruno P. Wanrooij (1954-2009).


and Studi Storici. In 2008. 2000). Since 2006 he is a member of the scholarly committee of the Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo. In 1998 he founded the e-journal Reti medievali and continues to serve as editor-in-chief. Andrea Zorzi (Università di Firenze) Professor of medieval history at the University of Florence. His main publications are: L’amministrazione della giustizia penale nella Repubblica fiorentina. Cohn Jr. 2012).D.CONTRIBUTORS Samuel K. in 1992. from Harvard University in 1978 and has been a professor of medieval history at the University of Glasgow since 1995. he is researching a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust. Pratiques so- . popular insurrection. During the past decade he has concentrated on two themes: the history of popular insurrection and plague. at the Warburg Institute in London in 1994. where he received his Ph.D. most recently. Aspetti e problemi (Florence: Olschki: 1988). American Historical Review. Connell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. His research focuses on Italian political history of the late Middle Ages. Waves of Hate from the Plague of Athens to AIDS. He also taught digital humanities at the University of Padua. he was a fellow at the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rome in 1993. 2010) and Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. women. Siena and Venice. co-edited with William J. Economic History Review. (University of Glasgow) He received his Ph. Berkeley. Florentine Tuscany. Structures and Practices of Power. English Historical Review. religious piety and medicine and disease during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Presently. Cultures of Plague: Medical Thinking at the End of the Renaissance (Oxford: Oxford University Press. He has published twelve books on topics in labor history. Pandemics: Waves of Disease. He has published articles in Past and Present. Les Annales. he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of California. and at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in 1996-1997.

distinguished by the sophistication of their economic activities. co-edited with Jacques Chiffoleau and Claude Gauvard (Rome: École française de Rome. Fanciulli e giovani. he received his first university degree in history at the University of Florence and his Ph. 1991). Le città italiane nel Medioevo. co-edited with Jean Philippe Genet (Rome: École française de Rome. their rich cultural life and their unusual social structure. jeunesse et pouvoirs. Her research focuses on Italian social. 2011). Le destin des rituels.D. Crescere a Firenze nel Rinascimento (Florence: Olschki. 2010). 2009). 2012). 2008). cultural and political history during the late Middle Ages. Entre France et Italie. 2006). Le signorie cittadine in Italia. Annali Aretini. He has published several articles on late medieval and Renaissance history in journals such as Argomenti storici. Reti Medievali. Les historiens et l’informatique. She is the author of Fête.D. with Franco Franceschi) (Bologna: Il Mulino. in history and civilization from the European University Institute and has taught medieval history at the University of Grenoble II since 1999. Secoli XIIIXV (Milan: Mondadori.10 CONTRIBUTORS ciales et politiques judiciaires dans les villes de l’Occident à la fin du Moyen Age. 2001). She has published several es- . Un métier à réinventer. He is chairman of the editorial board of Le Lettere’s new series “Villa Le Balze Studies. the forms of government they adopted. Il sacro e la città tra Medioevo ed Età moderna (Florence: Mauro Pagliai Editore. 2007). 2007) and has edited I luoghi del sacro. and others. Fabrizio Ricciardelli (Georgetown University) Professor of Italian history at Georgetown University at Villa Le Balze. 2008).” His latest field of study is the relationship between emotions and passions as forms of political persuasion in communal Italy. Ilaria Taddei (Université de Grenoble II) She received her Ph. from the University of Warwick. His research focuses on Italian city-states when they were strikingly unusual features of the social landscape of late medieval Europe. Archivio Storico Italiano. Between 1997 and 1998 she was a member of the École française de Rome. Vitalité et rayonnement d’une rencontre. Mélanges offerts à Pierrette Paravy (Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble. Faire corps dans l’espace urbain. XII-XIV secolo (ed. and co-editor of Les lieux de sociabilité religieuse à la fin du Moyen Âge (Grenoble: Université de Grenoble. He is the author of The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence (Brepols: Turnhout. L’Abbaye des Nobles Enfants de Lausanne (Lausanne: Université de Lausanne. Italie-France-Allemagne (Rome: École française de Rome.

articles on the electoral system of the Signoria in Florence and on ambassadorial correspondence. and taught at Boston College as Visiting Assistant Professor from 2006 to 2008. Torno. Francesco Benigno (Università di Teramo) Since 1993 a full professor of modern history at the Università di Teramo where has been for eight years Dean of the Faculty. L’ombra del re. and Specchi della Rivoluzione: ministri e lotta politica nella Spagna del Seicento. into both English and Spanish. and Cavalieri e popoli in armi. He has also published textbooks of early modern European history. Her research interests include the social. most recently. and Social Networks. He has published more than one hundred articles and essays in major Italian and international journals and a number of books on Mediterranean economic and social history and on European political history during the early modern period. Her most recent publication is an article co-authored with Prof. She has written several articles on related topics for The Encyclopedia of World History and The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Stili della politica barocca. Paolo Grillo (Università di Milano) Professor of medieval history at the Università di Milano. centro manifatturiero nella Lombardia viscontea (Florence: La Nuova Italia. economia (Spoleto: CISAM. His most recent book is Favoriti e ribelli. in medieval history from Cornell University. rituals. England: Ashgate. 2008).D. Milano in età comunale (1183-1276). Istituzioni.CONTRIBUTORS 11 says on youth confraternities. Texts. Alizah Holstein (Cornell University) She received her Ph. he is director of IMES (Southern Institute of History and Social Sciences). He is a member of the editorial boards of the academic journals Storica and Meridiana. His main publications are Le strutture di un borgo medievale. Le istituzioni militari nell’Italia medievale (Rome-Bari: Laterza. 2001). political. 2010). 1995). Among his books. sumptuary laws. Ministri e lotta politica nella Spagna del Seicento has been translated into Spanish. the notion of age. 400-1500 (Surrey. games. società. Joëlle Rollo Koster about emotion and urban topography in late fourteenth-century Rome published in the collection Cities. Rivista di storia e scienze sociali. he received his first university degree in history at the Università degli Studi di Milano and his doctorate from the Università di Firenze. published by Bulzoni. . cultural education and. and cultural history of medieval Rome and its place in the wider Italian and Mediterranean worlds.

and is especially interested in the place of political conflict in urban political orders. Sicily) and non-Mediterranean countries (Castile) in the high and late Middle Ages. and taught high school in New England and in Switzerland for six years. 2008) and Governments of the Universitates: Urban Communities of Sicily in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Turnhout: Brepols. Spain.12 CONTRIBUTORS Fabrizio Titone (University of País Vasco) He is Ramon y Cajal Researcher at the Universidad del País Vasco in Vitoria. on a project on Constructions of Care in Florence. from the University of Cagliari and his post-doctoral license in medieval studies from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. he has started a new project involving a number of scholars on exchange in the medieval period.D. 2012). and received his DPhil from the University of Oxford. In 2011 he was a fellow at the University of Notre Dame. 2009). He is preparing a monograph on this subject. University of Toronto. University of Oxford) He is a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College. from Stanford University (1986) and a Ph. Since 2009 he has been a fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto. The focus of his current research is the analysis of local societies through the history of emotion and social memory. Gli ufficiali scrutinati in Sicilia da Martino I ad Alfonso V (Palermo: Sciascia. Christopher Carlsmith (University of Massachusetts-Lowell) He has been teaching early modern European history and Western Civilization at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell since 2001. Prior to that. Patrick Lantschner (Merton College. and has co-edited a volume of articles on this subject in a later medieval context: Contact and Exchange in Later Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Malcolm Vale (Woodbridge: Boydell. He has received research grants from the Renaissance Society of America. he earned an A. He is also interested in methodological issues of comparative and transnational history. In addition. under the supervision of Nicholas Terpstra. He works on the political systems of late medieval cities in Italy and the Southern Low Countries. where he has collaborated.D. His publications concern urban history in the Crown of Aragon. the Gladys Kriebel Delmas .B. from the University of Virginia (1999). He has published numerous articles and two monographs: I magistrati cittadini. and is currently also investigating the foundations of politics in Middle Eastern cities in a comparative context. He received his Ph. Oxford. with the aim of comparing Mediterranean countries (Catalonia.

as well as contributions to a variety of anthologies and essay collections. Østermark . His first book. 1494-1559 (2012). Dr Law became a corresponding member of the Deputazione Veneta di Storia Patria in 1981 and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1985. A. 1500-1530 (2006). Victorian and Edwardian Responses to the Italian Renaissance (Aldershot: Ashgate. and a Fulbright Dissertation Award. 2004). For more than twenty years he has been a member of the Council of the Society for Renaissance Studies. Andrews and Oxford. A Renaissance Education: Schooling in Bergamo and the Venetian Republic. He became a lecturer at Swansea in 1971. Among his principal publications: The Lords of Renaissance Italy. (ed. Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu. The Politics of Exile in Renaissance Italy (2000). Annali di storia delle università italiane. . He was made a senior lecturer in 1989. 2002). with L. third edition (Oxford: Davenant Press. Venice and the Veneto in the Early Renaissance (Aldershot: Variorum. with C. and was a founding member of its Welsh branch. and (ed. Swansea’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research. with R. Law (Swansea University) He is a graduate of the universities of St.Johansen). in 2009 she was a Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 2009-2010 he was the Andrew W. the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. The Renaissance and the Celtic Countries (Oxford: Blackwell. Griffiths). (ed. 2005). Mellon Fellow at Villa I Tatti. and (with Michael Mallett). John E. 2005). (as editor) Italy and the European Powers: The Impact of War. He is a member of MEMO. was published with the University of Toronto Press in 2010. Davies). Her books include Julius II: The Warrior Pope (1993). The Italian Wars. He has published articles in History of Universities.CONTRIBUTORS 13 Foundation. He continues to pursue his longstanding research interests in the history of late-medieval and early Renaissance Italy. His current project is a book-length study of the history of student colleges in early modern Bologna. History of Education Quarterly. 2000). Rawdon Brown and the Anglo-Venetian Relationship (Stroud: Nonsuch Publishing. he edited Renaissance Studies between 1997 and 2006. Christine Shaw (Swansea University) She has held a series of research posts at the London School of Economics and the University of Warwick and most recently at the University of Cambridge (2005-2008). 1500-1650. and Bergomum. and a Reader in 2002.


have come to embark on an extraordinary intellectual adventure – inspired not only by Florence and Fiesole. but also the Villa itself.PREFACE Josiah Osgood (Professor of Classics. built for American philosopher and psychologist Charles Augustus Strong by the distinguished English architects Cecil Pinsent and Geoffrey Scott. Le Balze. It is a fitting moment to do so. Wanrooij. along with Georgetown faculty. thousands of students. now renamed Villa Le Balze Studies. set amid a series of walled gardens. Since the bequest of the Villa to Georgetown in 1979 by Strong’s daughter. When I learned that Professors Cohn and Ricciardelli wished to dedicate this volume to the memory of Bruno P. Villa Le Balze Academic Steering Committee) With this volume we re-launch the publication series sponsored by Villa Le Balze in Fiesole. designed to inspire contemplation. Georgetown University and Chair. and here too the Villa works its magic. is a beautiful neo-Renaissance house. the Marquesa de Larrain. our Georgetown colleague who has made enormous contributions to academic programming at Le Balze over the last few years. including the philosopher George Santayana. as new and exciting ideas take shape. Strong wrote several books there and hosted fellow scholars. for in 2013 Villa Le Balze itself is celebrating its first centenary. organized by Professor Samuel Cohn Jr. Yearly conferences bring scholars together. The papers in this volume were first presented at just such a conference in May. who ca- . Italy since the mid-1990s. 2010. and Georgetown University is using that occasion to evaluate and strengthen all the programs it administers there. along with Professor Fabrizio Ricciardelli.

In conversation with him one never failed to learn something. including the present day. Another question in Roman history relevant to this volume too is the relationship between state-sponsored violence and violence within day-to-day life. In my own field of Roman history. history itself may have light to shed. 2008). was there so . violence? With modern social scientists themselves divided on that general question. Did the spectacular displays of violence in the Roman arena. I was delighted. intellect was offset by a mischievous sense of humor and a true passion for music. Dutch by birth. With the “culture of violence” in Renaissance Italy one confronts a historical problem where sociology and political science again offer valuable perspectives – even as historical research in one period can help illuminate another period. nor to laugh either. areas of research where his wide interests brilliantly came together. There are other questions that transhistorical investigations can raise: why. a longtime resident and lover of Italy. encourage. for example. Bruno was trained as a historian but in his numerous publications drew heavily on the insights of sociology and an acute grasp of politics. and women in modern Italy. the family. The scholarly world mourned Bruno’s early death. Bruno’s formidable. inspire historians to think more quantitatively. an engaging professor. and he is keenly missed at Villa Le Balze and in the wider academic community of Florence. and a devoted mentor to younger colleagues. fields in which he also regularly taught. where he made innumerable contributions. that human beings in their dealings with one another may threaten violence but in fact prefer to avoid it – a claim historians may wish to test in their research. for example. for example. or discourage. Social scientific perspectives can. and I believe that Bruno would be pleased too. as a skillful administrator. or are they rather the tip of an iceberg? American sociologist Randall Collins has recently argued in a landmark study (Violence: a Micro-Sociological Theory. and a true cosmopolitan in outlook who enjoyed many transatlantic friendships.16 PREFACE pably served as Director of Villa Le Balze in the last few years of his life. the sources are filled with accounts of interpersonal violence – but are these reported for being atypical. Wanrooij did path-breaking work on the history of sexuality. and somewhat severe. for example.

the important. problem of violence. from a variety of perspectives.PREFACE 17 robust a culture of feuding in early modern Italy when it was nearly absent from the ruling class of ancient Rome? In years to come. . if all too disturbing. it is to be hoped that scholars can use investigations such as those in this volume to understand better.


however. murders in cathedrals and the like. and the new political and social realities that arose over the long duration of Burckhardt’s Renaissance. c. Not only did levels of violence certainly change over this long term.” continues to inform our notions of the Renaissance in Italy. languages of power became more dominant across the Italian peninsula and across social classes from the late fourteenth century on. especially of leaders’ brutality. and Fabrizio Ricciardelli Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) and particularly its first section. The first part of the volume is dedicated to “Violence as a Form . the papers delivered at a twoday international conference held at the Fiesole campus of Georgetown University (Villa Le Balze) showed how the character of that violence was transformed with symbolic and psychological manifestations and subtleties Burckhardt never imagined. States developed the use and threat of violence into finer tools of political control and oppression and could employ it with especial horrific effect in moments of crises. have highlighted differences between the impressions cast by his dazzling panorama of examples. 1250 to 1600. These papers investigate a wide range of violent action and convention over the three centuries of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance and their ramifications for altering and settling differences in private disputes as well as with collective action. As several of the papers explored. Strides in archival research over the past century or more. “The State as a Work of Art. whether between social classes or with factional competition for power and representation.INTRODUCTION Samuel Kline Cohn Jr.

laws and sentences. juxtaposed to the mundane and disgusting: minting coins of insult. vesting fake knights. repression its natural consequence in negotiation of amicizia (friendship) and inimicizia (enmity) among individuals and social groups. whereby individuals and groups strove to satisfy quests for honor and to foster an equilibrium between parties in conflict. or heaving donkeys over city walls. Ilaria Taddei. even to the commune itself. Between the second half of the thirteenth and the first half of the fifteenth century. and public executions. Next. Vendetta’s legitimization was the outcome of a complex cultural elaboration of values. through revenge and conflict. In late medieval Italy the good and peaceful state of the community was reached through the political use of ban (a monetary fine). words and images. Vendetta was a powerful tool for that social and political integration. Fabrizio Ricciardelli’s “Violence and Repression in Late Medieval Italy” explores the cultural vocabulary of communal society with its connections to pride and avarice. running ignominious races with whores. principally in Florence from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth century.’s “Repression of Popular Revolt in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy” explores the punishment and repression of popular rebels. and conceptual boundaries. ammonizione. Violence was the language of political resolution. Samuel Kline Cohn Jr.” vendetta was integral to these factional disputes.20 INTRODUCTION of Political Resolution. ceremonially executing animals. norms. As Andrea Zorzi argues in “Legitimation and Legal Sanction of Vendetta in Italian Cities from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Centuries. central and northern Italian city-states frequently suffered moments of disruptions to social peace through factional battles.” analyzes violence inflicted by means of precise rituals of insult performed outside the walls of besieged cities to hammer home an enemy’s defeat. in “Recalling the Affront: Rituals of War in Italy in the Age of the Communes. confinement (a political sentence).” Violence can be expressed through many forms. These “ritual games” aimed to deride the enemy ad aeternam memoriam. He . central and northern Italian city-states frequently suffered moments of disruptions to social peace through factional battles. These rituals of derision could possess recondite and highly sophisticated meanings. Between the second half of the thirteenth and the first half of the fifteenth century.

Lantschner instead argues that political conflict and “high volatility” should be seen in the context of “the pluralistic order of politics” that characterized late medieval cities. While in some instances violence was deemed just and even desirable. parties. and its codes of conduct. which led to several violent revolts. The second part of the volume concerns “Violence and Revolts. where a rich institutional structure of guilds. manipulation or control by outside forces.” looks at Sicily to explore administrative and economic reasons. in others it was considered a threat to the common good. and the uni- . and Genoa (1532). either way. it was never accepted as the natural order of things. It occurred first and foremost beyond Florence’s city walls. its ambiguity. in “Presentation and Practice of Violence in Late Medieval Sicily in Piazza. in the countryside and within the districts of its newly acquired towns. Prato (1528). By the early sixteenth century. The massacre of innocents at Cesena (1377) was an unacceptable exception that proves the rule. Historians have often suggested that late medieval revolts were the consequence of the rise of the modern state. The lower orders (populus) were always implicated. He returns to the question of the revolutionary crowd. and imbalances in political representation. Similar trajectories in the attitudes towards and brutality against one’s own subjects can be seen across central and northern Italy at the end of the fourteenth century and into the sixteenth. as with the management of gabelle (indirect taxes). as in Brescia (1511).” Francesco Benigno’s “Reconsidering Popular Violence: Changes of Perspective in the Analysis of Early Modern Revolts” underlines the centrality of violence in recent historical writing and argues that popular violence cannot be detached from the violence exerted by states and their institutions. especially Bologna. Patrick Lantschner’s “‘The Nourisher of Seditions’: Insurgent Coalitions and the Political Volatility of Late Medieval Bologna” analyses coalitions and their negotiations in a series of revolts in late medieval Bologna.INTRODUCTION 21 argues that the brutality of city-states towards rebels increased swiftly shortly after the defeat of the Tumulto dei Ciompi and the fall of the Government of the Minor Guilds (1382). Polizzi and Randazzo. Fabrizio Titone. Yet. such massacres to crush rebellion and leave indelible lessons had however become more or less the norm.

histories of ancient Rome. By focusing on these revolts and particularly that of 14021403. creating the crucible of the Repubblica Ambrosiana. Grillo shows the long life of Milan’s popolo in maintaining some semblance of a balance of power within the territorial city and in shaping the structures of this signorial regime. Their scuffles and verbal insults illuminate the social histories of these religious institutions.22 INTRODUCTION versity within the city walls and organizations outside it – contado powers. following Giangaleazzo Visconti’s death. domestic architecture. The popolo’s organization and memory extended into the mid-fifteenth century. the Visconti. she argues that pragmatism underlay his politics and use of texts. She neither dismisses him as an eccentric demagogue nor portrays him as an academically-minded early humanist. masculinity. French and German infantry. concentrating on long-running conflicts between students of the Collegio Ancarano and those of the episcopal seminary (Seminario Vescovile). In . Part III focuses on “Violence and Social Movements. Christine Shaw’s “Popular Resistance to Military Occupation during the Italian Wars.” Paolo Grillo’s “The Long Life of the Popolo of Milan: Revolts against the Visconti in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries” challenges prevailing historiography. and Milan – readily conditioned the formation of numerous coalitions that led to frequent and violent revolts overturning the city’s government. and codes of honor in early modern northern Italian youth culture. instead. artistic commissions. inscriptions. showing that resistance from below against Milan’s rulers. especially the Spanish. and more. during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries was more frequent and effective than heretofore assumed. Christopher Carlsmith’s “‘Cacciò fuori un bastone bianco’: Conflicts between the Ancarano College and the Episcopal Seminary in Bologna” examines “academic violence” in early modern Bologna. while shedding new light on Bolognese civic customs. the Church.” challenges accepted images of the Italian Wars. such as accounts of the sack of Rome that highlight the helplessness of civilians confronted with the brutality of soldiers. Alizah Holstein’s “‘Nourished on the Milk of Eloquence’: Knowledge as Social Contest in Mid-Trecento Rome” provides a new view of the political strategy of the Roman popular leader Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354).

Instead.” To be sure. they could also mount organized resistance to soldiers in transit or to those billeted in Italian towns and villages. groups from peasants in Piedmont to the popolo in towns of southern Italy retaliated. . especially republican ones. especially from the late fourteenth to the seventeenth century. discipline. top-down. despite the risk of troops returning to wreak revenge. as domestic residences of rulers and places of cultivation. one-way process towards greater violence. to some extent.INTRODUCTION 23 its place. frequent and effective with the rise of new weapons. inevitably and passively accepted by oppressed subaltern classes. Peasants often sought revenge against defeated soldiers. and their enemies. No doubt. associated with violence and a prince’s ghoulish suppression of his own people. their earlier dignity and rights. repression. Instead. neither the levels nor character of violence were all of one piece across the Italian peninsula or across Burckhardt’s broad three centuries of the Italian Renaissance. these buildings can be given “a positive rather than a sinister interpretation. John Law. Along with other commoners. stripped of their weapons and armor. and control. she supplies a new. This book undercovers and emphasizes the fact that this phenomenon was not an inexorable. brutal. In investigating the building and use of city citadels by signori. Often local authorities condoned. Even the commanders of the soldiers targeted by these assaults could sympathize with the civilians. rather than denounced. violence became more instrumental. they too could make counter-use of violence to resist elites and the state and thereby preserve. state structures and princely authority. the violent retaliation of communities against the brutality of foreign soldiers. especially at certain moments such as the establishment of a new regime or dynastic succession. labeled them as tyrants disrespectful of law and the common good. Law tempers the “gothic image” of these dark fortresses. in “Signorial Citadels in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. unexplored picture of these violent confrontations: in numerous instances resident populations effectively fought back.” explores the dependence of signori on violence. Their reputations for violence and brutality was aided by the fact that many served as condottieri.

Wanrooij (1954-2009). We are indebted to Susan Scott and Ori Soltes for reading the manuscript and offering valuable suggestions. Before his untimely death. .24 INTRODUCTION The editors wish to dedicate this book to Professor Bruno P. he long served as our best critic and supporter. who at the outset was supportive in planning the conference at the Villa Le Balze and would have contributed to the book.



the study of conflict in Italy dur* An earlier draft of this text was discussed in a seminar held at Christ Church College of the University of Oxford. the legitimation of vendetta was also a means for limiting its spread. 2009). for their gracious invitation).Andrea Zorzi (Università degli Studi di Firenze) LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA IN ITALIAN CITIES FROM THE TWELFTH TO THE FOURTEENTH CENTURIES* Introduction Italian communes in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries present a meaningful example of the control of vendetta. Patrick Lantschner. vendetta was a powerful factor of social integration. ed. ed. I also thank Samuel Cohn. recent international scholarship has focused on conflict as a major theme of inquiry.1 Its legitimation was the outcome of a complex cultural elaboration – of values. In onore di Arnold Esch. 2 See Andrea Zorzi. norms and conceptual boundaries – which allowed it both to satisfy the honor of individuals and to foster a balance between the parties in conflict: in essence.2 As we know. 2002). 135-170. vendetta was a common practice in Italian urban society. by Roberto Delle Donne and Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Olschki. Fabrizio Ricciardelli and Letizia Vezzosi for reviewing the translation and for their comments. pp.3 Until recently. 3 See for instance Le règlement des conflits au moyen âge (Paris: Publications de . 1 Conflitti. “La cultura della vendetta nel conflitto politico in età comunale. Guy Geltner and Petra Sijpesteijn. by Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Firenze University Press. paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale.” in Le storie e la memoria. 12 June 2007 (I would like to thank the coordinators. as in other societies of the past. At the same time. Teresa Bernheimer.

potentes and later the magnates). Violence and Practice. La vengeance. ed. 121. “Communal Democracy and its History. 2007). The Florentine Magnates.. and some experts are even starting once again to stress its republican and “democratic” aspects. ed. and Regine Le Jan (Rome: École française de Rome. 2010). by Jeppe Büchert Netterstrøm and Bjørn Poulsen (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. Changing Perspectives on Society and Culture. fuelled by the conduct and life-style of a restive aristocracy that went hand in hand with communal political life. 400-1200. pp. 5 See for instance Marvin B. I “milites” cittadini. Carol Lansing.” Bollettino roncioniano. Ronald W.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. fostering turbulence and undermining stability from the early days to the era of urban signorie. White. This is mainly because for some time a public-based view of communal culture and politics has predominated. 130-131. 5-20. Becker. 164ff. . XXVII (1965). 1991). Feud. 45 (1997). Guerre. n. 88. Stefano Gasparri. “Il governo delle città nell’Italia comunale: una prima forma di democrazia?. by Dominique Barthélemy. 4 See Anthony J.” Medieval Studies. 1992). François Bougard. 7-16. pp. by Belle Tuten.28 ANDREA ZORZI ing the age of the communes has been seen as an exception: historians have been reluctant to accept just how widespread the phenomenon was in society or the central role that conflict played in politics. “Communes and Communities: the Democratic Elements of Medieval Life. VI (2006). a long-lasting structural given.” Political Studies. 248ff. by Warren C. pp.4 This is why the “grand narrative” of vendetta in communal Italy has suffered until fairly recently from a somewhat negative and residual perception of the phenomenon.5 la Sorbonne. 2003). 184ff. “A Study in Political Failure: the Florentine Magnates (1280-1343). Studi sulla cavalleria in Italia (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il medio evo. Carstens.s. 9-49. the “popular” social groups also had soon to start banding together in troops and to practice armed violence in order to ensure their members’ defense.. Feud in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Lineage and Faction in a Medieval Commune (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2006). Cavaliers et citoyens. particularly among Italian scholars. ed. 2001). Brown and Piotr Gorecki (Farnham: Ashgate. Black. Tracey Billado (Farnham: Ashgate. Essays in Medieval Studies in Honor of Stephen D. pp. As a reaction. Conflict in Medieval Europe. The accepted view sees violence as revealing an endemic state of chaos. This view suggests that violence in communal society was due mainly to the difficulty involved in disciplining the life models and value systems of the aristocratic families (the milites. ed. pp. Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur. pp. 6 (1998).

consequently. 98ff. “Blood Feud and Modernity: Max Weber’s and Émile Durkheim’s Theories. The Florentine Magnates. Thus.” Journal of classical sociology. fol- conflits et société dans l’Italie communale. 172. 1976). Retour à la cité. 1982). 1340-1440 (Paris: Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. the advent of the commune brought with it the demand to discipline violence.8 Yet we notice some contradiction in this “narrative”: on the one hand it suggests that the primacy of the public commune gradually sidelined the practice of vendetta. 1976). 2003). Studi sulle strutture politiche e sociali degli ambienti urbani (Naples: Liguori.7 The persistence of these violent attitudes. XIIe-XIIIe siècles (Paris: Editions de Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. pp. Secoli XII-XV. which some scholars.6 The primacy of a public judicial system based on ex officio investigation. . Lansing. the specific trait shaping the defense of honor and the achievement of social superiority. security and civic tranquility. but at the same time. vendetta was strictly a prerogative of the aristocracy. Contrary Commonwealth. Les magnats de Florence. I: Pisa. 6 See now Jonas Grutzpalk. 104ff. The Theme of Exile in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press. following Weber.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 29 This view frames vendetta as the very symbol of violence among leading families. see enshrined in its claim to hold a public monopoly on violence. promoted above all by those social groups linked to manufacturing and trade. 109-142. 206-207. Randolph Starn. In other words. the ones presumed to have been the bearers of value systems tied to order. Siena (Florence: Sansoni. a way of life rooted in the ethos of chivalry. factional conduct as well. Christiane Klapisch-Zuber. Il clan familiare nel Medioevo. trial and punishment is alleged to have gradually prevailed over “private” justice driven in turn by spiraling retaliation. pp. is therefore alleged to have produced a series of measures and injunctions designed to outlaw vendetta and. pp. p. Studi sui sistemi normativi delle democrazie comunali. pp. 8 See for instance Jacques Heers. 7 See for instance Roberto Celli. pp. The strength of the commune’s institutions. well into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is for the most part framed within the paradigm of the “decline” of vendetta: a persistence of anachronistic practices. 321-335. which more than one historian traces back to the barbaric practice of the blood feud. tolerated until it could be inexorably uprooted by the State. pp. 115-134. 2006). 2 (2002).

But 9 Such as those of Jacob Black-Michaud. pp. 2002). that it could be therefore the object of a process of cultural. 2007). underscoring the predominance of the ideal of peace in the commune’s public discourse. this happens because there is a tendency to superimpose the various levels of violence and to confuse them with those of the vendetta. The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies (Lawrence: Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Maire Vigueur. More especially. Conflict and Banditry in Nineteenth-Century Corsica (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. nonetheless these scholars are often reluctant to accept certain interpretations resulting from research into other societies:9 firstly. Feud in the Mediterranean and the Middle East (Oxford: Blackwell. 1984). such practices are interpreted as being the root cause of the crisis in the commune and the subsequent assumption of power by the urban signori. social and legal legitimation. 1990). 10 See for instance Trevor Dean. Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge Univrsity Press. La vendetta (Paris: L’Harmattan. Christopher Boehm. to its nature as an efficacious factor of social integration. highlighting the regulation to which it was subjected. Feuding. Tuer pour survivre. Patrizia Resta. Blood Revenge. Cohesive Force. and that it could be a far from secondary factor in the sphere of values that went to make up the education of the citizenry. Pensare il sangue. Artun Unsal. La vendetta nella cultura albanese (Rome: Meltemi Editore. 1975). while studies have begun to acknowledge that the vendetta occupied a different place in society and in politics. 123-132. the limitation of violence that appears to be proper to the logic of the vendetta.30 ANDREA ZORZI lowing contemporary chroniclers’ representations.10 If we look closely. 1988). pp. these scholars find it difficult to accept the notion that the vendetta was a widespread practice affecting every social group. or hailing the primacy of public justice in the settlement of conflicts. . More recently. We may also note that a number of scholars who have recently begun to acknowledge the dissemination of the practice and the culture of vendetta in communal society still prefer to reiterate a negative view of it. we can see that this approach is little more than an updated version of the public and teleological “pre-comprehension” that has long conditioned the interpretation of the role of vendetta in communal culture. 329-332. Cavaliers et citoyens. Stephen Wilson.

by Benoît Garnot (Dijon: (Publications de l’Université de Bourgogne. This research has shown the interclass nature of such conflicts. La risoluzione delle dispute nella Toscana del XII secolo (Rome: Viella. highlighting the close interaction between solutions brokered by arbiters and the action of the early communal institutions (colleges of consuls) and the flexible variety of legal tools. seeking to link it to a broader historiography across other past societies and to highlight the ordinary nature of conflict-based social relations.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 31 if we adopt that approach. 12 Maire Vigueur. identifying violent clashes among families as being one of the most typical traits of the urban nobility’s way of life and system of values. I began to discuss the issue of conflict in communal society in a series of essays published from the mid-1990s.12 Finally. “Conflits et pratiques infrajudiciaires dans les formations politiques italiennes du XIIIe au XVe siècle. and thus (perhaps) to understand better. the many ways of conducting and resolving conflicts (peacefully. 609-629. and the legitimation and central role of the culture of vendetta in communal political society. 2000). thus redefining these practices as a prerogative of the chivalric class and mapping their chronological and social limits. and Pierangelo Schiera (Bologna: Il Mulino. 19-36. Processi di formazione statale in Italia fra medioevo ed età moderna. Unfortunately. 1994). pratiche e conflitti. the wide social diffusion of vendetta. violently or through punishment). pp. Anthony Molho. ed. 307-335. ed.’ Faide e conflitti tra pratiche sociali e pratiche di governo.” in L’infrajudiciaire du Moyen Âge à l’époque contemporaine. 13 See Andrea Zorzi. Legge. It is only thanks to research undertaken very recently that the issue of conflict and vendetta in Italian communal cities has been analyzed in a new perspective. this tends to impoverish our interpretation of the plural diverse dimensions of the political struggle. we are in danger of failing to nuance and to enrich. “La cultura del- . Cavaliers et citoyens. Zorzi.13 11 Chris Wickham. pp. I am referring first and foremost to research conducted by Chris Wickham into the settlement of disputes in twelfth-century Tuscany. “‘Ius erat in armis. pp. Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur has devoted some substantial paragraphs in his monograph on urban militia to the “culture of hatred” and to the forms of conflict. the analysis of the methods of politics in Italian communal society. by Giorgio Chittolini. 1996).” in Origini dello Stato.11 In his turn. Zorzi.

14 I shall attempt here to illustrate the salient results of this new historiography. 2004).32 ANDREA ZORZI The results of these recent studies begin to define certain facets of the development and differentiation of the practices of conflict between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries. Patrick Boucheron and Patrick Gilli. pp. This observation will not astonish those familiar with the political categories to which the school of so-called “political realism” has been devoting its enla vendetta”. pp. I plan to focus on the following issues: the social diffusion of the practices of vendetta. L’Italie des communes (11001350) (Paris: Belin. Patrick Gilli. in other words. XIIe-XIVe siècle. 14 Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan. 61-87. 103-107. 49-52. 2005). 144-149. the “constitutional” nature of conflict. “friendship/enmity” spread.” Scienza e politica. 89-94. This revised view is already present in the most up-to-date surveys devoted to Italian cities in the age of the communes. the interaction between conflict and civic coexistence.milieu XIVe siècle (Paris: Sedes. 61-62. L’Italie de Dante et de Giotto (Paris: Albin Michel. the normative regulation of the vendetta. ed. 63-65. Zorzi. 2003). pp. . 121-162. 27-31. François Menant. pp. In particular.’ Conflitto e costituzione nell’Italia comunale. Milieu XIIe . Crouzet-Pavan. Per una storia delle dottrine politiche. 39 (2008). pp.” in Stadt und Recht im Mittelalter/ La ville et le droit au Moyen Âge. 197-214. Zorzi. méthodologie. François Menant. 2004). Les villes d’Italie (vers 1150-vers 1340) (Paris: Belin. pp. by Pierre Monnet and Otto Gerhard Oexle (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 113-128. “Diritto e giustizia nelle città dell’Italia comunale (secoli XIIIXIV). the cultural and political legitimation of those practices. 2005). Patrick Boucheron. “‘Fracta est civitas magna in tres partes. Les villes italiennes. bibliographie commentée (Paris: Armand Colin. Enjeux historiographiques. A survey of sources clearly suggests that a vocabulary of social (and political) relations built around the dichotomy “friend/enemy”. pp. 2001). The social diffusion of the practices of vendetta Most sources dating to the Italian communal age show that the practices of conflict were widespread among the various social groups. which is beginning to shape a more appropriate place for conflict and vendetta in communal society. Enfers et paradis. I am thinking in particular of the work of Elisabeth Crouzet Pavan. Villes et sociétés urbaines en Italie.

etc. 16 Archivio di Stato di Firenze [henceforth ASFi]. probes some of the key concepts in politics both ancient and modern – strength. In the space of six months. small artisans) swore to live in peace with one another. the means and the tools of politics belong to a world in which conflict inevitably plays a crucial role. for instance. Julien Freund. Balìe. the overlord of Florence in 1342 and 1343. 1. – presupposing that the essence. on the category of amicus/inimicus (hostis). Le radici concettuali della conflittualità ‘privata’ e della conflittualità ‘politica’. A first analysis. il conflitto. Materiali per una teoria del politico. by Gianfranco Miglio and Pierangelo Schiera (Bologna: Il Mulino. The number of these individuals runs into the thousands.” in which he boasted that he had fully reconciled 1.15 So I would like to draw attention first to an extraordinary document now in the State Archives of Florence: a register comprising 293 sheets containing a copy of all the acts of pacification between individuals and family groups that Walter of Brienne. Cavaliers et citoyens. also in Rome. It is well known that this school of thought. by Gianfranco Miglio (Milan: Giuffrè. pp. 113-116. limited to magnates. the popular leader.17 15 See Carl Schmitt. responsibility. merchants. Similar peacemaking practices are known to us. security.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 33 ergies for a long time. 1992). 1972).16 This document is extraordinary because it has survived to our day. It is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers present because the lists of those taking the oath are either incomplete or were abbreviated by the notaries drafting them. the common good. ed. Amicus (inimicus) hostis. decision. Le categorie del “politico”. fostered the establishment of a “house of justice and peace. I am referring in particular to the work of Julien Freund and Gianfranco Miglio on the conceptual roots of “private” and “political” conflicts. 1995). Retour à la cite. all of whom were present at the drafting of 274 acts of pacification. freedom. which goes back to Carl Schmitt’s study of political categories.800 cases of enmity between citizens. . ed. over four hundred families from all walks of life (knights. is in Klapisch-Zuber. but it is not exceptional. 319. il nemico. Saggi di teoria politica. obliged people to sign in public. ed. Il terzo. 17 See Maire Vigueur. where in 1347 Cola di Rienzo. by Alessandro Campi (Milan: Giuffrè. p.

555-578. 2010). Porta Casucci. “Delitto e pace privata nel pensiero dei legisti bolognesi. we find that it is absolutely common to find acts of pacification drawn up between individuals from the most varied social backgrounds from the thirteenth century onwards. Brevi note. 193-217. they recognized the existence of conflicts and tried to resolve them without repression or punishment. pp. 265-301.18 The parties appearing before a notary were either those who decided to forgo revenge or any legal steps (almost always obtaining financial compensation in return). that government authorities were still active in adopting measures designed to contain and settle clashes. those who were separated from one another because of a mortal enmity in which acts of violence and periods of peace alternated.34 ANDREA ZORZI Sources and practices of this kind tell us at least three important things in connection with the object of our study. pp.19 Managing a feud or resorting to vendetta was not within the reach of every individual or every family.” Annali di Storia di Firenze. that relations of enmity in Italy’s cities were still very widespread in the middle of the fourteenth century. lastly. 269-287. or.” Quaderni storici. Emanuela Porta Casucci. . ed. vendetta was not the prerogative of a single social group.” in Idees de pau a l’edat mitjana (Lleida: Pagès editors. by Gino Masi (Milan: Vita e Pensiero. And last. 315-354. in short. when we search notaries’ records. clashes resulting from these hostile relations traversed the whole body of society. 195-241. Padoa Schioppa.” Studia Gratiana. “La pacificazione dei conflitti a Firenze a metà Trecento nella pratica del notariato fiorentino. V (2009). First. or those who agreed to settle their differences after a vendetta had (seemingly) balanced the initial injury. paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale. 18 See Collectio chartarum pacis privatae Medii Aevi ad regionem Tusciae perti- nentium. from eminent lineages to people from the humblest backgrounds: in other words. “Pace e conflitti nelle città comunali italiane. Indeed. 1943). 101 (1999). Andrea Zorzi. 1980).” in Diritto comune e diritti locali nella storia dell’Europa (Milan: Giuffrè. XX (1976). in other words. “Pace e processo nel sistema giudiziario del comune di Perugia. Since these involved risk. “Le paci fra privati nelle parrocchie fiorentine di San Felice in Piazza e San Frediano: un regesto per gli anni 1335-1365. they were an ordinary kind of social relationship. pp. pp. pp. Second.” in Conflitti. 19 See Antonio Padoa Schioppa. pp. Massimo Vallerani. “Delitto e pace privata nel diritto lombardo: prime note.

in other words the opposite of impulsive acts. or. forthcoming. a cultural model later imitated by other emerging social groups. above all.” which was then adopted during the thirteenth century also by “the more well-to-do among the lower classes. and they could lead to social isolation. Vendetta and feuding were practices within the reach of anyone who could afford them. consigliare alla giustizia. social relations. among other things. not chevaliers) – was a player in feuding in the last few decades of the twelfth century and the first few decades of the thirteenth century. Note su pratiche e culture politiche nell’Italia comunale. they comprised cavaliers. 285 and p. p. it was a matter for consilium et auxilium. “Consigliare alla vendetta. Vendetta was thus the result of a decision-making process on the part of the groups involved. On the other hand.”21 First of all.” Archivio storico italiano. Cavaliers et citoyens. political clout and economic and symbolic resources were more likely to resort to vendetta. we may wonder to what extent the sources them- 20 See Andrea Zorzi. 313-315. These were planned strategies. not to the chivalric knightly class alone (as Maire Vigueur has shown. open to anyone who could afford a horse. 2011). “Progetti di trasformazione della società nei regimi di Popolo. it is debatable – to my mind – to view the vendetta merely as part of the lifestyle of the urban nobility. The decision to avenge a wrong suffered and. as seen from evidence from the second half of the twelfth century to the first half of the fourteenth century. were options that individuals and family groups pondered according to their means. Idem.” in La ricerca del benessere individuale e sociale. pp. significantly. But it does not mean that vendetta and feuding were the exclusive recourse of a given social group. 315. to engage in a lasting conflict. CLXX (2012). regardless of social origin. XII-XV secolo) (Rome: Viella. It is beyond question that the urban militia – a militia. as for example Maire Vigueur does when he identifies the culture of conflict as the “peculiar characteristic of the knightly mentality.20 and they explain why the more powerful families in terms of their demographic structure.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 35 they could have drastic economic or political repercussions. . 21 Maire Vigueur. especially of the knightly class (the milites). Ingredienti materiali e immateriali (città italiane.

p. while vendettas perpetrated by families from the “popular” classes are almost always passed over in silence. pp. we may attach special significance to the analysis of city chronicles – mostly the work of notaries. They were con- 22 Maire Vigueur. the Poltroni and the Calorosi. which triggered the birth of the Guelph and Ghibelline factions in the city. paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale. see Giuseppe Gardoni. “Il convito del 1216. 24 For what follows. . 1995). they simply held administrative posts in the commune in the decades between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. but owned property. 23 Andrea Zorzi. they did not belong to the consular élite. Above all. La vendetta all’origine del fazionalismo fiorentino. as Pierre Bourdieu has pointed out. merchants and clerics – for the partisan representation of social reality that they offer: the milites.” in Ordinamenti di giustizia fiorentini. necessarily had to resort to “thirteenth-century chronicles to shed light on the reality of the previous century. rather than being merely a lifestyle.24 The two families. I (2006). ed. “Politica e giustizia a Firenze al tempo degli Ordinamenti an- timagnatizi. vendette e aggregazioni familiari a Mantova all’inizio del secolo XIII. there is a risk in taking as general practice what in reality may have been mere accounts provided by the sources. “Conflitti. In that connection. p. they were not known to have had any social qualifications of a chivalric nature. These were lineages that did not belong to the militia. A series of conflicts between the Poltroni family and other families was depicted by subsequent chroniclers as a war (werra) between the Poltroni and the Calorosi family.23 In other words. 43-104. were houses of secondary importance in local political life. and later the magnates are described in negative terms as leading a violent lifestyle and as being responsible for political divisions. vendetta is portrayed as a factor in one’s social reputation. for instance.”22 But. Cavaliers et citoyens.36 ANDREA ZORZI selves may have influenced this interpretation: Maire Vigueur’s analysis. by Vanna Arrighi (Florence: Edifir. in particular pp. 29. 28-29.” Annali di Storia di Firenze. 307. Enrico Faini. Studi in occasione del VII centenario. I shall dwell on one particular example from the very early years of the thirteenth century in Mantua. houses and fortified structures in the city.” in Conflitti.

families without milites). the Poltroni and Calorosi families built towers because they could afford to do so. A notary named Giacomo 25 See Giovanni Villani. showing them to be widespread among the various social groups. 23. But in the sources (whether contemporary chronicles or judicial acts) they seem to lack precisely some of the attributes that Maire Vigueur considers to be peculiar to the urban nobility. Out of approximately one hundred conflicts that I have discovered. almost half the instances (47 out of 98) seem to have involved “popular” families (i. Fra torri e “magnae domus. but even the vocabulary used to describe their conflict fails to include the term hodium (hatred). Nuova cronica (VI. even by neighborhood communities during the clashes over consular posts in the late 1170s. “Conflits et pratiques infrajudiciaires. . Not only is there no explicit mention of their belonging to the chivalric class. 1990). 239.27 I shall confine my remarks to the case of Parma. Even the military use of towers is not necessarily an indication of nobility: towers for urban warfare were built in Florence.25 In other words. As for myself.” Famiglie e spazi urbani a Mantova (secoli XII-XIII) (Verona: Libreria Editrice Universitaria. In a broader perspective. ed. Vendetta was exacted by those who could afford its material and symbolic costs as well as its social and political consequences. we might suggest that these families could be likened to the urban militia. by Giuseppe Porta (Parma: Guanda. not because they “felt” that they belonged to the militia. 27 Zorzi. a term that Maire Vigueur considers to be peculiar to the noble culture. vol. 9). communal documents paint a more varied and complex picture of the practices of conflict. where leading actors in the vendetta culture in the decades of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries were socially well-defined groups such as those from the ranks of the popolo. I have conducted a survey of reports on feuds and vendettas in Florence roughly from 1260 to 1340.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 37 nected with the main ecclesiastical bodies in one way or another and were active as money lenders. for instance. These figures are confirmed by reports from other cities.26 In short. p. I.. 26 See also Giuseppe Gardoni. 2008). and in fully one-quarter of the cases (25 out of 98) the feud was solely between non-noble families.” p.e.

The cultural and political legitimation of vendetta Public discourse about the vendetta was complex and ambivalent. 29 Chronicon Parmense ab anno 1038 usque ad annum 1479. for instance. 9. summarizes the episode using explicit vendetta terminology.29 The practice of vendetta had no class-linked connotation in sociological terms. see Gabriele Guarisco. 66. a cultural domain involving numerous players. The response was handled directly by his guild of notaries. the underlying cultural model was in favor of its legitimation. wrecking their homes and their property.38 ANDREA ZORZI Canonica was killed by the locals in the countryside village of Olmo in 1294. The anonymous author of Chronicon parmense. separated in time and space. and a legitimate practice of political action. was closed “donec dicta vindicta… facta fuit” [“until said vendetta was accomplished”]. it was a widely used resource in social action (regardless of status). As for the de facto legitimation of the vendetta. These two examples show the widespread custom among urban ruling groups of resolving disputes with their enemies through vendetta: Genoa in the second half of the twelfth century and Florence in the last decade of the thirteenth century.” in Conflitti.28 The guild conducted an inquest on the site. paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale. p. 131-153.’ Il popolo e le pratiche della vendetta a Parma tra tardo Duecento e primo Trecento. also adding certain symbolic details such as the fact that the palace of the Commune. . members of the commune’s own governing bodies habitually exacted vendettas. Despite the fact that the vendetta was often portrayed in a socially negative light. by Giuliano Bonazzi (Città di Castello: Lapi. pp. 1902). IX. where the notaries conducted their daily activities. indeed. I shall confine myself to providing two examples. and pillaged the guilty parties’ assets. ed. in Rerurm Italicarum Scriptores. “‘Come uno sciame d’api. handed those responsible for the murder over to the podestà of the commune of Parma. We can see this at work on a number of levels. education as a citizen meant learning about vendetta. On the political level. surely a notary. 28 For what follows.

alliance networks that often included friends. the city’s most powerful families in social and economic terms. much appears to have changed.30 If we look at Florence in the late thirteenth century. These clashes ranged from simple vendetta to more structured. no longer only those from the milites class but also merchants.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 39 In Genoa the Annales Ianuenses drawn up by chancellor notaries for the commune describe constant conflict sparking rifts within the Genoese consuls’ regime from the middle of the twelfth century. The political context was completely different: the city was now governed by a plurality of families. apart from the ruling groups’ habit of exacting vendetta in the first person.31 Thus in the longer run. 1914). hailing from the popular family of the Velluti. La cronica domestica. Cavaliers et citoyens. by Isidoro Del Lungo and Guglielmo Volpi (Florence: Sansoni. and we will see that it passed unscathed through the clutches of the judicial authorities. pp. rather. This was not a two-party division between political groupings. In fact. Also in this case. “Politica e giustizia a Firenze. The social actors might change. that enacted a spectacular vendetta on Easter Day 1295 right in the center of the city. the habit of ruling groups of viewing vendetta as a usual practice in civic relations was the legacy of every generation. 31 Zorzi. So-called “popular” regimes had now replaced the more narrow-based governments of earlier years. turning out to be deemed fully legitimate. families. Many of the actors were members of the urban militia. 310ff. it reflected divisions among individuals. neighbors and clients. but the culture was a 30 Maire Vigueur. a member of this family of milites. which contemporary sources describe as bellum and werra. But we can reconstruct the Velluti’s strategy of vengeance from judiciary records and from their family memoirs. ongoing violence. it was certain members of the “priorate” government (priori delle arti). source: Donato Velluti. 10-11. Competition for public posts in the commune and for control over public resources lay behind most of the conflicts. ed. bankers. pp. . their victim was a Mannelli. entrepreneurs and many members of the guilds.” pp. 110-113. contemporary chronicles fail to mention the episode. naturally.

Høst. Chiara Crisciani. This is proven by an analysis of pedagogical literature used for educating the commune’s citizenry. as even the title makes clear: the most appropriate strategy for dealing with anyone who has injured us must be devised only after systematically pondering advice from relatives and friends. pp.” there is even a treatise devoted entirely to the culture of conflict. the management of conflict (Liber consolationis et consilii. by Thor Sundby (Havniae: F.32 The Liber is part of a trilogy of moral treatises designed to provide citizens with the tools for behaving appropriately in various social situations: family relations and the choice of friends (De amore et dilectione Dei et proximi et aliarum rerum et de forma vitae. pp. Cavaliers et citoyens. written in 1245) and.40 ANDREA ZORZI constant.Edizioni del Galluzzo 2004). 195-216. 1873). Among the various texts on the “art of citizenship. “Prudenza del consigliare. 74-89. that is the necessary equivalence between rhetoric and good behavior (Ars loquendi et tacendi. ed. pp. Consilium plays a crucial role. or in any case a “clear and unimpeachable condemnation of vendetta. 34 See Aldo Checchini. and Silvana Vecchio (Florence: Sismel . 316-319. Teorie e pratiche del consigliare nella cultura medievale. a causidicus (judge) in the entourage of itinerant podestàs in the second quarter of the thirteenth century. Maire Vigueur. 1992). That literature adopts an approving approach to the issue of conflict in more than one instance.” in Consilium. Lettere e Arti. Albertanus has put together a more complex and subtle discourse on conflict and on the ways of conducting and resolving disputes. the social use of words. The Pursuit of Happiness in the Early Thirteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. by Carla Casagrande.” Atti del Reale Istituto Veneto di Scienze.34 In fact. . 33 See Enrico Artifoni.” according to the “public pre-comprehension” prevailing among historians of the commune. the wellknown Liber consolationis et consilii by Albertanus of Brescia. 32 Albertani Brixiensis Liber consolationis et consilii ex quo hausta est fabula gallica de Melibeo et Prudentia. “Un giudice nel secolo decimoterzo: Albertano di Brescia. Albertanus of Brescia. ed. written in 1246). pp. 185235. LXXI (1911-12). written in 1238). James M. Powell.33 The Liber consolationis was considered until recently to justify public justice over the feud. L’educazione del cittadino nel Liber consolationis et consilii di Albertano di Brescia (1246). as mentioned.

pp. “L’éloquence laïque dans l’Italie communale (fin du XII-XIV siècle). and I have commented on it elsewhere. 431-442. one of the factors in the communal paideia. “L’éloquence politique dans les cités communales (XIIIe siècle). it proposes the resolution of conflicts outside the law court. Conflict is understood as an ordinary type of social relationship. by Isabelle Heullant-Donat (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne.35 I shall merely point out that Albertanus’s Liber consolationis is an extraordinary mixture of moral judgments and practical advice. The book ends on a note of reconciliation and peace: “Meum est consilium. which.” in Cultures italiennes (XIIe-XVe siècles). the Flore de parlare. pp. see Enrico Artifoni. ed. 144-158. The best solution for conflicts appears to be peace and forgiveness. This is all the more striking when we note that its author is a judge in a court of law.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 41 This text deserves further comment.”36 So the Liber consolationis does not advocate the prevalence of public justice and punishment meted out by a judge. and the treatise begins. çoè somma d’arengare (in other words a summa of harangues) by Giovanni da Vignano dated 1290. It is not a practice that he rejects or condemns a priori. Albertanus devotes a chapter to analyzing the many instances when it is recommended. If we move on to the next generation and examine the handbooks for teaching public speaking. 106-107. rather.” Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Chartes. The last few chapters of the Liber present the ritual use of public vows of reconciliation as one of the salient features of feuds which were often also decisive in resolving them. composed by Matteo de’ Libri in or around 1275. Paolo Cammarosano. 36 Albertani Brixiensis Liber consolationis et consilii. and the Dicerie da imparare a dire a huomini gio- 35 Zorzi. should be pondered well. indeed.” pp. 158 (2000). 269-296. while deplorable from a moral and religious viewpoint. ut per reconciliationem et concordiam vincas discordiam et guerram.37 I am referring in particular to some texts in the vernacular (and for this reason designed for wide distribution) containing collections of speeches penned by notaries: the Arringhe. the spoken word appears to be one of the main tools for managing relationships of friendship or enmity. 37 For a first overview. pp. is developed and resolved totally within the framework of the culture and logic of conflict. . 2000). “La cultura della vendetta.

it placed both the life and the emotions of the individuals and families involved in jeopardy and disturbed the peace of the city. a practice to be legitimated but also to be disciplined. Idem. we can easily understand why the moral attitude toward this practice was ambivalent. I do not have the space to go into the texts in greater detail. 158-161. But then. “La cultura della vendetta. VI (1942). Arringhe.39 I shall simply point out that in each one of these collections there is no lack of examples on how to seek or offer advice in the event of a vendetta. 38 Matteo dei Libri. consigliare alla giustizia. 231-325. Therefore. However. when revenge was exacted. see also Giovanni Fiorentino da Vignano. Giuliana Giannardi. pp.” pp. Flore de parlar. Once again. and why the cultural context of values. rules and tracts that accompanied it over the years lends itself perfectly to being interpreted in terms of “conceptual boundaries” rather than in terms of the dichotomous categories of “ideals and reality. 40 “Come si dee adomandare consiglio e aiuto agli amici per fare sua vendetta”.” “How to urge and counsel friends to exact revenge.” “How to thank friends.” “How to console friends in certain sudden occurrences.” and so forth40 – to realize that the practice of vendetta helped to define the individual’s identity and the family’s prestige in a political society regulated by relationships of friendship and enmity.38 These are practical texts without any direct moral purpose.” “theory and practice.” forthcoming. “Consigliare alla vendetta. having done so on other occasions. 1974). pp. 27-63. The education of a citizen of the commune included teaching him how to conduct a vendetta. 39 Zorzi. “Come si dee dire a’ consorti per l’amico offeso”. “Le ‘Dicerie’ di Filippo Ceffi.” Studi di filologia italiana.” and so forth. by Eleonora Vincenti (Milano-Napoli: Ricciardi. . one has but to read the titles of the speeches – “How to seek counsel and help from friends to exact revenge. Their function is to help the citizen use appropriate language on public occasions in social and political life.” “What to tell relations when their friends have been injured. in the same volume. ed.42 ANDREA ZORZI vani et rozzi gathered by Filippo Ceffi from Florence in about 1330.” and so forth. “Come si debbono ringraziare gli amici. “Come si dee dire e confortare gli amici a fare vendetta”. “Come si debbono confortare gli amici in alcuno subito avvenimento”.

but I shall mention only one by the modest Florentine merchant.” “Those who fear to seek vengeance will do much wrong. pp.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 43 Not a single author from the communal period who takes a positive view of vendetta fails to highlight its negative aspects or to prefer peace and forgiveness.” in Mercanti scrittori. by the traditional grassroots wisdom enshrined in proverbs and “words of wisdom” (ammaestramenti) which never failed to target those who had failed to avenge injured relatives. go avenge your nephews 41 “La prima allegrezza si è fare sua vendetta: il dolore si è essere offeso da uno suo nimico”. “ne le vendette acquisti il contrario: cioè. pain is being injured by your own enemy. and p.”41 A man’s social reputation also took debts of vengeance into account and considered it as a dishonor to shirk the obligation of retaliation. Strong expressions – such as “Go. The best sources are judicial acts. by Vincenzo Nannucci (Florence: Ricordi. such as those found in Lucca and Pistoia in the middle decades of the fourteenth century. and more hatred from your enemy. blame from men (from wise men. he warns of potential consequences: “Revenge wilts a man’s soul. which record testimony bearing witness to injury.” and “In vengeance you obtain the contrary: that is. Numerous examples can be recalled. dagli uomini biasimo (cioè da’ savi) e dal nimico tuo più odio”: Paolo da Certaldo. such as: “It is an insult in itself for those who are injured not to seek vengeance.42 and on the other. 54. “Libro di buoni costumi.” Yet. ed. because otherwise you must be ashamed to show your face in public”. by Vittore Branca (Milan: Rusconi. Ricordi nella Firenze tra medioevo e Rinascimento. 24. 1840). his body and his possessions. Paolo da Certaldo. 1986).” and so on. “You know that your father was slain. “però che le vendette disertano l’anima. ‘l corpo e l’avere”. This is confirmed. Avenge him. go! Are you not ashamed? Go and avenge the death of your son who was slain”. sin towards God. . verso Iddio peccato. by the practice of publicly insulting anyone who failed to exact revenge. on one hand. p. passim. and 75. 42 “Ingiuria fa quegli che ingiuria non vendica”. “chi di vendicarsi teme molti ne farà malvagi”: Ammaestramenti degli antichi latini e toscani raccolti e volgarizzati per fra Bartolommeo da San Concordio. that is). 11. 323. “Foul whore that you are. ed. whose Libro di buoni costumi still lists vendetta as one of man’s greatest pleasures as late as the middle of the fourteenth century: “The first happiness is getting revenge.

” Archivio storico italiano. XCI (1933). see also Alberto M. perché altrimenti ti devi vergognare ad apparire tra la gente”. XCIX (1997). 11-12 (“mi pare di capire che. a lungo andare. Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur. 219-235. nel processo di consolidamento. il legislatore abbia cercato di far prevalere una concezione abbastanza estensiva della violenza pubblica e restrittiva di quella private”).44 ANDREA ZORZI who were slain and cast down at your doorstep”43 – hint at the fabric of bitter feeling.” Bullettino storico pistoiese.”44 civic laws neither prohibited nor prosecuted it. 43. cercare di abolire le istituzioni che si fondavano su di una concezione del diritto particolaristico e astatale). paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale. There are only about ten cities in which the vendetta 43 “Vai. it amounted. by Daniela Marcheschi (Lucca: Pacini Fazzi. “Troia merdosa che tu sei. The norms regulating the vendetta Social and political legitimation was echoed by the legality of the vendetta. and p. ed. Saggio di lingua parlata del Trecento cavato dai libri criminali di Lucca [1890]. to shirking one’s social duty. 1939).. “Tu sai che tuo padre fu ucciso. pp. p. “La vendetta nella vita e nella legislazione fiorentina. 44 See for instance Anna Maria Enriques. they share one thing: not a single text banned vendetta. Fanne la vendetta.. 1983). 51 (“lo Stato doveva. (also for quotations). Contrary to what continues to be a widely held view among scholars. Nicolai Rubinstein. “Osservazioni sugli statuti pistoiesi del sec. 187ff. “‘Va’ fa’ le vendette tue!’ Qualche esempio della documentazione sulla pace privata e la regolamentazione della vendetta nella Valdinievole del Trecento. In most cities the statutes make no mention of any constraints. as it were. If we consider the corpus of Italian communal statutes. vai a fare la vendetta de’ nipoti tuoi che ti furon uccisi e gettati sulla soglia di casa”: Salvatore Bongi. vai! Non hai vergogna? Vai a vendicare la morte del tuo figliolo che fu ucciso”. . an insult to the relatives who had been victims in the first place. La lotta contro i magnati a Firenze. namely that vendetta was “allowed” in situations where it was felt to be “too difficult to stop it” and “pending its total prohibition. vendetta constituted an integral part of the judicial system of the commune and was built into it.” in Conflitti. XII. Le origini della legge sul “sodamento” (Florence: Olschki.. In fact. Ingiurie improperi contumelie ecc. They also show to what degree renouncing vengeance or being unable to exact revenge was dishonorable conduct. Onori. rancor and passionate emotion that pitted people against each other even amid the lower classes. pp. II. pp.

pp. while it was forbidden to exact vengeance from anyone who had been granted peace by his adversary or who had caused the injury while defending himself against attack. The aim in certain cities was to afford explicit legitimacy to the practice of the vendetta in order to contain its effects. ed.” in Idem. . 1892). Josef Kohler. 46 See Ivi. pp. 7-29. that right passed to his family.48 I shall give just one example. 50 Ibid. in all cases it was forbidden to involve non-family members in the act of retaliation to the point where a “persona non coniuncta” was to be considered an “assessinus. et ut assessinus puniatur. pp. Statuto del podestà dell’anno 1325. V. vol. pp.47 and mid-fourteenth century ones like those of Perugia (1342) or of Spoleto (1347). The very title of rubric CXXVI in book III. there is a trend to consider the practice of retaliation as legitimate.”50 Revenge could be wreaked on the offending party. p. p. 48 On the legal regulation of vendetta see Antonio Pertile.45 mid-thirteenth century statutes such as those of Bologna of 125246 or of Parma of 1255. “Storia del diritto penale. by Romolo Caggese [1910-1921]. Gestione e risoluzione delle dispute a Parma nel XIII secolo (Bologna: Clueb. 1999). Franceco Salvestrini. 49 Statuti della repubblica fiorentina. Here the authorities defined its congruity according to the people who could adopt it or suffer it.49 The injured party’s right to revenge was recognized and. the Florentine podestà’s statute of 1325. 64-65. or only on his male descendants. new edition by Giuliano Pinto. and so forth. and Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Olschki.-16. 167. 47 See Gabriele Guarisco. “La cultura della vendetta. of course. The goal of preventing retaliation from spiraling out of control was boost45 See Zorzi. 1897). 18-55. sanctions the right to vengeance provided it is exacted within circumstances specified by the statute. paragraph CXXVI. 166-167. which was completed by an additional measure dated 1331. these regulations defined its magnitude and the venues where it might take place. Storia del diritto italiano (Turin: Utet. Das Strafrecht der italienischen Statuten vom 12. De puniendo qui fecerit vindictam nisi in principalem personam.” pp. book III. Jahrhundert (Mannheim: Bensheimer. 136-140. XXIX (1926). 2005). Il conflitto attraverso le norme. In late twelfth-century statutes such as those of Pistoia in 1180.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 45 is regulated. in the event of his death. the law of 2 August 1331 was published by Umberto Dorini in “La vendetta privata ai tempi di Dante. 251-252.” Il giornale dantesco.

Peace between the parties was the political aim of public intervention: an act of concord. the law’s principle purpose was to avoid any further opportunity for conflict. 189-191. could not provide a pretext for seeking a vendetta.”52 Furthermore. .. par. par. fols. the vengeance could not exceed the initial offense. a death for a death. CXXVI.51 There were tough penalties for anyone “qui fecerit vindictam. In other words. dum ipse principalis offensor viveret. busta III. p. on the other hand. 53 See the law of 2 August 1331 published in Dorini. busta III.53 In acknowledging that it was legitimate to discharge the debt of vengeance.” p. 251. 52 Statuto del podestà dell’anno 1325. 150v153r.” p. pp. promoted by the podestà. but also Statuto del podestà dell’anno 1325. 54 Law of 2 August 1331: Dorini.54 Anyone breaking the peace enforced by the communal judges was likely to incur tough penalties. “La vendetta privata.” and by a measure ordering those potential targets’ physical isolation and banning them from living in neighborhood where their relatives resided (“in sexto. “La vendetta privata. pp. pp. busta III. par. 65. 65. 64-65. unless previously settled through a peace accord. XLV. less serious injuries. 66-67 (further additional measure dated 1334). it had to be proportionate to it. 16 (Podestà’s statute of 1355).. being directly prosecuted by the judges in the same way as threats and injuries. always had to follow the exercise of a legitimate vendetta. a vendetta was allowed only in retaliation for injury. populo vel contrata in qua habitarent coniucti seu consortes sui”) until they had made peace with their adversary. a serious injury or mutilation for a serious injury or mutilation. ASFi. mutilation and murder.46 ANDREA ZORZI ed by a ban on the relatives of any potential vendetta targets providing them with “ausilium consilium et favorem. in personam alterius et non illius qui dictam offensionem manifestam et publicam fecerit. it was the job of the podestà to make sure that the vendetta was both legitimate and proportionate to the offense. Statuti del comune di Firenze. 55 Ivi.55 If the offending party was sentenced to death or mutilation and the sentence was carried out. just as it was his job to mete out punishment and to promote peace between the parties. the injured party could not exact revenge since the punishment was 51 See Ivi. LXXXVI.

LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 47 considered to be the equivalent of a “condecens vindicta”. the legal system incorporated vendetta as an ordinary system of conflict resolution. because such acts could turn a clash between parties into much larger feuds fuelled by spiraling retaliation. the law scrupulously upheld this aspect. d’histoire et de philosophie. par. ed. I. XLV. p. were indirect retaliations and acts that exceeded the vendetta. implementing a refined strategy for interfering in the mechanisms of conflict so as to isolate and encourage those moments – truces. We need to turn the issue on its head. fol. ed. 11-42. The rationale of the vendetta is based on retaliating for the offense. Études d’ethnologie.” in La vengeance. par.59 To be sure. before vengeance had been exacted. 58 See Statuti della repubblica fiorentina. LXXXVI. LXXVI. 151r. however. hence it can be configured as a practice of social self-regulation which balances out mutual offenses and attacks. 60 See also Andrea Zorzi. par. bails. by Jacques Chiffoleau. pp. 57 See Statuto del podestà dell’anno 1325. in that it puts in place a temporary balance in the exchange of injury. pp. 59 See Raymond Verdier. vol. busta III. recognizing its positive value in limiting the violence that underlies the system of retaliation.” in Pratiques sociales et politiques judiciaires dans les villes de l’Occident à la fin du Moyen Age. Jean-Pierre Poly. 190-191.60 Precisely this regulation allowed legal thought – which 56 See ASFi. and . Statuto del capitano del popolo degli an- ni 1322-25. “Pluralismo giudiziario e documentazione: il caso di Firenze in età comunale. arbitrations. “Le système vindicatoire. ed. 1984). What it tried to prevent. busta III. But. book V. in other words towards a consensual balance between the parties.57 he was not even allowed to promote a truce in the event of a murder or serious injury. Claude Gauvard. Normative regulations also endorsed the intervention and mediation to which the commune’s institutions could resort. by Romolo Caggese (quoted at note 50). Statuti del comune di Firenze. The law of the commune did not prohibit vendetta practices. if approached from this angle. and Gérard Courtois (Paris: Cujas. the question appears mal-posée. by Raymond Verdier. concords – that might halt it and direct it towards a peaceful solution. 16. On the contrary.56 but the podestà was forbidden to prosecute anyone who had legitimately exercised his right to vendetta.58 One might then claim that the commune’s legislation still was designed to contain the practice of vendetta. 245.

Zorzi. Educating citizens about vendetta and to an assessment of opportunities for retaliation.27 heading the list: Quando liceat sine iudice unicuique se vindicare) that might impart legitimacy to impunity for killing an outlaw and. 61 Unless I am very much mistaken. to the practice of exacting vengeance that appeared to them to be an everyday part of urban social relations. who sought to find in the Codex those rubrics (with C. pp. and languages. In other words. leaving one party supreme over another. which failed to satisfy the parties involved and to generate consensus. its political legitimation and legal regulation. “Pace e conflitti nelle città comunali italiane. the culture of vendetta did not threaten the persistence of the commune’s institutions.48 ANDREA ZORZI had long found it difficult to justify with a doctrine a social practice which was not discussed in the tradition of Roman law61 – to recognize its legal validity as a custom regulated by local statutes. Hence the obsession existing inside political discourse concerning opposite coalitions (colligationes. partes.3. the topic has not yet been investigated by historians of the law. by extension. Relationships based on friendship and enmity. 154-167. cultures. we need to investigate the relationship between conflict and civil coexistence in Italian communal society. we need to understand the rationale underlying this homogeneous process of practices. The real threat to the commune’s institutions was asymmetrical violence and conflict. as well as encouraging opportunities for settlement and pacification. Rome: École française de Rome. and so on) aiming to Andrea Zorzi. were accepted as normal factors for social and political integration. The recognition of social and political relations based on friendship and enmity was the cornerstone of social integration and of the “constitutional” solidity of the political order. 276-286. Thus the communal legislation safeguarded the right to vendetta. gave the parties involved the impetus to promote social balance and political integration. properly tempered by the balancing mechanism of vendetta. Above all.” pp. The “constitutional” nature of the conflict Now that we have noted the proliferation of vendetta. It probably deserves greater attention. . starting for instance with the opinions voiced by such commentators as Piacentino and Azzone. 2007.

plunder and political sentences of banishment and exile. The contemporary testimony of one of the most influential personalities in Florence at the time.” in Zorzi.62 The main factor behind the breakdown of civic concord was the mechanism of excluding from office and from citizenship. Ricerche su politica e giustizia a Firenze dal comune allo Stato territoriale (Florence: Firenze University Press. the conflict began to spiral out of control. Pagine di storia fiorentina da Bonifazio VIII ad Arrigo VII (Milan: Hoepli.63 Two examples of violent political struggle in Florence may help clarify the issue. Klapisch-Zuber. pp. .64 But when two broader factions. 201-202. “La faida Cerchi-Donati. But when that balance was breached. arose from this hostility. Conflitti e bandi politici a Bologna e in altre città italiane tra XII e XIV secolo (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il medio evo. paving the way for one faction to gain supremacy over the other and to acquire total control over resources. using the tool of banishment or “magnatizzazione” (“magnetization) to debar their political enemies. Remigio was a member of one of the ruling non-noble fami62 On magnatization see Zorzi. pp. all of which were legitimately carried out. 2008. confirms this. the political game changed. La trasformazione di un quadro politico. Through violence. 2003). I Bianchi e i Neri. 1921. imbalance. 275-312. 65 Isidoro Del Lungo. 2nd edition). The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence (Turnhout: Brepols.65 The logic of vendetta held out as long as it was able to guarantee a balance. however precarious that balance may have been. This enmity turned into a feud with mutual vendettas. the Blacks and the Whites. and thus. with its dramatic corollary of having the enemy’s houses and property demolished. 2007). In the last decade of the thirteenth century a major conflict took place between the Donati. mixing hatred and rancor with factional interests. Retour à la cite. See also Fabrizio Ricciardelli. 64 Andrea Zorzi.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 49 achieve supremacy.” pp. L’esclusione dal Comune. 63 See Giuliano Milani. a family of ancient noble lineage. and the Cerchi. a family from the wealthy merchant class. the intervention of Pope Boniface VIII and of Charles of Valois finally allowed the Blacks to gain supremacy over the Whites between 1301 and 1302. 99-124. 2nd edition). and concerning also those factions that challenged each other for predominance. Remigio de’ Girolami. “Diritto e giustizia nelle città dell’Italia comunale.

pp. glutones. 69 “Fracta est civitas magna in tres partes. 7-313. et a contrario magni de artificibus quod dominari volunt et nesciunt quod terram vituperant et huiusmodi. Tertia fractio est inter clericos et religiosos et laycos. 91-134.50 ANDREA ZORZI lies in the “people’s” regime. 1988). et huiusmodi. Davis. Emilio Panella.. quod adulteri. 68 Charles T.s. pp. and an influential member of the order on the international level. XVI (1985)..” Memorie domenicane. He penned monographic treatises commenting on the main developments in the city’s political life: the revision of the Ordinances of Justice (Ordinamenti di giustizia) of 1295.s.” Bullettino dell’Istituto storico italiano per il Medio evo e Archivio Muratoriano. of the en66 See Sonia Gentili. quod periuri. 1977). with the incomplete De iustitia. 67 See Ovidio Capitani.” in Dizionario biografico degli ita- liani (Rome: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana. the Black party’s violent acquisition of supremacy in 1301. it is the partes that undermine the commune’s order in political. In his view. Remigio de’. “Un teorico fiorentino della politica: fra Remigio dei Girolami” [1960]. vol.67 His approach to civic values was pragmatic. “Dal bene comune al bene del comune. Alia fractio est quia artifices dicunt male de magnis quod devorantur ab eis. with a treatise entitled De bono communi. “Girolami. quod proditiones commictunt.68 In one of his public speeches at the end of the thirteenth century. “Per lo studio di fra Remigio dei Girolami (†1319). 201 and 228. LVI. Una fractio est quia Guelfi dicunt male de Ghibellinis quod non cedunt. and the attempt to broker peace between the parties promoted by Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Et a contrario layci dicunt quod clerici sunt fornicarii. . La “teologia politica comunale” di Remigio de’ Girolami (Bologna: Pàtron. in Davis. quia de laycis dicunt quod sunt proditores. et Ghibellini de Guelfis quod expellere eos volunt. “L’incompiuto ‘tractatus de iustitia’ di fra’ Remigio de’ Girolami (†1319). 2001). pp. I trattati politici di Remigio dei Girolami. 72 (1960). 531-541. with the De bono pacis of the same year. on the other hand. 1-198. both as a public speaker before the city authorities and addressing visiting guests. pp. just as the feud between the Cerchi and the Donati was beginning to take center-stage. et verum est de multis. taking part in events personally rather than merely recording them.69 Remigio makes no mention.66 He frequently intervened in Florentine public life. pp. n. social and religious terms. quod bona inimicorum defendunt. n. X (1979). quod raptores. Maria Consiglia De Matteis. quod usurarii.” Memorie domenicane. Remigio offers an assessment of the quarrels undermining civic concord in Florence. L’Italia di Dante (Bologna: Il Mulino. Emilio Panella. He was also a reader (lettore) at the Dominican convent of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

a leading historian of criminal law. several years ago urged the inclusion among the aspects of “local community” justice. in particular. Mario Sbriccoli. 355. 2001). “Giustizia negoziata. it was part of the dimension of politics that some political scientists call otiosi. giustizia egemonica.’”71 Vendetta belonged to the sphere of shared and negotiated justice. 349-350. private mediations and peacemaking. vanagloriosi.” we should “perhaps call ‘the former justice. negotiation and accords. while factional conflict.”70 In his view. 116-117. aimed at resolving conflicts between neighbors. . In a nutshell. 207.” Sbriccoli urged historians to “take on board the fact” that. Omne regnum in se ipsum divisum desolabitur. 71 Ivi.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 51 mity and vendettas between families. and the latter repression. all the practices such as “vendettas and retaliation. 70 Mario Sbriccoli. Why is this? The question can only be interpreted on the base of what we have been discussing so far. banishment and exclusion are asymmetrical and promote imbalance. This is because vendetta is a consensual conflict. “when reflecting on those cultures and on that mentality. by Marco Bellabarba. That is why conflict between friends and enemies was part and parcel of the commune’s constitution. agreements. The normative regulations of vendetta and the provision of opportunities for mediating in a conflict were designed so as not to disrupt the balance between the parties. while punishment and ex officio trial seemed “not to reflect the concept of justice developed and embraced by the community. pacts. Panella. Un teorico fiorentino della politica. vendetta and feud are symmetrical and promote equity. including its written statutes.” in Criminalità e giustizia in Germania e in Italia. “Dal bene comune al bene del comune. quoted in Davis. he omits to mention those between the Cerchi and the Donati. Gerd Schwerhoff. p. forgiveness. p. and Andrea Zorzi (BolognaBerlin: il Mulino-Duncker & Humblot. renouncement. in Italian communes vendetta and peacemaking were the principal forms of justice. other than under special circumstances. transactions and settlements. ed. pp. Riflessioni su una nuova fase degli studi di storia della giustizia criminale. Pratiche giudiziarie e linguaggi giuridici tra tardo medioevo ed età moderna. banishment did not. They established prior “balanced rules” for the political game. and remission.” pp. et de aliquibus verum est”: Sermon on the second Sunday of Lent III. quod religiosi raptores.

remotis seditionibus et discordiis extirpatis. 2005). 2010). “Bien commun et conflits politiques dans l’Italie communale.73 It was above all the new “popular” governments that turned the politics of pacification into the symbol of a renewed ideology of governance which began to identify the social group of the milites as being responsible for urban violence. 74 “Se intromittere de concordiis et pacibus fieri faciendis. of a form of politics – the public.” so that “quod dicte paces et concordie fiant et penitus compleantur et. . If we analyze this vocabulary carefully. by Elodie Lecuppre-Desjardin and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (Turnhout: Brepols.52 ANDREA ZORZI “policy.” in other words the sphere of hard politics and political practices.). Le città-Stato. pp.” “peace.”72 It may well have been so. pax perpetuo vigeat et civitas sine fine perseveret in statu pacificu et tranquillo”: see Massimo Vallerani.” and so forth. 73 Andrea Zorzi. but alongside the universe of civic virtues there was plenty of room also for the informal side of politics. ed. 267-290. we find numerous references to the duty to pacify conflicts.74 the statutes of Verona of 72 See for instance Mario Ascheri. obliged judges to act as peacemakers and to maintain the good and peaceful state of the city.” “concord. 342-343. but also the criticisms in Zorzi. pp. for the spread of a “policy” built on relationships based on friendship and enmity for the honor of individuals and lineages. ed. “‘Fracta est civitas magna in tres partes’. If we glance through the statutes of communes in the “popular” period. ideological. Le radici del municipalismo e del repubblicanesimo italiani (Bologna: Il Mulino. spoken face of politics – that focused on the values of “the common good.). Angleterre (XIIIe-XVe s. The legitimation of vendetta prompts us to reconsider the historiographical model that even recently has continued to insist on describing the Italian commune as a laboratory of Western political “republicanism. we may also assign a different meaning to the development of political discourse. “Mouvements de paix dans une commune du Popolo: les Flagellanti à Perouse en 1260.” “justice. France.” in De Bono Communi.” pp. The Discourse and Practice of the Common Good in the European City (13th-16th c. by Rosa Maria Dessì (Turnhout: Brepols. and 349 (also for following quotation). but rather makes partisan ideological claims. 64-73. the Ordinamenta populi of 1260. The special laws of the popolo of Perugia. for instance. 2006).” in Prêcher la paix et discipliner la société. From this point of view. we will see that it does not express absolute and shared civic values. Italie.

to the point of identifying the commune with it.’ Le fresque du Bon Gouvernement d’Ambrogio Lorenzetti. and Beryl Smalley (London: Faber and Faber. 1965). Histoire. p.” Annales. 78 See now Patrick Boucheron. “‘Tournez les yeux pour admirer. Remigio stresses the positive value of pacifying disputing lineages and factions: “omnis discordia potest concordari et omnis inimicitia pacificari. by no mere coincidence. p. 76 Remigio de’ Girolami.LEGITIMATION AND LEGAL SANCTION OF VENDETTA 53 1276 regulated the activities of a committee of “boni homines” to end “discordias et malivoles quos sciverint.”77 But the shift in meaning that Remigio proposes. pp.” in Europe in the Late Middle Ages. 55. 293-338. to what political regime he is referring. Tyranny. La “teologia politica comunale”. was known as the Room of Peace. always guided by the Aristotelian belief that man’s every action should be subordinate to the bonum commune of peace. and in opposition to the attributes of tyranny. quamcunque sit ex parte unius excellens potentia vel gravis offensa vel diuturna inimicizia. pp. celle qui est peinte ici.78 The political discourse of its iconography. in De Matteis. 1137-1200. On this shift in meaning. John Roger Loxdale Highfield. see Nicolai Rubinstein. Or rather. Remigio de’ Girolami. sciences sociales. ed. of 75 Matthew S. The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press. so extraordinary in linguistic terms.75 was prompted to pen his De bono pacis after the Black faction rose to supremacy in Florence. by John Rigby Hale. 77 Ivi. Sermoni sulla pace. prompts us to wonder what commune he is referring to. 1999). The same applies to the famous fresco cycle that Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted between 1337 and 1339 in a room in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena – a room which. establishes the commune’s claim to the value of the common good. 77. pp.”76 Peace must consist in ordered concord among citizens “pro bono communi” and thus coincide with action designed to promote “pro bono communis. 54-57. in fact. . 60 (2005). “Marsilius of Padua and Italian Political Thought of his Time. Kempshall. He did not write it in a serene moment of theoretical speculation but in the midst of a political storm. vous qui exercez le pouvoir.” The Pisan legislation of 1287 obliged the captain of the popolo to weed out conflicts and enforce concord among the members of the party of the common people.

Genova . 357-364. has to be understood not as an institutional system headed by a signore. The fresco cycle was commissioned by the merchant government of the Nine as an ideological manifesto to set against the constant. concord. by Simonetta Adorni Braccesi and Mario Ascheri (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per l’Età moderna e contemporanea. the notions of collective interest – peace. and the culture and languages of the vendetta headed the list. the common good and so on – were constantly being reworked by political actors. 2004). 268-269 and p. pp. but as an abstract form of government.54 ANDREA ZORZI course. . against the never-fully-dispelled threat of degeneration of a “government of the many. 80 Zorzi. were frequently shaped to cater to shortterm goals and were invoked to legitimize changes in power structures.” pp.” in Politica e cultura nelle Repubbliche italiane dal Medioevo all’Età moderna. they were not absolute values shared by everyone. Firenze . rather.Siena – Venezia. 72-73.” Alongside the “politics” of values. “Ancora sulle ‘fonti’ del Buon Governo di Ambrogio Lorenzetti: dubbi. in Rubinstein.Lucca . Studies in Italian History in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. there was “policy” shaped by conflict strategies. Maria Monica Donato. “Le allegorie di Ambrogio Lorenzetti nella Sala della Pace e il pensiero politico del suo tempo” [1997]. In other words. they were ideological tools used to forge a consensus and to undermine an adversary’s legitimacy. by Giovanni Ciappelli (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura. “Bien commun. anticipazioni.80 Political culture in Italian communes was thus more complex than a mere laboratory for the incubation of Western political “republicanism. precisazioni. ed. as discussed by Thomas Aquinas. 290. ed. 79 See Nicolai Rubinstein. pp.”79 In conclusion. looming threat of subversion by powerful social groups. 2001).

provoked by an important family or a political party. at the same time. All those who. inevitably produced a monopoly of power maintained by the strength . The good and peaceful state of the community was achieved through the political use of banishment (a monetary fine). Between the second half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fifteenth. and the podestà.Fabrizio Ricciardelli (Georgetown University) VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION IN LATE MEDIEVAL ITALY In every historical period. as in any society. the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. a stronger. Final victory could only be achieved by those able to conquer the city’s strongholds. laws and sentences. forced confinement (a political sentence). These violent conflicts represented a political act and. central and northern Italian city-states frequently suffered moments of disruption of the social peace because of factional battles. and repression its natural consequence. had contaminated the good government and the peaceful state had their voices repressed. an episode in the bloody struggle between the two opposing parties. violence can take many forms. Wars and insurrections. The end of the fighting and the subsequent attacks and massacres announced the triumph of one faction over the other. due to every sort of earthly corruption. Violence became the language of political resolution. was emerging as the preeminent figure. It can be expressed in revenge and conflict. or public executions. ammonizione (a warning). All over the Italian peninsula the old consular nobility was divided. more impartial executive magistrate. Violent attacks began to be organized by factional leaders who were motivated by a thirst for revenge and the desire to erase all trace of their opponents’ power. words and images.

263. the conflicts were the expression of a particular environment that made and used them as the most efficient instrument for the resolution of political conflict (fig. On the practice of the blood feud. p.1 In a political climate like this. I. 842. This mentality was the product of a specific culture based on the practice of blood feuds. Political struggles were deeply embedded in the collective mentality and ingrained habits of the citizenry along with the progressive division of the consular commune.56 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI of the winner.” Rivista di storia del diritto italiano. “La cultura della vendetta nel conflitto politico in età comunale. The Italian City-State. 1997). From Commune to Signoria (Oxford: Clarendon Press. by Roberto Delle Donne and Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Firenze University Press. and II. Daniel Waley. “Worrying about Emotions in History. pp. the Ardinghelli and Salvucci in San Gimignano. the Fieschi and Spinola in Genoa. the Oddi and Baglioni in Perugia. In 1939 Gina Fasoli (1905-1992) theorized that “in every Italian city-state there are two political parties always scuffling and always ready to turn the whole city upside down. All these human expressions are bound to passions. “A Blood-Feud with a Happy Ending: Siena. p. “Ricerche sulla legislazione antimagnatizia nei comuni dell’alta e media Italia. pp. 86-133. II. 3rd edition (London and New York: Longman.” in Le storie e la memoria: In onore di Arnold Esch.” in City and Countryside in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Essays Presented to Philip Jones. pp. 135-170.” in Violence and Civil Disorder.”2 She was referring to the case of the Geremei and Lambertazzi in Bologna. But although the Guelphs had won out over the Ghibellines in 1266. by Trevor Dean and Chris Wickham (London: Hambledon. 1990). 2002). 129-154. the Orsini and Colonna in Rome. 240-309. always connected to cultural rules. ed. pp. personal tendencies. and Philip Jones. “Some Psychological and Social Roots of Violence in the Tus- can Cities. communal legislation could not prohibit the practice of vendetta. 45-53. pp. In this paper I shall examine psychological and social factors that contributed to the rise in violence and repression in late medieval Italian city-states. XII (1939). 1). 107 (2002). see Daniel Waley. full of violence and hate. The Italian City-Republics. ed.” The American Historical Review. the Aigoni and Graisolfi in Modena. Rosenwein. Barbara H. 1988). see Andrea Zorzi. Dante writes that at the end of the 1290s the Guelphs split into 1 David Herlihy. and beliefs of societies. 1285-1304. . the Visconti and Gherardesca in Pisa. On city-states as independent political entities made up of a city and its surrounding contado (subject territory). 2 Gina Fasoli.

the fusion of sociology to psychology as privileged points of observation for the study of history – was developed. cultural practices.4 Late medieval writers make recurrent reference to violence as a part of a citizen’s education. 1965). From sources. 6075. 821-845. In 2002 Barbara H. pp. fear. the practice of aggressiveness played a pre-eminent part. 1912). Inferno. using the power of one who tacks his sails”3 (fig. they too must fall and the other party prevail.” pp. 3 (1941). 2). 813-836. e la parte selvaggia / caccerà l’altra con molta offensione. diffused. Rosenwein wrote an article. “Worrying about Emotions. Stearns and Carol Zisowitz Stearns. VI. by Fredi Chiappelli (Milan: Mursia. ed. 3) – permeates the legislation of central and northern Italian city-states. within three years. pp.5 3 “Dopo lunga tencione / verranno al sangue. ànno così nobile città [Florence] disfatta”: Dino Compagni. p. the rustic party [the Whites] will chase the other [the Blacks] out with great offence. 1986). La Divina Commedia. and accepted the practice of violence to pacify the political arena. Inferno.” American Historical Review. In 1985 the modernists Peter Stearns and Carol Stearns published in The American Historical Review an article in which the theory of emotionology – that is. and emotions depend on language. when Lucien Febvre wrote an article in which he theorized that “emotional life [is] always ready to overflow the intellectual life. maintaining that every culture has its forms of expressivity. In the set of beliefs of communal citizens. they’ll come to blood. / Poi appresso convien che questa caggia / infra tre soli. In 2008 Carol Lansing theorized that communal societies had their politics conditioned . See also Dante. The Struggle for Emotional Control in America’s History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. But then. and Peter N. all citations of this text are from this edition. 5 The history of hate. chap. “Emotionology: Clarifying the History of Emotions and Emotional Standards. Anger. e che l’altra sormonti / con la forza di tal che testé piaggia”: Dante Alighieri. 4 “Per loro superbia e per loro malizia e per gara d’ufici. On this theme see Peter N. 64–69. Stearns and Carol Zisowitz Stearns. 2. VI. 5-20. cruelty and love – which easily turn into passion and lust – became one of the keys for “reading the cultural settings of societies” starting in 1941. 90 (1985). “La sensibilité et l’histoire: Comment reconstituer la vie affective d’autrefois?. it is evident that politicians shared. La cronica delle cose occorrenti ne’ tempi suoi (Città di Castello: Lapi. This culture of ‘opposing factions’ – given visual form in paintings by Giotto (1277-1337) (fig. 8. In more recent times this approach to the study of history has had renewed success. again published in The American Historical Review.” According to Febvre the associations created by emotions contribute to the building of the languages and the institutions of societies: Lucien Febvre. cited by canto and line number. and moral beliefs: Rosenwein. book I. expectations.” Annales d’histoire sociale.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 57 two coalitions: “After prolonged discord.

ed. Tresor. 803. 1986). ed. The Florentine merchant Paolo da Certaldo considers in his Libro di buoni costumi that “the prime happiness for a human being is the practice of revenge. Plinio Torri. .. p. Beltrami. “there is no doubt. by Cesare Segre (Turin: Einaudi. pp.”6 In his Tesoretto. that he [the podestà] knows and wants to balance judgment.58 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI sometime between 1261 and 1291 the judge Bono Giamboni wrote in his moral treatise Il libro de’ vizi e delle virtù that revenge is the “virtue by which everyone is allowed to vanquish his enemy. IX/1.”8 The chronicler Giovanni Villani (1276-1348) obsessively writes of intrigues and discords between opposing families within Florence (“intrigue and discord. among the Adimari and the Tosinghi and other households”)9 (fig.. as the world says. in Poeti del Duecento. 1968). i. in his Dicerie invites the rectors of the commune to create peace and concord among citizens by repressing every act of dissent. ed.. ed. 8 “Que vos savez et volez metre jugement en pois. 6 Bono Giamboni. Paolo Squillacioti. 168-284. II. justise a la mesure. ed. underlining the political abilities of the podestà. Il tesoretto. 54. XXXVI.”10 Ser Filippo Ceffi. Il libro de’ vizi e delle virtudi e il trattato di virtù e di vizi. by Giuseppe Porta (Parma: Guanda. II. the chapter on Delle schiere della Iustitia e de’ suoi capitani. 4). Passion and Order. 10 “La prima allegrezza si è fare sua vendetta”: Paolo da Certaldo..] tra gli Adimari e’ Tosinghi’ e tra altre casate”: Giovanni Villani. 11-12. by Gianfranco Contini (Milan and Naples: Ricciardi. III. 1990-1991). by Vittore Branca (Milan: Rizzoli. Restraint of Grief in the Medieval Communes (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. vol. 9 “Brighe e discordie [. and Sergio Vatteroni (Turin: Einaudi.”7 And again. 1960). vol. ed. 1220-1294) commented that “all those who have given offense have to be vigilant and go about the city with an armed guard. and to punish all malefactors with the sword of justice. Nuova cronica. Brunetto Latini (c. 2007). p.e. 2008). by Pietro G. et ferir l’espee dou droit a la vengence des maufaitors”: Brunetto Latini. by Giovanni Pozzi and Gianfranco Contini. to give justice back its proper political weight. pp.. “Libro di buoni costumi. Brunetto writes in his Tresor. and that the promulgation and enforcement of the laws in restraint of grief led medieval communes to a well-ordered state: Carol Lansing. justice cannot be separatby passions. 7 “Chi ha offeso deve sempre stare all’erta e girare per la città con una guardia armata”: Brunetto Latini.” in Mercanti scrittori. 77. a Florentine notary of the first half of the fourteenth century.

22. 27. 84. and indivisible (figs. pp. the island of Corsica. 60. ed. 93ff. 5 and 6). 13 “Del modo di ovviare a’ romori e a’ sollevamenti. But the poor too – he continues – did not find it easy to live under the law. their luxurious habits and permissive upbringing did not accustom them to self-discipline. p. and 86. and that everyone knows that avarice consisted not only of the love of money. pp. their hardships prepared them for any and all dangers. becoming the principal framework for all social relationships in many parts of the Mediterranean (especially in mountainous areas as well as regions distant from the political center of the country or along borders between states). 59. 12 Edward Muir. Liguria and Friuli in Italy. according to him. p. explaining that the devil had been made to fall by avarice. famous epicenters were Iceland. On Filippo Ceffi and feud as a social practice. pride – in Greek hubris and in Latin superbia – is considered the ultimate source from which the others arise. Giovanni Botero (1544-1617) writes in his Della ragion di Stato (1589) that the rich were especially difficult to govern. 1997). Augustine insisted on the unbroken relationship between the two. because every citizen is authorized to act violently (“to ask help and advice from your friends on how to carry out your revenge”). 105-106). 1997). by Chiara Continisio (Rome: Donzelli. Della ragion di stato. e a cui s’appartiene di fare giustizia e vendetta. Ritual in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. the Scottish Highlands.12 Toward the end of the sixteenth century. il quale siete signore.13 The Bible castigated numerous vices. ed. Christian tradition gave pride and avarice a pivotal position as driving forces of the worldly city. Among the seven deadly sins. book IV.” in Giovanni Botero. 104-114. connected.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 59 ed from revenge. 73. 60. This means that for late medieval society pride and avarice were combined. messere podestade. “come si dee adomandare consiglio e aiuto agli amici per fare sua vendetta”: Ivi. p. Gévaudan in France. and their pride made them contemptuous of authority. by Luigi Biondi (Turin: Chirio e Mina. see Ivi. . 74.11 Edward Muir has shown that feuding persisted until the early modern age. 27. 1825). 61. so that they had almost nothing to lose by armed revolt. Albania and Montenegro in the Balkans (see pp. but it singled out pride and avarice above all others. In the Divine Comedy Dante 11 “E però. commovete il vostro valore e siate d’animo forte”: Le dicerie di ser Filippo Ceffi notaio fiorentino. 20. but even more the love of power.

pride. To induce feelings of humility. just as all mortal sins. see Lester K. in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things”. especially by means of violence. Bloomfield. greed. wrath. John Bossy. 1988).” The American Historical Review. and Carla Casagrande and Silvana Vecchio. trickery. Cupidity – avaritia in Latin – is a consequence of the rapacious desire for wealth. status. deliberate betrayal or treason (especially for personal gain). pp. the utility of wealth and the splendor of objects and possessions – not exchange value – was extolled”: Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. “Moral Arithmetic: Seven Sins into Ten Commandments. Dante imagined the penance for those guilty of the sin of pride as being forced to walk with stone slabs on their backs (figs. lust. envy. In the work of these fifteenthcentury thinkers. and gluttony – see Morton W. pp. like their less famous contemporary testators.. The sources show that pride and avarice are both quoted as the main causes of social disorder. theft and robbery. 2000). The Seven Deadly Sins. with Special Reference to Medieval English Literature (East Lansing. sloth. and power. Everyone was aware that this desire caused his fall and his transformation into Satan.. Everyone sensed the story of Lucifer as the quintessential example of pride. Everyone in the deeply Christian communal society was well aware of Lucifer and his struggle against God. greed inspired scavenging and the hoarding of materials or objects. 1952). or manipulation of authority. the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts. Cupidity defines other examples of greedy behavior: disloyalty. 214-234.60 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI refers to pride as the love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbor.e. “Pride Goes Before Avarice: Social Change and the Vices in Latin Christendom. 20-21). Such misdeeds included simony. An Introduction to the History of a Religious Concept. by which one profits from the church. Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. pride diminishes in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and vanishes in the fourteenth century (on this. I sette vizi capitali. The abuse of power was the worst vice for all those holding public offices. Little. has recently posited that humanist works of the fifteenth century had not “anticipated Calvinist ideals of seventeenth-century English preachers and other thinkers in praise of the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. 76 [1971]. in Dante’s Purgatory. Mich. Saint Thomas Aquinas writes that greed was “a sin against God.: Michigan State College Press. Storia dei peccati nel Medioevo (Turin: Einaudi. “Renaissance Attachment to Things: Material Culture in Last . 7 and 8).14 14 According to the bibliography. Furthermore.” in Conscience and Casuistry in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. On the seven deadly sins – i.

1280-c. 15 Giovanni da Cermenate. ed. by Luigi Alberto Ferrai (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il medio evo. Vol. avarice and pride were considered the main causes of civic conflict. Giovanni Villani inveighed against the two wealthy families among the ranks of evil citizens who have corrupted and depraved the whole world with false customs and false gain.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 61 In the collective imagination of late medieval authors. the anonymous chronicler of the Storie pistoresi attributes the disastrous division in Padua of the Guelph party to the pride (ambition) and avarice of two different branches of the Cancellieri family: “and in the city or the countryside there was no one else as great as they whom they [the Cancellieri family] did not subjugate.”17 Similarly. notarii Mediolanensis. 1925). 1727). Henrici VII.e. but not of outstanding Wills and Testaments. 16 Albertino Mussato. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores.16 At the end of the thirteenth century. by Silvio Adrasto Barbi. The Ghibelline notary and chronicler Giovanni da Cermenate (Milan c. They could be elaborated in various ways according to the situation and erudition of the writer. . 3. 26. p. 1889). ed. part 5 (Città di Castello: Lapi. I would like to thank Sam Cohn for letting me read the article before publication. Historia Iohannis de Cermenate. 17 “E per loro grandigia e ricchezza montano in tanta superbia che no era nessuno sì grande nè in città nè in contado che non tenessero al disotto”: Storie pistoresi..15 A reflection on pride and avarice. X (Milan.” under review by the Economic History Review. 1255-1324) showed the division of the Florentine Guelphs into the Blacks and the Whites to be caused by the pride of the Donati and the wealth of the Cerchi. good government). Compagni defines the Donati as “noblemen and warriors. XI. de situ Ambrosianae urbis et cultoribus ipsius et circumstantium locorum ab initio et per tempora successive et gestis imp. col. 1344) writes in his Historia de situ Ambrosianae urbis et cultoribus ipsius (covering the period from the origins of Milan to 1314) that pride and avarice brought about the schism of the Della Torre family of Milan. 715. De Traditione Patavii ad Canem Grandem. Dino Compagni (c. p. certainly influenced by Sallust’s analysis of Roman corruption. influenced the writings of Albertino Mussato (12611329) in identifying avaritia as the prime corrosive force in Paduan society. but they were universally perceived as the main threat for proper management of the bonum commune (i. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores.

boorish and ungrateful. “caused the destruction of our city. tutti gli altri libri di ciascuna legge si possono abbruciare”: Giovanni Dominici. . ed. Inferno. / Florence. Inferno. On Dominici see Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby. 1916). and ambition of individual citizens. because it increased the great hatred among the citizens. 21 “Superbia. 22 “La quale [iustizia] oggi è sbandita per simili difetti dell’universo mondo. Giovanni Dominici (1356-1419) and Bernardino da Siena (1380-1444) (Turnhout: Brepols. vol. danari e amicizia. 19 “Di grande affare. e non è altro iustizia che inganni. force. II. money and factional and family ties. chap. by Isidoro del Lungo (Città di Castello: Lapi. Regola del governo di cura familiare.”22 At the end of the fifteenth century Francesco Patrizi of Siena analyzed civic vices. o parentado. all the books of law can be burned. invidia e avarizia sono / le tre faville c’hanno i cuori accesi”: Dante. so that already you are weeping over it”): Dante. 20 “Il quale colpo fu la distruzione della nostra città. ricchissimi mercatanti che la loro compagnia era de le maggiori del mondo. Renaissance Florence in the Rhetoric of Two Popular Preachers. 74-75. p. salvatichi e ingrati. uomini erano morbidi e innocenti. ed. forza. sì che tu già ten piagni” (“New people. 22. Between 1404 and 1405 the Florentine Dominican friar – later cardinal – Giovanni Dominici (1356-1419) viewed social disorder as rooted in the dishonesty. Dino Compagni reported that gangs of young men of two factions traded insults and blows (fig. by Donato Salvi (Florence: Garinei. 63. greed. Pride and wealth were again turning rivalry into open war. and avarice”21 (fig.62 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI wealth. and sudden profits / Have produced pride and excess. 1860). 69. pride. Nuova cronica. 63.” he reports. IX/39. II. the answer “Three sparks that set on fire every heart / are envy. Nuova cronica. people who in a short time had come into great wealth and power. 9). and considered pas18 “Gentili uomini e guerrieri e di non soperchia ricchezza”: Giovanni Villani. 10). These vices have for Dominici both psychological and social dimensions: “There is no justice. p. but deceit. p. siccome genti venuti di piccolo tempo in grande stato e podere”: Villani. in you. 178. / Fiorenza. book I. VI.”18 and the Cerchi as “great businessmen and very rich merchants… but soft and unsuspecting. perchè crebbe molto odio tra i cittadini”: Dino Compagni.”19 At a public dance celebrating May Day. XVI. p. IX/39. “The blow. 2001). 73-75. in te.”20 When Dante asks in the third circle of the Inferno what were the reasons for Florentine discord. describing the citizens’ behavior. vol. Cronica. “La gente nova e i subiti guadagni /orgoglio e dismisura han generata.

Hinc conspirationes coniurationesque oriuntur. According to Patrizi. The Guelph regimes discredited the Ghibellines (as a consequence of the defeat of Benevento in 1266) as being guilty of having committed crimes against humanity. 123. so that they could be punished as oppo23 “Hac animi perturbatione quicumque civis laborat. hinc caedes. and he corrupts all things with quarrels and divisions. qui est froide et moiste. al. pride. the Church. fleume. p. et pestes illae teterrimae. by Beltrami et. principum aulas perturbat.23 Numerous were the ways to send messages to legitimize political choices in the name of “the common good and the peaceful state” of the community. car en eaus a . and avarice. nemini cedit. seditionibus ac partibus omnia inficit. omnemque humanam societatem dirimit. direptiones. volatility. From this arise plots and conspiracies. melancolie.iiii. the popolo demonized the magnates (as a consequence of the writing of the Ordinances of Justice of 1293) as ferocious and rapacious beasts able to corrupt – with their social behavior – the sacred space of city life. He disagrees with others. violence is the consequence of these civic vices. quae status omnes publicos privatosque labefactare soleant’ (“Whatever citizen labors under this perturbation of the soul [the vice of discord] is useless to the commonwealth and is recognized as disruptive in human assemblies. destruction. 99. cold. humors: colera.. who wrote that like the world itself. desire – and vices such as lust. Dissidet sequidem ab aliis. and melancholic (“Autresi en sont complexionés le cors des homes et des bestes et de touz autres animaus. poisonings and those black plagues. qui est chaut et moiste. Tresor. . hot. It is caused by arrogance and social stratification. he creates disorders in the halls of princes. ed. hate. sanguine. et in hominum coetu importunus habetur. murders. dry.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 63 sions as elements making up the human temperament. chap. p. The Florence State Archive records many sentences of heresy against Ghibellines. 1567). discord. book 1. veneficia. the human personality is composed of four elements – that is. sanc. qui est chaude et seche. and the Christian community. and moist – and that the various combinations of these elements produce the four classical psychological types: phlegmatic. he gives in to one. This theory was influenced by Brunetto Latini. he destroys all human society. These unsettling perturbations included many emotions – anger. 126. both affect the temperament of the citizen and threaten the reign of reason in the human soul. choleric. who were treated as heretics and public enemies of the Holy Church of Rome. irascibility. inutilis est reipublicae. qui est froide et seche”: Brunetto Latini. which are wont to undermine all public and private establishments”): Francisci Patricii senensis de regno et regis institutione libri IX (Paris: Aegidium Gorbinum.

and deprived of the right to produce witnesses during the trial. 36. where the fallen angel is considered the alienus. it is something very evil and to be avoided at all costs. as is evident in the recorded acts of the podestà relative to the years between 1385 and 1429. on their way to their true – that is. This contamination.” Speculum. 24). This term meant treason to God. meaning “doctrine” or “philosophical school”. In the 1330s the Florentine Republic created a magistracy composed of twelve citizens whose task was to guarantee the arrest of the heretics or the execution of their death sentence. always displays malignity (‘Quis vero alienus nisi apostata angelus vocatur?’: Job. XII. 41). threatened the very foundation of the Church. 19). The fallen angel is the first among those who were alienated from God and from the divine order. while keeping the outward appearance of Christian religion. during the Middle Ages the meaning of this word became derogatory and was connected to a small religious group distinct from a larger one. and Guelph and popular communes. the heretic. earthly reward. united by a particular set of beliefs and practices. XV. the alien or stranger par excellence (Moralia. However. The idea of contamination and infection comes from the early Middle Ages: see. Following the Scriptures. and were instead trumped up by the men in power to punish political oppo24 The origin of the word “heresy” is from Latin haeresis. papal authority. the secta. proclaimed by the secular authority on the recommendation of the bishop of the city. 233-259. the great commentary on the book of Job. for instance. In Milan heresy was assimilated to necromancy and to witchcraft. Alienation is essentially a failure to love God and a refusal to adhere to the order which he has given. VI. the worst offense against Christian society. heavenly – homeland (Moralia. Ladner. prevented from having a defense lawyer. Heresy charges had little foundation in religious differences. . According to Gregory the Great’s mystical interpretation. XXXIV. if he had not already fled. Gregory teaches in the same treatise that Christians are only wayfarers on this earth (viator. as evidenced in Gerhart B. in his Moralia. Babylon is the “city of confusion” which generates the sterile mind of those who are not disposed to the order of the right life (“et quia Bablyon confusion interpretatur”: Moralia.24 Heresy charges justified the winner’s appropriation of ecclesiastical offices and substantial property. 16. Gregory stresses. 3. 42 (1967). When this happened. pursued false opinions from a desire for human approval. and the outsider. Heretics were those who. this infection from which true believers had to protect themselves. making it punishable by death by fire.64 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI nents of the state. was arrested within eight days of recognition of his guilt. peregrinus). The charge of heresy in some cases could trigger the judicial procedure of banishment. “Medieval Ideas on Alienation and Order. Gregory the Great (pope from 590 to 604). or worldly pleasures. 6). pp.

Public life demanded extended political rights to the popolo. 3 (1986). Farinata degli Uberti. but became a part of the power struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. no. 27 Fabrizio Ricciardelli. Jean-Philippe Genet.27 It 25 In 1283.” marginalizing the old aristocratic nobility from public offices. The popolo was authorized to discredit the magnates. and the communal leadership continued to develop the “culture of opposites. 14th-17th Centuries. politics continued to be led by the criteria of opposing factions. the most famous character of his lineage.” in The Languages of Political Society. i. Popular forces now conflicted with the nobility. the new regime of the rich merchants developed a political ideology of justice based on social contrast. In case of imprisonment.25 It is not difficult to imagine that anyone facing such a charge would have tried to escape. identifying wolves as aggressive. pp. and his properties confiscated and destroyed: Nicola Ottokar.26 Even when at the end of the thirteenth century the popolo took control of the government in many cities of central and northern Italy. vol. pp. 345362. it used the metaphor of the wolf and the lamb. discriminating against all those who had controlled the state from the beginning of its communal political life. 2011).e.” Social History. magnates could be banished from public offices. targeting the wealth and social behavior of the traditional urban and rural aristocracy. his body was exhumed and burned. 269-285. ferocious and rapacious animals that corrupted the sacred space of the city-state. and Andrea Zorzi (Rome: Viella. Studi comunali e fiorentini (Florence: La Nuova Italia. nineteen years after his death. his ashes scattered. 26 The anthropological view of heresy has been studied by Carol Lansing. being used as political weapons. Because of their social behavior and inability to respect the good and peaceful state of the city. “La condanna postuma di Farinata degli Uberti.” in Idem. This campaign against the magnates legitimized for the popolo this form of social abuse. by Andrea Gamberini.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 65 nents. Heresy in the society of the communes was not a simple matter of religious belief. thus admitting his guilt. 1948). “Medieval Heresy: An Anthropological View. this would have automatically led to the death sentence and the destruction of his goods. Through this campaign of discrediting. ed.. Adaleta. was condemned for heresy along with his wife. 11. Western Europe. pp. 115-123. “Lupi e agnelli nel discorso politico dell’Italia comunale. .

beyond the confines of their homeland. Those who suffered political exclusion were the result of individual or group negation of the dominant order. People forced into exile lived far from their own soil or their own land. by members of a community. 11-18. A city was a defined physical space.29 Repression is connected to perception of the city as a sacred space. the accepted norms of coexistence with the laws in force. 29 This concept is bound to the idea of justice people had in this period. 11). It was fur28 Charles T. Il sacro e la città fra Medioevo ed Età moderna (Florence: Mauro Pagliai Editore. Davis. pp. the artisans were likened to sheep. a place where certain statutes applied. where the tombs of one’s ancestors were housed and protected by the walls. those who were forced outside their homeland were pushed and pulled across a world as changeable as their own condition.66 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI is curious to note that Remigio dei Girolami (1247-1319) likened the Ghibelline to the lion..” Past and Present. 667. certain legal privileges pertained. 104 (1960). “An Early Florentine Political Theorist: Fra Remigio dei Girolami. It was also a legal space. The natural condition was to live where one was born. which in its aggregation of structures contrasted with the surrounding countryside devoted to farming. innocent and useful because without any political weight28 (fig. The city was always understood to be a community circumscribed within its own physical and institutional space.” in I luoghi del sacro. p. because in Dante’s time they were the winners in the political arena. of the legitimization of the office which is doing the repressing. and certain jurisdictional rights were exercised. the symbol of Florentine power. The widespread practice of pushing rivals and enemies to the edges of society was meant to force them outside their consciousness and sacred life30 (fig. usually marked out by city walls. Jr. Every form of repression implies the mutual acceptance. “Introduzione. 30 Fabrizio Ricciardelli. see Samuel Youngs Edgerton. 12). p. and the Guelph to the calf.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. . 25. Like pilgrims. “Icons of Justice. 89 (1980). dwelling within the context of a community of neighbors united by ties of kinship and proximity. 2008). and the idea of sacred is bound to the citizens’ perception of inside as the town center (inviolable) and outside as the periphery (where the demons were). and the calf is a sacrificial animal.

some had to undergo particularly humiliating sorts of execution. with the aim of compensation. All those who committed crimes associated with the holding of public office. The experiment of the communal city-states bound forever the idea of the urban space to the idea of Pythagorean harmony. securing reparation of an economic sort (fine) or of a physical nature (death sentence). Many sentences provide further evidence of the harsh treatment reserved for traitors to the state: monetary fines and death sentences carried out in the normal way were not the worst punishments captured refugees had to fear. The idea of civitas was a spiritual dimension.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 67 thermore a social space. to the earthly form of the music of the spheres. was understood to be a clear violation of natural as well as civic law. it was an idea. The sacredness of the city space was counterbalanced by the constantly recurring phenomenon of the 31 All those who were considered enemies of the bonum commune could be persecuted by the community itself. a place that made possible a politicized community of people. promoted and developed by communal values. so that city governments were authorized to prevent and punish wrongdoers by means of criminal justice. a place identified by a name and symbols that elicited a sensibility manifested as civic virtue. Being an enemy of this harmony. pp. In addition. and citizens of the commune perceived it as “divine. with the same authority reserved to the emperor. Every citizen belonged to a state which could prosecute its political enemies.31 Cities were perceived to be communities that were like vicars of God. . Those who were considered enemies of the community could be likened to those sentenced for crimes. The city was a mystic body. The denial of civic status sanctioned by statutory regulations was so farreaching in such cases that if someone who was subject to a ban for political offences was murdered while in prison by one of his fellow prisoners. The Politics of Exclusion. 30-31. the crime was allowed to go unpunished. who shared the same values respecting its sacred laws.” They searched through Scriptures and the patristic commentaries to find evidence of the City of God and to absorb the idea of the New Jerusalem. such as being dragged behind a mule until dead: Ricciardelli. with intrigues and sedition against the commune and with debt legitimized the community to persecute them. a locus for persistent and frequent interactions that created a sensibility about who was a member of the community and who was an outsider. Cities became places where they should – but did not – test their moral attitude or learn to subordinate selfishness and pride to the so-called Common Good (bonum commune).

During the thirteenth century. . and for extended periods of time in the two centuries that followed. Marginalization of political opponents became a constant form of repression in city-states.68 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI division of urban oligarchies. New political landscapes were always the expression of oligarchic divisions which caused civil battles and violence. violence and repression were a part of everyday life and public psychology.

Fig.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 69 1. A few years later (Easter 1215). Vatican Library. 9). Miniature from the Cronica of Giovanni Villani. 64r (I. Chigi Manuscript. mid-fourteenth century. 1. chroniclers explain the birth of Guelfs and Ghibellines. VI. . fol. This miniature reveals the social tension caused by the denial of power between socioeconomic groups in 1177 Florence.

Vatican Library.70 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI 2. The incident when Ricoverino dei Cerchi’s nose was severed on the day of Calendimaggio (May Day) in 1300. Fig. fol. Miniature from the Cronica of Giovanni Villani. mid-fourteenth century. 39). Chigi Manuscript. IX. . 2. 164r (I.

Vespignano. 1267. St. to drive them out. and the citizens can return to their business in peace – they can already be seen at the city gates. which is divided from the rest of the world by a crack in the earth. Giotto portrays the saint deep in prayer in front of the latter. Sylvester. Assisi (before 1300). Fig. and by the towering church building. 1337. This is the tenth of the twenty-eight scenes of Legend of Saint Francis. San Francesco. who raises his hand commandingly in the direction of the city of towers. The picture area is dominated by the architecture of the city. Francis saw demons over the city. He called upon a brother of his order.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 71 3. His strength seems to pass to Brother Sylvester. 3. During the civil war in Arezzo. d. Giotto di Bondone (b. . Thereupon the demons flee. Florence) The Expulsion of the Demons from Arezzo Upper Church.

72 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI 4. Douce 319. translated by Brunetto Latini. Aristotle’s Book II on vices and virtues. University of Oxford. . some tonsured. Master and pupils. Shelfmark: MS. 4. Fig. Bodleian Library. Miniature. Master seated at desk with a book. Pupils. seated before him.

Sassetta represents Saint Francis gazing upward on the three mendicant Virtues of Chastity (a white-clad winged personification holding a lily). Fig. Sassetta represents saint Francis trampling the three medieval Vices of Lust. 1394. and Poverty (wearing a patched gown). 190 x 122 cm Villa I Tatti. The Ecstasy of St Francis (1437-44) Tempera on wood. Siena. d. 1450. Pride. and Avarice. Sassetta (b. . Siena). 5. Obedience (bearing a yoke).VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 73 5. Settignano.

6. Saint Francis is trampling the three medieval Vices of Lust. Sassetta (b. 7. Siena. Siena). The Ecstasy of St Francis (1437-44) (detail). Italy). Florence. d. d. 7.74 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI 6. 1368. Fig. Pride. ca. Settignano (detail). and Avarice. 1450. Orcagna (b. 190 x 122 cm – Villa I Tatti. 1394. Florence). Tempera on wood. Hell Fresco (14th century) – Santa Maria Novella (Florence. ca. 1308. . Fig.

Florence) Hell (detail on Avars and Spendthrifts). Fig. Italy). Fresco (14th century) – Santa Maria Novella (Florence. 75 . 8. ca. 1308. Orcagna (b.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 8. 1368. Florence. ca. d.

IX. . Chigi Manuscript.76 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI 9. Miniature from the Cronica of Giovanni Villani. fol. 9. Vatican Library. Fig. The Podestà Cante dei Gabrielli of Gubbio in the act of passing a sentence of death by decapitation on some members of the White Guelfs. 174r (I. 59). mid-fourteenth century.

1337. Fresco Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel). 1267. 77 . Last Judgment (detail) 1306. d. 10. Florence).VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 10. Vespignano. Giotto di Bondone (b. Padua. Fig.

18 January 1293. The Ordinances of Justice were promoted by Giano della Bella ‘ad fortificationem.78 FABRIZIO RICCIARDELLI 11. The Ordinances of Justice are an official work by means of which the political power of the mercantile and entrepreneurial middle class was consolidated and the reins of power passed into the hands of the seven major guilds. augumentum et conservationem felicium Ordinamentorum iustitie actenus editorum’. . 11. First folio of the Ordinamenta Iustitiae (Ordinances of Justice). Florence. Fig.

1417. Florence. 1491.VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION 79 12. In 1465 Domenico di Michelino represents the three kingdoms as follows: Purgatory in the centre background. Domenico di Michelino (b. Florence. Hell at left. . the heavenly City at right. d. Florence) Dante and the Three Kingdoms (1465). Fig. Oil on canvas Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. 12.


in their continuing attempts to expand their territory experienced a spiral of violence and war that was often resolved by force of arms. unquestionably less direct but . Rather. For my part. among other things. the city’s identity was constantly reaffirmed. and the running of ignominious races.” the vesting of fake knights. and Tuscany in particular. however. “ritual games” aimed overall at inflicting on the defeated enemy a humiliation manifested ad aeternam memoriam. and dismembered bodies. the execution of animals. such as the striking of coins out of “spite. I do not intend here to examine scenarios of destruction. carried out in front of the walls of the subjugated city. plunder. raids. As is well-known. I would like to call attention to the violence inflicted by means of precise rituals of insult that. due both to concrete economic interests and reasons of prestige as well as to a choice of sides that transcended the local dimension. the principal cities of northern and central Italy. Federico II’s appearance on the scene intensified the already acute conflict among the cities. unequivocally displayed and confirmed the enemy’s defeat.Ilaria Taddei (Université de Grenoble II) RECALLING THE AFFRONT: RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY IN THE AGE OF THE COMMUNES In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The cities faced off against each other in a string of more or less long and bloody military clashes marked by a pronounced desire for revenge in which. these are not the aspects I want to emphasize. killing. We could say that this was a sublimated form of violence. that did not necessarily entail the use of destructive force. These are a wide range of rituals of derision having more or less recondite and highly sophisticated meanings.

Italie. besides being unconvincing from the anthropological standpoint. 2 Among the many recent studies on violence. opposing its ritual form to the more directly physical type. by Gilles Bertrand and Ilaria Taddei (Rome: École française de Rome. ed. Nicolas Offenstadt.” in Les tendances actuelles de l’histoire du Moyen Âge en France et en Allemagne. Gert Melville.” in Les tendances actuelles. Turner. David Nirnberg. ed. Angleterre (XIIIeXVe siècle). in which the two dimensions appeared more or less indivisible. pp. Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory. 155. by Rosa Maria Dessì (Turnhout: Brepols. June 2000 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. Jacques Revel and Otto Gerhard Oexle (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. ed. ‘Faire corps’ nello spazio urbano. 243-264. XXXIe Congrès de la S. Commentaire. and even more so for the wars of the Italian communes. pp. pp. Law and Ritual in Tribal Society (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. Jean-Claude Maire . Violence et minorités au Moyen Âge (Paris: PUF. objet d’histoire. “L’institutionnalité médiévale dans sa pluridimensionnalité. On the still-lively debate on the nature and function of the rituals that.82 ILARIA TADDEI nonetheless not innocuous. by Jean-Claude Schmitt. Max Gluckman and Victor W. Violence et ordre public au Moyen Âge.” in Les tendances actuelles. pp. by identifying these ceremonies of insult bearing an eminently symbolic value.H. However.M. The Ritual Process.S.2 Aldo Settia has 1 René Girard’s interpretation counterpoising the generalized violence of the Middle Ages to the ritualized violence of the early modern age has been superseded by now. Joseph Morsel. 14571459. we do not want to offer a “dichotomous” interpretation of violence. “Violence.” René Girard. Faire corps dans l’espace urbain.” in Le destin des rituels. ed. Italie-France-Allemagne. For a synthetic approach to this question. Le reglèment des conflits au Moyen Âge. France. Prêcher la paix et discipliner la société. (Paris: Picard.E. Turner considered to be constitutive elements of the social order. Politics. 2007). pp. Victor W. This perspective. The Dangers of Ritual. Structure and Anti-Structure (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Philippe Buc. since the 1960s.” in Dictionnaire du Moyen Âge. conflicts and various strategies of pacification. 265-266. Idem. 2005). Alain de Libera and Michel Zink (Paris: PUF. Discours et gestes de paix pendant la guerre de Cent Ans (Paris: Odile Jacob. much less lacking in communicative charge or effectiveness. by Claude Gauvard.” in Les tendances actuelles. 2002). mais il est toujours violence moindre qui fait rempart contre une violence pire. his observations on the dimension of ritual violence are still valid: “Le rite est violent. Gerd Althoff. Claude Gauvard. Italia-Francia-Germania. 2001). “Le rituel et ses approches. (Princeton: Princeton University Press. especially p. Il destino dei rituali. 1-11. 2001). 269-81. 2003). 231-242. Anger. La violence et le sacré (Paris: Grasset. see also Ilaria Taddei. pp. “Rituels et institutions. would be profoundly anachronistic in terms of conflicts in general. 1972). 1969). “Les rituels.1 However. 2008). see at least: Claude Gauvard. 2001). “Le rituel. 2005). see Max Gluckman. Faire la paix au Moyen Âge. certes. 1965).

1996). 2003). 85-162. 199-221. in which the violence of the insult appears as an integral part of medieval combat. Cavaliers et citoyens. 74: “Con una sconfitta si perdono castelli e territori strategici. “Allora fu battaglia aspra e dura. Enfers et paradis. paci e vendette nell’Italia comunale. “Rituali di violenza.H. “Conflits et pratiques infrajudiciaires dans les formations politiques italiennes du XIIIe au XVe siècle. Reti Medievali E-Book.” Reti Medievali Rivista.. perché si esprime in una sorta di liturgia dell’insulto che il vincitore non trascura di esercitare pesantemente.E.RECALLING THE AFFRONT. 19-36. 2.” in Il sabato di San Barnaba. did not always correspond with the facts. e questo ultimo aspetto è quello più difficile a tollerare. ed. ed. to a certain extent. 73-79. by Ugo Barlozzetti (Milan: Electa.S. 1989). see Gian Maria Varanini. fastidiosamente. On this aspect. il prestigio. ed. as early as 1984. often emphasized in the reports of chroniclers.” in Guerra e guerrieri nella Toscana medievale. ai danni dello sconfitto. 8 (2007). 1994). especially p. 4 Anna Benvenuti. la credibilità. assedi.” in Le forme della propaganda politica nel Due e nel Trecento. La guerra nel medioevo (Rome and Bari: Laterza. 2009). substitute for destructive force. 3 Aldo A. pp. Conflitti. conflits et société dans l’Italie communale. battaglie. Alcune schede dalle cronache tardomedievali italiane. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 83 brought out how in the sieges of enemy cities the degree of material destruction.4 Richard Trexler. ed. Settia. 2001). pp. in a highly innovative contribution in terms of its approach to the topic of ignominious races run by the prostitutes and rogues who followed the armies of the communes. “Il sovramondo di Campaldino. p. by Paolo Cammarosano (Rome: École française de Rome. has pointed out the pertinence of the interpretative dichotomy of honor and dishonor. by Marco Tangheroni and Franco Cardini (Florence: EDIFIR 1990). 2002). pp. observing that the humiliation inflicted on the adversary by means of these contests was a source Vigueur. XIIe-XIIIe siècles (Paris: Éditions de l’E. 11 giugno 12891989. 14. Actes du colloque de Dijon 5-6 Octobre 1995 (Dijon: Éditions Université de Dijon. Memoria e ritualità della guerra nella Toscana del Dugento. ma si perde anche la faccia. by Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Firenze University Press.” in L’infrajudiciaire du Moyen Âge à l’époque contemporaine. uomini e beni. which could.3 This aspect has been confirmed also by the work of Anna Benvenuti on the remembrance and rituality of war in thirteenth-century Tuscany. Eadem. “I riti dell’assedio. Guerre.” .S. 133-138. Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan. L’Italie de Dante et de Giotto (Paris: Albin Michel. il decoro. especially pp. pp. Rapine. rappresentazioni della giustizia nelle città italiane centro-settentrionali (secoli XII-XV). Andrea Zorzi. pp. Idem. and in this sense he has underlined the importance of psychological pressure. 395-425. cerimoniali penali.



of pride for the winner: thus also the prostitutes and ribalds, protagonists in their own way of these anti-races, contributed to creating the civic dignity of the Commune.5 For her part, Paola Ventrone, taking a different slant, has included the ignominious races
and other ritual practices connected with the subjection of besieged cities in the broader perspective of festive ceremonies and
ludic manifestations aimed at the construction of a civic identity.6
More recently, Gian Maria Varanini has extended the analysis of
siege rituals to the context of central and northern Italian towns
and a broader chronological span, underscoring the significance of
the siege rituals as meaningful evidence of the persistence, in the
course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, of elements making up the municipal tradition.7
I do not intend to dwell too long on the description of the various rituals that the cities of Tuscany, and more generally Italy,
staged starting in the early decades of the thirteenth century – I
have already done this elsewhere8 – but I would like to go more
deeply into the reasons for the emergence of these ceremonies in
the complex dynamic of the conflicts between communes and to
delineate the characteristic traits that have a strong value in terms
of identity. To be sure, from this standpoint as well, we cannot ignore the writings and sensibilities of the chroniclers who, in harmony with the choices made by the winners, establish the code of
insult and ensure that the event will be remembered, taking an active part in the construction of the ritual. As we shall see, however, this choice is above all the expression of the particular substratum of conflict which, in the polycentric fabric of the world of
the communes, constitutes an intrinsic element of civic patriotism

5 Richard C. Trexler, “Correre la terra. Collective Insults in the Late Middle Age,”
Mélanges de l’École française de Rome. Moyen Âge. Temps modernes, 96 (1984), p. 869.
6 Paola Ventrone, “Le forme dello spettacolo toscano nel Trecento,” in La Toscana
nel secolo XIV. Caratteri di una civiltà regionale, ed. by S. Gensini (Pisa: Pacini Editore 1988), pp. 497-517.
7 Varanini, “I riti dell’assedio.”
8 Ilaria Taddei, “Les rituels de dérision entre les villes toscanes (XIIIe- XIVe siècles),” in La dérision au Moyen Âge. De la pratique sociale au rituel politique, ed. by
Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan and Jacques Verger (Paris: PUPS, 2007), pp. 175-189.



and would reach its most complete form with the advent of the governments of the people.
The first evidence of these rituals appears in Tuscan chronicles
starting in the first decades of the thirteenth century, in keeping
with the rise of the polarization of the two parties of the Guelphs
and Ghibellines in Florentine sources of the late 1230s.9 Giovanni Villani (together with other Florentine and Sienese chroniclers)
reports that in 1233 the Florentine army, after laying siege to the
city of Siena, threw over the city gates “numerous stones, and for
more spite and shame heaved donkeys and other filth.”10 Starting
from this moment, the launching of animals, especially donkeys,
over the walls of besieged cities became a part of the ritual insults
that spread above all in the context of conflicts between Tuscan
cities.11 After the victory at Campaldino, for example, the Florentine Guelphs threw five donkeys into the walled city of Arezzo,
placing mitres on their heads for the occasion “out of spite and reproach towards their bishop.”12 This animal was involved in many
gestures of insult and defiance of the enemy: not only were donkeys hurled onto the field of the adversaries but also – as we shall
see – they were condemned to the scaffold on the walls of the enemy city; they were made to run in ignominious races and utilized
as backwards mounts, a sort of charivari to which the enemy was
subjected.13 This was the fate to which the Florentine ambassadors
9 Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur, “Religione e politica nella propaganda pontificia
(Italia comunale, prima metà del XIII secolo),” in Le forme della propaganda, pp. 6383, especially pp. 67-69.
10 Giovanni Villani, Nuova cronica, ed. by Giuseppe Porta (Parma: Guanda,
1990), I, VII, X, pp. 284-285. See also Cronica di Paolino Pieri fiorentino delle cose
d’Italia dall’anno 1080 fino all’anno 1305 (Rome: Multigrafica, 1975), p. 20; Paolo di
Tommaso Montauri, “Cronaca senese conosciuta sotto il nome di Paolo di Tommaso
Montauri (1381-1431),” in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, XV/VI, Cronache senesi, ed.
by Alessandro Lisini and Fabio Iacometti, (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1931-1939), p. 290.
11 According to Settia, these acts of insult were, among other things, a demonstration of the victors’ technical abilities, as they were able to hurl heavy animals: Settia, Rapine, assedi, battaglie, p. 135.
12 Villani, Nuova cronica, I, VIII, CXXXII, 604; Marchionne di Coppo Stefani,
“Cronaca fiorentina,” ed. by Niccolò Rodolico, in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, XXX/I
(Città di Castello: Lapi, 1903), CLXXXI, 65-66.
13 On the symbolism of the ass and its ubiquity in rituals of insult, see L’animal



were subjected in 1260 when they came to negotiate terms with
Siena after their defeat at Montaperti: they were forced to mount
on the backs of donkeys and “as a greater insult with their face towards the donkey’s tail.”14 The Cronaca Senese attributed to Paolo di Tommaso Montauri furnishes further details on the scorn
heaped on one of the two Florentine officials:15 not only was his
face turned towards the donkey’s rear end, but his hands were tied
to the animal’s tail, together with the flags and standard of the
Commune of Florence. Accompanying all this was the mockery by
boys, whose aggressiveness soon passed from verbal insults to physical violence. But the boys – as the chronicle makes clear – were
sent away and the threat thus defused.
This scenario was at the least plausible16 and offered an image
that was easy to read, capable of displaying to everyone the conexemplaire au Moyen Âge, Ve-XVe siècles, ed. by Jacques Berlioz and Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 1999); Martine Boiteux, “Le
feste: cultura del riso e della derisione,” in Roma medievale, ed. by André Vauchez
(Rome and Bari: Laterza, 2001), pp. 291-315, especially pp. 305 and 311; Taddei,
“Les rituels de dérision,” especially pp. 176-181; Renaud Villard, “La queue de l’âne:
dérision du politique et violence en Italie dans la seconde moitié du XVe siècle,” in
Ivi, pp. 205-224. Particularly, on charivari, see Claude Gauvard and Altan Gokalp,
“Les conduites de bruit et leur signification à la fin du Moyen Âge: le charivari,” Annales E.S.C, XXIX (1974), pp. 639-704; Le charivari, ed. by Jacques Le Goff and JeanClaude Schmitt (Paris: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 1981), especially
Carlo Ginzburg, “Charivari, associations juvéniles, chasse sauvage,” pp. 131-140.
14 “Perché fusero conosciuti, furo messi a chavallo in su gli asini e quagli havevano rechato la vettovaglia in champo, e stavano per più vilipendio loro colla faza inverso la coda de l’asino”: “Cronaca senese dei fatti riguardanti la città e il suo territorio di autore anonimo del secolo XIV,” in Cronache senesi, p. 59.
15 “Questo era a cavalcioni in sur uno asino col volto verso la coda, co’ le mani
legate dreto, e le bandiere di Fiorenza e lo stendardo grande del comune di Fiorenza
erano atacate a la coda, co’ le mani atacate a la coda di detto asino e strascinavansi
per terra, e li fanciulli dicevano al detto anbasciadore: Or vieni a fare el casaro in Camporegi e a metare le signorie in ogni terzo di Siena; e così l’andavano dilegiando, e si
no’ che li omini garivano e scaciavano e’ fanciulli averebono morto così el detto anbasciadore”: Paolo di Tommaso Montauri, “Cronaca senese,” p. 216.
16 On violence by children, see Ottavia Niccoli, “Compagnie di bambini nell’Italia del Rinascimento,” Rivista storica italiana, CI (1989), pp. 346-374; Eadem, Il
seme della violenza. Putti, fanciulli e mammoli nell’Italia tra Cinque e Seicento (Rome
and Bari: Laterza, 1995), pp. 21-88; Andrea Zorzi, “Rituali di violenza giovanile nelle
società urbane del tardo Medioevo,” in Infanzie, ed. by Ottavia Niccoli (Florence:
Ponte alle Grazie, 1993), pp. 185-209.



tempt heaped on the poor ambassadors, a ritual that explicitly recalled the criminal proceedings aimed at confirming the infamous
nature of the crime and, in the context of sieges, the significance
of the celebrated gesture of the burghers of Calais. These six townsmen who, at the end of the long siege of 1347, went barefoot in
their shirts with ropes around their necks to meet the victorious
king of England in order to hand over to him the keys of the city
– as Jean-Marie Moeglin has demonstrated – were not protagonists
of the heroic act of collective sacrifice represented in the monument by Rodin, but performers of a codified gesture of humiliation and penitence (comparable to that of the amende honorable)
testified from as early as the eleventh century: thus a ritual of reparation of wounded honor by publicly offending the enemy.17 Analogous considerations can be made for the punishment inflicted on
the two Florentine ambassadors. Certainly, like the burghers of
Calais, they were pardoned, but the price to pay in any case was
the loss of the honor and dignity of their office, a sort of symbolic death that struck a blow to the heart of their system of identity
values, delegitimizing also the authority of the Commune.
Nonetheless, compared to the humiliation of the rope around the
neck, this ritual, like the others created within the sphere of the
conflicts between Italian cities, presented rather different elements;
in this context, it was the victorious enemy who imposed on the
losers an ignominious practice, the implementation of which did
not in any way interrupt the cycle of revenge. On the contrary, the
sequence of reciprocal insults was fed by perennial remembrance
of the dishonor undergone.
17 As Moeglin notes, Giovanni Villani himself (Nuova cronica, III, XIII, XCVI,
503-508), describing the episode of the burghers of Calais, underscores the humiliating sense of the ritual of the rope around the neck; Villani thus distances himself from
the chronicle by Jean Froissart in which the ritual was presented as a heroic gesture.
Jean-Marie Moeglin, Les bourgeois de Calais. Essai sur un mythe historique (Paris: Albin Michel, 2002), especially pp. 70-72; Moeglin, “Le Christ la corde au cou,” in La
dérision, pp. 275-289. On the amende honorable, see also Claude Gauvard, “De Grace
especial.” Crime, État et société en France à la fin du Moyen Âge (Paris: Publications
de la Sorbonne, 1991); Gauvard, Violence et ordre public; and Mary C. Mansfield, The
Humiliation of Sinners: Public Penance in Thirteenth-Century France (Ithaca, New
York: Cornell University Press, 1995).



This aspect emerges clearly also from the practice of striking
coins “for spite” during enemy sieges, a ritual of offense that, according to Philip Grierson, spread in the second half of the thirteenth century, starting right in Tuscany.18 The first known instance
of “spite-coining” dates to 1256: this was a coin minted by the
Florentines on the occasion of their victory over Pisa.19 It is certainly no coincidence that just a few years earlier, in 1252, in the
climate of euphoria aroused by the death of Federico II (who, it
bears repeating, had created his own gold coin, the augustale), the
Florence of the so-called Primo Popolo had minted the famous
gold florin, the pride of the city, which bore on one side the image of John the Baptist and on the other a vermilion lily on a silver field (in 1250, as we know, the Florentine Guelphs, after regaining political power, had inverted the heraldic colors of the
Commune). The “spite coin” minted in 1256, as Villani reports,
was meant to recall the pine tree, a symbol of male domination,20
that had been cut down on the banks of the Serchio river and then
used to strike the florins.21 The florin coined to humiliate the town’s
bitter enemies appeared as a metaphor of future Florentine domination of Pisan territory: with the image of the great pine tree reduced to a clover, the new gold coin would quash the might of the
ancient seafaring republic and affirm Florentine pre-eminence over
all of Tuscany. We have no reason to doubt the doubly humiliating effect of the “spite” florin that sealed, with a dose of perfidy,
Pisa’s military defeat and at the same time its loss of pre-eminence
from the monetary standpoint, by now definitively supplanted by
the introduction of the Florentine gold coin.
18 Philip Grierson, “Coniazioni per dispetto nell’Italia medievale,” in Grierson,
Scritti storici e numismatici (Spoleto: CISAM, 2001), pp. 303-316, especially p. 315.
19 Ivi, pp. 304-307.
20 Charles de Mérindol, “De l’emblématique et de la symbolique de l’arbre à la
fin du Moyen Âge,” in L’arbre. Histoire naturelle et symbolique de l’arbre, du bois et
du fruit au Moyen Âge, ed. by M. Pastoureau (Paris: Le Léopard d’Or, 1993), pp. 10525, especially p. 114.
21 “Per ricordanza, quegli che in quello luogo furono coniati, ebbono per contrasegna tra’ piedi di santo Giovanni quasi come uno trefoglio, a guisa d’uno piccolo
albero, e de’ nostri dì ne vedemmo noi assai di quelli fiorini”: Villani, Nuova cronica,
I, VII, LXII, 355-356.

”23 and in front of the walls of Pisa. i Lucchesi con giudice di Gallura e cogli usciti guelfi di Pisa (e di Firenze v’andarono XII cavalieri di corredo con CC cavalieri soldati) andarono ad oste in sul contado di Pisa. in public recognition of our endeavors and eternal dishonor of our enemies […] we had our two-soldo coins minted with the emblem of our victorious crowned Eagle. other Tuscan cities had recourse to the practice of minting coins out of spite. e ebbollo a patti. 166. “Les rituels de dérision. this was not their last. to perennial memory. VIII. 112-113. nella maggiore torre feciono mettere più specchi. E per loro dispetto i Lucchesi.” especially p. Not even Genoa the Proud. “Coniazioni per dispetto. VIII.RECALLING THE AFFRONT. pp. II (Bologna: Zanichelli.25 This was undoubtedly no small insult for the Pisans. Nuova cronica. XXXIII. e lanciammo dentro la città molti quadrelli dalle balestre e molte verghe sardesche. 1930-1936).24 But for the Pisans. del mese d’agosto. the Venetians 22 Other rituals of mockery ensued: “E inoltre facemmo cavalieri molti soldati. cited by Grierson. e ci mettemmo a giocare a massascudo e danzammo danze gioiose”: “Chronicon pisanum. I. Nuova cronica. in 1287. preso il castello. 23 “Nel detto anno. humiliation. had minted its genovino. perché i Pisani vi si specchiassono”: Villani. 307. e tornarono in Lucca sani e salvi sanza nullo contrasto de’ Pisani. The Pisans renewed the humiliation inflicted on the people of Lucca in the fall of 1264 when. during the siege of the village of Asciano (1268-1269) “they placed on the tower of the castle some mirrors out of spite. who had already seen a significant reduction in their mercantile activities after this defeat. 24 Villani. and on that occasion the victorious Genoese minted coins deriding their rival. 25 Grierson. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 89 After Florence. che uccisero molti di coloro che presidiavano le mura o stavano nella città. salve le persone. a few months earlier than Florence. “Coniazioni per dispetto. Just three years after the bloody battle of Meloria. after sacking the Lucchese countryside. taking revenge on the Pisans for their offense. 179. was exempt from the ritual of ridicule: in 1299. VI.” pp. 589. the city that in 1252.” in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. .” p. they arrived in front of the gates and walls of the city. see Taddei. an expedition from Genoa led to a new success at Porto Pisano. On the meaning of this gesture of derision. CXXII. they minted their coin “for remembrance and shame” of the defeated enemies. I. e puosonsi al castello d’Asciano presso di Pisa a tre miglia. at the end of the long genoese war with the Republic of Venice.”22 Then it was Lucca’s turn. 309-310. nor their most terrible. a Pisan chronicle recounts that “there.

et ibi cuderunt seu percusserunt monetam venetam. 2 vol. cited by Grierson. 29 Paolo Tronci. “Coniazioni per dispetto. XV/VI. 869. 28 On this war. Valtancoli Montazio ed altri. and Venetian ducats. by Flaminius Cornelius.” Archivio storico italiano. (Turin: UTET. 310. XV/VI. Archivio storico italiano. Raffaello Roncioni. Annali Pisani di Paolo Tronci rifusi. 113. when the outcome of the conflict seemed to be turning in their favor. pp. which in the heraldic bestiary was always op- 26 “Descenderunt super molum Januae.” in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores.30 The lion. 115-116. 1986). see also Agnolo di Tura del Grasso.” in Matteo Villani and Filippo Villani. 16 (1850). pp. nota col nome di Diario del Graziani. In this fight. the flag of Perugia flying from the top of the bell tower and. “Delle istorie pisane. 114. 204. Firenze e la Toscana nel Medioevo. 30 Tronci.28 the two traditional enemies exchanged a long string of acrid ritual insults. libri XV. XI. Seicento anni per la costruzione di uno Stato. “Cronaca senese. “Cronaca senese attribuita ad Agnolo di Tura del Grasso detta la cronaca maggiore. that government “in memory of the event had silver coins minted there bearing an overturned fox underneath Saint John – the symbol of the defeated Pisans.” p. “Cronica di Filippo Villani. vindicated the affront they had suffered by minting a coin which had on one side the Virgin Mary holding the Child. see Michele Luzzati. Cronica di Matteo Vil- .90 ILARIA TADDEI “docked in Genoa and there. After the Florentine victory. VI (1844). Cronache senesi. they minted Venetian coins. the exchange of ritual insults reached its height in one of the episodes that pitted Florence against Pisa in a military conflict which broke out in 1362 over issues of tariffs and trade. 176-177. Cronache senesi.” ed. by Ariodante Fabretti. having raised the flag of Saint Mark. ed. see also Donato di Neri.. ad annum 1354. which ended two years later with the defeat of the Pisans at Cascina.27 Returning to the very lively terrain of the clashes between the cities of Tuscany. the celebration of a Mass and the minting of Perugian coins. and on the other an eagle with a lion underfoot. Francesco Bonaini and Filippo-Luigi Polidori. 27 “Cronaca della città di Perugia dal 1309 al 1491. 1870). p. XV. imposing on this city a race run by prostitutes. (Pisa: Angelo Valenti. arricchiti di molti fatti e seguitati fino all’anno 1839 da E. II.C. 427-428.”26 Later. II. et ducatos venetos relictoque ibi fixo vexillo Beati Marci”: Lorenzo de Monacis. Chronicon de rebus Venetis ab U.”29 The Pisans. the Perugians also adopted ritual violence in their victorious campaign of 1343 against Arezzo. inside the cathedral itself.” in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. 99-100. Annali pisani.

by Giuseppe Lombardi and Massimo Miglio (Rome: Vecchiarelli. Zorzi.34 In the ensuing days. (Rome: Multigrafica. pp. 5 vols. “Le esecuzioni delle condanne a morte a Firenze nel tardo Medioevo tra repressione penale e cerimoniale pubblico. “Delle istorie pisane.33 Here too. Donato di Neri. 176-179. which consisted first and foremost of debasing the enemy to the status of an ass and placing him on the same level as the vilest form of bestiality. 760. 31 On the lion’s role in heraldry. see Andrea Zorzi. Cristo e Giuda: rituali di giustizia a Firenze in età moderna (Florence: Alberto Bruschi.” especially pp. 395-425. Une histoire symbolique du Moyen Âge occidental (Paris: Seuil. and especially Donato Velluti. “Cronica di Filippo Villani. 867-869. “Cronaca senese. 1-60 . derided with various synonyms for the animal.. ed. cerimoniali penali. 1995). Florence took definitive revenge. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 91 posed to the eagle. messer Somaio degli Albizzi e messer [. 176-177.] de’ Medici. 192-233. V. 2004). Rituali di violenza. Moreover. 49-64. see also Roncioni. see Michel Pastoureau. On this aspect.” p. messer Asino de’ Ricci. Annali pisani. see also Taddei. . Cronica domestica. Luigi Lazzerini.” in Simbolo e realtà della vita urbana nel tardo Medioevo. ed.RECALLING THE AFFRONT. 32 Tronci. 232-233: “messer Brunello degli Strozzi. 33 Ivi. Cronica domestica. pp.” 34 On the ceremonies of capital executions and their meaning.” pp. pp. of course represented the defeated Florentine Guelphs. “Les rituels de dérision. Viterbo 11-15 May 1988. XI. 115-116.”32 “As the height of mockery. and constitute a clear death threat. pp. pp. 232-233. 1993). however. 85 (1994). 244-261. recounted by the chronicler with a sim- lani a miglior lezione ridotta coll’aiuto de’ testi a penna. XCVII..” pp. Donato Velluti. pp. On the purification value of this ritual. 286.31 and – according to the Pisan chronicler Paolo Tronci – the people met the Florentine prisoners arriving in Pisa with these mocking words: “This is what upside-down foxes are capable of doing. 116. Atti del V Convegno Storico Italo-Canadese. 1914). the picture of the animals hanging on the scaffold at the gates of the defeated city could both have a purifying value (as happened during the public ceremonies attending capital executions) for the purpose of exorcising the enemy’s malefic influence. “Le radici folkloriche dell’anatomia. Filippo Fineschi.” the Pisans hanged donkeys bearing the names of some of the most illustrious Florentine magistrates. by Isidoro del Lungo and Giuseppe Volpi (Florence: Sansoni. inflicting a harsh defeat on the Pisans which was followed by an even crueler humiliation. 1980). frequent during Carnival periods. especially pp. II. this was a case of a codified practice of derision. pp.” Quaderni storici.

37 Tronci. a specific attribute of sovereignty that reflected imperial dignity as well as being a means par excellence for transmitting a memory. like many other characteristic aspects of local identity. 254-255. by Vittore Branca (Milan: Rusconi. “Guerre tra Fiorentini e’ Pisani dal MCCCLXII al MCCCLXV. . after having carried out “all the abuse that it was possible to do up to the gates of Pisa. II. the investiture of knights and the execution of animals were openly displayed signs of domination that clearly underlined the adversary’s loss of political privileges and the act of taking possession of the enemy territory. and having minted the coin and removing their chains. papal and later especially Angevin propaganda. and the act of domination as well was colored with the hues of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. 36 Antonio Pucci. 1775).”36 On the battlefield. The affront consisted first of all of the very act of minting a coin. 217. lions. by Ildefonso di San Luigi (Florence: G. Eagles. Within the span of a century the Tuscan communes that identified themselves as Guelphs or Ghibellines took possession of their symbolic apparatus and inserted it into a language of ridicule that was ever richer and more refined.”35 made their way back to their own city – Antonio Pucci reports – dragging behind them the Pisan prisoners crowded onto carts “like melons and with an eagle tied to their necks. the derision of adversaries was reinforced by images of heraldic animals. The message. and foxes connoted the language of insult. “Ricordi.” in Delizie degli eruditi toscani.92 ILARIA TADDEI ilar image. Thus the “spite” coin immortalized the subjugation of the enemy city and ensured the spreading of the news. ed. and the spread of imperial. knighted them and ran a race of ribalds and prostitutes.” in Mercanti scrittori. Ricordi nella Firenze tra Medioevo e Rinascimento. ed. The Florentines. pp. the minting of coins out of spite. VI. 1986). Annali pisani. As the years passed. heavily codified and – as the example described by Tronci37 brings out 35 Giovanni di Pagolo Morelli. Cambiagi. both the Guelph and the Ghibelline cities utilized the syntax of heraldic bestiary and an increasingly sophisticated constellation of rituals of public denigration of their adversaries. and later of Tuscany. 116. In conformity with the emergence of the two parties in the life of Florence. p.

with which it was not a victory that was glorified. “Les juifs dans le carnaval de la Rome moderne (XVe-XVIIIe siècles). Eadem. the code of derision overturned the typical elements of the race in a sort of anti-race that some towns would include from time to time in their Carnival activities and civic festivals. taking on over the years increasingly theatrical and ironic forms.40 Foot or donkey races thus took the place of horse races. tornei e giochi nel Medioevo (Rome and Bari: Laterza. Genoa.”38 This observation can easily be adapted also to other rites of siege. pp. and Venice. both religious and civic. “Carnaval annexé: Essai de lecture d’une fête romaine. but in the first two instances the victims were Tuscan cities. La festa in armi. but the defeat of the enemy.RECALLING THE AFFRONT.” Mélanges de l’École française de Rome. The races.C. 2001). Grierson has noted that “the only non-Tuscan cases that have been reported refer to Perugia. see Duccio Balestracci. XXXII (1977). adopted for mocking their adversaries. LXXXVIII (1976). without exception.39 In essence. and the very protagonists of the race were not young noblemen but low-ranking characters like rogues and whores. Giostre. which all the towns of Tuscany. Temps modernes. were organized to celebrate important events. 38 Grierson.S.. constituted a sort of symbolic reversal of the traditional equestrian games that.” Annales E. first and foremost that of minting coins for spite. and the Venetians could easily have followed the example of Genoa. also in terms of bibliography. run before the gates of the besieged city or on the battlefield. was a rag of rough cloth or of goat leather. the most widespread of which was without question the race. in the history of the communes. Moyen Age. 745-787. 39 For a first approach to the topic. pp. . see Martine Boiteux. 40 On the use of mocking races in Carnival festivities. thus took the form of insults to the enemy cities that were mirrored from one chronicle to another. starting in the thirteenth century. 315.” p. “Coniazioni per dispetto. in this case the prize. were early formalized and assiduously practiced. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 93 – characterized by frequent recourse to satirical witticisms. 356-380. Arezzo and Pisa. the customary prestigious banner awarded to the winner. It was undoubtedly in the overall framework of the intense rivalries among the principal communes of Tuscany that the rituals of siege.

defamatory races aimed against the people under siege became a frequent practice in the military campaigns of the Tuscan armies and multiplied especially in the course of the fourteenth century. 65-66. 408-409. 42 Villani. but – as Villani points out – this was clearly a case of “revenge” against the Florentines. Delle istorie pisane. Rainaldo Bonacolsi. 43 Villani. Nuova cronica. Above and beyond the context of the fights among the communes of Tuscany. the Florentine Guelphs celebrated the feast day of Saint John the Baptist on the enemy field: according to Villani and Marchionne di Coppo Stefani. The choice of this ritual was probably not perceived as desecrating. Starting in the second half of the thirteenth century. 1903). I.43 Richard Trexler recalls the race that Azzone Visconti organized in that same year near Florence. Marchionne di Coppo Stefani.94 ILARIA TADDEI One of the earliest reports of these races organized on the battleground concerns the episode mentioned above of the clash between Pisa and Lucca. Nuova cronica. but in the context of the fights between communes ensured a direct relation between the city’s victory and the sacredness of the feast of the patron saint. Villani recalls the three races that were run in 1325 by the lord of Mantua and Modena. by Niccolò Rodolico. con gran festa di tutti i riguardanti. but also by the running of a race and a mock battle called mazzascudo. X. XXX/I (Città di Castello: Lapi. 555. invoked to perpetuate the memory of Florentine sovereignty. I. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. CXXXII. tra di loro giocarono i Pisani al giuoco di massascudo antichissimo e rarissimo. between a civic and a religious event. .41 An even more famous example is the battle of Campaldino: the day after their victory.” ed. VIII. spreading also outside Tuscany. known as Passerino. was ridiculed not only by the minting of coins and the chivalrous ceremony of the dubbing of numerous knights. who two years earlier had staged a race outside the city gates of 41 “E per segno di vittoria. CCCXXVII. CLXXXI. defeated in 1264 by the Pisan army. e degno di qualsivoglia gran principe”: Roncioni. 604. Lucca. “Cronaca fiorentina.42 The ritual language of mockery thus sealed the enemy’s defeat and at the same time honored the city’s protector. and his allies near Bologna. in quel medesimo luogo. they ran a race in honor of their patron saint in front of the walls of Arezzo.

on the dimension of conflict in the society of the communes. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 95 Milan. Enfers et paradis. like the one which in 1338 the league of Venetians and Florentines against the della Scala family orchestrated right by the city walls of Verona. I. pp. Nuova cronica. for an orientation. In order to understand their proliferation. especially pp. are documented in the fourteenth century also outside Tuscany. 191-204. ed. Gian Maria Varanini has mentioned new episodes regarding other cities in northern and central Italy in which. Crouzet-Pavan. X. “Correre la terra. we must keep in mind the particularly intense conflictive nature of this region. where a large number of important towns tried to construct a solid territorial base and affirm the supremacy of their city. pp. as Giovanni Cherubini has efficaciously demonstrated.” in Conflitti.” p. other motives also have to be taken into consideration. 106-109.” in La dérision au Moyen Âge. also bibliographical. during sieges. More in general. it has to be said that this region appears to be a true homeland for insults. . Riflessioni sullo stato degli studi e sulle prospettive di ricerca. see Villani. CCCXIX. “La cultura della vendetta nel conflitto politico in età comunale. 47 Giovanni Cherubini.47 these conflictual traits went beyond merely economic and political interests. For this race and the one run by the Florentines in 1323 during the siege of Milan. Zorzi. paci e vendette.45 Even though these anti-races. Le città italiane dell’età di Dante (Pisa: Pacini Editore.” 46 In this regard.RECALLING THE AFFRONT. Zorzi. Besides. Maire Vigueur. involving also elements of prestige. like other acts of contempt such as throwing donkeys over the walls of the besieged city. see at least: Idem. 2002). 862. 1991). CCXI. Cavaliers et citoyens.” in La storia e la memoria.46 This emerges clearly from the chronicles written by Tuscans. “Dérision et lutte politique. “I riti dell’assedio. “I conflitti nell’Italia comunale. pp. pp. mocking races were staged. In onore di Arnold Esch. 135-170.44 More recently. Le cas de l’Italie communale. which are permeated with irony and sarcasm. 368. If the taste and sensibility of the chroniclers surely had an influence on the wide resonance of these gestures of scorn in the context of the Tuscan communes. see the observations by Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur on the playful and satiric poetry that found its spiritual home right in Tuscany in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 405. by Roberto Delle Donne and Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Firenze University Press. 7-41. 45 Varanini. not only in the context of military campaigns but also in the various spheres of city life. 85-162. The chroniclers 44 Trexler.

pp. . 1973). as the chronicles reiterate. If the ritual thus manages to circumscribe the violence within forms of spectacle which are less dangerous than the use of destructive force. proudly manifested by heraldic attributes 48 Maire Vigueur. The aim of these rites. Meloria or Campaldino. like the poets and artists. that identity that. 49 Georges Duby. capable of extrapolating the event from the ordinary context of war and making it exceptional. and as such of being transformed into an epic by the city’s chroniclers. were champions and exponents of this highly conflictual humus.” pp. an ideal political and cultural climate for the elaboration and diffusion of practices aimed by the victors at shaming the defeated side48.”50 which was typical of the world of the communes also represented a way of coexisting with the “other” without losing one’s own identity. above and beyond the different possible interpretations and recondite meanings of the symbolic language of these ceremonial practices. that is to say the open desire to give the battle a memorable dimension. it nonetheless can portend future acts of ritual revenge that will be carried out symmetrically by whoever is the winner the next time. Thus a sort of “liturgy of fate. but also much more limited military skirmishes such as the siege of the little town of Asciano by the Lucchese.49 that expresses in a ritual game the resolution of the military siege through a form of codified violence that coincides with the humiliation of the enemy. “Dérision et lutte politique. Before concluding I would like to dwell for a minute on the shared value which. characterizes these representations in general. Le dimanche de Bouvines (Paris: Gallimard. This peculiar form of violence ingrained in the “culture of hate. in the dynamic of the incessant fights among the cities of Tuscany. 191-204. these gestures of clear humiliation served to put the finishing touches not only on major battles like Montaperti. In effect. 307-321. p. 148. Cavaliers et citoyens.96 ILARIA TADDEI themselves.” to use Georges Duby’s happy phrase. 50 Maire Vigueur. expressing its deeper and more complex meaning. is precisely that of ensuring perennial remembrance of the enemy’s defeat (this phrase is found over and over again in the sources).

51 On this theatrical dimension. capable of annihilating the enemy by the mere use of a ritual game.” 52 Gherardo Ortalli. with the rise of popular regimes. In this sense. the dimension of spectacle. we observe what Gherardo Ortalli calls “the explosion of the political image. in the evolution of the clashes between communes. “Allora fu battaglia aspra e dura”. an aspect that could not have escaped contemporary observers.” in L’image: fonctions et usages des images dans l’Occident médiéval.51 Indeed. with a perfect harmony between these performative languages. 1996). And in fact. these rites of siege. Thus it was impossible to forget the offense that had been received. Starting in the mid-thirteenth century. The battlefield becomes a theater where the presence of an audience is indispensable. “Les rituels de derision. Eadem. Parallel to this. see Trexler.RECALLING THE AFFRONT.”52 destined to materialize in a multitude of forms. Taddei. . “Correre la terra”. p. was built on the memory of events transmitted via the pen of the chroniclers. a theatrical gesture destined to evoke and hand down to posterity the memory of the rival city’s debacle and at the same time the enemy’s humiliation. and finally remembered as an event worthy of remembrance. Humiliation is done first and foremost to be seen. it is no coincidence that these rites of scorn spread at the same time as the elaboration of defamatory painting. then immediately understood. Benvenuti. with their strong symbolic content complementing the actual fighting. pervades more or less markedly all these rituals of derision. appeared as crucial elements for the resolution of the military conflict. “La rappresentazione politica e i nuovi confini dell’immagine nel secolo XIII. ed. by Jérôme Baschet and Jean-Claude Schmitt (Paris: Le Léopard d’Or. 188. RITUALS OF WAR IN ITALY 97 and signs of sovereignty. as manifestations of the sovereignty of the popular regimes. “Il sovramondo di Campaldino”. the need became increasingly impelling to transmit a political message capable of publicizing the image of the commune and its strength. Thus the final outcome of the military siege was resolved in mimesis and the symbolic humiliation of the adversary.


the medieval period had its violence. See also her Violence et ordre public au Moyen Âge (Paris: Editions A & J Picard.”1 To be sure. 2005). choice candidates rush to mind. She begins. nor does she drawn any temporal divides over the long course of the Middle Ages. (University of Glasgow) REPRESSION OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY RENAISSANCE ITALY To amplify the horrors of outrageous barbarism and genocide inflicted against one’s own people such as the brutality of Rwanda’s mass killing of 800. In sheer numbers of communities annihilated. Jr. as “par excellence le temps de la violence. the first Crusades. le temps de la violence” (p. 1999). but she does not. ed.” Even prominent medievalists have jumped on this bandwagon. and more. characterizing the Middle Ages. for instance.000 in 1994 or the murder. rape. 12011209. “Violence. . and burning of villages of the weak and impoverished in Sudan today. by Jacques Le Goff and Jean-Claude Schmitt (Paris: Fayard. where violence within Europe against one’s own people erupted with widespread murder of Jews down the Rhineland in 1198 before troops bothered to reach the Holy Land.” in Dictionnaire raisonné de l’Occident médiéval. the Albigensian crusades and the massacre at Montségur in 1244. suggesting that she might debunk this cliché in popular thought about the Middle Ages. suggesting that some centuries or periods may have been more violent than others. Cohn. “Le Moyen Age serait. 1201). pp. the worst were the 1 Claude Gauvard. par excellence. pogroms against Jews in England that intensified at the same time. journalists often tar these acts and regimes of cruelty with the labels “medieval” or “medieval forms of violence. If we concentrate only on the high and late Middle Ages.Samuel K.

3 On first glance. Charles IV of Bohemia. and to the wholesale destruction of subject population by the mid-fifteenth century and into the early modern period – the massacre of innocents in sacks of cities in northern France and the Low Countries. that violent behavior declined and attitudes towards it became less tolerated with the rise of the early modern state. COHN. the Holy Roman emperor. pp. In German-speaking lands alone. 1939-1969). before ca. With the development of early Renaissance territorial states in the late fourteenth century and more so with early modern states north of the Alps in the sixteenth century. (Basel: Verlag Haus zum Falken. a trend towards increased repression of rebels 2 For this calculation. cruelty of state repression with new rituals of brutality spread from the punishment of a handful of leaders to the mass execution of fifty or more. over one-thousand Jewish communities were eradicated. It will argue that examples of mass massacre and special and cruel forms of punishment meted out to rebels were rare.100 SAMUEL K. soon regretted even by the most hardened of anti-Semites. see Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. and were usually limited to the leaders alone.. principally in Italy. I would argue that the violence of the Middle Ages against indigenous populations cannot compare with what would develop a century or so later: the mass violence and cruelty of absolutist monarchies but also of republican city-states of the early Renaissance with their new forms of punishment and treatment of those who broke the norms or opposed these growing states and oligarchies. “The Black Death and the Burning of the Jews. JR. 2007). 3-45. This paper will not consider all forms of mass violence but instead will concentrate on persecution and punishment of popular rebels from the late Middle Ages to the early Renaissance. 1390. Über den Prozess der Zivilisation: Sociogenetische und Psychogenetische Untersuchungen. still attached to Norbert Elias’s “civilizing process”: with the state’s disciplining of subject populations in early modern Europe. This trend in state brutality cuts against the grain of the current historiography. especially in Italy. 2 vols.2 Except for this horrific spate of mass violence. 3 Norbert Elias. 196 (August. Black Death burning of Jews down the Rhineland into France and Spain and eastward into Austria. .” Past and Present. such as its principal prime-mover.

by Samuel Kline Cohn Jr.. The execution of Fra Dolcino and possibly the mass destruction of his followers in the mountains above Biella (Novara) in 1307 make grisly reading: his girlfriend Marguerite was sliced up. to plunder. dissertation. their pieces then burnt together. piece by piece. Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press. and murder city populations that had proved disloyal to the Spanish king. p.4 The brutal retaliation of the nobles was not. even encouragement. one on top of the other. who were given free reign. 2004).D. Because of their excesses. however. University of Glasgow. other late medieval exceptions are striking. before his eyes before the same was done to him. chronicles such as Jean le Bel and Jean Froissart reveled in their re-telling of the butchering of townsmen and peasants by chivalrous knights as their victims took flight through fields and woods: These men-at-arms then charged and killed them like swine. and they took everything they could find. With so many to kill and the streets [of Meaux] so narrow it was difficult for the troops to advance…When the soldiers had killed all those they could find. “‘Shame on Him Who Allows Them to Live’: The Jacquerie of 1358’ (Ph. the dauphin. But this was first and foremost a hereti4 “Chronique de Jean le Bel”.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 101 after 1400 may appear to run against the best-known examples of late medieval rebellion. burning it as far as the Marché. rape. . trans. Turning to Italy. see Douglas Aiton. 2007). that of the king. these noblemen now faced penalties imposed on them by the crown. 5 On these rarely studied remissions to noblemen in the aftermath of the Jacquerie (as opposed to ones issued to peasant and artisan rebels). or the crown. With the brutal repression of the Jacquerie in northern France in June 1358. in Idem. to knights who had taken the law into their own hands and had killed peasants in their villages.5 It was not akin to the crown’s treatment two centuries later of the Duke of Alba’s mercenaries. Immediately after the quelling of the Jacques and the merchants of Paris under Etienne Marcel. many of these. the dauphin Charles issued record numbers of letters of pardon. 154. and ed. they pulled back and then set the town on fire.

were among Italy’s most famous revolts. lists only fourteen men who were banished by the Florentine government on 2 September. 34: “Dopo la grande ripressione un ‘grandissimo numero di questo popolo minuto se n’[era] andato. a level of population that would not in fact be surpassed until well into the period of the Grand Dukes. see David Herlihy and Christiane Klapish-Zuber. the popolo di Dio. Furthermore.” cited by Ernesto Screpanti in L’angelo della liberazione nel tumulto dei Ciompi: Firenze. at least as seen in the current historiography. 8 I know only one source that claims that sentences of mass exile (cited by Rodolico) were imposed with the fall of the Ciompi. I Ciompi: Una pagina di storia del proletariato operaio [1945] (Florence: Sansoni. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. The first is the Florentine Tumulto dei Ciompi. but he supplies no source. p. however. The only allusion to mass migration after the Ciompi’s defeat on 1 September is “Diario del Monaldi. Ernesto Screpanti have claimed that the new government in September 1378 brutally repressed the rebels with executions. No Florentine chronicle or judicial record confirms this claim.102 SAMUEL K. 2006). Niccolò Rodolico. 2008). 1200-1425 (Cambridge. more recently. mainly for the contado. 7 Victor Rutenburg. p.. followed a year and a half later by the rest of the workers-artisans government. and for late medieval towns. giugno-agosto 1378 (Siena: Il Ponte Editore.. and Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. in January 1382. pp. certainly. p. this figure does not come from any quantitative reckoning of the judicial records. 1835). JR.8 In Sep6 Samuel Kline Cohn Jr.6 Two other possible exceptions. 1971). 149. pp. population statistics taken from the Estimo of 1379 suggest that the “grandissimo numero” who left on 2 September either were not “so grand” or very soon slipped back into the city: the Florentine urban population rose sharply from the famine and plague of 1374 to 1379. Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe. mass exile. for these statistics. Victor Rutenburg. The Black Death Transformed: Disease and Culture in Renais- . and several to Pisa and other dispersed places. which survive intact. According to Cronaca senese di Donato di Neri. was defeated in early September 1378. 209. to death. 315-316 and 335-336. Niccolò Rodolico. p.’” Monaldi. “over a thousand carders and combers were chased from town and exiled [cacciaro e sbandiro]” in September 1378. 1980). and. 101 and p. asserts that the Florentine tribunals had condemned eight thousand rebels. 1978). 673. and force migration.7 but they supply scant evidence of it. 173-177. p. Les Toscans et leurs familles: Une étude du Catasto de 1427 (Paris: Editions de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. COHN. Popolo e movimenti popolari nell’Italia del ‘300 e ‘400 [1958] (Bologna: Il Mulino. two of the best-known revolts in Western Europe. cal movement with social and political overtones.” in Istorie Pistolesi dall’anno MCCC. for the most part. whose radical wing and third revolutionary guild. al MCCCXLVIII e Diario del Monaldi (Prato: Guasti. 521: “A great number of the popolo minuto left. that of the Arti Minori. and this was a foreign one.

Zorzi cites the eighteenth-century Muratori edition of the Rerum Italicarum Scriptores instead of the more critical twentieth-century one edited by Lisini and Iacometti. 2008). p. only forty-four Ciompi were sentenced to exile.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 103 tember 1378. not one as is usually assumed. ed. 1996).10 Indeed. 9 Diario d’anonimo fiorentino.9 Curiously.”12 Italy’s second best-known popular uprising involving disenfranchised textile workers. But while some were sentenced for life. by Monique Bourin. 12 Gene A.” in Rivolte contadine nell’Europa del Trecento: Un confronto. 10 Cronaca fiorentina di Marchionne di Coppo Stefani. “Politiche giudiziarie e ordine pubblico. 384. 22. 2002). has also been described as ending in bloody repression (“sanguinosa repressione”). . p. pp. p. The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence (Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. the government invited back all members of the popolo minuto who had not been condemned as rebels “to live and work” in the city. Women in the Streets: Essays on Sex and Violence in Renaissance Italy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 13 Andrea Zorzi. see also Idem. 403. For some reason. Giacomo Manni. observed: “Very little harm has resulted from so much turmoil and revolution: only fifteen people have been killed. these historians do not mention the repression of workers and artisans after the definitive fall of their government in January 1382. 200. that of Siena’s Compagnia del Bruco. 399-401.13 There were actually two revolts of the Bruco. when the reprisals against the defeated were slightly more severe: now three were beheaded and eighty-five fined or sent into exile. 11 Ivi. the government reissued crossbows to those Ciompi who had been chased from Florence in September 1378. Cronaca fiorentina di Marchionne di Coppo Stefani. 393. Brucker. Giovanni Cherubini. p. pp. p. of whom three were executed [by the government] and twelve killed in private vendettas. the Sienese diplomat. seventeen days after the fall of the government of the Minor Guilds and the suppression of the two remaining revolutionary guilds. 336-337 lists only thirty-seven. and Giuliano Pinto (Florence: Firenze University Press. our onsance Europe (London and New York: Arnold and Oxford University Press. and sixteen days after their defeat.11 On 7 February. For both. unfortunately. 1977). others were exiled for only a year. less than a month after the restoration of the old oligarchy ante-June 1378. see below. 61.

634. 15/6 (Bologna: Zanichelli. But the battle did not end here. ly source is the description of a single chronicler. the Monte of the Dodici along with others with lances and crossbows invaded the neighborhood of the Bruco – Ovile – torched eight houses. the Sienese ligrittiere. chased women with their children in their arms screaming. 1936). “three hundred or more” workers led by the ligrittiere Domenico di Lassi. one of the poorest districts of the city. The following day the Bruco armed and marched to the Palace of the Senator. the Bruco’s first uprising. and stole or broke to pieces the looms of workers. Three of the Bruco’s leaders were seized and questioned by the city’s senator. see Ivi. 633. According to Neri. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. The first erupted on 26 August 1370 within their contrada of Ovile. p. Their second. killed several officers.” As urban Robin Hoods. p. freed their three comrades. In this struggle. was rare among the revolts of late medieval Europe in that it arose not only over rights but specially over wages: laborers and skinners in the wool industry (“Li lavorenti e scardazieri dell’Arte di Lana”) demanded that they be given the same rights as masters and paid according to laws set by the commune of Siena and not those determined by their employers. hurled insults against the ruling parties (Monti) of the Dodici and the Nove. JR. The Bruco appealed to the 14 Cronaca senese di Donato di Neri e di suo figlio Neri [aa.104 SAMUEL K. COHN. where a high proportion of Siena’s textile workers resided. almost a year later in July 1371. Neri di Donato. the Bruco stormed the palace. and attacked the Palace of the Salimbeni. demanded “peace and riches. ed. What then emerges in Siena is a complex civil and factional war that cut across the geographic alliances of the city’s thirds (terzieri) and Siena’s various parties or “Monti”. . 1352-1381]. or vendor of cloth. No governmental or judicial records survive for it. the rebels took grain “from those who had it” and distributed it “to those without. A grain shortage had afflicted Siena in the previous year. With their allies. betterknown revolt. the chronicle mentions no repression or any other penal consequences of this. by Alessandro Lisini and Fabio Iacometti.”14 Significantly for our purposes. threatening to burn it down if the three were not released.

the gonfaloniere of the city being the first to lose his head. of whom not a single person was identified from Ovile. city-state governments of the fourteenth century usually limited executions to a few leaders and without horrific forms of torture and punishment to accompany theaters of executions followed by the humiliation of bodily parts. pp.15 Nonetheless. the latter were sentenced to be hanged. not burnt as with heretics and without dragging or other forms of torture en route to the place of execution. rebels were. nor was any wool worker mentioned. 14 December 1344 to 31 May 1345. moreover. such a list of executions (how many were carried out is impossible to know) was extraordinary. not a single case describes ceremonial torture. even if the popular classes were not the victims here. not the Bruco. By contrast. 15 Ivi. and 12 of the Nove were to be executed. treated less harshly than common thieves (“publicos et famosos latrones”). Instead. Inevitably. overturned the government. or of the Bruco. In the earliest surviving criminal records in Florence in the 1340s. who were friends of the Dodici and the Salimbeni. the earliest records of the tribunals of the Podestà and Capitano del Popolo in Florence sentenced artisan rebels and those working in textiles with fines. the largest single filza of criminal sentences found in the Florentine archives. several other followers of the Dodici were saddled with the colossal fine of 20.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 105 Nove and the faction of “li Gentilihuomini. as a rule. comprising 710 cases with 1155 persons brought to trial in the four quarters of Florence for the city and countryside (contado). if condemned to death. were the big losers: the new government legislated immediately that neither the members of this party nor their descendants could hold any governmental offices for five years. And on 12 August it adjudged its condemnations: 131 from the Dodici. In the sentences of the Podestà for the semester. . they were either hanged or beheaded. 85 of the bigwigs (“populo maggiore”). 639-644. and. including the “e’ Signori Riformatori”.000 gold florins.” and by early August this alliance of factions. The chronicler continued with a long list of lesser fines descending from 50 to 25 lire. The former ruling party of the Dodici.

no. COHN. 23/2 (Città di Castello: Lapi. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. p. col. one from Scorgiano near the problematic and shifting border between Florence and Siena and the other from Staggia. Podestà. p. by Giulio Bertoni and Emilio Paolo Vicini. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. the gate of San Marco in Siena was burnt down. by Albano Sorbelli. XV (Milan: Typographia Societatis Palatinae. ended with some of the rebels (“Aliqui vero proditorum”) dragged by the tails of asses to the place of execution and then hanged.” in Rivolte contadine nell’Europa del Trecento. 48). it took place in 1388. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. col. 1908-1929]. XIX (Milan: Typographia Societatis Palatinae. see Annali Sanesi. In addition. 1731).18 16 Archivio di Stato. 17 Chronicon estense gesta Marchionum estensium. And no quartering of bodies before or after execution with ritualistic placement and humiliation of bodily parts in selected symbolic places followed. Florence (hereafter ASF). 1911-1929). In the Sienese chronicle of Neri di Donato. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. forms of mutilation or drawing by asses. 15/3 [Città di Castello: Lapi. ed. and until the 1380s in Italy I have yet to find state executions that ordered the bodies of popular rebels to be quartered. ed. 18 Cronaca Gestorum ac factorum memorabilium civitatis Bononie a Fratre Hyeronimo de Bursellis [ab urbe condita ad a. 408) finds a case which he says was at the end of the 1370s – actually. p. 1729). by Lodovico Antonio Muratori. In an uprising of the popolo at Bologna in 1328 three butchers (“mazelarii”) were tied to the tails of horses and dragged to the square of Bologna where they were decapitated. donkeys or horses. but it would be safe to say for late medieval Italian city-states before about 1400 that such practices remain unusual. ed. JR. who had been burdened by the Marchese’s direct taxes and gabelles.17 No doubt. Two men were apprehended. this volume contains twenty-two cases from the Offices of the Gabelle.16 Nor do I find from the chronicles many examples of such treatment elsewhere in Italy before 1390. The one . 389 – when prompted by the Florentines. other cases of dragging might be found in the narrative sources. Andrea Zorzi (“Politiche giudiziarie. 116. whipping along the way. 1497]. in which several hundred more were sentenced to small fines or absolved. which had been within the Florentine contado since 1361. In 1288 a popular uprising in Ferrara seized the Marchese Azzo and through their rough justice dragged him tied to the tail of horse through the city to the place of execution (Chronicon estense cum additamentis usque ad annum 1478. 511. ed. In 1375 a revolt in Ferrara led by professionals – a medical doctor and two notaries – but including wool workers and appealing to the poor.106 SAMUEL K. 324. by Ludovico Antonio Muratori.

the earliest for Italy cited by Dean was for Milan in 1388 (p. taken to the gate where his hands were burned and then quartered with his four bits placed on four of the city’s gates. and afterwards had his men dismantle their palace brick by brick. 39. it can be seen as the fate of condemned rebels such as the leaders of wool workers’ revolts in Tournai in 1281 and 1307. this one at Vercelli.” in Rivolte contadine nell’Europa del Trecento. 1968). however. 21 Cohn. Il Popolo Minuto: Note di storia fiorentina (1343-1378) (Florence: Olschki. 64). or massacres of the innocent. pp. the earliest case of quartering in Bologna was of conspirators in 1429 and in Siena in 1434. p. . Lust for Liberty. who led four successful revolts in Pavia from 1356 to 1360 against the Milanese state and the most powerful ruling family of Pavia. mass exiles. 151. 20 Rodolico.19 Nor did mass executions follow when a second uprising of wool workers demanded Ciuto’s release.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 107 Instead. 19 Zorzi. pp. where he presumably died of natural causes in 1373.20 Perhaps even more surprising is the fate of the Augustinian friar Jacopo Bussolari. and torture. 14. According to Trevor Dean. only the leader or leaders of popular revolts were executed. the Beccaria. p. p. Yet when the Milanese state finally suppressed the popular government led by Bussolari after four years of rebel rule and reintegrated the city into Milanese control. 408. 22 Ivi. no. however. p. Ciuto alone was sentenced to hang and with no accompanying special rituals of brutality. mutilation. “Politiche giudiziarie. 63. 2007). Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and Niccolò Rodolico. it is not clear whether this man was a popular rebel or in the employ of the Florentines. we learn of no executions. as was the case with Ciuto Brandini after his success in organizing an association of wool workers to go on strike with their own community chest and collection of strike funds in Florence. 37-38 and doc. Not even its leader was tortured or executed. 114-116. From the chronicle.21 This absence of torture as a prelude to execution and special and horrific forms of execution for rebels – principally drawing and quartering – distinguishes Italy from places north of the Alps during the Middle Ages.22 Such executions. Il Popolo Minuto. Instead he was sentenced to be kept at another Augustinian convent. While still not the rule in France or Flanders. are more readily found from Scorgiano was tortured by pinchers.

1938). ed. pp. Jones.”25 In 1283. pp. Historia anglicana (A. Thomas and I. JR. their bodily parts were then placed in highly visible symbolic places. ed. To cite but a few examples: the leader of a London tax revolt in 1196. Tied in chains. Edward I executed thirty-four citizens. others by burning and some by all three forms of execution. some by dragging. Rolls series . both leaders and the rank-and-file. then beheaded. 25 Again. and in the case of prominent leaders. H. “and ate the laste” his body quartered. where he was drawn through the town to the gallows. the brother of Llewelyn Prince of Wales and a leader of a Welsh uprising against the English crown. ed.27 In 1384 the cordwainer John 23 Among several chronicles. by A. pp. Skene (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas. came to join “his colleague” on London Bridge. trans. many chroniclers report this revolt and the condemnations that followed: see for instance Bartholomew de Cotton. Rolls series 16.23 King Alexander of Scotland responded to the three hundred who had risen against tithes imposed by their bishop in Caithness in 1222 by having them “mangled in limb. the king’s hand having “been tempered by the supplication of the Norwich citizens and others who pleaded for leniency.D. William FitzOsbert called Longbeard. by Felix J. “his skin ripped apart by the cobblestones along the way” (demolitis carnibus ad silices obiter positos).108 SAMUEL K. D. 1872). see Memoriale fratris Walteri de Coventria: the Historical Collections of Walter Coventry. then hanged. Riley. in the British Isles. his bowels burnt. 1872-1873). beheaded sometime after Wat Tyler’s execution.26 Dragging of rebels. H. by Henry T. Skene. 19. 27 Thomas Walsingham. David. 284-285. by William Stubbs. 2 vols. the four parts sent to and hanged in various towns of England. Historia Anglicana. of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 preceded their executions by beheading or hanging. ed. especially England. 146-149. by William F. was tied to a horse’s tail and dragged through the streets of London. Thornley (London: Printed by George W. and racked with many a torture. COHN. his head stuck on the Tower of London. 24 John of Fordun’s Chronicle of the Scottish Nation. p. (London: Longman. 26 The Great Chronicle of London. 97-98. others by hanging. 449-1298). was captured and taken to Shrewsbury. he was hanged with eight of his associates. The head of Jack Straw.”24 Following the suppression of the Norwich burgesses’ revolt against the privileges of their cathedral and canons in 1272.

the rebel Hall (who appears from his testimony before Parliament as someone who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time) was charged by Parliament with falsehood and treason and in the same day drawn a distance of two English leagues by horses that left his body ripped open. p. Albani. D. by Benjamin Williams (London: English Historical Society Publications. 214. 33 Annales Monasterii S. trans. p. the chronicler of St. “After this he spoke. pp. p. 10.28 Executions of rebels became more extensive and grisly with the conspiracies against Richard II in his last year of rule and with the takeover of the crown by his cousin. 394-395. by David Preest (Woodbridge. Rolls Series. ed. NY: Boydell Press. where his body was quartered and decapitated. 2 vols. 1421-1440).33 And in 1450 Jack Cade was drawn to Newgate. II. at least ten men were drawn and hanged. which were burnt in his sight. twenty-six rebels were drawn and hanged (according to Thomas Walsingham.. where it was placed on London Bridge. p. now the usual punishment for rebels30).REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 109 Comberton (also called John Constantyn) was drawn and beheaded for instigating a revolt against the mayor of London. 2005). 1870-1871). 96-97. 1846). for other executions of leaders. conscripti (A. 63.29 With Oldcastle’s revolt in 1413. 30 Walsingham. ut videtur. . p. a Johanne Amundesham. 1864). but “many others” were not only sentenced to be drawn and hanged on the gallows. pp. Suffolk. 32 The Chronicles of London. Nicholas Brembre. see p. 28 The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham. II. but after this unhappy end were also cremated. 31 The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham. monacho.32 In a Lollard revolt of 1431. Albans. Historia Anglicana. I. 1376-1422. his four sides sent to various towns in Kent and his 28 (London: Longman. and they gave him some drink. They then drew out his bowels. 14. 224. his head sent to Calais”– the scene of his supposed crime. England. 29 Chronique de la traïson et mort de Richart deux roy dengleterre. For conspiracy and the murder of the Duke of Gloucester in 1399. Rochester. The chronicler remarked that the spectacle of his execution had the effect of quieting the crowds. 1 (London: Longman.31 In 1427 Jack Sharpe’s rebellion in Gloucester and Abingdon ended with the capture and death sentences of a number of his men. with Sharpe’s head taken back to London. 299. and afterwards cut off his head and quartered his body.

pp. This change around 1390 goes against current generalizations about judicial punishment and the state during the late Middle Ages into the early modern period – that the number of executions declined steadily. pp. Roll Series 44 (London: Longman. COHN. Lust for Liberty. England.. and execution for rebels. Historia Anglorum. 1377-1461. and the outlying mountainous zones of the Casentino and the Alpi fiorentine. that the forms of execution became almost exclusively hanging or decapitation. see Cohn.34 In addition. 173. ut vulgo dicitur.110 SAMUEL K. 2003). massacres of the innocent. NY: Boydell Press. edited from Aberystwyth. Florentine judges created new and crueler rituals of humiliation. 35 Matthew Paris.36 The change instead came with internal threats to Florence’s expanding territorial state in the 1390s and more so in the early decades of the fifteenth century. 67-70. ed. .35 In Italy (or at least within the territorial state of Florence). II. 127-28 36 On these revolts. Suffolk. and other ritualistic forms of torture and punishment declined to be replaced by more humane fines even 34 A number of accounts report Cade’s execution in detail. both commoners and those from the old feudal elites. by Frederic Madden. as when King John in 1212 took twenty-eight boys hostage during a Welsh Revolt and then hanged them all. These were areas not only beyond Florence’s city walls but outside its traditional hinterland or contado. the treatment and execution of rebels began to change dramatically. Historia Minor. head placed on London bridge. the English had the tradition of executing more than one or two rebel leaders and anticipate early modern executions and. by William Marx (Woodbridge. These rebels were not of the city but from villages and towns such as Gaenna in the Val di Chiana and Anghiari (both previously in the contado of Arezzo). but not with the revolt of Ciompi or in its immediate aftermath with the ripple of urban revolts of artisans and sottoposti within the cloth industry. who desperately tried to resurrect the twentyfour guilds. see for instance An English Chronicle. San Miniato. and 240. as the examples above suggest. torture. 1866). Suddenly. Rochester. that mutilation as a form of punishment disappeared. 3 vols. pp. Montecatini. ed. sive. Bodleian Library MS Lyell 34. JR. on a smaller scale. National Library of Wales MS 21068 and Oxford. 127.

many men. “The Judicial System. the city’s 37 For Florence and northern Italy. by Paolo Cammarosano (Rome: École française de Rome. at least from the earliest surviving judicial records of the 1340s to the rise of the Medici (1434). “Rituali di violenza. except as an alternative in six instances. one against forty-six magnates of the feudal Ubaldini clan. “Le esecuzioni delle con- danne a morte a Firenze nel tardo Medioevo tra repressione penale e cerimoniale pubblico. no tortures with chains or pincers. 54-57. Idem. sixty-three were condemned to death – thirty-three by beheading. 150-153 and 173-174. cerimoniali penali. 103 men were so condemned. . rappresentazioni della giustizia nelle città italiane centro-settentrionali (secoli XIII-XV).” rebelled in an attempt to liberate the “terra” from Florence. if the sentenced should fail to pay their fines on time. 412-414. the trend instead ran in the opposite direction. The much shorter Capitano del Popolo records for this semester condemned more to death: although only five cases between 15 February and 28 July 1345 passed death sentences. who in pitched battle “killed many. pp. who in warlike fashion.” pp. 1r. Capitano del Popolo. see Andrea Zorzi. ed. 1996). in these cases. a foot. Society and the Law. See also Michael Rocke.39 Finally.” in Le forme della propaganda politica nel Due e nel Trecento. and Dean.37 From my initial sampling of judicial records in the archives. “with banners raised. humiliating rides on donkeys faced backwards. ed. no wearing of mitres or other special garments. Of these.15. the Podestà absolved or sentenced 1154 individuals within the city and contado of Florence. 1994). and no punishment by mutilation. 53-55. twenty-eight by hanging and two by cremation. pp. pp.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 111 for serious crimes and rebellion.ii.” in Simbolo e realtà della vita urbana nel tardo Medioevo. 39 Ivi. Two of these cases constituted eighty-six of the death sentences. 19. Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 38 ASF. Idem. and a tongue would be amputated.”38 and the other against forty men of Fuccechio in the district of Pistoia. no. 1993). 1345. by Massimo Miglio and Giuseppe Lombardi (Rome: Vecchiarelli. In the sentences for the semester from December 1344 to the end of May 1345. 37r. “Criminal Justice. four hands.” in Crime. dragging. These records describe no special ceremonies or rituals that tortured or humiliated the condemned as they were marched to the scaffolds: no instances of flogging.

42 Umberto Dorini. and where they do. Yet. cut more and more into cases adjudicated by the Podestà and Capitano. . especially serious ones dealing with treason. the jurisdiction of the tribunal of the Otto di Guardia. 1923). This filza contains sentences for only three months instead of a semester (as with the earlier records before the Black Death) and pertain to only two of Florence’s quarters – Santo Spirito and Santa Croce.42 Secondly. the first year I have spotted when new forms of judicial punishment were invented for rebels. Podestà. ninety-nine hangings. this would mean 588 condemnations of execution. conspiracy. First. The records extend from early February (1389 Flo- rentine style) to April.41 The number of condemnations for execution. Esecutore degli ordinamenti. 169-171. 257. after its foundation in 1378. condemned only one to the scaffolds. “Le esecuzioni. 27: 1344. increases vertiginously: seventeen beheadings. or over three-and-a-half times as many as 1345. and Andrea Zorzi has argued that this upward trend continued to climb into the early modern period. The actual rates of executions were without doubt higher still. pp.40 Thus for the first half of 1345 the criminal tribunals condemned 164 to death. instead of sliding downwards. XIV (Lucca: Domenico Corsi Editore. for a half-semester.xi.29 to 1345. If the seasonal rates and the other half of the Florentine quarters were comparable.112 SAMUEL K. again for half the jurisdictions of the city’s four quarters. no. Il diritto penale e la delinquenza in Firenze nel sec. COHN. and rebellion. To these can be added twenty-nine condemnations found in the Capitano del Popolo of the first three months of 1390.” in Simbolo e realtà. as Umberto Dorini argued in the early twentieth century. and Zorzi. only a fragment of these records survive from the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. JR. third tribunal.iv. 3351.9. 118 executions for half of the Florentine city and contado. the rates of those condemned who were actually executed climbed steadily upwards from the earliest records of the mid-1340s to the 1380s. p. 41 ASF. the summary character of these records often obscures the particular nature of the crimes 40 ASF. the Esecutore degli ordinamenti di giustizia. no. and two deaths by fire. These statistics contrast sharply with those found in the judicial sentences of the Podestà in 1390.

”46 By the last month of these sentences. the Alpi fiorentine. The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence. 44 In my research on peasant revolts for the two works above. per capita executions from 1345 to the late fourteenth century in Florence would have then increased seven.ii. In February. 1999). 6. Finally.45 In March another rebel of that town was transported to the city of Florence and was paraded down the city’s streets. Podestà.. however. no. the Casentino and Chianti. for the first time in 139044 special forms of torture and humiliation were inflicted on them in processions that led through the streets and the quarters of Florence as well as within the outpost towns of the territory. Women in the Streets. . 1348-1434 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and Brucker. either dragging by the tail of an ass through the streets of market towns or transported to Florence to be tortured by iron pincers became the normal ritual of cruel punishment for rebels. the Pistoiese.12. 4r. these three months were not exceptional in the history of popular revolt in the territory or city of Florence. 46 Ivi. Florence’s war with Milan in the last years of the century and more so in the opening years of the fifteenth century set off a sharp rise in peasant revolts and ones of small market towns across the mountainous periphery of the Florentine state – in the Valdinievole. the 1390 tribunals record several revolts.REPRESSING OF POPULAR REVOLT IN LATE MEDIEVAL 113 and sentences. Creating the Florentine State: Peasants and Rebellion. a rebel of San Miniato was led on a plank (“supra quandam asside seu tabula lingnea”) tied to the tail of an ass to the place of his execution. Instead of decline. 45 ASF. 6r. in which numbers of rebels were condemned to death. 1389.43 As regards punishment of eight-fold. As I have shown in Creating the Florentine State. chap. To be sure. not only did executions become more frequent than fines. For the 43 See Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. the records of the Podestà in 1390 were the earliest in which I found special new forms of torture meted out to rebels before their execution. Idem. 3351. gripped with iron pincers “that ripped away the flesh from his body” as he proceeded “to the place of justice to be hanged by a chain at the gallows. the population of Florence and its contado in the 1390s was about half that of its pre-plague population.

the same tortures were inflicted upon several artisans from the parishes of San Lorenzo. San Simone and the street of the dyers.114 SAMUEL K. these new processional tortures of chains and pincers pertained almost exclusively to rebels. 23r. no pagination. in 1390 other ritual punishments and processions began to accompany other crimes. most part these tortures and humiliations pertained to rebels in the countryside and from Florence’s newly incorporated subject cities. and fifty-six men condemned to death at Gaenna: en route to execution all were condemned to have their flesh ripped apart by iron claws or pincers as they processed to the place of justice. COHN. 51 Ivi. ASF. . 48 Ivi. 16r. However. for both the penalty was amputation of their right ears.50 Nonetheless. 50 See for instance. San Felice in Piazza. also a citizen of Florence. for cases of homicide. in both cases homicide. where their sentence was executed. indeed beyond Florence’s traditional contado. In the three-month period for the quarters of Santo Spirito and Santa Croce alone. Only in two cases were they extended to those condemned for other crimes. Podestà. Podestà. these.48 Yet. contado. however. while the new punishments and processions pertained mostly to those residing beyond Florence’s city walls. 49 Ivi. condemned to death that year for a conspiracy against the Florentine state. whether from the city. who attempted in 1390 to revive the government of the twenty-four guilds. 20v. these two were the exceptions: no others were accompanied by these processions with iron pincers and dragging to their place of execution. and 24r. Four others in an attempted artisan coup later that year met the same fate.49 Moreover. ASF. and 40r.47 and in one case was the prelude to the execution of a member of the old feudal clan of the Ubaldini. 9r-10v. no pagination. no pagination for either case. JR. were different from the ones inflicted on rebels: in two cases “famous thieves” – both from the Florentine countryside – were brought to the city and whipped through the streets to the place of justice.51 47 Ivi. as with fourteen who tried to overthrow Florentine republican control at the castle town of Castro Carchiano. or district. eighty-two rebels in eleven separate cases were sentenced to these forms of torture.



Immediately, with the earliest records of the Florentine vicariate courts in 1398 – those that pertained to the cities, towns and
villages of Florence’s newly incorporated territorial cities and their
contadi along with mountainous border regions such as the Alpi
fiorentine – the ritual character and cruelty of Florentine condemnations had extended to still other crimes. The penalties included amputations of tongues, ears, noses, hands, feet, the branding with the insignia of the Florentine state on foreheads, all with
processions of public floggings and donned with clothing and symbols to engender public humiliation. In one of the earliest of these
cases, a man from Pescia, guilty of giving false testimony, was led
“as an example” through the streets of the town wearing a turban
(“ducatur cum mitria in capite”) to the place of justice, where his
tongue was then cut out.52 Several months later, three thieves from
Anghiari, previously a part of the contado of Arezzo, were sentenced for theft; two were hanged, while the third was to be paraded through the streets of this market town and whipped along
the way to the place of justice, where his forehead was to be branded with a red-hot iron “for all to see imperpetuum.”53
Special rituals of punishment increasingly were used for those
guilty of sexual deviance.54 In 1399, a man from Castro Montevettoloni, convicted of adultery, was to be led through the streets of
Pescia whipped with branches and twigs and “hit in every way.”
Some were paraded in the nude; other stripped to “their kidneys”;
and some were forced to wear turbans or other distinctive articles
of clothing.55 In 1413 a Florentine vicariate court convicted a peasant from the mountain village of Rassina, previously in the contado
of Arezzo, of raping his eleven-year-old grandniece. Led to Anghiari,
he was paraded through the streets, stripped to his kidneys, and

52 ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, no. 97, fol. 16r. He was also fined 100 lire.
Also, see ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, 30r, fol. 88r and fol. 90v (where the sentenced was to be led through the streets in the nude) and in the last case wearing only a belt, which reported that he was a pilgrim.
53 ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, no. 97, fol. 18r.
54 See Cohn, Women in the Streets, pp. 98-136.
55 ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, no. 97, fol. 91r. Also, see, for instance, ASF,
Giudice degli appelli e nullità, no. 102 (second filza within this busta), fol. 11r.



whipped with branches and switches. At the place of justice and assembled before crowds, his penis was to be sliced in four, each slice
then burnt with a red-hot iron.56 Two years later, the Florentine
judge in a case of consensual incest between a young brother and
sister in the village of San Gueninello near San Miniato al Tedesco
sentenced the boy to be led to San Miniato’s place of justice “clothed
in feathers” (indutus pellibus) “to denote the irrationality and bestiality of his beastly act and crime.” Then “with gallows and other
necessary instruments,” his testicles were cut off.57 Among the most
elaborate of the new forms of execution was that inflicted on women
convicted of infanticide. The territorial court records describe huts
built in town centers for the execution of these women (never the
men) as in a sentence of 1433, when a woman from Castel Bonizi
in the podesteria of San Casciano was burnt alive in a hut in which
artisans previously had been commissioned to paint “ugly pictures”
(picturas turpes) to intensify her pain and guilt.58
The vicariate courts continued to punish rebels with their own
distinctive rituals of cruelty and humiliation. The practice of wrapping rebels in pincers or iron claws on tortured processions to the
gallows continued, but now the vicariate courts of the early fifteenth
century added new features: these iron bits and pincers (“ferris seu
tengalis”) were to be “red hot,” so as to burn through as well as tear
apart the flesh of the convicted rebels. In addition, in the sentences
of these courts rebels alone were the ones drawn to their places of
executions tied to the tails of asses or mules (“atrascinando ad caudam unius muli sive asini usque ad locum justitie” or “strafinari”),
but unlike rebels in the earlier sentences of the podestà, these rebels
did not benefit from planks placed under their bodies.59
The Florentine judges of these vicariate tribunals became still
56 Ivi, no. 99, fols. 105r-6v,; also see Cohn, Women in the Streets, pp.
57 Ivi, third filza in busta, fols. 48v-49r.
58 ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, 102, second filza, fols. 201v-202r, 1433.vii.9;
also see Cohn, Women in the Streets, pp. 101-102.
59 See for instance ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, n. 97, fols. 80v-81v,
1399.xii.20; 101, second filza, fols. 36r-7v; n. 76, fols. 286r-288r (three rebels condemned to dragging), 1426.ii.27; Ivi, 574v-6v, 1427.i.19 (five rebels); 102, fols. 370v1v, 1430.viii.25.



more creative in their ghoulish deterrents to those desiring to
threaten the security of the Florentine state. As early as 1399, a new
mode of execution awaited rebels of Florence’s outlying districts
and towns of its recently incorporated territorial state and by the
1420s had became common judicial practice, “mos proditorum.”60
In 1399 the new form of execution awaited three rebels, one from
the previous ruling family of San Miniato, the Mangiadori, along
with two sons of a baker, who had held secret meetings and conspired to free their former city-state from Florentine rule. Once
caught, they were taken to the Florentine fortress at San Miniato
(“in fortiam nostrum”), then dragged on planks from the tails of
asses to the place of justice, where fresh ditches had been dug. By
their feet they were lowered into the ditches upside down and
buried alive (“sub terra subplantentur et subplanatri debeant ita et
talier quod vivi sepellinatur”).61 Later, the practice was elaborated
into a double execution – while alive and once dead. In 1417 four
rebels armed with swords and other weapons attacked officers of
the Florentine Guelph party at Montecatini. For their execution a
round ditch two braccia deep (about five feet) was to be dug at the
place of justice in Montecatini. As at San Miniato in 1399, the
rebels were to be lowered head first into the ditches and then
buried alive. Once dead, however, they were pulled out and hanged
from gallows in the usual fashion, except they were not to be cut
down but left in the hangman’s noose “in perpetuo,” leaving their
rotting bodily parts to fall wherever they might (“dimictantur donce
per se cadant”), never to receive a Christian burial.62
Andrea Zorzi, Trevor Dean, and others have argued that states
in the later Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early modern periods
increasingly exercised “greater leniency in punishment” with the
numbers of executions declining steadily over the long term and

60 ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità, no. 101, second filza, fols. 36r-7v,
61 Ivi, no. 97, fol. 51v, 1399.vii.2. Four rebels from the ex-contado of Pisa, who

had held secret meetings and conspired to overthrow Florentine rule in Pisa, were condemned to be dragged to the place of justice in Pisa, where they were to be buried
alive in ditches specially dug for their execution.
62 Ivi, no. 100, first filza, fols. 241r-3v, 1416.ii.17. Also, see Ivi, no. 99, fols. 191r2v, 1413.xi.23.



with mutilations, public whippings, and other forms of cruel and
unusual punishment disappearing in Italian cities.63 But even if
these trends can be trusted, given the problems of new tribunals
coming into being, such as Florence’s Otto di Guardia, summary
justice, and the fragmentary survival of these documents, such
trends tell at best only part of the story. Certainly the Florentine
records show no such trend from the earliest surviving judicial
records of the mid-1340s to the rise of the Medici in 1434, after
which the records of the vicariate tribunals in the Florentine territory no longer survive. The records of Florence, both of the
Podestà and of the new vicariate courts for the distant countryside
and outlying towns and districts of the Florentine state, suggest a
pattern that runs in the opposite direction. Perhaps the trend is
analogous to that of post-Enlightenment European states of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries: following principles of justice
and punishment first elaborated by Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794),
63 Trevor Dean, “Criminal Justice in Mid Fifteenth-Century Bologna’, in Crime,
Society and the Law in Renaissance Italy, ed. by Trevor Dean and Kate J. P. Lowe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 27; Andrea Zorzi, “The Judicial System in Florence in the 14th and 15th Century,” in Crime, Society and the Law, p. 54
(neither article supports its claims with any statistical evidence). In “Le esecuzioni,”
in Simbolo e realtà, pp. 173-174; and repeated in “Rituali di violenza,” in Le forme
della propaganda politica, pp. 395-425: p. 412, Andrea Zorzi gives statistics for the decline in annual averages of executions from the late Middle Ages to the period of the
Grand Duchy of Florence, but he neither gives the source for these data nor discusses the difficulties of compiling such statistics over periods in which the competences,
appearances, and disappearances of tribunals change so dramatically as in Florence,
along with the great gaps in the survival of these records. In other places, Zorzi cites
the records of the Libro dei giustiziati of the Florentine confraternity of Santa Maria
della Croce al Tempio (although to secondary materials and not to the original in the
Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence). He neither analyzes these records, nor seems to realize, as Samuel Y. Edgerton insists in Pictures and Punishment during the Florentine
Renaissance (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1984), p. 231, that they are
fragmentary and include only those executions served by the brotherhood. Instead,
Zorzi assumes that this is the full set of executions. Not only do these lists of executions not include all that took place in the city of Florence, to what extent did this
city brotherhood travel to the far-flung vicariates of the Florentine district, places
such as Anghiari, San Miniato, or Pisa, where, as we have seen, a disproportionate
number of executions took place? Dean follows Zorzi’s conclusions in Crime in Medieval Europe 1200-1550 (Harlow: Longman, 2001), pp. 124-125, without raising any



the judicial policies condemned torture, and to varying extents
death penalties and cruel and unusual punishment at home declined. At the same time, however, these states developed new
forms of torture, cruelty, punishment, and repressive measures
such as concentration camps to control the indigenous peoples of
their outlaying and distant colonies. For Florence, these “colonies”
were not so distant; instead they were found in the lands of their
newly acquired city-states and hinterlands that formed the city’s
new imperium of little more than a day’s ride from the capital.
Such new rituals of punishment and cruelty as seen in Florence and its new territorial state were, however, only a prelude of
worse to come with the development of larger territorial states and
empires of the early modern period, particularly north of the Alps.
As early as the mid-fifteenth century, the new monarchs sacked
cities that rose up against them. Instead of trials with due process
that rarely executed more than a handful of rebel leaders, the controlling armies invaded urban populations and went beyond execution of leaders “as examples” to engorge themselves in massacres of the innocent. These began in the north – the sack of Arras and Bruges in 1440, Ghent in 1453, Dinant in 1468, Liège in
1478 – but spread to Italy by the early sixteenth century: Brescia
in 1511, Prato and Pavia in 1528, and Genoa in 1532. Again, anticipations of this trend come earlier from republican Florence and
its control over new territories, and again the early 1390s appear
as the critical moment. In 1391 the peasants of Raggiolo in the
Montagna, newly-incorporated into the Florentine state, conducted secret meetings with their former feudal lords of Pietramala, beseeching them to revolt against the harsh new taxes and control of
the republican city-state. After the rebels had captured the Florentine castle on the town’s outskirts, the Florentine Signoria sent
troops and smashed the revolt. Their repression, however, did not
end with rounding up and trying a handful of rebel leaders. Instead, the Florentines treated the villagers, women and children included, as a foreign enemy and worse: the soldiers ran through the
village stealing all they could lay their hands on. The women and
children took sanctuary in their parish church, but without compunction the Florentines burnt the church to the ground, “killing
and devouring them all.” Then they torched the village, leaving its

historians ought to get the record straight. p.120 SAMUEL K. the growth of early Renaissance territorial states in the fifteenth century and even more so the early modern monarchies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not about good taste and manners alone. if they need historical analogies. tolerate. 194. such a substitution of terms in popular parlance will probably never come about. would be better off (or at least more historically accurate) branding acts such as the Rwandan massacres of innocents as “Renaissance” or “early modern” rather than “medieval” acts of violence. violence. ed. or perhaps even imagine. JR. after they attempted a tax revolt by siding with one branch of the Este family against another. Yet this was not sufficient retribution for the Marchese of Ferrara. pp. part 2. Their control and disciplining of larger populations and territories assumed new and more brutal forms of repression. and punishment than medieval states. also see Cohn. the Florentines were more evil than they needed to be to show that they would do the same to others. streets “littered with charred bodies. Nonetheless. He granted his troops and the Florentines “license to rob the countryside for all they could take. journalists. not counting those who had drowned. 125-126. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. at least of the later Middle Ages. pp.” The Florentine aristocrat chronicler ended his description of the carnage: the place now remains uninhabited and broken.64 A similar slaughter of a city-state’s own peasantry is seen four years later in Ferrara. 65 Ivi. by Elina Bellondi (Città di Castello: Lapi.”65 In conclusion. The victorious branch massacred six hundred or more of their peasantry. could muster. COHN. 27. 1915-18). Yet given the ideological overtones of “medieval” and “Renaissance” and their corresponding connections with barbarism and High Culture. 127-128. To evoke the sense of horrific brutality and decry state actions against their own people today. and captured two thousand. . As a good example to the surrounding villages. 64 Cronica volgare di Anonimo Fiorentino dall’anno 1385 al 1409 già attribuita a Piero di Giovanni Minerbetti. Creating the Florentine State.



an ingrained element. Katherine D. from 11 September 2001 onwards. however close at hand or remote they may seem. as is proven by the publication of a number of studies.2 1 Hannah Arendt. Watson. Histoire de la violence. The cultural climate which preceded and accompanied the celebrations of the bicentenary of the French revolution already seemed to indicate a change of emphasis. On Violence (London: Allen Lane. Assaulting the Past.Francesco Benigno (Università degli Studi di Teramo) RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE: CHANGES OF PERSPECTIVE IN THE ANALYSIS OF EARLY MODERN REVOLTS The attitude of historians towards violence during the last twenty years has taken on the kind of importance that was previously associated with revolution. as Marx had so famously put it) so violence. de Seuil. and therefore in some ways deemed as natural (just as labor pains accompany labor. Recently however. particularly in the writings of English-speaking historians such as William Doyle and Simone Schama. to its more tragic connotations and the traumatic impact it had on people’s lives. 2008). 1970). 2 The literature is impressive. so to speak. If for a long time violence had been considered an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of political and social transformation. having now freed itself of its ancillary role with respect to politics. the change has become even more readily perceivable. Violence and Civilization in Historical Context (New- .1 has become a subject of study in its own right. What was emerging was a shift of focus from the analysis of the causes of the revolutionary breakdown. but see at least Robert Muchembled. De la fin du Moyen Âge à nos jours (Paris: Ed.

1158-1178. can here only be evoked through fleeting reference to the various issues it addresses. the prevailing interest in communicative processes concerning the construction of identity compared to the deconstruction of the main ascriptive macro-categories (class.” The American Historical Review. pp. Albert R. 107 (2002). Amartya Sen. among many others. the recent focus on the cultural and symbolic value of conflict compared to its social and economic aspects. Wodarski. ideological fanaticism and factional infighting. the manifestation of an intellectual transformation that has taken place in the meantime: the consequence. 3 Violence: a Reader (Main Trends of the Modern World). Violence in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007). John S. Julius R. given that it cannot be discussed at length in this context. “Violence and the State in the Twentieth Century. 2002). The Politics of Collective Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. that is to say. that is to say as a result of the current supremacy of a revisionist (and politically conservative) historiographic assessment which reverses the sign (from positive to negative) of the consolidated opinion on revolutions.6 But what is more important is that violence has taken on a central and constituent role in the new castle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. the peak of western civilization but also the pinnacle of mass state violence. To view this shift of perspective purely as a consequence of a change in the political and cultural climate. Handbook of Violence (New York: Wiley. by Catherine Besteman (Houndmills. would be missing the point. Hartmut Lehmann. . 2004). of a deep cultural readjustment which. 2003). Rapp-Paglicci. 5 Francesco Benigno. 6 Mark Mazower. 2006). Identity and Violence: the Illusion of Destiny (Issues of our Time) (New York. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Norton. 4 See for instance. Mirrors of Revolution. and Jay Winters (Adelrshot: Ashgate. Conflict and Political Identity in Early Modern Europe (Turnhout: Brepols. by Joseph Canning. It is not just a question of whether these incidents should no longer be seen as steps in the glorious progressive march undertaken by western civilization but rather as senseless tragedies or at least tragic mistakes. Roberts. 2002). Ruff. country).5 It is instead a sign of something more and different. All this has led to a far-reaching review of the historical opinion on the twentieth century. Violence and Mass Death in Pre-Modern and Modern Times. Power.124 FRANCESCO BENIGNO readers3 and even handbooks4 on the issue. 2001). ed. the results of misunderstandings. Charles Tilly. Lisa A. 2010). ed.

” History and Theory. the crowd in arms. codes that can be set apart from those pertaining to the more general culture. pp. “Memory and History: Liturgical Time and Historical Time.8 and has taken its place as a major player in the Nietzscheinspired emotional and memory-based one (executioner – witness – victim). we could say that the violence has flowed out of the marginal role it held in the Hegel-inspired rationalist-historical constellation (revolution – progress – social change) the matrix of which was the Grande Révolution. 3 (1978). Violence et Révolution. Essai sur la naissance d’un mythe National (Paris: Seuil. This leads to a general overestimation of all the elements used to describe a popular subject imbued with traditional and often ancestral values that are consequently “revealed” by the so-called rites of violence. and truly popular.” Social History. the tendency to project violence onto a rather ambiguous subject.7 meaning a necessary ingredient of the sacral dimension that accompanies the symbolic and mystical identity-forming reuse of the past as seen through the figure of the martyr and his/her executioner. the script for which is provided by the Holocaust. Holton. and the similar underestimation of the interpenetration between the politics of the elites and those of subordinate subjects. in reconsidering the ways in which the historiography of the early modern age has addressed the issue of popular violence over the last three decades. . Spiegel.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 125 hegemonic scheme of historical memory. rightly renamed by Gabrielle Spiegel liturgical memory. In the astrological language that is typical of our early modern historical figures. The violence is thus inscribed in the register of 7 Gabrielle M. 9 Robert J. “The Crowd in History: Some Problems of Theory and Method. in light of the recent centrality of violence in the historiographic discourse. pp. which brings back once again the age-old question of the manipulation or control exerted over popular action and the subsequent feverish attempts to decipher the independent. 2006). 219-234. which aim to turn the spotlight onto one of the most obvious limitations that can be encountered in the many historiographic approaches. There is therefore some merit to be found today. 41 (2002).9 it is a fairly opaque subject at best. 8 Jean-Clément Martin. This is what will be attempted in the pages that follow. 149-162.

a popular violence. in a subject who “does the dirty work for us. discipline curtail the festival-revolt. thus endowing with meaning certain actions that had previously seemed a rash expression of primordial needs. this tendency to ascribe the violence to a predetermined and insubordinate subject highlights the inclination towards concentrating violence in someone other than us. questions were being asked . physical and symbolic violence. The time has come. At the beginning of the 1960s. which is viewed as innovative. conceived as possessing an atavistic animal quality that enables it to perform barbarous feats: ritual mutilations. in a process which sees Lent overcome Carnival. right through to decapitation and anthropophagy. and particularly after Edward P. for a careful assessment of this concept which – seen from today’s perspective – appears to be problematic in its usage and which nevertheless.126 FRANCESCO BENIGNO a normalization/repression process. the civilization of good manners prevail over sauvagerie. Rites of violence? One of the most characteristic ways in which historiography of the early modern age has treated violence is the frequent recourse to the category of the rite of violence. in the absence of a serious review. is still being used. Thompson had developed the concept of moral economy. disgusting and terrifying side of humanity. which provided the opportunity to reinstate the voice of popular masses which they had almost never been granted. from the violent yet routine imposition of the social norm. “natural” and insubordinate. Forgetting how any discourse on violence should instead take its cue from institutional and conventional practices. described as rooted in tradition. rationalizing and ordering. the shedding of blood and flesh.” and thus literally displays the repugnant. Secondarily. as if from force of habit. There seems to be little point in recalling the meaning it used to have and the intellectual context out of which it took shape: this was the – in many ways thrilling – season of the discovery of history from the bottom up. as opposed to state violence. however. mere “empty-stomach” uprisings.

and ultimately what Edward Muir referred to as “the mysterious 10 I have developed this argument in “Il popolo che abbiamo perduto. dialectically interacting with another questionable concept which goes by the name of “elite culture. Yet already during the 1960s and more decidedly during the 1970s these patterns were being gradually replaced by a more thoughtful interpretation which had greater respect for independent forms of expression and. today.” in Giornale di storia costituzionale.” the one and the other believed to be internally consistent to the point that it was even possible to single out their general characteristics. in a nutshell. . 11 John Walter. 151-178. at least on a European level. of nebulous origin. at the meeting point among three concepts which. of the A and B phases suggested by François Simiand. 18 (2009). a subject therefore which through its actions would appear to be expressing the wishes. pp. excellent chemical reagents so to speak. possessing what one may term a general subjectivity. all appear somewhat problematic. which were not supposed to be dependent on local differentiation. one could say that the ritual vision of popular violence was born out of this climate. interests and aspirations of the entire popular universe:11 a universe of gesture and symbol to be deciphered. Note sul concetto di cultura popolare tra storia e antropologia. of explanatory patterns dominated by cyclical actions. the alternating play of the Hausse and the Baisse. In very rough and succinct terms. In this vision the populace was imagined as a passive subject which could almost be manipulated by impersonal and systemic forces. Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: the Colchester Plunderers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. not to mention the possibility of couching the “popular culture” within even more complex and vague Eurasian foundations. 1999).RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 127 of the structuralist and quantitative economic and social patterns (which now appear very rough-hewn and mechanical) that curried so much favor with historians in the 1950s and 1960s. however much they have come to the historian’s assistance.10 The second concept is the crowd in arms seen as an independent subject. for so-called lower-class culture. The first of these is obviously enough the concept of “popular culture.” that is to say the belief in a consistent cultural universe. for different reasons.

13 and particularly through the developments and formulations of his famed pupil Victor Turner. there is a significant shift of emphasis: the accent is no longer placed on the crucial problem of conflict reintegration. “The Rites of Violence: Religious Riot in Sixteenth Century France. In the celebrated essay by Natalie Zemon Davis15 on rites of violence. la beste a 12 Edward Muir. a representation. as is well known. Edward Thompson. of the reconstruction of order (which was the problem Gluckmann and Turner were tackling) but on the possibility – particularly through the indications provided by the works of Michail Bakhtin – of using conflict as a gateway to a universe of signs and ideas which would otherwise have been denied and inaccessible. . through the anthropological works of Max Gluckmann on the Zulus during the middle of the twentieth century. Hobsbawn. 1963). 15 Natalie Zemon Davis. which permeated the historiographic culture. the American historian referred to the research tradition (inherited from Georges Rudé to Eric J. XIX. who developed the concept of social drama. 1963). 1993).14 which took as its starting point his in-depth observation of the Ndembu tribe rituals in Zambia. Vendetta and Factions in Friuli during the Renaissance (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa (London: Routledge. pp. 1952) (Manchester: Manchester University Press. Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa (The Frazer Lecture. The third element which contributed to the formation of the rite-of-violence concept is naturally the concept of rite itself. in their way of approaching the issue. 1954). and – more or less metaphorically – a text. 1969).” Past and Present 59 (1973). 13 See especially Max Gluckmann. Mad Blood Stirring. 53-91. 14 Victor Turner. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie and Charles Tilly) which has enabled us to interpret the people outside the classical stereotypes of sixteenth-century literature such as the Hydra. Turner.128 FRANCESCO BENIGNO alchemy of crowd behavior. The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual (Ithaca: Cornell University Press.”12 This pantextualist tendency which established itself during the same period contained the idea that the actions of the crowd could be interpreted like a récit. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure (Chicago: Aldine. p. Yet in the interpretation that historians have provided of the anthropology of ritual.

the famous investigations by Le Roy Ladurie on the Carnival of the Romans17 or Edward Muir’s on the cruel zobia grassa of 1511 in Udine. Zemon Davis writes that these historians have taught us to view the ancien regime crowds not just as unstable. In the same years Yves-Marie Bercé suggested. however poor and outcast. but also Furio Bianco. The link between Carnival and revolt has since then become a primary object of attention for historians: we only need consider. Mad Blood Stirring. which also took place during Carnival. The reasons for discontent and protest. wretched. More specifically. not as random and limitless. by way of example. La “cruel zobia grassa. “We may see their violence. 17 Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie.” p. equipped with traditions and values. 1979). 52. Le Carnaval de Romans: de la Chandeleur au mer- credi des Cendres. the so-called Lanturelu uprising. 18 Muir.18 or even the various lesserknown studies on the Dijon revolt of 1630. but as aimed at defined targets and selected from a repertory of traditional punishments and forms of destruction.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 129 plusieurs testes. they have the feeling that they are performing a legitimate act. this insistence on the link between Carnival and revolt. etc. the crowds know what they are doing. however cruel. inverting the laws of obedience and legitimacy as a vehicle for the expression of the will to redress the violated order. using the traditional arsenal of playful jests and role reversals. .. Seen from today’s perspective. an interpretative perspective on violence as an expression of a universe of customs and feelings that was particular to the subordinate classes. according to Bercé. and the highlighting of the primordial.”16 The people therefore possess an arsenal of means of punishment and purification: even in the most extreme cases of religious violence. in a series of studies but particularly in his volume on fête-révolte. 16 Zemon Davis. rootless masses but also as members. of communities. such as Carnival time. permitting us to glimpse the political and moral traditions that have justified or allowed the expression of violence. find the opportunity to express themselves in ritual festive celebrations. 1995). “Rites of Violence.” Rivolte contadine e faide nobiliari in Friuli tra ‘400 e ‘500 (Pordenone: Biblioteca dell’immagine. 1589-1590 (Paris: Gallimard.

as is well known. which we might term folkloric: as Le Roy Ladurie himself remarks. “Dalle fonti della vendetta alla nemesi delle fonti. We are therefore in the presence of factional divisions that exploit a shared culture for their own symbolic and identity-shaping construct: thus Guérin and Paumer.” pp.130 FRANCESCO BENIGNO animal and materialistic elements that go hand in hand with a Bakhtinian interpretation of Carnival as a typical expression of another.19 But also in the case of the celebrated Carnival of the Romans in 1580. are more akin to “cultural brothers” who move about in the same imaginary zoological universe like fish in the water. 20 Le Roy Ladurie. promoted by craft guilds. rather than pitching popular culture against the culture of the elites. 374. with the festival of the Candelora on 2 February and San Biagio on 3 February. the leaders of the two opposing formations. as the generally accepted interpretation 19 Muir. Mad Blood Stirring. would seem to belong to the same context. 221-230.20 The question at this point is how a common. strongly-rooted factional conflicts. arouses fairly substantial misgivings. 231-247. and Sandro Lombardini. p. to use the words of Le Roy Ladurie. see also the discussion “Le Periferie del Rinasci- mento. but instead.” in Quaderni Storici. the violent clash. can only partially be included in a fête-révolte scheme of things which calls for a liberating and playful eruption of popular rage: what they are really describing would appear to be the history of the connection between the eruption of violence and the undercurrent of fierce. do not appear to be harbingers of alternative values. by Osvaldo Raggio. reread a few years down the road. 88 (1995). Il giovedì grasso di Udine (1519). Le Carnaval. distinct culture which resists the state’s attempts at modernization.” pp. headed by the Savorgnan and the Della Torre. . both equipped with considerable – albeit varying – material and symbolic resources. the bloody confrontation takes place. shared folkloristic culture can be typically popular (in the sense that it referred to the subordinate classes). the notables organize in the same folkloric context and set up reynages (symbolic representations) which vie with the group of the grouse. between two important family units. “Politica. cultura e archetipi. The famous books by Muir and Le Roy Ladurie. In the case of the cruel zobia grassa in Udine in 1511.

27 (2001). which seem quite stimulating in this regard. pp. singing the song Lanturelu. On 27 February of that year fifty winemakers of the parish of St.” Historical Reflections . “Popular and Elite Politics in Seventeenth Century Dijon. the edict by Louis XIII which abolished the provincial états and introduced the Élus in Burgundy was supposed to be registered. Of course.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 131 of Le Roy Ladurie at the time authorized us to believe. There are pages in Muir’s book on the symbolic role of hunting. at the sound of the bells. and while on the one hand Boris Porschnev and Charles Tilly saw it as an anti-state and class revolt. 28 February 1630. . while it has been established that the pro- 21 Mack P.Réflexions Historiques. Philibert led by Antoine Changenet walked the streets with their women and children and. Holt. Another less celebrated example of the kind of misunderstandings that can be caused by focusing too closely on the Carnival as the growth medium believed to be intimately opposed to the official and dominant one is the case of the aforementioned Dijon revolt of 1630. Recent studies have shown how approximately one-third of those taking part in the insurrection had close links with members of the professions or privileged bodies.21 Now the point is that on that same day. attacked the houses of the treasurer general and of one of the judges of the Court of Auditors by throwing stones at them. rented vineyards from land owners and were members of confraternities. an eminently aristocratic pursuit. one also needs to ask if an analysis of these widespread. the sources only mention the vignerons (and here one would have go on at length about how the documentary sources always try to saddle the burden of revolts on fringe social elements). shared political symbols should not involve the heraldic tradition and even a much less popular and basically esoteric discipline such as the study of emblems. The next day. 325-345. the treasurer’s house was destroyed. The revolt has been described until recently as a classic tax revolt. Many of them. for example their godfather might have been a lawyer or some kind of authority. on the other Bercé considered it a classic example of Carnival-type inversion and fête-révolte. it also transpires. which also took place during a Carnival period.

this connection already presupposes an explanation. however. Breen. In the days of the insurrection. Richelieu decided to placate the dissent fuelled by the introduction of the elections. As a consequence of this agreement. following the famous Journées des dupes that saw Richelieu rise to power at the expense of Marillac and the defeat of Maria de Medici. . the legend of Henry IV was repeatedly called into play. which would come full circle with the registration in the spring of the Élus edict. Furthermore. in other words. at the time of the revolt by Gaston d’Orlean Dijon would shut its gates to his troops: and this act of loyalty would be made good with the restoration of its privileges. Marillac actually accuses the Dijon notables of having got the people to believe that the king intended to place aides on wine. The result was to be the restoration of the provincial states in exchange for an offer of 1. when Louis XIII finally reached Dijon he limited the citizen’s privileges and refused to swear on them. by inviting the delegates of the provincial states of Burgundy to court to negotiate an agreement. The sources. To bring back to center stage politics and how this was lived and practiced also means broadening the scope of the questions.22 The absolutist triumph. As a consequence of all this. 20 (2006). pp. In actual fact a considerable part of the local elites were firmly opposed to the introduction of the Élus. In November of the same year. even the Dijon dossier was reopened. 22 Michael P. the speech by Minister of Justice Marillac – who had come to Dijon to quell the uprising and organize the repression – offers clear indications that the authorities were convinced that the local elites and the insurgents were conniving. seem to accentuate the connection with Carnival because.” French History.6 million livres. was to be short-lived. “Patronage and Municipal Authority in Seventeenth-Century France: the Aftermath of the Lanturelu Revolt in Dijon. 138-160. as has been rightly pointed out. The repression only stretched as far as meting out exemplary punishment to a few rebels but especially in the humiliation of the local authorities.132 FRANCESCO BENIGNO testers belonged to various trades.

essentially trans-cultural 23 Carlo Ginzburg.” Quaderni storici. He points out that this rite should be considered as customary and yet also transient. after which a few rare examples crop up in medieval times. because the problem the essay addresses (but in the end does not solve) is this: Not all the palaces of dead popes and even less those of Cardinals who ascend to the Papal throne (also subject to raiding on occasion) were plundered: why not? What kind of rite is performed on certain occasions but not on others? How can one account for the rites of passage studied by Arnold Van Gennep? And what does plundering have to do with throwing the statue of a dead pope into the Tiber. something akin to a sketch for a play. as pertaining to deeply rooted. the crowd proceeded to sack the papal palace while the pope’s statue. Ginzburg chooses to attribute the facts that took place that day to some form of rite of pillage of the dead pope which can be traced as far back as the Council of Chalcedon of 451.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 133 A case in point is the concept of saccheggi rituali (ritual plundering).23 used to explain the rioting that took place in Rome at the death of Pope Paul IV Carafa in 1559: on a turbulent day. 1994). Ginzburg considers the rite of pillage not as a pre-established score but as an open-ended plot outline. 24 Agostino Paravicini Bagliani. “Saccheggi rituali. son of Isabella d’Este. Premesse a una ricerca in corso. 65 (1987). pp. 18 August. clad in a yellow beret. 615-636.24 Following a line of reasoning similar to that of Zemon Davis. He might have done better to describe it as karstic. had been elected pope in the conclave which actually elected pope Pius V Medici – what does this have to do with these same “rites of pillage”? Ginzburg’s essay is also representative of a tendency to interpret popular violence. testified by the yellow beret placed on the statue’s head but also by the commotion in front of the Jewish banks in the lands of the Gonzaga at the news (untrue as it turned out) that Ercole Gonzaga. . Il corpo del papa (Turin: Einaudi. a gesture that would seem to fit better with codes of the rites of violence than those of the rites of pillage? And the strained relations with the Jews. unlike the violence wrought by nobility or the elites. introduced by Carlo Ginzburg in his famous essay (1987). was thrown into the Tiber river.

Putti. according to Ricci the young “were entitled to represent ethical and political needs that were denied to others. the rites-of-violence pattern still seems to hold sway with certain research. . are a ritual group who play the role of traditional culture threatened by the modernist temptations displayed by the authorities. 17. contrary to the ordered progression of individual time”27). 26 Giovanni Ricci. is to say the least particular (he refers to it as a “strange conflict. 27 Ricci. of all we are used to considering as part of the processes used to reinvent tradition. connect a dramatic day in sixteenth-century Rome to the customs of the Fiji Islands) and therefore viewable in a comparative context. which tends to lead to the underestimation of the contingent and contextual elements that explain the political significance of public protests. needs that were generally egalitarian and communitarian in spirit. Ottavia Niccoli. the glowing effervescence of classical mythological and biblical motifs. 2007). we have instead the description of public forms of be25 See for instance.25 A case in point is the recent work by Giovanni Ricci on “the young and the dead. Ricci realizes that the juxtaposition of the young. Despite the fact that the cultural season which wishfully hoped to pin a specific “conservative-resistant” political nature on the people is now long past. The young. I giovani e i morti. in Ginzburg’s discussion of the matter. fanciulli e mammoli nell’Italia tra Cinque e Seicento (Bari: Laterza. 1995). Il seme della violenza. What is interesting here is the juxtaposition mechanism which is set up as follows: On the one hand we have the humanistic reinterpretation of the triumphs and cavalcade of possession. Sfide al Rinascimento (Bologna: Il Mulino.134 FRANCESCO BENIGNO patterns (which. the revival of Plato. in other words.” vented through instances of ritual violence. on the other. yet he applies it to the incident of the entrance of the Grandi in Ferrara and the custom whereby crowds of youths used to shred the canopy of the feted personality. seen as champions of immemorial traditions. the Renaissance – and with it. I giovani e i morti. while adults are described as projected towards innovation. in Ricci’s scheme of things. p.”26 where young people and youthful violence seem to have taken the place that was once occupied by the “people” on the ritual scene.

1994). For William Beik. . Largesse (Paris: Éditions des Musées Nationaux. 29 Jean Starobinski. Now while the canopy created by the famous Ferrara painter Cosmé Tura is seen. very much in the manner of the frescoes in palazzo Schifanoia by the same artist. what is more. which is torn to shreds and pillaged by teams of youths. associazioni giovanili. Other than us But let us move on to the second point I would like to underline. “Charivari. caccia selvaggia.28 An instance of this is the arrival in Ferrara of Eleonora of Aragon. opposed to the rational order imposed by the established authorities. atavistic and primitive trait and. Carlo Ginzburg. deeply subterranean tradition that had been passed on down from Nero’s Rome to the Este in Ferrara. for example. What this boils down to is a transposition onto a collective level of the reaction common to the individual level trig- 28 See. pp. via Starobinski. wife of Ercole I d’Este in 1473: after her triumphant entrance we witness the traditional assault on the festive canopy. Despite the fact that this action is rightly associated. the behavior of ancien régime crowds would seem to depend on the existence of a culture of retribution of a distinctly popular nature. 17 (1982).29 with the classical Roman tradition of the sparsio and largitio. this does not lead one to underline the renewed presence of processes of reinvention of tradition (and clearly of tradition itself) but instead presupposes an obscure popular and very ancient.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 135 havior. which is the tendency to read into crowd violence something more than just an ancestral. 164-177. the gesture of “mettere a saccomanno” – pillaging – is considered part of an anthropological framework designed to express a popular legal code (personified by the youths) which is independent of the official one.” Quaderni storici. as a synthesis of classical motifs for political and propaganda purposes. in this perspective. a kind of moral economy of violence. of collective actions that are not inscribed in a cultural register but in one which could almost be termed as natural.

31 William Beik. was killed by gunshots in a state conspiracy which to some extent involved the young king Louis XIII. ed. and Alain Tallon (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris – Sorbonne. by Bernard Barbiche. See also Idem. A few days after the event. Mélanges en l’honneur du professeur Yves-Marie Bercé. Concini was not accused by public opinion of being a heretic but of taking advantage of his influence to coerce the royal will. the division in this case was not religious but exclusively political. 43-59. 24 April 1617: The Marechal d’Ancre Concino Concini. having the popular Condé arrested and plotting to take the throne. 75-110. “La partecipation politique du menu peuple dans la France Moderne. Let us take the classic example tackled by Beik in a recent article. Urban Protest in Seventeenth-Century France: The Culture of Retribution (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. which aimed to develop charisma and expel enemies. They cut off his ears. a favorite of Maria de Medici.31 Paris. mere execution was not sufficient. pp. and the so-called “genuinely popular” movements which tended to punish certain abuses perpetrated by 30 William Beik.” Past and Present. For this array of crimes. The humiliation of Concini’s corpse was preceded and celebrated by a series of pamphlets and prints of a propagandistic and satirical nature.30 A perspective of this kind tends once again to belittle and underplay the vertical. and the rest of his body was thrown into the Seine. a rioting crowd violated his grave and brutally devastated his corpse. Beik. he needed to receive more severe punishment. in referring to this episode. nose and genitals.136 FRANCESCO BENIGNO gered by acts that are considered offensive. that is to say damaging to a person’s honor and his capacity to defend the goods and lives of the members of his own family. “The Violence of the French Crowd from Charivari to Revolution. factional and patronage-based social connections and the subterranean political tensions that connect different groups and layers. suggests a contrast between what he calls factional movements. 1997). 197 (2007). amassing a vast fortune. all of a sudden. pp.” in Contestations et comportements dans l’Europe moderne. 2005). However. Jean-Pierre Poussou. Orest Ranum noted the similarity of these gestures to the treatment received by the corpse of Gaspar de Coligny at the height of the religious wars forty-five years earlier. .

the eletto del popolo (representative of the people).” Archivio Storico per le province Napoletane. in Naples at that time. pp. and Peter Burke. unlike what traditional historiography maintains. these factional movements with their parades. according to Beik. . 1 ( 1876). the killing and mauling of the corpse of Storace. who highlighted the aspects of ritual vi32 Beik. who represented the requirements of the vast majority of the population in the main municipal authority.33 Storace was lynched because he was accused of authorizing the weight of bread to be lowered. the “seggi”. “The Violence. The problems this kind of approach can engender stand out in a famous incident. in Naples in 1585 (in Naples the word Storaciare would remain synonymous with “cutting to bits” for over half a century). in a way that seems to superimpose the categories and concerns of historians over those of historical subjects.32 These latter subjects should be considered only partially political. was appointed by the viceroy and therefore whoever was selected was bound to collaborate with the Spanish authorities. Here Beik correctly points out an important feature (slogans. Beik notes how the distribution of pamphlets would seem to indicate an official participation in throwing discredit on Concini and his supporters. who underlined the socially subversive nature of what was a classist event as expressed through an inversion ritual (Storace was made to ride backwards on a donkey with no cap on) and therefore of ordinary legitimacy. but he goes on to conclude that “it’s difficult to imagine ‘officiers’ organizing an event which appears the expression of popular justice. 91-93.” It should be noted that. in that their intent was to limit the authorities and attempt to influence decision-makers. it should be pointed out that the eletto del popolo. 33 See the anonymous chronicle of the events: “La morte di Giovan Vincenzo Storace eletto del popolo di Napoli nel maggio 1585. flags and symbols point to the existence of identity-shaping processes of a factional nature) but he tends to pigeonhole it into a vision which would seem to overplay the role of popular independence.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 137 single individuals out of anger. were clear signs of lobbying.” pp. slogans and banners and other membership symbols and thus the festive rituals. 131-138. The event has been studied by both Rosario Villari.

138 FRANCESCO BENIGNO olence:34 “They dismembered him by cutting off his nose and his genitals. the uprising had been secretly organized by the neighborhood captains.” But is this truly the case? Are we in the presence of a resurgence of animal instinct.” Past and Present. 99 (1983). an even heavier wave of repression followed in September. Il carnefice e la piazza. Napoli 1753. plus a few tradesmen (a knife-maker. This hypothesis is borne out by his reaction. telling those nearby how they intended to eat them.] hated to the utmost by the nobility [. All these things they then stuck on the points of their swords and sticks like trophies. judging from two features: the first is the fierce repression enforced by the viceroy Osuna.. pt II. La rivolta antispagnola a Napoli: le origini (1585-1647) (Bari: Laterza. of a flash of atavism? This would seem not to be so. 35 Guido Panico. Sommaria functionaries and civil scribes. 36 Placido Troyli. 112. including a D’Avalos and a few Berlingieri.. p.”35 Even the intellectuals of the time insisted on the popular savagery: Summonte speaks of a base populace with a savage and violent disposition never completely tamed by Christian civilization. an observer at the time. 3-21. out of all proportion if it had been merely meant as retribution against the crowd: 350 arrests in July alone. and a horse trader) and especially a few noblemen. bitter and ill-mannered [. a vermicellaro [pasta maker]. who apparently cried over Storace’s body and in all likelihood believed it to be a plot directed at him.] but also by the populace.. along with plenty of torture and eight instances of capital executions. . pp. 1967). Those charged include shopkeepers. ripping his heart and entrails out. V. and in their hands they held parts of his brain and pieces of his gut. p. t.” as Placido Troyli writes. According to Costo. To this one should add the interpretation provided by traditional historiography (from Domenico Antonio Parrino to Giuseppe Coniglio) of relations between the viceroys and the Neapolitan elites. while the Venetian Mutinelli writes of the “unreasonableness and bestiality of the rabble. cutting off an arm and leg. Crudeltà di stato e violenza popolare a Napoli in età moderna (Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.36 Gino Doria 34 Rosario Villari. Peter Burke. 1985).. which paint Osuna as “arrogant. either roasted or stewed. Historia generale del reame di Napoli. vicariate moneylenders. 288. “The Virgin of Carmine and Masaniello.

Il teatro della crudeltà praticata nelli più severi tormenti del mondo (Venice: Girolamo Albrizi. When they cannot find him. 1967). is considered the main person responsible for the action against Storace. is the same culture of retribution that imbues official justice. Il moto napoletano del 1585 e il delitto Storace (Naples: Giannini. and particularly as distinct from the retributive dimension of ordinary justice? Gio Leonardo Pisano. apothecary. Examples like these show how the culture of retribution. 30-31. rather than being a distinctly popular trait. where the popular authority used to meet. a monument in memory of the event was built. from what distinctly popular context does this culture of retribution stem? The Beik of today sees it arising out of anger. quoting as proof of the viceroy’s anti-noble attitude such episodes as having representatives sit on bare benches instead of ceremonial chairs. He becomes a wanted person. as custom would have it. It is in fact perfectly possible to liken the theatrical quality of the so-called ritual popular violence to the theater of cruelty described in images by Ian Luyken38 in the late seventeenth century or. and this is the second observation I feel needs making.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 139 sums up these multifaceted judgments by describing Osuna as nobility’s bête noir. they raze his house to the ground and. the shared culture of punishment. pp. or requiring them to stand with their heads bare in his presence at the wedding of the daughter of the Duke of Andria to the Duke of Bovino. unconnected with a socially established and institutionally justified idea of what an offense and rightful punishment are. to the theater of horror of the executions 37 For these judgments see Michelangelo Mendella.37 But what is more. pour two bushels of salt over the flattened foundations. But one needs to ask oneself whether a popular culture of retribution can exist that is set apart from a more general culture of retribution. In the place where the house stood. 1696). . more recently. the second in front of Castel Capuano. with the heads and hands of those executed for it embedded inside it: the first hand was cut off near the convent of Saint Augustine. 38 Ian Luyken. the seat of the oldest magistracy of the realm. thus apparently embracing the recent emotional trend we shall touch on shortly.

in the infinite variety of “stakings” practiced throughout Europe. originally published as Theater des Schreckens (Munich: C. bandits were not only punished but were paraded around with cheap metal crowns on their heads for mockery’s sake. Beck. reiterates and feeds off the procedures of official justice. and rather than age-old traditions we are perhaps faced with reinterpretations (beginning with the very well known one in Book XXII of the Iliad with Hector begging Achilles not to feed his body to the dogs and the son of Peleus dragging Hector’s body behind his horse) or even recurrent “rediscoveries”.” as a famous painting by Micco Spadaro shows. with “fish strapped onto canes tied across their backs. displayed in cages. official “retributive” punishments in his role as magistrate in charge of certain kinds of crime: he would have two dishonest fishmongers dragged naked through the streets of town.140 FRANCESCO BENIGNO as described by Richard Van Dülmen for early modern Germany. traditionally. 1990). is full of imitations of official justice on behalf of popular justice: during Masaniello’s “dictatorship. 41 Mario Sbriccoli. is in any case a part of the concept of retributive punishment wrought on a rebel guilty of lèse majesté. 1990). Theatre of Horror. 1985).H.41 The entire matter of the Neapolitan mob-leader. 40 Lionello Puppi. whether it is performed “officially” or surreptitiously “entrusted” to the violence of the crowd. this act. for example. while the heads of those executed were. 1974). are decapitated and given to the dogs. but more importantly it borrows. Half a century after the Neapolitan revolt. the eletto del popolo inflicted. it should also be mentioned. Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge: Polity Press. there is a circulation of retributive actions that feeds on different cues and themes. Lo splendore dei supplizi.40 In other words.39 or even to the splendore dei supplizi as studied by Lionello Puppi. These are not just exemplary punishments wrought on the culprits of serious political crimes. If the bodies of rebels. in 1697. .” while a butcher was 39 Richard van Dülmen. Crimen lesae maiestatis: il problema del reato politico alle soglie della scienza penalistica moderna (Milan: Giuffrè. Liturgia delle esecuzioni capitali e iconografia del martirio nell’arte europea dal XII al XIX secolo (Milan: Berenice. they are part of a shared retributive culture which was applied even to petty crimes. for example Masaniello.

Now. . The problem is that it is difficult to consider the rage to be induced by an offence suffered. whom they often hardly know. 43. overlapping procedures. to attribute to simple rage a feeling that has festered for generations in a family bent on revenge. These are not designed to create disorder but rather to restore an order that has been infringed. 43 Renato Rosaldo. the necessary narration that is at the root of all feuds.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 141 made to walk the streets with a necklace of meat around his neck because he was selling cow meat and passing it off for young beef. under the influence of Renato Rosaldo’s anthropology43 wrote of anger. the long-held-back memory of wrongs. rage. in the absence of preconceptions about justice and a reasonably good idea of what is legitimate and what is not. Il carnefice e la piazza. of making amends. This is one of those instances of what is referred to as the historiography of emotions. when faced with the challenge of finding a triggering factor for the actors of the Savorgnan conflicts. 1989). In other cases the attribution of violent acts to sudden impulses or to uncontrollable emotional urges is somewhat problematic.42 Once again we find circularity. It is difficult. There are violent acts which we commit on ourselves and on others that are not considered offensive but a form of reintegration. in matters of feud. a mixture of official retributive justice and informal retributive justice (or one could call it popular). we have recently come across the tendency to interpret violent crowd actions as resulting from emotional urges. one often encounters people who commit the most horrific acts not out of hatred for the persons involved. for example. Culture and Truth: the Remaking of Social Analysis (Boston: Beacon Press. Conclusions Grafted onto this set of concepts. but out of a sort of ethical imperative that the family community imposes on them. p. Muir. of what we call pillory and what in certain parts of Europe is known as charivari or rough music. an obligation to comply with a moral duty to 42 Panico.

Osvaldo Raggio.46 but what is more it is essentially incomprehensible: violence is not a thing. ed.44 Much of this has to do with the sense of honor. Kindred and Government in Early Modern Scotland. with that feeling on which Mediterranean anthropology has lingered at length. and p. pp. 54-97. 87 (1980). Jenny Wormald. however. “Conceptualizing Cultures of Violence and Social Changes. 1990).142 FRANCESCO BENIGNO which they feel strongly bound. one of the essential connotations of a presumed ‘Mediterrean’ identity. is not peculiar to marginal groups connected to folk traditions but rather to the backbone of the western elites and not just in the Middle Ages or in the early modern age: the duel by pistol. It is not difficult to note how a definition of this type is not only too generic (encompassing such different actions as bullying and genocide). In a recent collection of essays on the culture of violence. as late as the middle of the twentieth century. 8. A code which. an act which apparently was the stock and trade at Guantanamo. 46 John Carter Wood.” Past and Present. in the military but also among politicians. pp.” Past and Present. “Bloodfeud. which replaced the crossing of swords. pp.”45 Carroll is here attempting to avoid the issue of the legitimacy of the action by construing a rather problematic definition – as he himself does not fail to point out – which labels as violent a number of sports activities while it rules out of the catalogue of violent acts a gesture like that of throwing the Qur’an into the toilet. Stuart Carroll has suggested a definition of violence as “an exercise of physical force so as to inflict injury or damage to person or property. 83. “The Peace in the Feud. is still encountered in certain elevated social elites.” in Cultures of Violence. 47 See the debatable concept of “violent crime” and the attempt to construct a .47 It is the stigmatization. Faide e parentele. Lo stato genovese visto dalla Fontanabuona (Turin: Einaudi. turning it almost into an ethical attribute. But most of all we have to be clear abut what we mean when we speak of violence. the guilty verdict that we as44 Max Gluckman. 45 Cultures of Violence. 2007). but which in its double meaning of “honor as precedence” and “honor as virtue” has become a fundamental cultural code. 8 (1955). 79-96. it is an act of judgment. by Stuart Carroll (Houndmills. Basingstocke and New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. 1- 14. p. Interpersonal Violence in Historical Perspective.

in which historians often engage. Stephen White has recently indicated how violence can at times be reified or mystified to create political enemies and to earn the status of victim. underlining the protest element of violence. the torturer-victim alternative. 48 Stephen D. historical series of it: Manuel Eisner. 99-114. can one explain the disorientation of the Catholic Church when faced with the violent connotations that are today assigned to pedophilia. of the descriptions provided by sources – as for example in the case of White. White. Now instead they are to be stigmatized. tightly clasped in an unprecedented conceptual dichotomy. After all. 83-142. pp. that heightens the perception of them as violent: thus encompassing them. into the constellation of memory. A Review of Research. the new Pole Star of our historical culture during this first decade of the twenty-first century. Médievales. the ecclesiastic sources. which around AD 1000 stigmatize the violence of the nobility. ‘Repenser la violence: de 2000 à mil’. . histoire. if violence were not what in a specific cultural context is considered or perceived as violent. 30 (2003). how could we explain the disorientation of historical figures when faced by acts of the same kind that are acceptable in a certain context and then. texte. meaning overwhelming and unacceptable. through the concept of trauma.RECONSIDERING POPULAR VIOLENCE 143 sign to acts we consider illegitimate or unjust. of which one could investigate the complex compatibility and the intricate responsibility. despite essentially sharing their culture of war. Langue.48 We are not dealing here with a game of subsequent interpretations. once the context changes. for example. “Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime. if this were not the case. 37 (1999). but of the narrative steered by witnesses.” Crime and Justice. the fact that the conflict is based on different narrations of reality. which only a few decades ago it did not possess because that act was not categorized in the same way? In this case it is the shift in moral judgment which makes us now see certain acts as violent when before they were simply viewed as sins. are suddenly tagged as violent and therefore to be rejected? How. pp.


1990). “Demography. ed.1 My intent is a focused analysis of several events recorded during the mid-1400s. Peri. 5977 and Stephan R. Epstein. p. La Sicilia dopo il Vespro. 1996). by Joseph . pp. Polizzi and Randazzo in the mid-fifteenth century during a time of rapid demographic growth. Uomini. At this time. 246-247. Économie et société en Sicilie 1300-1450. The communities (universitates) that will be studied are Piazza. 79. With regard to the population figures for Sicily between the late 1200s and mid-1300s. Restaurazione e pacifico stato in Sicilia 1377-1501 (Rome and Bari: Laterza. Piazza and Polizzi at an average of 6. I will limit myself to recalling that the fluctuating nature of the populations was clearly shown by Illuminato Peri. Illuminato Peri.000 each.” in Dictionary of the Middle Ages. At this time. POLIZZI AND RANDAZZO Introduction The phenomenon of violence in late medieval Sicily presents itself in significantly diverse ways. Secoli XIII-XVI. which although 1 I wish to thank Sharon Moren for her assistance in editing this article. the mid-fifteenth century. This article examines cases of citizen conflict that can be connected to the broad bounds of local autonomy. 242. (Rome-Palermo: École française de Rome. 1986). pp. See Henri Bresc. p. 1988). by Alfredo Guaraldo (Turin: Einaudi. Un monde méditerranéen. 2 vols. there have been various interpretations. the various estimates do not differ much from one another and place the populations of Randazzo. Uomini. trans. An approach that is similar in many ways emerges in the analysis by David Herlihy. 1978).Fabrizio Titone (Universidad del País Vasco) PRESENTATION AND PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE IN LATE MEDIEVAL SICILY IN PIAZZA. pp. 1282/1376 (Rome and Bari: Laterza. who in this regard demonstrated the fluctuations in the number of households. 35-69. Peri. Potere e mercati in Sicilia. città e campagne dall’XI al XIII secolo (Rome and Bari: Laterza. città e campagne.

1979). “The Incidence of Crime in Sicily in the Mid-Fifteenth Century: the Evidence from Composition Records. 3 Bresc. pp. pp.2 A further common feature of these events is the fact that they follow the 1450 uprising of the populus in Palermo. ed. 357-63. vol. However. Potere. 43-86. The collection of data proposed by the author is a description that is probably not representative of the incidence of crime in Sicily of the time. vol. control of the magistracies and an imbalance of representation in the government appear to have contributed to their causes. as does the issue of whether concern over this chain of events caused the royal court to exaggerate the attempt at emulation. 741. by Rosario Romeo (Palermo: Società Editrice Storia di Napoli e della Sicilia. 1984). 58-73.146 FABRIZIO TITONE not entirely comparable to one another. Strayer. which R. or indirect taxes).” in Crime. it was perceived as a threat to the common good. demonstrates a polysemic value of the term populus as well as the group’s ability to organize. maintains that the populares were wage-earners without property or owners of quite modest pieces of land in suburban areas. 70) but it appears to con- . “Giustizia e società. An analysis of the uprising in the city of Palermo in my article “Il tumulto popularis del 1450. 2 Epstein.” in Storia della Sicilia. However. In some cases violence was deemed just and even greatly desired. information that it seems to be taken into consideration by Ryder in the citation of Bresc’s research (p. and 146. The documentation considered inevitably emphasizes the actual incidence of crime. 1994). III. but not backed. IV (New York: Scribner. Lowe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 552-555. in others.”4 An emotional factor. pp. by Antonino Giuffrida. by Trevor Dean and Kate J. it was never “accepted as a natural order of things. P. see Alan Ryder. which is referred to on more than one occasion. pp.3 Consideration of how violence was perceived and described in society at the time should move in tandem with an analysis of the causes and descriptions of these events. p. 163 (2005). With regard to the type of crimes and their incidence. ed. establishing the degree of communication that existed between the communities remains difficult. 4 A hypothesis supported. The populus was constantly implicated and its composition is shown to change based on the context and the perspective – that of the royal court or the members of the community. Administrative and economic reasons (such as the overall management of the gabelle. 141. Society and the Law in Renaissance Italy. can be seen to have several aspects in common. 552. pp. quotation on p. 138. Un monde. Conflitto politico e società urbana a Palermo” in Archivio Storico Italiano. was the first to indicate cases of reference to the Palermo uprising in protests in other cities.

see Daniel Smail. with reference to the procedures for vendettas. Meyerson. Throop and Paul R. Publicity. gender and social discipline. and the essays in it by Giovanni Ciccaglioni and Giuseppe Gardoni. 2006). with regard to revealing the rational aspect of the phenomenon of violence. see “A great effusion of blood”? Interpreting Medieval Violence. 2008).” I limit myself to referring to Conflitti. 2010). 400/1200. Vendetta and Factions in Friuli During the Renaissance (Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press. 2006). Mad Blood Stirring. Religion and Feud. 2009. and Oren Falk (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2003). . 5 For a comparison of the representation and nature of the emotions. investigates the ties between expressions of grief. see Edward Muir. investigates the various forms of perception and expressions of emotions of the various social groups in the early medieval period. ed. Emotion. ed. it must be said that remarkable information is provided on the composition of society and the competition for power at that time. 72-74). see the considerations of Claude Gauvard. Rosenwein (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1264-1423 (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Carol by Susanna A. On the theme of conflict. 17). Passion and Order. La vengeance. with particular reference to Orvieto. by Barbara H. with reference to the reality of the communes described by Zorzi as “per eccellenza. available online at http://www.5 On the other hand. see Anger’s Past: the Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages. Emotions. Danilet Thiery. Hyams (Farnham-Burlington: Ashgate. Barbara H.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 147 is not shown to cause arbitrary actions but indeed to be part of legitimate political demands.asp?idv=1961. by Mark D. and Vengeance in the Middle Ages. état et société en France à a fin du Moyen Age (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. pp. 1993). ed. by Andrea Zorzi (Florence: Firenze University Press. la società del conflitto. 1998). In addition. 89-132.fupress. marks both the perception of violence and the way in which it is implemented. ‘De grace especial’: Crime. Rosenwein. in accordance with a general strategy to stigmatize these episodes immediately. this quotation appears on p. and Régine Le Jan (Rome: École de française de Rome. The accounts of the conflicts. 2004). The Consumption of Justice. Reason and organization exceed any possible role played by the emotions and remain central. by Dominique Barthélemy. 1991). ed. whether by the royal court or tradict to the conclusions proposed by the author (pp. In addition. pp. ed. Concerning the documentation of the episodes being examined. Restraint of Grief in the Medieval Italian Communes (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. and Legal Culture in Marseille. In addition. François Bougard. with regard to the role of the emotions in the choice of procedures by the judiciary. on the discontinuity of the sources available and the use of sources in the history of crime. For another reality. Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca and London: Cornell University press. the royal court’s interpretation of events is shown to stress the emotional factor. 1-9. pace e vendette nell’Italia comunale.

8 From 1392 onward the role of the royal court gradually stabilized. City officials and the taxation system The degree. along with local demographic and economic growth. In the 1340s to 1360s. vol. . With reference to government structure. I. 1741). a period known as the “age of vicars. nature and distribution of the phenomenon of violence underwent changes between the 1300s and 1400s. p..9 Conflicts generally see both the elected and the royal court’s officials implicated.” p. The declaration by Martin I in 1402 that rule of law had been implemented during the age of vicars is significant. ed.7 This disorder is first halted with the rise to power of four major aristocratic families from 1377 to 1392. 8 Capitula regni Siciliae. p. overwhelmingly an urban phenomenon”: Ryder. The various “courts” that were active between 1377 and 1392 had maintained control of the territories under their jurisdiction. notarial documents provide enlightenment and some contain conditions pertaining to the hypothetical occurrence of war “of the king’s enemies” and “violence carried out by powerful individuals” in the countryside and in the streets. pp. This process brought with it a rise in violence in the urban setting. Testa (Panormi: Felicella. 7 Ivi. king of Sicily. as well as the gabelloti (tax farmers) whom I shall discuss at greater length below. are notable for their descriptions of the individuals or groups that carried out or were subjected to violence. and from this perspective.. “The Incidence. 144. there are notarial documents that paint a very clear picture of the situation in Sicily in just a few strokes. 177. royal control and coordination went through a phase of serious weakness that parallels the growing conflicts within feudal nobility6. La Sicilia. 65. 143-146. by Francesco M.” following which came the restoration of the royal court starting in 1392 by Martin I. and at the same time citizen autonomy grew. 9 In the mid-fifteenth century “crime was. from the time of Federico III’s reign (1296-1337) 6 Peri.148 FABRIZIO TITONE by those involved in them.

Matteo Gaudioso. through the gabelloti who obtained them at auction. 5-8.10 The procedures were not the same everywhere: in Catania in the early 1400s. 254. the last bidder won the tax. if anyone made a higher bid within a given period of time after a previous bid has been made. vol. “Présentation. once the auction price was determined. he would be awarded a sum equal to one fifth of the difference between the two bidding prices. 1921). and. and the secretus or vicesecretus. 516.” in La fiscalité des villes au Moyen Âge (Occident méditerranéen). as well as limitations thereto. 6. La gestion de l’impôt (méthodes. With regard to the tax system. pp. During the reign of Alfonso V. IV (Privat: Toulouse. Contributo alla storia del diritto amministrativo (Palermo: Fiorenza. If there were no further offers. 2004). 14. which were the jurisdiction of the royal court’s officials such as the captain. 166] and vol.11 The point to clarify is this: when a new 10 Luigi Genuardi. résultats). and directly. assisted by a captain’s judge. the main revenues came from gabelle (indirect taxes). with the exception of criminal jurisdiction and tax collection. 1. moyens. For a comparison (in general for western medieval communities) of the auction system. ed. Il Comune nel medio evo in Sicilia. an important evolution occurred due to the significant number of local individuals appointed as captains and secreti. 11 Auctions for the years 1418-1419 (in this case the minimum of one-half or onethird is not specified but proven by the bids) and 1421-1422. for example. p. the individual wishing to make a higher bid had to meet a certain minimum such as one-third or one-half. By examining the bidding process. giving rise to forms of clientelism in the management of positions. in addition. The gabelle were managed in two ways: indirectly. In the early 1300s in Palermo. the practice of selling captaincies to primarily local individuals became the rule rather than the exception. This expanded the options for urban control and/or intensified the interests converging on these magistracies. vol. 1. Archivio Storico di Catania. . p. it is possible to indicate some of the tax farmers’ opportunities to make money. the authors believe that the auction was appropriate because it guaranteed the community a known amount of resources and was offered to those having the available capital. through the credencierii. see Denis Menjot and Manuel Sánchez Martínez. Atti dei Giurati di Catania.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 149 local administration was already the job of elected officials. [p. by Denis Menjot and Manuel Sánchez Martínez.

which was raised based on the award. 222-224. 131-148. 159. 161. “Rinaldo di Giovanni Lombardo ‘habitator terre Policii’. Villani e cavalieri nella Sicilia Medievale (Rome-Bari: Laterza. the bidder paid for the period involved. there were ample opportunities for the bidder to make a profit. It should be pointed out that the first edition of Peri’s essay. Potere.13 Gabelle would be sold early at a discounted rate when there was an urgent need to generate revenue. 14 See Epstein. 2009). Governments of the universitates. 15 See Illuminato Peri.12 Thus. These procedures were created as an incentive for offers during auctions. pp. 1993) pp. It is likely that the same procedure was used for new bids in Catania. Politica ed economia a Torino fra Tre e Quattrocento (Rome: Viella. San Pancrazio.150 FABRIZIO TITONE bid was made.” in Idem. . 13 For a comparison with Turin.” dates from 1956. pp. “Rinaldo. and pp. what was the award based on? The most plausible answer is that the award was based on the value of the tax. Violence as compensation Polizzi was a community in the interior of Sicily with an economy based primarily on vineyards and woolen fabric. In Palermo. on the basis of the final value at the end of the bidding and the possible risks in cases of early sales of gabelle entailing a loss on their value. These aspects notwithstanding. 189-190. San Giorgio. Urban Communities of Sicily in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Turnhout: Brepols. This loss was termed interesse and increased in proportion to the distance in the future of the due date of the gabella. Un’oligarchia urbana. and the potential loss between the time of assessment and the actual time the revenue is received. Santa Maria Maddalena and San Nicolò. pp. The value of the gabelle in these cases is the result of an average calculated on the possible profit. which were named after the churches of Santa Maria Maggiore. based on the regular value of the tax. see Alessandro Barbero. 184. 1995). 156. 176.15 12 Fabrizio Titone. this was one-fifth of the difference between the two bidding prices. San Blasio.14 The territory was already organized in the late 1200s by sub-division into contrade and capitanee. 179.

see Andrea Romano. even being able to have their property destroyed should 16 On the law experts. 84. the gabelle auction system thrown into crisis. 84. which ran from September 1 to August 31. 2008). he turned down the position in favor of Giovanni Amato. opere. 18 Real Cancelleria. fol. iuratus. Nicola Bologna il Panormita had received from the king the captaincy of Polizzi. they allegedly tried to exhume and burn the remains of Francesco’s father. and incited the plebem to kill the Denti family and take possession of their property.17 They apparently stirred up the populus (monapolio et comocione populi). During the 1450-1451 administrative year for city officials (annum indictionis). Viceroy Lope Ximen de Urrea gave the legum doctor (law expert). fol. Giovanni Amato. The accusations put forward by Andrea Denti and his father Francesco pertained to the presbiter. see my book. Archivio di Stato di Palermo. 1984). Gli ufficiali scrutinati in Sicilia da Martino V ad Alfonso V (Caltanissetta-Roma: Sciascia. 39rv. one of the highest elected officials). and published a text claiming false rights for themselves (famoso libello usurpacione).18 These violent acts do not seem to have been spontaneous but instead to have been carefully organized. Gandolfo de Aurifice. Giovanni Aprea full power to investigate a series of episodes that harmed the Denti family. indirectly confirmed. 1450. Tendenze. Finally. .. in the position at that time and as far back as 1444-1445. Real Cancelleria (hereafter Real Cancelleria). 325rv. the captain. Berengario Aiuto. pp. I magistrati cittadini. this is. as well as other residents (habitatores). in fact. specifically the gabelle in their possession. and the captain’s distorted interpretation of the rules. a juror (i. 17 On the elections of Berengario Aiuto. In addition. levied new gabelle without a license to do so. vol. other unspecified crimes committed by them and the captain were denounced. ruoli (Milan: Giuffrè. the danger that the revolt in Palermo would be duplicated.e. “Legum doctores” e cultura giuridica nella Sicilia aragonese. declared that they wanted an uprising such as occurred in Palermo (dixerunt velle facere alu modu ki fichi Palermu tempore tumultus).16 The seriousness of the events that caused the viceroy to initiate the investigation can be summarized in the following points: a risky involvement of the populus. but on September 5. legum doctores. 270-271. vol. Aprea’s task was to proceed with drastic measures against the accused.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 151 In June 1451. made counterfeit money.

The documentation does not contain any passages from the investigation. which nonetheless must have been meticulous given that the royal court gradually obtained information that was contrary to the first complaint. . Cancillería. These tensions worsened following the granting of several gabelle to the Denti family through intervention by the Magna Regia Curia (the highest court in the kingdom). The rupture between the Denti family and numerous segments of the community is the result of tensions arising from the family’s significant control of Polizzi’s resources. See also Real Cancelleria. 89v-90r. 80.152 FABRIZIO TITONE they fail to appear when summoned. Registros (hereafter Cancillería). 153r-164r. 2822.19 who had acquired the city from the king. fol. vol. Alfonso V. The king agreed to the sales on April 21.20 The Denti family’s involvement consisted of collecting privileges (confectione privilegiorum et provisionum). fols. vol. vol. and the Magna Regia Curia’s intervention reveals that it was a strain to persuade the universitas to 19 Archivo de la Corona de Aragón of Barcellona. The Magna Regia Curia specifically set out that the universitas was to pay the money through a surtax (maldenaru) on some unspecified gabelle. fols. 273v275v. 21r. Cancillería. during the time when the city was reacquiring its right to be part of the royal demesne rather than continue to be in the possession of Raimondo Cabrera. Two court orders established compensation for the expenses sustained by Francesco and Andrea Denti as members of Polizzi’s diplomatic corps in October 1442. The date of the Magna Curia's decisions is not indicated. This redemption was especially burdensome on the community. 1442. plausibly to confirm Polizzi’s entitlement to reacquire their right to be part of the royal demesne – as well as the trips the Denti family members had made. vol.21 Recourse to surtaxes was undertaken with great caution. 2848. Polizzi decided to sell some gabelle and magistracies to Federico Ventimiglia. 2875. on the size of the payment as well as Cabrera’s reluctance to give up possession of the city. fols. The Denti were to receive 45 onze per year until they were completely repaid. 21 Cancillería. 1445. which had difficulty coming up with the necessary amount and would still be insolvent in 1445. 20 To deal with the situation.

fol. particularly due to wheat shortages.23 This period was one of hardship for the Polizzi community. vol. This was the outcome of a long process. 41. 25 Real Cancelleria. 89v-90r. i. for example.. had intervened to settle a conflict between deputy captain Andrea Denti and authorities of the Polizzi community. fol. 199rv. 23 Protonotaro. The duke urged them to recon- 22 In November 1448 the king requested implementation of measures in favor of the Denti family: Francesco Denti was to receive onze 179 tarí 8 and grani 17. 43. while Andrea Denti was to receive onze 126 tarí 28 and grani 10. Normal practice would have been for the city council. .25 Moreover. 2875. and this reveals both the difficulty in establishing how much the community owed the Denti family and the difficulty in ensuring that they were paid.22 By March 1451. In January 1449. 221v-230v. they still had not received the money they were owed. vol. their high standing since the late 1300s. Archivio di Stato di Palermo. 40. fols. indication of which can be seen. Martin I’s father and strategist of the restoration of the crown. Already in 1393. 245v. in the intervention by the royal officials in March 1448 to implement a royal order in favor of payment to the Denti. 24 Protonotaro.24 The seriousness of the break between the Denti family and the rest of the community emerged in March 1451 when they once again requested not only their due but also compensation for an unspecified amount of wheat that the community had seized from them. 49rv. vol. 84. 244v. The particularly high amounts owed to the Denti are obviously explained by the sensitive nature and importance of the mission they had carried out. The Magna Regia Curia issued two orders in favor of the Denti as reported in Cancillería. Protonotaro del Regno (hereafter Protonotaro). The final decision would not be handed down until November 1448. fols. Protonotaro. vol. the highest citizen officials persuaded the viceroy to require anyone with wheat not to export it and to sell it at an agreed-upon price to prevent speculation. vol. 40. fols. 22r.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 153 pay out what was owed. had gradually heightened the conflicts with those who saw their own roles diminished. the governing body responsible for economic policy and special actions. through a fortunate understanding with the royal court. to determine the method of payment. These measures were taken to prevent the poviri et miserabili from starving. fol.e. the Duke of Montblanch.

and they had appropriated the surplus from the first year. It is. of which there were two in Polizzi. fols. Alfonso V therefore sentenced them to return their ill-gotten gains. a cleric. but the Denti family’s relationship with the community as a whole remained tense. .28 The office of acatapanus. algozirius for life. 38. the king intervened in October 1454 against the two Denti brothers guilty of having collected more than the allocated amount on the taxes granted to them.26 Over time. 82. Members of Polizzi’s elite. In all likelihood. As a likely effect of the Aprea investigation. 97v-99r. fols. Real Cancelleria. fols. 28 Protonotaro. 27 Alfonso’s privilege goes back to October 1443 but the viceroy’s executorship dates to September 1444.27 The most relevant information is the royal appointment from 1443-1444 onward of Andrea Denti as acatapanus with the ability to choose his successor. with little fear of potential consequences. 2875. vol. This magistracy had direct contact with the population’s immediate needs. In 1447 it was agreed that he and his brother Giovanni would carry out this duty. vol. specified 26 Real Cancelleria. alternating years between them. 62v. this concentration of privileges made royal intervention less acceptable for the rest of the community. fol. In 1443 king Alfonso V appointed Andrea Denti. orchestrated the violent attack. 145r-146r. the Denti family’s position of favor would seem to have led them to act improperly. The gabelle had produced more than the 45 onze they were to have received per year. which saw further favor granted to the Denti family in the form of a local tax increase. a royal duty primarily for territorial control. These are not the only protagonists.154 FABRIZIO TITONE cile as good friends do. who was Polizzi’s ambassador at that time and already a citizen (civis) of Palermo.29 This information now makes it possible to re-examine the actions against the Denti family from a different perspective. as previously mentioned. the Denti-royal court relationship appears to have become firmly entrenched. On the other hand. a juror and the captain. as compensation for his services rendered as Polizzi’s ambassador. 89v-90r. 29 Cancillería. 22. which included. vol. vol. in fact. was generally an elected position and had the privilege of controlling weights and measures in the markets.

The royal court was then informed that the Denti family had been appropriating more than the established amount of taxes since the first year. 2006). p. 32 Titone. 31 Examples of interregional communications of revolts are found in Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. It is likely that the community immediately noticed the fraud committed by the Denti family. The populus was a composite. 48. however the lowest social stratum in Polizzi was referred to as the poviri and miserabili and was not identified as populares. Although the populares were not the only actors in Palermo. the populus was urged to repeat the events that took place in Palermo. 181-183.. Governments. which included competition for access to the government.31 In other instances.32 Dialogue and/or comparison could also pertain to the surges of protest. The origins of the protest in Polizzi were different from those in Palermo. Governments. it must be understood that the term populares did not necessarily include the pauperes. that as a general rule. this was not difficult. members of the elite appear to have manipulated the populus.30 although the populus in some communities could also include pauperes. 161-169. 113-126. Mass. and the impact of such dialogue at an institutional level. Information brought to light appears to confirm that Polizzi was in the same situation as other cities. Lust for Liberty. the high degree of communication between the communities in Sicily. 12001425 (Cambridge. .: Harvard University Press. violation of the system of privileges and customs. and pp. In Polizzi’s case. pp. The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe. and gotten them involved by playing on aspects that directly affected their interests: over-taxation and forms of opportunism by the affluent and beneficiaries of the 30 Titone. The expression comocione populi would seem to indicate that the populus had been influenced as a whole and. Based on the accusations. pp. is highlighted. this action was theirs and in many ways it was autonomous. which gave rise to their rejection of fraud in the form of overtaxing. namely that the populares were a taxable group.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 155 that they and other residents involved the populus. which according to the report would seem to be referred to by those responsible for the attack as the example to follow. and a series of opportunistic activities related to the supply of wheat.

has been extensively examined for other situations.34 The defining mutation of the group shows an internal distinction among the populares: a portion of them was capable of carrying out bloody deeds. perceptions. in particular pp. 9-13. In Polizzi. for example. Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007). For a comparison. and members of the elite who were anxious to bring down the Denti power system. ed. pp. réalités. 2002) pp. which according to the report seemed promoted by those mainly advocating acts of violence. a convergence of interests is recorded between the populares. Paul Hyams. pp. Robert Delort. Claude Gauvard. See. etc. like the variety of recurring terms like plebs or popolo minuto. in his brilliant essay entitled “Was There Really Such a Thing as Feud in the High Middle Ages?..35 By profaning the remains of the person who probably laid the foundations of the family’s political fate in the 1400s. depending on context. Bond Men Made Free: Medieval Peasant Movements and the English Rising of 1381 (London: Methuen. the populus is more appropriately thought of as a set of distinct strata rather than as united and homogeneous. 707-722 and Cohn. pp. pp. I refer to Rodney H. In other words. now outdated. see Trevor Dean. the intention was to harm the family’s memory and therefore assert the loss of power on the part of the Denti in order to create a power system that no longer included them. With reference to the vendetta. 34 The different meanings of populus. Even the brutality of the attempted desecration of the Denti family. by Pierre Boglioni.33 According to the accusations made by the Denti family. “Le petit peuple au Moyen Âge. Lust. who were affected economically.156 FABRIZIO TITONE royal court who were well aware of the population’s mood because they were acatapani. characterized by hatred for the upper classes. it was the plebs and not the populus as a whole who appropriated their property and attempted to kill them.” in Le petit peuple dans l’Occident médiéval: terminologies. . 168-181. 130-132. reading that maintains that the nature of popular revolts in the late medieval period was negative. reveals a clear strategy and a significant degree of rationality.” maintained that the vendetta and violence were integral parts of society in the high Middle Ages in Vengeance in the Middle Ages. 35 The progressive and ritualistic nature of the acts of violence has been highlighted. 1973). The populares acted together with members of the citizen oligarchy against certain members of the oligarchy. Hilton. 151-175. and Claude Gauvard (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. In 33 For a different. 170-175.

Law and Society in Saga Iceland (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. a royal syndicator and legum doctor. 12-16. 1990). succeeding Giovanni Amato.” in Anger’s Past. pp. suspended the captain following a series of unspecified complaints put forward by Andrea Denti. a subsequent action by the royal court should be cited. White. pp. the punitive action against the Denti family seems to indicate the search for compensation.36 The anger characterizing these actions is not. fols 258v-259r. Orlando Amato succeeded Giovanni. otherwise his complaints against 36 On vendetta as compensation. pp. 39 For a comparison with another situation. White. Protonotaro. there was tension between the captain.37 These actions appear to have been given legitimacy a posteriori by the king’s intervention against the Denti family. Cohesive Force: Feud in the Mediterranean and the Middle East (New York: St. In 1457. the system of entitlements they had enjoyed was replaced with a new system that excluded them (libello usurpacione). moreover. “The Politics of Anger. Antonio Russo Spatafora. fols 201v-202r. and their memory was degraded as a warning. in Anger’s Past. Regarding the connections between emotions and political ends. see the considerations on the characteristics of feuding proposed by William Ian Miller. Crime. See also Dean. particularly on the basis of the following aspects: the gabelle that were the source of their ill-gotten gains were expropriated. 1975). pp. see Stephen D. but was most likely part of a series of ongoing personal clashes and vendettas. Orlando. in March 1457 was peremptory: he gave Andrea Denti four days in which to prove his claims. however. “The Politics of Anger”. and Muir. and Andrea Denti. Mad. 67-76. 37 With reference to the culture of aristocratic conflict. see Jacob Black Michaud. Feud. This is clearly a different episode from the one recorded in 1451. in any way irrational or arbitrary but expresses a legitimate political demand. 179-189. 123-132 on the distinctions between punishment and vendetta and the connections with compensation. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking. 127-52. Orlando had previously filled the position in 1451-1452.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 157 general. who was another member of the Amato family. . 127-152. Real Cancelleria.38 In 1457. demonstrates how anger is a non-arbitrary component and in most cases is the result of the assessment of the episodes that justify it. Martin’s Press. pp. there do not appear to be any royal interventions against Giovanni Amato. Regarding the accusations against the captain. Pietro Pisano. 38 In the year 1451-1452. pp.39 The intervention by the President of the Kingdom.

451rv. Violence as political exclusion According to royal documentation. the 40 Protonotaro. they restricted the normal operation of the government institutions. It is possible to ascertain further both the degree of influenceability and the forms of communication of the uprisings that occurred in the mid-1400s. Denti’s discredit of Orlando Amato was presumably to have him excluded from the government. fol. but it was already well-known in November of the same year in Piazza. In 1448. the expression comocione populi indicates the influenceability of the populus. 47. In November.158 FABRIZIO TITONE Amato would no longer be accepted. Moreover. however. in which the suspension determined by Pietro Pisano is quoted but the date is not reported. not allowing the various political representatives to participate in the administration. The government’s stability seemed at risk during those years. the captain appears to have created an equilibrium. After a long period of tension. The officers had been given the magistracy appointments per viam emptionis. a time of serious institutional instability caused by captains Ruggero Crapanzano and Bartolomeo Amore had come to an end. contributing to government stability in Polizzi. and thanks to the joint action of various citizens. During those years. vol. . and with parenti et amici et affini (relatives and friends and supporters) they headed a system based on clientelism that was detrimental to good government. a town quite far from Palermo.40 There did not appear to be any appointments of new captains during that year. the royal court sent its own royal commissioner to Piazza – legum doctor Melchiori La Ripa – to investigate and try several individuals who had committed a string of crimes. Repression at the expense of the supporters of the uprising in Palermo took place between late May and July 1450. the family’s past actions made the royal court much more cautious in accepting other complaints by Andrea Denti. and in this regard it is necessary to consider what had been reported a short time before.

even if not under normal in Piazza the populares seem to have had a role in government policy. however. in all likelihood. The chronological proximity to the events in Palermo (the primary documents state that these events were apparently reported shortly after the uprising in Palermo) shows how quickly news spread among the various towns in the region. 1 (2008). autonomously made some of them officers and imposed gabelle without a license.storia. vol. IX. The large numbers also explain the care with which the royal court assessed the attempt to involve the populus.41 In fact. specifically on the city council. that crisis led to another. “Le ‘Consuetudines terre Platee’: un esempio di cultura dello scritto. The tax system was an especially sensitive area and in the case of Piazza. socially diverse. which reveals the populus’ ability to understand whether or not it was in their interest.unifi. the documentary reference makes it possible to ascertain the ineffectiveness of the attempt to stir up the populus. .” in Scrittura e potere.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 159 king dismissed them.42 This string of crimes led the royal court to send its own officer. The universitas put forward a series of petitions for the purpose of removing the current captains from 41 Fabrizio Titone. available online at http://www. and in 1451 there was confirmation that the tax farmers had tampered with the official scale (statia) used for verifying the weight of products and the related tax. Moreover. At the same time. No more information has been discovered about these deeds. by Isabella Lazzarini. several residents had tried to provoke the populus (provocari lu populu) and cause an uprising just days after the uprising in Palermo. ed. fol. Pratiche documentarie e forme di governo nell’Italia tardomedievale. It can be inferred that the populus must have had significant numbers and therefore was. whoever tried to abuse it would be hard-pressed indeed to have the support of anyone who felt the impact. 106rv. it can be stated that the failed attempt to involve the populus revealed both the disparity between the instigators’ and the populus’ interests and how this group and its reactions were taken into careful consideration by the royal court. Finally.htm. others elected themselves Sindaci. It is worth returning to the complaints made against the captains in 1448. 84. 42 Real Cancelleria. Reti Medievali-Rivista.

45 also included other individuals described only as altre persone (other persons). made up of “ghintilomini curiali ministrali et populari. establishing a number of guarantees for greater institutional stability. 45 Consuetudines terre Platee. 46r-47r. pp. and it follows that they were entitled to political representation for their groups. While not being legum doctores. “gentili homini.” requested permission from the royal court to call a meeting of the council to formalize the appointment of a new cap- 43 Consuetudines terre Platee. Wealthy landowners and/or merchants (gentili homini) were listed. it appears in particular that they were familiar with the royal court environment. and curiales. under circumstances similar to those of 1448. The intention was to guarantee the ability to convene the council even if the officials were opposed. A particular request was that in matters pertaining to the common good. 44 On the meaning of these names and the possible differences depending on the various local contexts. often being appointed to the royal position of the captain’s judge. which constitutes a genuine common memoir of the universitas. artisans (magistri). as were small merchants and landowners (borgesi). A few years later. it became clear who these individuals might be. borgesi et altre persone. curiali.43 The city council was in effect. The group opposed to the captains.” would be able to demand that the city council be convened. ministrali. the captains who had been dismissed managed to be reappointed. Governments. fols. The indication of the various groups in the petition is evidence of the transversal nature of what they were lobbying for. the petitions quoted in the city text. 184-214. Piazza Armerina public library. . see Titone.44 At the same time. members of various socio-professional groups.160 FABRIZIO TITONE their positions and. In 14531454. the curiales were knowledgeable about the law and often held positions where such knowledge was necessary. the level of government guaranteeing expanded decision-making power and the source of stability for the government representatives (elected officials and royal appointments). at the same time. giving rise to protest in the community. The 1448 petitions referred specifically to the increased number of groups entitled to request that the city council be convened.

303v-304r. pp. fols. supported by the jurors (iurati) with the support of their followers. At any rate. from which it emerges that the study of conflicts helps in the understanding of the competition for power in the Communes. namely.48 At this point in the story. . even if at a lower level compared to the guilds. 45. based on the references for the populares during the 1450 protest in Palermo. See also Protonotaro vol.46 The violence took on the form of explicit obstructionism. however in other places. important information comes from the text of petitions written by the representatives of the artisans and the populares (referred to as consuli et populi respectively) of Catania in 1450. On this point. 48 Salvatore Giambruno and Luigi Genuardi. did not allow the council to meet. For example. and workers in the artisan sector. fols. who in open opposition to the gentilomini were able to achieve greater representation on the council. it emerges that these were wage-earners. July 8. it is documented that in 1454 the populus was represented among the members of a strategically large council. 45. fols. This was an especially positive political time for the artisans. Piazza was experiencing emergency political conditions. it seems unlikely that members of the populus would be associated with a specific professional group. the meaning of further information 46 Protonotaro.47 The change described in the council’s make-up in 1454 compared to 1448 is not clear. the populares were also entitled to political representation under regular conditions. The key points of the petitions were complaints about the forms of fraud in both the tax system and sales of wheat. and there is no information making it possible to support the notion that there was socio-economic coincidence between the borgesi and populares. and the captains. those proposing the new magistrate. small property owners. succeeded in having Ruggero Crapanzano and Bartolomeo Amore removed by the king. The 1450 text reveals an agreement between the artisans and the populares in negotiations with the royal court. 200-206. Capitoli inediti delle città demaniali di Sicilia (Palermo: Società Siciliana di Storia Patria. This notwithstanding. 1918). For a comparison see Conflitti. Tommaso Renda di Patti. 1454. 303v-304r. Moreover. 58r-61v.PRESENTATION OF PRACTICE OF VIOLENCE 161 tain. vol. 47 Consuetudines terre Platee.



regarding the aspects of the phenomenon of violence, the possible
uses of the term populus, and clientelism as a source of serious
government imbalances should be clarified. Extending the range
of observation to another city – in this case, Randazzo in eastern
Sicily – brings up more points for consideration. As a town, Randazzo emerged economically and institutionally because of its significant control over a large districtus. Accordingly, Randazzo was
able to redistribute resources from the countryside to the community, and expand its economic chain through the taxes it levied
on the territory under its jurisdiction.49
In June 1458, following the complaint by the nobilis Iaymo de
Rigiu, alias De Pace, the viceroy, Lope Ximen de Urrea, requested that a member of the Magna Regia Curia (the magister notarius
Alfonso de Carioso) go to Randazzo to try Fra Pietro Russo.50 This
was the result of numerous criminal acts caused by the Russo family, previous royal interventions to end them and a final detailed
accusation regarding the family’s relentlessly exercised power in
Randazzo. Iaymo de Rigiu, an elderly member of the city’s elite,
stated that while on his way through a piazza in Randazzo, he was
attacked by an armed Pietro Russo who physically and verbally assaulted him. This assault was clearly for the purpose of making an
impression not only on the victim but also on those who witnessed
it or would hear about it. Russo did not stop at striking him in the
head but also grossly insulted him. On the other hand, the attacker
and the victim were bound by a pact of verbal and physical nonaggression, which extended to third parties as well; this type of pact
was called a fidehomagio, and a written copy of it was kept at the
Magna Regia Curia. This was one of the various means to which
the royal court resorted for gaining control of conflicts and was a
procedure that was decided upon for dealing with the Russo fam-

49 Domenico Ventura, Randazzo e il suo territorio tra medioevo e prima età moderna (Caltanissetta-Rome: Sciascia, 1991); Fabrizio Titone, “Identità cittadina e dominio territoriale. Il caso dell’universitas di Randazzo nel tardo Medioevo,” Mélanges
de l’École Française de Rome, 120/1 (2008), pp. 173-188.
50 For a comparison of the possible forms of reaction by the offended parties,
who at times turned to the authorities and at others took matters into their own hands,
see Smail’s considerations and reference bibliography, The Consumption, pp. 5-10.



ily’s control (gran dominicioni).51 At first reading, the viceroy’s intervention appears misleading; it would seem that the crimes could
be traced back to a single individual. In reality, not only was the
entire Russo family involved but also a large network of their extended family – cousins, and various other relations – as well as
their followers and friends.52 This is what led Lope Ximen de Urrea to intervene. The viceroy’s action against Pietro Russo alone
leads to the belief that the state authorities preferred not to clash
with the entire powerful group to which Pietro belonged.
Iaymo de Rigiu denounced the Russo family’s broad network
that guaranteed them the control of positions and enabled them
to do anything they pleased (far tutto loro). For example, Pietro’s
brother Muni, in his capacity as vicesecretus seriously damaged
Rigiu, depriving him of his income. Continuity in the control of positions was the key to their power.53 This can certainly be identified as the affirmation of a system based on clientelism, relationships in which protection and reciprocity are components in keeping and strengthening these relationships.54 As was noted, the convergence of patronage relationships and control of economic resources is a characteristic that factions have in common.55
Whether in Piazza or Randazzo, this system was perceived by
those subject to it as a source of violence and was irreconcilable
with a system of government guaranteeing the common good. Rigiu
accused the Russo family of many crimes: cronyism in particular

51 Protonotaro, vol. 50, fols. 371r-372r. In 1450 Simone Russo and other mem-

bers of the family interrupted a religious performance and attacked the monks of the
convent of San Francesco; Ryder, “The Incidence”, pp. 69-70.
52 With reference to the vendetta in the high Middle Ages, Paul Hyams has
shown that this is not merely a function of kinship. Hyams, “Was There Really Such
a Thing as Feud in the High Middle Ages?,” p. 156.
53 Titone, I magistrati, pp. 275-290, and Titone, Governments, pp. 299-302.
54 See the entry “Clientélisme” in Dictionnaire du vote, ed. by Pascal Perrineau
and Dominique Reynié (Paris: PUF, 2001), pp. 197-200; also Vittorio E. Parsi, “La
clientela. Per una tipologia dei legami personali in politica,” Filosofia Politica, 2 (1988),
pp. 411-434. On support and backing as components characterizing family groups,
which may also include those with fictive kinship (no blood relationship), comparison is made with Miller, Bloodtaking, pp. 139-178.
55 See Muir, Mad, pp. 77-107.



and intimidation of adversaries in general, such as rushing to provide armed support to their friends when they were involved in
criminal activity. Appealing to the captain was useless. While it
does not seem that he was accused of favoritism, it appears that he
was unable to control an established situation that seems to have
existed from the time when the kingdom was controlled by the Anjou (da lu tempu de li Franchiscii). Plausibly, the complaint stresses the improper exercise of their power; for example, they appear
until at least the 1430s effectively opposed by the Basilico family’s
The accusations are characterized by the obvious attempt to
communicate the seriousness of the situation to the royal court as
clearly as possible. The first records offer the subjugation of the
popoli of Randazzo as proof of the evil effect of the actions of the
Russo family and their followers. Subsequent references also speak
of popoli and are more detailed; however, there is obvious recourse
to emotional language, which more effectively conveys the social
divisions and violence suffered:
the aforesaid popoli in general and in particular, due to failed justice,
the insults suffered, and having had their wives and family members
forcefully taken from them, have no other choice remaining but to
suffer the oppression and insults [of the Russo family] whether by
their ongoing control of magistracies, or due to their significant number which entails their favoritism toward one another, and when they
commit particularly serious actions, everyone runs to them with
weapons, as has happened in the past, and no one dares to speak out
or defend himself with the result that everyone is subjugated, and
more specifically, each member of the popoli is afraid to make a mistake.57

With regard to the populus, this frightening report is not comparable to the previously analyzed episodes. In this case, the term

56 Real Cancelleria, vol. 71, fols. 91v-92r, 1436.
57 Protonotaro vol. 50, fol. 371v. On the use of emotional language but with ref-

erence to judicial proceedings in Marseilles to categorize the social relationships, see
Smail, The Consumption, pp. 90-91.



popoli means, in general, society outside the network that is being
accused: popoli as populations in a broad sense, whether noteworthy or modest, in a description in which there is the unequivocal desire to make clear how one group’s violence indiscriminately
and transversally strikes anyone that opposes it. What ensues is violence as a tool that is useful for defining the group, strengthens
ties and is a source of backing for the positions acquired.
At first reading, there would seem to be a tendency on the part of
the royal court to link the episodes of violence to the populares. In
reality, this connection does not exist, nor did the populares act arbitrarily. Instead, the royal court feared the involvement of the
populares. This fear would have been linked to the great number
of populares and thus the danger of the community’s involvement
en masse. The royal court’s emphasis on the emotional involvement of the populus has strategic significance: it was decided to
stress the degree of awareness of the episodes for the purpose of
preventing them from possibly degenerating. The main recipients
of the royal message were members of the communities’ oligarchy
who were working to involve the populus. The concise references
to the populares do not allow exhaustive reconstruction of their socio-professional origins, but it is possible to maintain that they
cannot be identified as the poor. Nor can they be identified as a
homogeneous group; it is more appropriate to speak of strata of
populares among which there were overlapping and differentiating
features. Their role in the government cannot be neglected, even
if in special conditions, or in ordinary conditions along with other groups with a greater socio-economic role. In Catania, during a
time that was not an emergency, the populares entered into negotiations with the royal court alongside the artisans. Overall, the
episodes examined indicate fraud in the tax system and clientelism
in governing as the main causes of violence. Clientelism in particular fostered a reduction in the political representation of the various groups, with governing inevitably becoming advantageous to
the few and not to the universitas. The various presentations of the



phenomenon of violence are characterized as well by its various descriptions and perceptions, and yet in these manifestations there
exists a degree of emotionalism that was used and controlled for
the political purposes of those involved. While in Polizzi, violence
was a means for regulating the distribution of economic and political resources, in Piazza and Randazzo, the purpose was the control of resources for the benefit of one faction. In Polizzi violence
appeared necessary in order to put an end to an improper wielding of power; in Piazza and Randazzo it was perceived with fear
and anguish. Through a convergence of interests among individuals of diverse origins, a marked social transversality emerges among
those who participated in the implementation of violence. By the
same token, this transversality also applies to those subjected to violence. Finally, the episodes of aggression were often public shows,
having the purpose of inflicting punishment that would be known
to the greatest number of people and be compensation for the
rights that were denied, or that would intimidate adversaries and
at the same time, strengthen the group’s bonds. Making violence
a form of spectacle confirms that while it was a phenomenon that
characterized the lives of the townspeople, it was never accepted
as normal.

Archivio di Stato Bologna. ed. Amidst a threatening external situation. Giovanni’s actions * I would like to thank the participants of the conference held at Georgetown University at Villa Le Balze and the audience of a different version of this paper presented at the European Urban History Association conference at Ghent in September 2010 for their helpful feedback. 1905). Provvigioni in capreto [hereafter Provv. Curia del Podestà. Sententiae [hereafter Sententiae].Patrick Lantschner (University of Oxford) “THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS”: INSURGENT COALITIONS AND THE POLITICAL VOLATILITY OF LATE MEDIEVAL BOLOGNA1 On the night of 14 March 1401.. by Corrado Ricci (Bologna: Romagnoli. Oren Margolis. Libri Inquisitionum et Testium [hereafter Inquisitiones]. Comune-Governo. Cronica Gestorum. 1912) [hereafter Borselli]. Giorgio Marcon. Curia del Podestà. Signorie viscontea ecclesiastica e bentivolesca. imprisoned his fiercest political opponents. rewarded his followers with knighthoods. I would particularly like to thank Samuel Kline Cohn Jr. Giovanni Bentivoglio occupied the central square of Bologna. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. Matteo de Griffoni. 1 Abbreviations used: Archivio di Stato Bologna. in Corpus Chronicorum Bononiensium. Fabrizio Ricciardelli. ed. ed. 18/II (Città di Castello: Lapi. Cronaca Rampona. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores.]. ed. VII. by Albano Sorbelli. . Memoriale Historicum de Rebus Bononiensium. in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. Cronaca bolognese di Pietro di Mattiolo. to which Bologna was at least nominally subject. by Lodovico Frati and Albano Sorbelli. by Albano Sorbelli. capr. Cronaca Varignana. Varignana. Accusationes ad Maleficia. Cronaca Bolognetti. characterized by the advances of Visconti Milan and the ongoing fragility of papal rule. 18/I (Città di Castello: Lapi. Archivio di Stato Bologna. 23/ii (Città di Castello: Lapi. Bolognetti]. 1885) [hereafter Pietro]. III [hereafter Rampona. 1902) [hereafter Griffoni]. and three days later was appointed gonfaloniere perpetuo by the city’s councils. Giorgio Tamba and Andrea Zorzi for the stimulating discussions on this subject. Geronimo Borselli.

Borselli. only the culmination of his family’s involvement in the volatile politics of late medieval Bologna. The entire fourteenth century of Bolognese politics had been characterized by a violent succession of regimes of communal self-government. pp. Griffoni. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio. 1937). 561-562. 468. that of Giovanni Bentivoglio. 472. as well as forms of communal government in conjunction with a variety 2 Rampona. Signore di Bologna (1401-1402). 85-86. 88-90. the erection of barricades and the use of missiles. pp. 470-471. Giorgio Tamba.2 Historians have often seen Giovanni Bentivoglio’s Signoria as an important caesura in the city’s history. however. 67. The Bentivoglio of Bologna: A Study in Despotism (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 170-172.4 As will be suggested in this article. apart from one occasion. 311-312.3 Bentivoglio’s actions were. On the later history of the Bentivoglio. pp. pp. as well as the killing and wounding in battle of several political opponents. Such confrontations involved arson attacks. marking the end of its tradition of communal government and representing a harbinger of the oligarchic and princely governments of future decades and centuries. p. Between 1376 and 1420 members of the Bentivoglio family were involved in veritable military battles between opposing urban coalitions at least eight times and. 562564. 105. 110-112. pp. Neither the violence which ushered in the new regime nor the rearrangement of political coalitions in new constitutional configurations marked a fundamental departure from the regimes that preceded. 77-82. 4th ser. 472-473. all of these were followed by major changes of regime in Bologna. 476-477. pp. Bentivoglio’s takeover of power should be seen within the city’s long tradition of frequent revolts and political negotiation which arguably made Bologna one of Italy’s most politically volatile cities. 2009). 465. p.168 PATRICK LANTSCHNER amounted to a rebellion against the Pope and the Papal State. 4 Varignana/Bolognetti. 472-473.. or succeeded. 5 (1914-1915). 90. 481. Varignana. Il Regime del Popolo e delle Arti verso il tramonto: Innovazioni e modifiche istituzionali del comune bolognese nell’ultimo decennio del secolo XIV (Bologna: Forni. experimentations with quasi-signorial rule under the Pepoli family or the Visconti of Milan. 551-552. 551-552. 3 Filippo Bosdari. 461-463. pp. Pietro. 451-457. Pietro. Ady.” Atti e memorie della R. . Deputazione di storia patria per le provincie di Romagna. pp. Rampona. 482-483. Griffoni. p. 59-62. 77-78. pp. 199-307. Bolognetti. see Cecilia M.

In March 1376. Bologna medievale nella storia delle città (Bologna: Pàtron. 761-866. was again to be challenged by a revolt in 1411. 2004). Bologna was again recaptured by Cardinal Cossa under the auspices of the Church in 1403. This regime was. 581651. 1398. “Bologna 1334-1376. 1393.” and Angela De Benedictis. also extraordinarily unstable. twice in 1399 and eventually in 1401. by Ovidio Capitani (Bologna: Bononia University Press. 255-318. 899-950. 2010). who had allied with numerous regional powers as well as important sectors of Bolognese society to conquer the city in June 1402. R.5 The use of violence and the occurrence of revolt was. Successful alterations in the ruling coalition and subsequent regime changes happened following revolts in 1377. when Giovanni Bentivoglio erected his signoria independently from the Papal State. as the contributions in this volume also suggest. but the type of politics witnessed in Bologna does appear to have 5 For recent overviews on Bolognese political history in the fourteenth century. 2007). 2003). now more firmly in the hands of Cossa. a frequent feature of many late medieval Italian (and indeed other European) cities. Augusto Vasina. L’esclusione dal comune: Conflitti e bandi politici a Bologna e in altre città italiane tra XII e XIV secolo (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medioevo. . Blanshei.” in Bologna nel Medioevo.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 169 of papal vicars. ed. Politics and Justice in Late Medieval Bologna (Leiden: Brill. Una guerra d’Italia. una resistenza di popolo: Bologna 1506 (Bologna: Il Mulino. 1389 and several times in 1399. Dondarini. Church rule. 2000). however.” Anna Laura Trombetti-Budriesi. Threatened by at least seven plots in the sixteen months of its existence. “Lo ‘stato popolare di libertà’: Pratica di governo e cultura di governo (1376-1506). “Dal Comune verso la Signoria (1274-1334). and a number of plots in 1406 and 1411-1415 until a successful revolt in 1416 reestablished the commune – but not for longer than until 1420. the regime was eventually defeated by a coalition under Giangaleazzo Visconti. Giuliano Milani. a revolt of the popolo brought together a large coalition of Bolognese citizens and (temporarily) ended papal rule in the city to erect the Signoria del popolo e delle arti and reestablish full communal government. see Angela De Benedictis. pp. see Sara R. 1386. After a year of Milanese government. and violent challenges followed twice in 1376. pp. Bentivoglio’s regime was not spared the volatility that preceding governments faced. For the later fortune of revolts in Bologna.

473. One of his new supporters was the notary Matteo Griffoni. Matteo Griffoni nello scenario politico-cittadino della città (secoli XIVXV) (Bologna: Deputazione di Storia Patria. 1401 In order to end the sects and preserve everyone In peace with justice and love He was made lord of my fatherland.”6 This instability and the concomitant violence in the city were. Griffoni. De Europa. when he came to support the Milanese coalition that conquered Bologna. Indeed. ed. once more.170 PATRICK LANTSCHNER reached particularly high levels of volatility and instability. then. It was in the year of the good Creator 6 “Bononia quae non tam studiorum mater quam seditionum altrix appellari potest. 481. clearly warned Bentivoglio of the temporary nature of his support for the latter’s coalition: Griffoni at the time when Giovanni Bentivoglio was made lord of Bologna. whom Bentivoglio allowed to return from exile and who was promptly appointed to serve on an important embassy to Florence. 501. . pp. the expression of particularly fragile patterns of political association in Bologna. It is no surprise that Griffoni changed sides again by 1402. 2001). pp. by Adrianus van Heck (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. 2004). that in the mid-fifteenth century Pope Pius II wrote in a telling characterization that “Bologna should not only be called the mother of studies. but also the nourisher of seditions. It is not surprising. one year later when he supported the papal forces that took Bologna from Milan. See Giorgio Marcon et al. since Giovanni Bentivoglio had been able to win over substantial sections of the previously hostile Maltraversi party for his cause. rub. and then switched.. in fact.” Pius II. 91-93... 199. which is only constant in its inconstancy. solius inconstantiae constans. p.. Bentivoglio’s rise to power in 1401 marked one of the important rearrangements of power in the city. in fact.7 In a poem Griffoni had. Rampona. 7 Varignana. The particularly fragile environment of Bolognese politics allowed or even forced men like Griffoni to switch sides frequently..

partijstrijd en pacificatie in laat-middeleeuws (Hilversum: Nederlandse Vereniging tot beoefening van de Sociale Geschiedenis. J. “Social Movements. “Matteo Griffoni poeta: Percorsi etico-politici e cortesi./ Per tôr le septe e conservar çascuno/ in pace con iustitia et in amore. 5-52. 129. 1977). On the fourteenth day of March. 693-707. 2005)./ de la mia patria fu facto signore. If I accept you who comes from a sect other than my own. Dalton and Hans-Dieter Klingemann (Oxford: Oxford University Press.9 Rarely./se d’altra septa che la mia ti coglio”: Giorgio Marcon. but hardly ever in a city such as. pp. 243-266. by Marco Gentile (Rome: Viella. Guelfi e ghibellini nell’Italia del Rinascimento. Parties and Political Life in the Medieval West (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing. however.8 This article explores the reasons for the extraordinary volatility lying at the heart of political processes in Bologna./ Però più non te zoa né BEN TE VOGLIO. But I don’t esteem you or love you [BEN TE VOGLIO] more. 1990). has the question been posed of why negotiations were more intense in some cities than in others. 1426-1434 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. say. Marsilje et al.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 171 Fourteen-hundred and One between Monday and Tuesday.” Historical Research. 13-31. ed. Dale Kent. p. Jan Dumolyn. . 1978).: Harvard University Press. and Jelle Haemer.. parties. 9 Mancur Olson. Jonas Braekevelt. Popkin. pp. The study of political conflict.” in Marcon et al. The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge.1401. 1965). Mass./ Correndo gli anni del bon Criatore/ Milli quatrocentun tra lune e marti. The Rise of the Medici: Faction in Florence. has made enormous progress over the last decades and has pointed at the importance of the associations – factions. ed. by Russell J. pp./ Era de março quatordeci parti. For a recent overview. both in medieval history and the social sciences more generally. Frederik Buylaert. 25 (2012). Bloedwraak. “The Politics of Factional Conflict in Late Medieval Flanders. Verona? One of the principal problems 8 “Griffonibus quando Iohannes de Bentevoglis / Fuit factus dominus Bononie . see Ruud Koopmans. For a selection of works on factions and parties in the late Middle Ages. 2007). pp.. Samuel L. clientage networks and other forms of horizontal and vertical groupings – underlying political interactions as a key through which to study this subject.” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. see Jacques Heers. How could Bentivoglio form a coalition that could overturn the balance of power in Bologna? Why did insurgent coalitions like Bentivoglio’s form in a city such as Bologna. 1979). The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press.

but the wider framework of institutions. The Making of Polities: Europe.10 By political structures I shall not only mean states and governments. pp. . Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht. and the university. see Charles Tilly. 114-162. as well as contado jurisdictions. Addison-Wesley: 1978).172 PATRICK LANTSCHNER of the negotiation-centered approach has. Guilds and Civil Society in European Political Thought from the Twelfth Century to the Present (London: Methuen. In the social sciences. pp. On the notion of jurisdictional pluralism in the late Middle Ages. political or jurisdictional authority: guilds. collective bodies and universitates of a late medieval city. In the context of Bologna. 189-222. Herbert Kitschelt. this pluralistic order of politics was constituted by a whole host of bodies with some form of legal. 4th ser. pp. 4 vols. the Church as the city’s overlord for most of this period. Related to this issue is the debate on networks and organizations summarized in Mario Diani and Donatella Della Porta. 2006). Deputazione di storia patria per le provincie di Romagna. in fact. for generalizations to be made. parish structures. analysts have increasingly argued that.. 4 (1913-1914). all of which had some share in urban public organization and the governance of a particular sector of urban public life. 1300-1500 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1868-1913). 1984). vol. 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell.11 To an extent this framework qualifies in10 On opportunity structures. negotiations have to be understood in the wider context of opportunity structures which allowed. 2009). facilitated or impeded the kinds of interactions that were necessary for the formation of alliances and coalitions. pp. (Berlin: Weidmann. see Otto von Gierke. From Mobilization to Revolution (London. such as Milan. pp. Social Movements: An Introduction. and other contending outside powers. III.” Atti e memorie della R. 123-188. “Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest. In what follows it will be argued that the extraordinary volatility of politics in Bologna and the particularly unstable type of political associations – which I shall call coalitions – found in this city were bound up with the particular configurations of its pre-existing political structures. ecclesiastical institutions. 57-86. see now John Watts. 2336. “Il comune di Bologna alla fine del secolo XIV. 11 For an overview of Bologna’s political structures. see Filippo Bosdari. Anthony Black. 12-31. 16 (1986). been the intrinsic difficulty of making generalizations about the dynamics and outcomes of negotiation. pp. parties.” British Journal of Political Science. On the plurality of political actors in late medieval polities as a whole.

. which gave rise to a political system dominated by high levels of violence and revolt.: Harvard University Press. like other forms of political action in this period. 167181. The Popular Revolutions of the Late Middle Ages (London: Allen and Unwin. it will be suggested that diverse configurations of a city’s pre-existing institutional framework encouraged different forms of political association and conflict. and revolt was one form of political action embedded in the context of numerous power-wielding institutions. This was certainly true for many revolts (though in some cases rebels could also ask for more rather than less government). “Princes conquérants et bourgeois calculateurs: Les poids des réseaux urbains dans la formation de l’État. Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe. increasing encroachments of governments on local communities or particular social classes prompted these to rebel against the state and disrupt the political order. 2006). 1973).12 The following two sections of this article will deal with the ways in which Bologna’s pluralistic order conditioned its politics. Medieval politics were not a confrontation between state and society.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 173 terpretations of late medieval revolts which have tended to consider the state as the prime political structure or which have regarded the growth of states as key stimuli of revolt. but in itself constituted a structural mechanism that introduced high levels of negotiation and volatility into the political process. 228-242. Firstly. Cohn Jr. In fact. pp. Blockmans. W. pp. 271-318. ed. the Bolognese political framework was not only a force that political actors had to reckon with. In this view. esp. 12 For this see Michel Mollat and Philippe Wolff. 1200-1425 (Cambridge. 1987). Secondly. should be understood is that of the pluralistic order of politics. Mass. . historical actors could negotiate coalitions around the resources and infrastructure provided by the many institutions of Bologna’s order of politics.” in La ville. Samuel K. The particularly unsettled and varied nature of Bologna’s internal and external political structures meant that political actors were almost compelled to reorganize their political coalitions constantly. of which the state was but one and which were themselves locked in continuous competition and ongoing confrontations. pp. by Neithard Bulst and Jean-Philippe Genet (Paris. la bourgeoisie et la genèse de l’état moderne: XIIeXVIIIe siècles. but the crucial structural context in which revolts.

and a variety of other bodies of Bolognese society revolted against the papal legate Noëllet. A five-year period of relative cooperation between Bologna’s two main parties came to an end on 6 May 1398 when an insurgent coalition under the leadership of Carlo Zambeccari occupied the piazza – apparently without wounding or killing anyone – burnt the records of the previous government and instituted a reform commission called the Sedici Riformatori. Comune-Governo. pp.14 Zambeccari’s coalition 13 Oreste Vancini. Archivio di Stato Bologna. La rivolta dei Bolognesi al governo dei vicari della Chiesa (1376- 1377): L’origine dei tribuni della plebe (Bologna: Zanichelli. pp. 65.. These institutions were. partly overlapping in their membership.174 PATRICK LANTSCHNER Negotiating Coalitions in the Pluralistic Order of Politics In March 1376. but their existence was crucial in shaping the formation and transformation of coalitions in Bologna. since it was composed of the three councils of the anziani. Signorie viscontea eccle- . pp. Griffoni. a broad coalition of guilds. “Lo stato popolare. A meeting of the Universitas comunis et populi civitatis Bononie conferred the Signoria del popolo e delle arti on a newly-formed government which in itself reflected the pluralistic order of the city. capr. De Benedictis. 71-76.” pp. Not surprisingly for such levels of negotiation. Tamba. 113154. 22r-67v. the Maltraversi and Scacchesi parties. 1906).13 Much of the subsequent history of Bolognese politics was related to the instability ingrained in this newlyformed system. although it will be seen that the record of deaths in these urban battles was actually relatively low (see figure). fols. this was accompanied by relatively high levels of violence. although it will be seen that these bodies did not always act homogeneously and to a degree depended on other bodies. VII. This illustrates the interplay principally between two institutions. For the records left by the Zambeccari regime see especially Provv. of course. Borselli. gonfalonieri (representatives of neighborhood institutions) and the massari of the guilds. 14 Rampona. 899-906. the two principal parties of the Maltraversi and Scacchesi. p. 87-88. pp. 461-463. Perhaps a good example of this development is to look at the particularly turbulent years preceding Giovanni Bentivoglio’s rise to power. such as the guilds and the Studio’s Collegio dei dottori.

1929). Most prominent among them feature the lecturers of the university. by August 1398. fol. was very well-connected to the papacy: since 1393 he had received a rent from papal coffers. 1 (Ricordi di Gozzadino Gozzadini). which had last participated in a coup in 1388-1389. By June. were to benefit from a reform of the Studio.. Archivio Gozzadini. his relative Pellegrino was secretary to the Pope. fols. also managed to broaden his coalition and garner the support of important members of the opposing Scacchesi party. Indeed.16 This was. 4th ser. Epistolario di Pellegrino Zambeccari. see Arturo Palmieri. Bonifaz IX. Important offices seem for certain periods to have been distributed on a party basis. Already on 6 May more than ninety individuals had their exile sentences cancelled by the new regime: Ivi. as one of the heads of the Maltraversi party. Zambeccari himself. 101. by Lodovico Frati (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano.” Atti e memorie della R. and Zambeccari himself controlled an extensive network of benefices. Many of them were presumably Maltraversi followers. since one of the aims of the revolt appears to have been the recall of exiles from this party. pp.17 Beyond the crucial party structures. 16 Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio Bologna. “La congiura per sottomettere Bologna al Conte di Virtù. in terms of officeholding or benefits from this new regime. Provisiones. p. fols. 15 Provv. 23r. most notably the Gozzadini. . 17 Arnold Esch. as many as 341 individuals appear to have been recalled. 70 and 191. no. Their aims were clearly expressed when the insurgents turned to burning tax records and electoral lists. under the mediation of Matteo Griffoni. pp. and each party had its own external contacts and internal political networks. as many as eleven dot- siastica e bentivolesca. who. 36r-40r. 123. Capr. but had truly public and political functions. busta 1. fol. 169-218. Libro di Ricordi. VI. although we do not know around which precise bases the broader population was mobilized. und der Kirchenstaat (Tübingen: Niemeyer. 6 (1915-6). which a coalition like Zambeccari’s needed. crucial.. in many ways. Zambeccari also cultivated the support of other institutions. 1r-73v. 1969). however. On 1388-1389. who.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 175 had a strong popular following. Deputazione di storia patria per le provincie di Romagna. 3r.15 Zambeccari. since parties were not just ‘private’ networks. p. See Tamba. were married to representatives of Zambeccari’s coalition on the day of the revolt. ed.

Ugolino Scappi.” (unpublished doctoral thesis. Giacomo Salieto. Albertani. opposed it as illegitimate.176 PATRICK LANTSCHNER tori and lecturers. Nicolò Zappolino. (Bologna: Merlani. the coalition passed measures to ensure that interest payments of the communally funded debt. since. Il prestito cristiano a Bologna tra Due e Trecento” (unpublished doctoral thesis. 242-244. 540-554 Griffoni. by Umberto Dallari. 1938).” in Studi di storia e . 100. yet this can only be said with certainty about half of them. pp. (Bologna: Istituto per la Storia dell’ Università di Bologna. pp. Oreste Vancini. 2008). see Vancini. Foscarari. see Alexandra F. Osteggiano Osteggiani. were active supporters of the regime. “Una rivoluzione dei ‘Ciompi’ a Bologna (1411-1412). I double-checked the appointments made under the Zambeccari regime against the surviving university records: I Rotuli dei lettori legisti e artisti dello Studio bolognese dal 1384 al 1799. In any case. 1888-1924). pp. Poeti. Giovanni Poeti (only the latter two were not also members of the Collegio dei Dottori). Carlo Zambeccari. ed. 4 vols. Some of them were probably Maltraversi. pp. On Giovanni da Legnano. “Papal Authority and Canon Law in the Fourteenth Century: The Writings of John of Legnano (c. “Traffico di denaro nelle grandi città. dottori like Giacomo da Preunti had defended the insurgents against charges of illegitimate actions. in June 1398.18 Finally. who in the past had always been traditionally linked to the university. Giovanni Bentivoglio. Giacomo Isolani. 19 These families were Albergati.19 18 Nicolò Aldovrandi. Rivolta dei Bolognesi. The university lecturers’ support was crucial: on occasions such as the 1376 revolt. 2 vols. 13201383). University of Bologna. another important leg of Zambeccari’s coalition was members from the bankers’ guild. Il ‘Liber secretus iuris caesarei’ dell’Università di Bologna. Pietro. including most prominently Carlo Zambeccari himself. would continue – much to the liking of the bankers. Antonio Castello. pp. On Giacomo da Preunti. Papazoni. Guidotti. although it is important to underline that the bankers had been quite prominent in Bolognese politics throughout the 1390s. University of Oxford. 101-114. 2005). ed. Bianchi. Giovanni da Legnano. Bankers’ support was especially important in the revolt against the guild regime in August 1412: Ramponi/Varignana/Bolognetti. 79-83. Gozzadini. the monte. at least eight of whose most prominent families were soon rewarded with offices. Gooden. 205-207. bankers certainly must have played an important role in the Zambeccari coalition. Bartolomeo Saliceto. by Albano Sorbelli. and the new regime had soon found itself on the wrong foot when Bologna’s most prominent jurist. This number is more than it had been under previous regimes. p. and Felicini. I double-checked the appointment of the Zambeccari regime against the 1410 inventory of the Cambio guild edited in G.

463 and 465-466. On Antonio da Bruscolo. 89. 1. 36-39: Sententiae. pp. It is in this context that one of the altogether rare deaths in these turbulent years occurred. Condemnationes (1413-5). Condemnationes (1397-1399).“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 177 This coalition soon fragmented. La montagna bolognese del Medio Evo (Bologna: Zanichelli. rehabilitated some thirty-three individuals who had been exiled under the Zambeccari regime. Griffoni. see Arturo Palmieri. 469-471. who occupied the house of the Ramponi family who were major Scacchesi exponents. see note 26 for the Gozzadini family’s role in several insurgent coalitions of the early fifteenth century. Griffoni. 75r-78r. sought to challenge Zambeccari’s coalition in a variety of riots.20 Half a year later. 21 Rampona. Antonio refused to be hanged because of his social status which would have foreseen a sentence of decapitation. Bosdari. 160-162. fols. Varignana. Inquisitiones. . p.21 Scappi achieved this turnover of power by striking an alliance with the Scacchesi party which. when some of the insurgents sought to hang Antonio da Bruscolo. pp. Scappi eventually managed to bring down the Zambeccari regime by negotiating a new coalition with important political players. pp. 545-546. 466-467. Equally important appears to have been the alliance this critica dedicati a Pio Carlo Falletti (Bologna: Zanichelli. 1915). p. the Maltraversi party itself divided. 147r-149v. with a majority of 492 against 19 votes in a newly formed General Council. 469-470. Capitano del Popolo. Also see the important role of prominent families from the bankers’ guild in several revolts of the early fifteenth century. Griffoni. 145r-146v. Pietro. Bolognetti. fols. including at one point the Gozzadini and the Bentivoglio. 101. the insurgents chose to kill him instead with their lances. 35r-37v. formerly a prominent landowner in the city’s contado who had occupied the house of Bolognese exiles. 55-58. 88. also see the role of the Guidotti in plots in 1413: Ramponi/Varignana. 301. 200r-202v. 214r-215v. Varignana. fols 34r-38v. 149r-150v. 265-266. 182r-183r. Pietro. occupying the city’s most strategic points and storming the houses of some of the previous coalition’s trusted supporters. 143r144v. 468. pp. 30. 32r-34r. 856. various sub-groups related to the Scacchesi party. Sententiae. in October 1399. pp. Archivio di Stato Bologna. 1929). pp. 208-209. 35. 251-254. Pietro. pp. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio”. p. pp. pp. p. 110r-11r. and a group headed by Ugolino Scappi challenged the Bentivoglio coalition by occupying the city square and engaging in a three-day battle with the regime in April 1399. Furthermore. 20 For these challenges see Rampona. pp. fols. At several points in spring 1399. pp. 561-576.

157-170. failed after an unsuccessful occupation of the city’s main square: in one of the most violent battles of late medieval Bologna six were reported killed and several individuals were wounded. Tamba. 24r-25r. p. since this was one of the ways in which the broader artisanate could be included in the coalition. managed to broaden its base by reaching out to the Maltraversi and in particular the supporters of Zambeccari’s coalition. 106r-110r. 1. 10r-14r. The guilds acted with precise objectives: for instance. pp. At the same time. Capr. guild support was crucial. pp. at least some of the rioters of October 1399 participated because they wanted to act against the grossi of the previous regime. including Carlo’s son Bernardino. fol. since various claims had been made against him for participating in the revolt of October and Floriano evidently now expected the coalition’s support in return. 28r30v. 58-62. Pietro.. near the end of December.22 Several guilds soon became disgruntled and. came to join his new alliance. according to one chronicler. it was presumably their leverage in the coalition that enabled them to obtain an exemption for the statutes of the wool guild from a general reform of statutes in November 1399.23 This brings us back to Giovanni Bentivoglio. pp. several of whom. 23 Rampona. 470-471. This sense of negotiated agreement is perhaps best exemplified by the demand made to the government by the butcher Floriano di Benvenuto on 14 December 1399: Floriano petitioned the commune for support. 32r-37v. fols. fols. Indeed. Borselli. however. 30r-37v. fols. 82r-86v. He soon put himself at the head of the regime emerging from this latest rearrangement and. 155-157. 5. Apart from Bernardino Zambeccari. Griffoni. 70r-74v. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio. 89-90.24 This would soon turn out 22 Pietro. 67. Tamba. Their challenge. pp. 56. the other Maltraversi involved in this plot were Nanne Tacconi and Ghillino da Argele: Inquisitiones. Bentivoglio rearranged the internal power balance of the Scacchesi party by ousting the important Gozzadini family. VI. 4. 61r-62r. 67r-69v. fols. entered an alliance with some supporters of the earlier Zambeccari regime. pp. 2. 63r-66v. second-hand cloth dealers. 24 Major figures of the May 1398 alliance who supported the Bentivoglio coali- .178 PATRICK LANTSCHNER new coalition struck with the guilds of the butchers. joiners and blacksmiths. like Matteo Griffoni. Provv. 169-170. Bosdari. p. 277.” pp. in the early months of 1401.

Ivi. Bologna. controlled a veritable “state within the state. 8r-9v. 233-238.25 The Gozzadini. Archivio di Stato Bologna. 23. 213r-217r. Archivio Gozzadini. 509-521. Arnold Esch. 481. 1. 460-469. Enrico Felicini. pp. 32r-34v. 539. For their fiefs: Gozzadini. that the Gozzadini can be found leading plots against a variety of other regimes on at least eight occasions between 1402 and 1414. 99. 34. Varignana. Condemnationes (1412). 488-499. 493. fols. pp. Giovanni Oretti.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 179 to be a mistake: the Gozzadini were to become crucial allies of the duke of Milan. 482-485. 443-458. then. they were able to command the allegiance of some eighty individuals. 481. 143159. Musotto Malvezzi. Pieve and Torre di Canuli in the Bolognese contado as bases from which to launch a series of challenges. and Ugolino Scappi. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio. who conquered Bologna in June 1402 and swept away Giovanni Bentivoglio. Pietro. fols. 114r-119r. Matteo Griffoni. 19r-21r. 7. 476-477. p. fols. 93r-96r. pp. Rampona. Sententiae. the Church and Milan. 67r-68r. 79r-81v. fols. pp. pp. 90. Petruccio de’ Bianchi. 265-267. 855. 301. no. 469-487. Inquisitiones.” and were to show the extent of their control of the Bolognese political framework in a number of subsequent plots: they appropriated several parishes from their quartiere of Porta Ravennate as mobilizing structures. 507. January 1413. pp. 1. Giovanni Poeti. Varignana. used their fiefs of Cento. 460-469. 26 Giovanni Gozzadini. see Rampona. 518-520. 544. It is not surprising. 74r-75v. 130r-131v. Ivi. Pietro. In July 1403. pp. 39r-45v. 100. frequently involving the parishes of San Biagio. pp. 515-516. Capitano del Popolo. Griffoni. fols. busta 1. 112-116. pp. in fact. nearly a quarter of whom could be seen supporting the Gozzadini at later points in time. Griffoni. 134-138. August 1406. 277-398 (at pp. 101. no. 93-94. fols.” Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken. Banna (1412). 69r-70r.26 tion were Andrea Bentivoglio. 552-554. Inquisitiones. 1880). Sentenze (1403-1404). Lippo Ghislieri. 350-355). July and October 1403. Ivi. 544. 25 Rampona. 31. Bosdari. 564-568. 8r-8v. 91. 1r-2v. 33r-35v. 102r102v. Gozzadini. 4. 81 and 91-92. and February 1414. Sententiae. March 1412. Biblioteca Civica dell’Archiginnasio. 4 (“Ricordo di Castellano Gozzadini”). 539-540. 46 (1966). 487-488. fols. 118r-120r. Ivi. fols. 253-255. Bolognetti. For their attempted plots. “Bankiers der Kirche im grossen Schisma. Sententiae. fols. fols. p. Inquisitiones. 4. Varignana. pp. Condemnationes e Banna (14121413). fols. 435-442. 502-511. 85r-86r. pp. 79r82v. 476. Gozzadini. and nurtured close links with Ferrara. 484-485. . p. 288. Nanne Gozzadini e Baldassarre Cossa poi Giovanni XXIII (Bologna: Romagnoli. 267-269. 32r-33v. 283. Bandi (1407-1408).” pp. 32. pp. 471 and 484485. 499-509. Alberto Guidotti. fols. San Tommaso della Braina and San Giuliano: January 1402. 49r-49v. February 1404. For their external contacts. busta 111 (Instrumenti). Alberto de’ Bianchi. Condemnationes (1412-1413). Griffoni. pp. 60r-62v.

This tendency may have been exacerbated by the fact that. 1401. telling that the precise role of the council of massari was already the subject of a heated debate in Bologna’s Council of Five Hundred half a year after its creation. It is. and. also characteristic of other Italian cities. Guild and party structures. and at least twice in 1399. in fact. 1402. guilds had enjoyed special prominence in communal politics in the late thirteenth century and were also given an institutional role in the newly-created council of the massari after the revolt of the popolo in 1376. In Bologna. accompanied by changeovers in government and often also urban warfare. these institutions did not have a clearly defined role in the political process. The guild system in Bologna had. A pluralistic order of politics was. 1403. twice in 1393. 1406. it is not surprising that Bentivoglio’s rise to power was but one of several rearrangements of power in late medieval Bologna.27 27 On guilds in Bologna.180 PATRICK LANTSCHNER The Pluralistic Order and the Volatile Politics of Bologna In light of this agitated interplay between political institutions and the formation of coalitions. The instability of the Bolognese political system was intrinsically related to its political structures. in Bologna. 1389. 1377. which made them and their members more likely to expect gains from negotiating and joining new political coalitions. “Le compagnie delle arti in Bologna . but there were possibly three structural reasons why it produced this particular political volatility in the case of Bologna. however. communal office-holding in the city was also not apparently distributed on the basis of guild quotas. see Gina Fasoli. Bologna possessed relatively powerful and long-standing guild and party structures which could be and were used as mobilizing bases for insurgent coalitions. which I investigated in some detail. Indeed. been severely disrupted through a variety of constitutional experiments in the fourteenth century. 1411. 1412 and 1416. of course. 1386. deep-seated transformations of coalitions. 1398. unlike in Florence. occurred at least seventeen times in the relatively short period of 1376-1416. Such profound transformations of coalitions coincided with the major moments of revolt referred to earlier and happened three times in 1376.

On the council of massari. 2008). Andrea Gam- . 1403 and 1411. 30 (1935). I. There is. as Najemy argues. 1986). pp. 231-237. 336-338. It is true that. The partisan divisions of the thirteenth century were again different. 332-333. possibly more than those of a city like Florence. Rampona. The two Bolognese parties had formed in the early fourteenth century in a political conflict between the Pepoli and the Gozzadini over the question of political control of the city.29 As fino al principio del sec. see Provv. 83-84. Varignana. Rivolta dei Bolognesi. pp. 84 (1979). and 31 (1936). pp. Rivolta dei Bolognesi. pp. p.” The American Historical Review. Vancini. Artigiani a Bologna: Identità.. “Rivoluzione.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 181 This uncertainty arguably made Bologna’s guilds. nor. 45-46. pp. Pietro. pp. On guilds in Florence. Città. ed. parties played no institutionalized role in Bolognese politics: the Maltraversi and Scacchesi were not officially incorporated into the urban government. comuni e corporazioni nel medioevo italiano (Bologna: Clueb. Dondarini. the guilds struck their alliance with Ugolino Scappi precisely because they were concerned about the volatility of the political order: according to Matteo Griffoni’s chronicle they feared that “the status was no longer firm and could easily fracture. pp. Najemy. by Giovanni Maioli (Bologna: Palmaverde. Unlike the so-called squadre of Guelph and Ghibelline parties in Parma or. 2001). 1r-3r. in fact. I Maltraversi e la fine del della nobiltà feudale della montagna bolognese. 1959). 509-510. Rampona. pp. 502-504. pp. 508. In the revolt of October 1399. “Guild Republicanism in Trecento Florence. On Parma and Reggio. 177-179. p. p. On 1377. by Antonella Campanini and Rossella Rinaldi (Bologna: Clueb. but apart from some of the events in 1378 and 1382. but also in 1377. ed. see Milani. as we have seen. On 1403. in Reggio. to a lesser degree. 56-57.” L’Archiginnasio.” Griffoni. this did not lead to the type of political volatility guilds engaged in Bologna. 53-71. see Vancini. pp. pp. Vancini. but in the later fourteenth century they only vaguely reflected their original composition and aims. did either party possess stable memberships. 28 “Quod status non erat plus firmus et quod faciliter rumperetur. Antonio Ivan Pini. evidence for guild involvement in insurgent coalitions not only on two occasions in 1399. pp. esp. regole. fols. pp. lavoro (secc. see John M. 377-399. esp. 219-258. XV. Florentine guilds lost some of their influence particularly after 1382. Griffoni. Terra e Poteri: Parma e il Parmense nel ducato visconteo all’ inizio dell’ Quattrocento (Milan: Unicopli. Bolognetti. 33-54. XIII-XIV). Capr. see Marco Gentile. 89. 56-79.” 29 Arturo Palmieri. 237-280. willing to engage in the formation of new political coalitions. 93. but were withering away in the early fourteenth century. On 1411.”28 The parties of the Maltraversi and Scacchesi found themselves in a similarly uncertain constitutional position.

85-86. appear to have supported an alliance with the Scacchesi party. the sources refer to the parties more and more rarely in the fifteenth century. pp. IV. Griffoni. The frequent turnover of coalitions in 1398-1401. 58-62. and the obligation of the guilds’ massari to practice their trade for at least five years was reaffirmed. 481. Now the guilds’ political role was again curtailed: a part of the council of the massari was abolished. 31 Provv. A revision of communal political procedures by this coalition in the following month revealed the deal behind this alliance: while (nearly) all other regulations were subject to scrutiny. 449-457.31 berini. pp. was soon reordered. fols. and certainly the wool guild. however. pp. analyzed above. their insufficient institutionalization in the political system meant that parties were willing or even forced to sustain insurgent coalitions to a much higher degree than in cities with more stable party structures. see Rampona. Tamba. La città assediata: Poteri e identità politiche a Reggio in età viscontea (Rome: Viella. 60-76. 92 and 100. and the statutes of the wool guild were subjected to reform. The coalition. Given these high levels of fragmentation. while at the same time this political climate also led to the frequent splits within parties which. whose aim it was to purge at least ten exponents of the opposing Maltraversi party from communal office. 220r-228v. of course. a number of guilds. 2003). The guilds had clearly been concerned about their uncertain stake in the political process and used this opportunity to strengthen their institutional role. In this month. the statutes of the wool guild were to be exempt from the reform. since by January 1394 the guilds saw themselves ousted by a renewed coalition between Scacchesi and Maltraversi.30 The uncertainty in the system for both parties and guilds can best be exemplified by turning to a concrete case in September 1393. 30 For occasional references to the Maltraversi in the early fifteenth century. Capr. Griffoni. 198v-199r. Rampona. 159v. bases of political action. p. . when the coalitions of men like Bentivoglio became altogether more important. if arguably even more unstable.182 PATRICK LANTSCHNER with Bologna’s guilds.. Varignana. pp. pp. rendered Bolognese politics even more volatile. 20-36. 492-494 and 499. 156v-157v. pp. indicates how often parties were the backbones of insurgent coalitions.

151-178. by Gian Paolo Brizzi and Antonio Ivan Pini (Bologna: Istituto per la Storia dell’Università. since in 1392 Boniface IX addressed the scholars of the Studio and forbade them to suspend lessons at the university. On conflicts with the archdeacon. 197-199.32 The same cannot be said for the university lecturers or members of the Collegio dei dottori. “I maestri dello Studio nell’attività amministrativa e politica del Comune bolognese. Antonio Ivan Pini.” Epistolario di Pellegrino Zambeccari. The Collegio did not act as a united body on all of these occasions. p. 136-37.” and Angela De Benedictis. 1389. 1401. “L’associazionismo degli studenti dalle origini alla fine del XIV secolo. the body of the nineteen top civil law lecturers who were in charge of doctoral examinations. pp. 1990). . see Il “Liber secretus iuris caesarei” dell’Università di Bologna. This did not so much concern the students themselves who. The Collegio’s decisions on fee increases or its frequent jurisdictional disputes with the papal representative – the archdeacon – had major repercussions on urban politics. 1411 and 1416. This even concerned popes. but for the most part they were also members of Bologna’s most powerful families. 151. 81. 1393. unless these were. 148. pp. 195-222. These men were not only in receipt of salaries from the commune. closely related to the university’s fortunes. ed. ed. 1398.” in Studenti e università degli studenti dal XII al XIX secolo. as strangers to the city. appear mostly not to have gotten involved in urban conflicts.” in Cultura universitaria e pubblici poteri a Bologna dal XII al XV secolo. Roberto Greci. since this would “create agitation in the whole community. see Griffoni. as in the thirteenth century. 87-88. 1403. “La figura dell’Arcidiacono nei rapporti tra lo Studio e la Città. but in certain instances this appears to have been the case. A second peculiarity of the Bolognese order of politics was its extraordinary richness in other institutions which could further participate in the highly volatile politics of the city. 1377. These included a multiplicity of municipal institutions in Bologna. 15-43. 155. “La fine dell’autonomia studentesca tra autorità e disciplinamento. but the most crucial and possibly unique certainly appears to have been the university. 3172. i. pp. and pp. by Ovidio Capitani (Bologna: Istituto per la Storia di Bologna. pp.” and Lorenzo Paolini.“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 183 University. 1988). 33 “Tota communitas in agitatione versatur. A particularly important period in this regard was the first 32 A rare exception is the hanging of the student Guiduccio da Monzuno in June 1387.”33 University lecturers were greatly involved in successful insurgent coalitions in 1376.

the future (anti-) Pope John XXIII. 102. 669. The poorly surviving sources for this revolt do not allow us to research the Collegio’s role further. Griffoni. i. the guild revolt against the papacy in May 1411 seems to have been supported by the Collegio: its prior Giacomo Marescalchi noted in his entry in the records of the Collegio that.”35 Members of the Collegio were well-placed enough to mobilize other individuals associated with the Studio. i. Quite ironically for someone in such an illustrious social circle. 2005). they were soon able to extend the circle to include their fellow dottori Angelo Poeti.” 36 “Viva el Popolo et li Arti”. pp. that Cossa had appropriated stipends of the university’s dottori and misappropriated funds of the Collegio Gregoriano. 37. 157-182. fol. Condemnationes (1413-15). a salaried lecturer in civil law. pp. probably not without input from the the Collegio. 180. by Giovan Domenico Mansi. fols 22r24v. Poeti was to write a banner with the inscription “Long live the People and the Guilds. Varignana. Inquisitiones.34 Thus.184 PATRICK LANTSCHNER decade of the fifteenth century. 39. Also involved were Giovanni Liazzari and Lodovico Mariscotti.” in Politica e ‘Studium’: Nuove prospettive e ricerche (Bologna: Istituto per la Storia dell’Università.” Il “Liber secretus iuris caesarei” dell’Università di Bologna. and Graziolo da Tosignano. the dottore Gregorio di Massimo di ser Guoro. p. p. p. 4. fols. it was also alleged. “the Studio will gain and our sacred college flourish. a member of the Collegio. “Rivoluzione. cxvi-cxxxi. Sententiae. 26r-28r. Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio. the son of another member of the Collegio. Rotuli. 548. see Rampona. Presumably with Guasconi’s connections. Dallari.” though it never came to be used because the academics were discovered. whose father was a notary and had been involved in a guild revolt two years earlier. 41-42. 195. pp. In fact.36 34 Il “Liber secretus iuris caesarei” dell’Università di Bologna. (Venice. ed. 31 vols. For the involvement of Gregorio’s father Massimo. 546. “Lo Studium e il Papato tra XIV e XV secolo. p. at his deposition at the Council of Constance. contacted Giovanni Guasconi. Berardo Pio. ed. xxvii. 82r-85v. I. . 187. to organize another plot against papal rule in collaboration with the Malatesta lords of Rimini and the Manfredi of Faenza. pp. i. p. Il “Liber secretus iuris caesarei” dell’Università di Bologna. thanks to the revolt. 35. In December 1413. 33-34. Pietro. 31. pp. 1758-1798). Rampona. see Vancini. 35 “Augmentabitur Studium et sic nostrum sacrum florebit collegium. 257-258. 547. 301. when the Collegio appears to have suffered under the rule of the Cardinal legate Baldassare Cossa.

On 1386. Capitano del Popolo. held by prominent families like the Pepoli or Gozzadini. “La congiura. (Milan: Fondazione Treccani degli Alfieri. The Lands of St Peter: The Papal State in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance (London: Methuen. Pietro. “Il ducato visconteo da Gian Galeazzo a Filippo Maria. 156-159. Griffoni. 1389 and 1403-1404. see Vancini. “La congiura. see Gozzadini. 87-99. Griffoni. and it is not surprising that opposing coalitions in Bologna were cultivated by ex- 37 On 1388. 77r87r. 108r-110r. and this meant that destabilization outside the city walls could easily affect politics inside Bologna. pp. Campagne bolognesi: Le radici agrarie di una metropoli medievale (Florence: Le Lettere. 58-67.” Storia di Milano. see Palmieri. VI. Varignana/Bolognetti. Sententiae.” passim. Gozzadini. On the contado. pp. 3-107. V-VIII (1867-1868). 1955). 378-381. 124r-127v. third ser. see note 25. “La guerra dei fiorentini con papa Gregorio XI. Bologna was a subject city of the Papal State. 17 vols. 118r-119r. 823. 510-511. La rivolta. 96r-101r. On 1389. although it can be argued that Bologna’s complex internal structure possibly made such situations even more volatile. The third reason for Bologna’s particularly fragile politics was the uncertainties in its external political framework.37 Moreover. Antonio Ivan Pini. 1386. Rampona. see Archivio di Stato Bologna. Sentenze (1403-1404).“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 185 Volatile external politics.38 Bologna. 552-554. . 94. pp. 469551 and note 26 above. 106r-107r. These conflicts happened at a time of strong Milanese expansion. 377-379. For the fragmentation of Lombardy. 1993).39 How external divisions fed into internal processes of coalition formation can be demonstrated by looking at the external dimensions of the political conflicts involving Giovanni Bentivoglio which were analyzed earlier. For most of this period. pp. pp. such as Lombardy after Giangaleazzo Visconti’s death. 79r82v.” On Ferrara. see Palmieri. 38 On 1377. fols.. On 1403-1404. 135229. 112r-113r. see Palmieri. see Rampona. mirrored the fortunes of other cities in the Papal State or cities in other disintegrating polities. no. Revolts or attempted revolts happened in Bologna following the support lent to coalitions within the city by Milan (as happened in 1388 and 1402) or by neighboring cities like Ferrara (as in 1404 and 1413). the presence of significant jurisdictional enclaves in the Bolognese contado. esp. Sententiae. Montagna bolognese. pp. pp. Cf. see Francesco Cognasso. 2r-34r. 92r-93v. 80-81. p.” Archivio Storico Italiano. 214-330. On Milan in 1402. 1972). pp. pp. in fact. fols. 22. Alessandro Gherardi. 521-527. 39 For instability in the Papal State see especially Peter Partner. provided crucial infrastructural bases for the formation of insurgent coalitions in 1377. fols. 31. pp.

pp. 1370-1440” (DPhil thesis. 176-181. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio. Brucker. p. 478. pp. pp. 231. p. Bentivoglio was also supported by the Manfredi of Faenza: Rampona. however. The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence (Princeton: Princeton University Press.42 For instance. As a way of concluding my thoughts. Political conflict 40 Bosdari. Bentivoglio’s archenemies. in a city such as Verona. 272-280. c. there was a conspicuous absence of successful revolts. although it started out by possibly supporting Bentivoglio. 484-485. 91. under the rule of the Republic of Venice from 1405. it soon turned instead to his opponents who found refuge at the Visconti court. the Milanese governor was ordered by Giangaleazzo Visconti to reimburse Nanne Gozzadini for his expenses. the particular structural configuration of the Bolognese political framework generated a political system in which urban warfare. 228-233. Bolognetti. that they supported the Gozzadini coalition with money and materiel: a month after the Milanese conquest of Bologna. 41 Rampona. Duke of Milan (1351-1402) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Florence was quite happy to overlook Bentivoglio’s own “tyrannical” pretensions when congratulating him in a number of formal embassies: it generously dispatched two hundred lances for Bologna’s security and interceded with the papacy to ask for Bentivoglio to be given a papal vicariate. as well as the case of Bologna. 1941). Bosdari. in my DPhil thesis which I am currently preparing for publication: Patrick Lantschner. p. p. Venice was more reticent in its support: Daniel Meredith Bueno de Mesquita. Gozzadini. 1977).41 In this light. Allegedly Milan even offered the signoria of Bologna to the Gozzadini. . 2011). “The Logic of Political Conflict in the Late Middle Ages: A Comparative Study of Urban Political Conflicts in Italy and the Southern Low Countries. Gene A. 275.186 PATRICK LANTSCHNER ternal powers. 473. 160-161 and pp. 235. Varignana.” pp. Giangaleazzo Visconti. Griffoni. It is more likely. 481.” pp. 439-442.40 As for Milan. Griffoni. 253. University of Oxford. pp. because coalitions appear to have lacked party bases and autonomous guild structures around which to rally. 259. “Giovanni I Bentivoglio. 91. the ongoing formation and transformation of coalitions. 42 I have explored these issues. I would like to speculate whether different configurations of a city’s political framework may have generated other patterns of conflict. p. and a particularly high level of volatility went hand in hand.

This. the changes in the city’s external political framework caused by Florence’s war against the papacy in the 1370s prompted the formation of extraordinary coalitions within the city. “Guild Republicanism. “Nelle città della Marca Trevigiana: Dalle fazioni al patriziato (secoli XIII-XV). 29 (1977-1978).43 A city such as Florence. pp. On guild and party structures. see Gene A. witnessed higher levels of conflict than Verona. it was channelled through an elaborate judicial framework provided both by the commune of Verona and the Venetian state. included the coalition of the Ciompi in July 1378. not absent from Verona. ed.44 43 On the absence of revolts in Verona. like woolworkers organized on a parish basis. Lantschner. “Logic of Political Conflict”. also descend into warfare: for instance. “Venice. arguably. as is known. Law.” For the instrument of ammonizioni used by the Parte Guelfa and the impact of the War of the Eight Saints on the Ciompi revolt. pp. 157-185. Nevertheless. 1996). 1343-1378 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. engage less quickly in urban warfare than the constantly reorganized coalitions of Bologna. such as the intense conflicts between commune and Parte Guelfa over the Parte’s proscription (ammonizione) policy aimed at suspected Ghibellines in the 1350s to 1370s. 44 For guild conflicts in Florence. which brought together a number of institutions. 199-230. Florentine politics could. of course. scienze e lettere di Verona.. however.” in Strutture del potere ed elites economiche nelle città europee dei secoli XII-XVI. with more consolidated internal institutions. since the city’s guilds and party organizations were locked in a variety of forms of conflict. “Elites cittadine e governo dell’economia tra comune. pp. see John E. guilds and some of the most prominent families of Florentine politics. It appears. pp. but it was expressed by guilds and other bodies predominantly through less direct channels. 6th ser. for instance the patronage of particular saints and churches. see Gian Maria Varanini. 1962). of course. 159-172. by Giovanna Petti Balbi (Naples: Liguori. 135-168. Brucker. Florentine Politics and Society. Gian Maria Varanini.” Atti e memorie dell’Accademia di agricoltura. which also contributed to breaking up corporate organizations that were so vital for any protest coalition to form.” in Guelfi e Ghibellini. signoria e ‘stato regionale’: L’esempio di Verona. 202-221. see Najemy. that because of the higher degree of institutionalization and consolidation of these institutions. .“THE NOURISHER OF SEDITIONS” 187 was. On the forms of conflict at Verona. pp. Verona and the Della Scala after 1405. therefore. these tended to be less volatile and. under particular conditions. 563-602. Alternatively.

Politicized judicial conflicts. The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence (Turnhout: Brepols. There was a general logic to political processes. 143-246.188 PATRICK LANTSCHNER In this sense. 1993). Accusare e proscrivere il nemico politico. different institutional configurations may have favored different political systems. which saw such a constant renegotiation of the bases of political support in battles and the occupations of squares. Fabrizio Ricciardelli. but there was a clear order that governed the disorder that was ingrained in Bolognese politics. pp. may have had a particular importance in Florence. The particularities of Bologna’s institutional framework meant that its politics were very different from those experienced in Verona or Florence. L’angelo della liberazione nel tumulto dei Ciompi: Firenze. by Vanna Arrighi (Florence: Edifir. perhaps more than most other cities. 2008). 2007). as well as the various forms of political association which sustained these systems. but it also did not amount to indiscriminate killing and slaughter. le travail (Paris: Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales. 2010). “Logic of Political Conflict”. Legislazione antighibellina e persecuzione giudiziaria a Firenze (1347-1378) (Pisa. 297-335. La révolte des Ciompi: Les hommes. certainly had a ‘culture of violence’. however more violent and volatile Bolognese politics was vis-à-vis other Italian cities. giugno-agosto 1378 (Siena: Protagon. this article has also suggested that even the turbulent political climate of Bologna was not tantamount to anarchy. ed. . pp. 244-265.” in Ordinamenti di Giustizia Fiorentini: Studi in occasione del VII centenario. 105-147. see Andrea Zorzi. Men like Matteo Griffoni and Giovanni Bentivoglio found themselves inside a system that strongly encouraged the frequent formation and transformation of coalitions. Yet. Bologna. “Politica e giustizia a Firenze al tempo degli ordinamenti antimagnatizi. Ernesto Screpanti. and this logic was itself an expression of the existing pluralistic order of politics in the city. 1995). and made Bologna particularly susceptible to fragile coalitions which would engage in violent political conflict. les lieux. Pacini. while common anywhere in late medieval cities. On the Ciompi coalitions. 161-198. In this sense. pp. see Alessandro Stella. Lantschner. This environment did encourage a greater recourse to urban warfare and revolt. A record of seven reported deaths in the urban wars immediately preceding Giovanni Bentivoglio’s rise to power was not necessarily a high number considering the circumstances of Bolognese history. Vieri Mazzoni.



and Laura Moretti for their assistance with my archival transcriptions. Elaine Roux. political. economic. and even to more recent scuffles about funding cuts and tuition hikes. I also wish to thank Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti for providing such an idyllic place to read. student mayhem and town-gown riots have often been at the heart of turmoil in university towns. Scholastica Day in Oxford to the 1968 unrest in Paris. and elsewhere as students (and occasionally professors) sought to preserve liberties traditionally offered to scholars. Italian universities have suffered their share of student-inspired mayhem in Bologna.Christopher Carlsmith (University of Massachusetts. Siena. indeed. The results could often be of fundamental importance in shaping the intellectual. students have regularly participated in bloodshed and bedlam. Lowell) “CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO”: CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE ANCARANO COLLEGE AND THE EPISCOPAL SEMINARY IN BOLOGNA* Introduction The ivory tower has never been exempt from urban violence. . write. the historian Hastings Rashdall famously opined that perhaps half of the uni- * I would like to thank Fabrizio Ricciardelli and the other participants in the May 2010 conference at Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze for the opportunity to contribute to this volume. From the 1355 battle of St. Unless indicated otherwise. Elisabetta Cunsolo. Padua. and social aspects of both university and civic life. and learn in 2009-10. Indeed. I am particularly grateful to my I Tatti colleagues Carlo Taviani. all translations are my own.

XVI-XVII (Bologna: Clueb. also in English. 2002). “Crime and Law Enforcement in Medieval Bologna. see also Ottavia Niccoli. At least two such conflicts between these two groups are recorded in Italian archives: one in the late 1650s. This essay examines one specific aspect of “academic violence” in early modern Bologna: namely. Storie di ogni giorno in una città del Seicento (Rome: Laterza. by Konrad Eisenbichler (Toronto: CRRS. in a piazza. an excerpt of which is translated as “Rituals of Youth: Love. for a broader perspective including five Italian towns. pp. The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages.1 Physical and verbal conflict were not uncommon in Bologna. Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ed.192 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH versity foundations in medieval Europe were the result of migrations inspired by violence. 86: ‘Half the universities in Europe owed their origin to such migrations – Oxford itself probably among the number. 217-231. as the voluminous records of the city’s criminal court attest. La giustizia criminale in una città di antico regime: Il tribunale del Torrone di Bologna. . is Sarah R. 75-94.” Journal of Social History 16 (1982).2 Historians have disagreed about whether rates of violence increased or decreased from the Middle Ages to the early modern period. “Gender and Insult in an Italian City: Bologna in the Later Middle Ages. but there is no doubt that such violence was part of the fabric of everyday life. Culture and Power: Tuscany and its Universities. Blanshei. founded in 1222 by Bolognese dissidents. Both were inspired by the perennial debate concerning precedenza (precedence): that is. 2 Giancarlo Angelozzi. A similar migration from Oxford in 1209 led to the establishment of a permanent university at Cambridge. III. 1936). 3 vols. see Trevor Dean. pp. Play and Violence in Tridentine Bologna” in The Premodern Teenager. 3 Jonathan Davies. and another in 1702-1703. by Frederick Maurice Powicke and Alfred Brotherston Emden (Oxford: Clarendon Press.’ In the case of Italy. 2008) as well as Angelozzi’s many other publications. 2009). or in other public space? More specifi1 Hastings Rashdall. it is no surprise that university students were regularly involved in dustups both large and small. 121-138. pp. 2000). if by now dated. the most relevant example is that of Padua.. which institution had the right-of-way when student groups met on the street. also useful. secc.3 Given Bologna’s extensive student population. 2007). p.” Social History 29 (2004). 160-161. ed. 1537-1609 (Leiden: Brill. conflicts between students of the Ancarano College (Collegio Ancarano) and those of the episcopal seminary (Seminario Vescovile). see Dean.

no. 59-74. to date I have found about a dozen major cases of precedenza between student colleges in the seventeenth century. by Louis Waldman and Machtelt Israels (Florence: Olschki.” in L’università a Bologna: Maestri. 83-103. “Trasgressioni e disordini studenteschi. 25. thus forcing the opponent to walk closer to or perhaps even in the street itself? The question is unusually complex in this particular case because of the ecclesiastical privileges claimed by the seminarians. 1988). and merchants. 2012). ed. but there would likely be hundreds if we included all university students. First. and Misbehavior at the University of Bologna in the Late Seventeenth Century. XII-XVIII. forthcoming 2012). by Gian Paolo Brizzi and Jacques Verger (Milan: Silvana Editoriale. for a more detailed explication of this topic that includes additional source material. see Carlsmith. examining the conflicts over precedenza through the lens of the student colleges offers several advantages. and the resultant political issues that might arise between church and state if the patrons of the seminary or the college were to become involved. 219-272. ed. the distinct identity of the 4 Ennio Cortese. “L’università di Bologna e il collegio di Spagna nel Cinquecen- to: uno scontro tra i rettori Cesare Riva e Diego Gasque.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 193 cally. Students. “Modi e forme della presenza studentesca a Bologna in età moderna. debates over precedenza were never limited to students. Second. “Student Conflict in the Brevis Relatio of the Hungarian-Illyrian College.” History of Universities. especially in light of the many vivid accounts of such conflicts. pp.” in Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors. pp. 1978). “Notizie sopra la controversia di precedenza insorta fra i Presidenti dell’Università degli scolari a Bologna ed i Consiglieri della nazione Alemanna e convenzioni dell’accordo seguito fra essi” (1746). See also Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna (hereafter BUB). Peter Denley. “Siam Ungari: Nationalism. 1675. pp. 26/2 (forthcoming Sept. secc. prelates.” in Studi in memoria di Giuliana D’Amelio (Milan: Giuffrè. Christopher Carlsmith. knights. in Bologna and elsewhere we find similar squabbles among courtiers. which group had the right to remain next to the wall. The historiography about precedenza and students is surprisingly limited.” in Le università dell’Europa: Gli uomini e i luoghi. 125. Gian Paolo Brizzi. but enough intriguing detail emerges to give us some sense of both theory and practice with regard to violence in early modern Italy.4 Of course. it makes the project a manageable size. studenti e luoghi dal XVI al XX secolo (Bologna: Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna. Nevertheless. Documentary sources provide only a partial glimpse of these two events. Ms. 1993). .

I am currently preparing an article for publication about this conflict. According to the terms of D’Ancarano’s testament. In reality. Among the sixteen extant colleges in seventeenth-century Bologna. For example. for example. and it remained under the control of that powerful clan 5 Biblioteca dell’Archivio Reale del Collegio di Spagna (hereafter BARCS). it specialized always in the study of jurisprudence. the bishop and a member of the Bolognese city council were to take charge. the college was to be supervised by the rector of the law students. “Student Conflict in the Brevis Relatio. control of the college became a contested matter. Around 1510 the college passed to the Farnese family. and language can be relevant factors in these disputes. eyewitness testimony. pp. In a squabble between the Montalto college and the Hungarian-Illyrian college in 1675.194 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH individual colleges makes it easier to see how issues of nationalism.” (forthcoming). letters. . and the juxtaposition of one partisan source against another can reveal more about narrative strategies and institutional identity. the Ancarano college was viewed by many as second only to the Spanish college in terms of prestige and influence. 117-124 (year 1673).5 Third. Founded in the mid-fourteenth century by the distinguished jurist Pietro D’Ancarano. it will be useful to sketch out briefly their respective identities. the collegiate archives often preserve multiple accounts of these conflicts. and much of the acrimonious debate after the fact centered around the exact terminology chosen by the Spanish Rector in his insults of the Montalto students. and ambassadorial reports result in a rich mosaic of archival sources. with a vigorous fight in the late fifteenth century between the Marescotti and the Malvezzi families over appointment of the rector. I. in his absence. a combination of petitions. cultural formation. 6 Carlsmith. the 1673 fight between the Montalto college students and the Spanish college students hinged on distinctly national conceptions of honor.6 Overview of the Ancarano College and the Seminary Prior to examination of the two conflicts between the Ancarano college and the seminary. De Rebus Gestis.

and despite the preservation of significant primary sources. 6 vols. but later moved to more spacious quarters in via dei Belli Arti. With the extinction of the Farnese family.” in Storia di Bologna: Bologna nell’età moderna 3/2. 5-113.10 7 Gian Paolo Brizzi. Alessandro Farnese. pp. ed. and Guido Ascanio Sforza. In the 1530s the students included Gabriele and Camillo Paleotti. 825-863. pp. for example. 59-68. as indicated by both civic criminal records and by its own archival sources. especially p. training boys from Parma and Piacenza for later service to the Duke. 13-18 Apr.” in Studi e Memorie per la storia dell’Università di Bologna. Tommaso d’Aquino. especially pp. which lists the relevant archival sources in the Archivio di Stato di Parma (ASPr) and Archivio di Stato di Napoli (ASNa). 2004. I. a total second only to the much larger and better-financed Montalto College. Notizie degli scrittori Bolognesi.9 The Ancarano seems to have been involved in its fair share of fights during the seventeenth century. the Ancarano college graduated 149 students in law between 1600 and 1796.” in Gli statuti universitari: tradizione dei testi e valenze politiche: atti del Convegno internazionale di studi. see Archivio di Stato di Napoli (ASNa). 1783) vol. and Giovanni Fantuzzi. n.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 195 for more than two hundred years. ed. 9 Gian Paolo Brizzi. each of whom went on to a distinguished career in ecclesiastical and political life as well as becoming influential patrons. virtually nothing has been written about its history to date. by Andrea Romano (Bologna: Clueb. As Gian Paolo Brizzi has noted. “Statuti di collegio: gli statuti del Collegio Ancarano di Bologna. later King of Naples and Sicily. 8 Gian Paolo Brizzi. 2007).s. pp. note 20 which ranges over several pages. here at 36. Caratteri ed evoluzione di un’istituzione educativo-assistenziale fra XIII e XVIII secolo. “I collegi per borsisti e lo Studio bolognese. Duke of Bourbon. Archi- .8 The college was originally located in D’Ancarano’s own house in the modern via Val D’Aposa. pp. “Lo studio di Bologna fra orbis academicus e mondo cittadino. which includes relevant bibliography.7 The archive of the Ancarano college remains split between Naples and Parma. Messina-Milazzo. 10 Niccoli. 107-108. In the absence of a detailed history of the college it is difficult to generalize about its successes and failures. on the Ancarano’s frequent conflict with the Montalto. (Bologna: S. however. 236-237. in the 1730s the Ancarano became a “royal college” under the patronage of Charles I.. IV (1984). 11-186. 237. by Adriano Prosperi (Bologna: Bononia University Press. and its students were drawn from Naples until its suppression in 1781. Storie di ogni giorno. 2008).

no. 1932-1998. The seminary moved frequently during its opening decades.” fols. pp. by Alessandro Albertazzi and Gino Strazzari (Bologna: Pontecchio Marconi.196 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH The episcopal seminary offered a formidable counterpart to the Ancarano College. Collegio Montalto. “Corrispondenza anno 1650 primo semestre. the seminary sought to create a rigorous. Archivio Demaniale. with which this article is concerned. but note that he completely skips the period from 1634 to 1727. Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi. Founded by Bishop Gabriele Paleotti in 1567 under the auspices of Session XXIII of the Council of Trent. 90-113. piety. 12 Kathleen Comerford. and music by the Jesuit fathers. theology. 1998). but by 1630 it had finally settled into a series of houses (today the Grand Hotel Baglioni) across from the cathedral of San Petronio. rhetoric.12 At the beginning of the seventeenth century the Jesuit teachers were replaced by secular priests. . these boys were taught a curriculum of Latin grammar. 6. also issued new rules to guide the behavior and study of the seminarians. see pp. 59/7280 (year 1650). 2006). As in other Italian diocesan seminaries. My brief history of the seminary is adapted from Fortini. see pp. For transcriptions of key documents. 49-55. 560-574 for the Ancarano’s perspective. and frugality. who had orchestrated the move to a new residence in 1630. The seminary remained in this location until the 1730s.” in In Spem Ecclesiae: Il Seminario Arcivesocvile di Villa Revedin. the young men were expected to converse primarily in Latin and to spend a substantial portion of each day engaged in prayer. Clad in full-length black robes and constrained to march two-by-two behind a priest whenever they left their house. “Vicende storiche del Seminario di Bologna. 69-80. and the recitation of church offices. and Archivio di Stato di Bologna (ASBo). 1567-1924. meditation. ed. busta 263. Reforming Priests and Parishes: Tuscan Dioceses in the First Century of Seminary Education (Leiden: Brill.11 The seminarians were often referred to as the “the poor of Christ” (i poveri di Christo) in order to emphasize their modesty. vio Farnesiano. 11 The best history of the Bolognese early modern seminary is Carlo Fortini. which were confirmed by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna in his synod of 1634. orthodox environment where new priests could be inculcated with Tridentine reform. 13/7234 (years 16621682) for the Montalto experience. for a brief chronology. due to continuing expansion.

Farn. the Ancarano college and the seminary were both firmly established in the city. For example.. resulting in wounds and expulsions on both sides as well as an extended legal battle of more than twenty years. the students then hauled 13 Quoted in Niccoli. which is the 8 Apr. perhaps in retaliation for an earlier brawl. anni 1651-52. 17/7234. then.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 197 The 1650s conflict By the middle of the seventeenth century. Additional cases demonstrated that the Ancarani were unrepentant. 107. broke into a series of houses across the city “in order to cause trouble. the students allegedly beat him and stripped him naked before tossing him back into the street to the “universal displeasure of the entire city of Bologna. 647. In June 1630 six masked members of the college. fols. busta 263.. Storie di ogni giorno. anni 1651-52. Arch.15 Less than a week later. The students of the Ancarano college were involved in a series of infamous incidents in this period which gave them a deserved reputation for violence. and imperious. no. p. 1662 letter from Cardinal Palotto to the papal legate Cardinal Farnese. Demaniale. Farn. Arch. 3. fol. the Ancarano students were accused of abusing an elderly pilgrim who had come to ask for alms at their door. and they battered down the doors and broke mirrors and forced the women of the house to flee… and worst of all they did this in the name of the court.14 While the former was simply a case of criminal misbehavior. Arch. 15 ASNa. 7: Corrispondenza. fol. 660-661. launching a tirade of accusations against the Ancarani as disobedient. busta 263. not surprisingly. was wounded by unknown assailants while returning home in the afternoon. aggressive. 16 ASNa.”13 In April 1650 the Ancarano students carried harquebuses to their university lessons on the pretext of self-defense. see in particular fasc. on 9 May 1651 the rector of the Ancarano college. carrying shrouded lanterns and unsheathed swords. 646: ‘Si da parte a V[ostra] A[ltezza] S[erenissi]ma con dispiacere universale della Città di Bologna come tre dì sono passò un povero Pellegrino d’anni 70. 640. no. 1. this provocative act caused a major fight with the members of the Montalto college. the latter case hinged primarily upon the familiar issues of precedenza and privileges. 14 ASBo. Flaminio della Torre.”16 As if that were not enough. 7: Corrispondenza. e dalli scolari del .

116. Don Roberto Mancinatelli. An inscription after the index of ms.] La sera poi usano mille forfanterie alle case portando seco Armi prohibite. 2001). and miscellaneous documents. no.17 It is within this context. 2007).. 17 The archivist of the Archivio Arcivescovile di Bologna. Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna (Florence: Nardini. 110-111. The latter is a rough copy with various additions and deletions. 116 is part of a miscellany organized by Ubaldo Zanetti (1698-1769). 640 for the college’s refutation. On Zanetti and his manuscript collection. but corresponding sources (e.. Dott. “Informazione del succeduto fra li signori scolari del Collegio Ancarano e li Seminaristi. donated to the Archiginnasio by the Florentine antiquities dealer Tommaso de Marinis in 1925 (see Pierangelo Bellettini. informed me in May 2010 that there are very few relevant documents for the history of the Seminary in the Archepiscopal archive beyond those already published in In Spem Ecclesiae. To date we have only one account of the event. the narrator describes a series Coleggio Ancarano fu in principio burlato e di poi schernito in varij modi con levarli gli arnesi dal dosso. fol.18 In five pages. B3629 reads ‘compito il 24 maggio venerdì 1743. see Rita De Tata. an anonymous (albeit partisan) narrative preserved in two eighteenth-century manuscripts in Bologna. All’insegna della fenice: vita di Ubaldo Zanetti speziale e antiquario bolognese (Bologna: Comune di Bologna. city chronicles) make little mention of misbehavior by seminarians. BCAg B3629 is part of the “Libreria Spada” of 122 volumes and codices that includes Bolognese chronicles..g. The Rector of the current Bolognese Seminary at Villa Revedin. To date I have been unable to find additional documents about this period of seminary history in the ASBo or other local archives. 128-32. 18 of ms. Mario Fanti. diaries. Neither copy identifies the original provenance nor the author. Ms. B3629 is nearly identical in format and calligraphy to all other documents in this volume. datoli pugni e buttato via in una fenestra di una cantina delli Padri Gesuiti di Santo Ignatio. Ms. Zanetti and Spada were close friends. B3629. The apparent lack of archival materials for the seminary makes it difficult to reconstruct their specific background or behavior. pp.” fols. a ‘maniacal’ bibliophile and spice merchant in Bologna. I suspect that one pro- . 27. tutti li suoi panni et strappazzato in modo che tutta la contrata si stupì [.’ but as discussed below this document clearly describes an event nearly a century earlier.198 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH forbidden weapons back to their sleeping quarters. with the same title. that a conflict erupted between the Ancarano college and the seminary during the late 1650s. 18 Two identical copies are extant: Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio (BCAg). No. then. In sum. BUB Ms.’ See Ivi. the Ancarano students seem to have had a penchant for violence. no. and BUB. 18. graciously informed me in June 2010 that there are no documents for the seventeenth century in the archive of the current seminary. while the former is a finished copy written in a clear and consistent hand with generous margins on lined and numbered pages.

who assumed direction of the college in 1653 and apparently remained in that position for more than twenty years. Il Cardinale Gabriele Paleotti (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura. 1590” (ASNa. prior to his death on 30 March 1678 (Giuseppe Guidicini. Arch. 20 Palazzo Paleotti is at via Zamboni 25-26. This Camillo Paleotti was identified as Archdeacon of Bologna in 1651 (ASNa. 690 [21 Dec. The original building was constructed by Salaroli toward the end of the fifteenth century. was the question of precedenza: which group of students could remain next to the wall. busta 263. 25. Cose Notabili della Città di Bologna. Farn.. culminating in a street brawl and the intervention of the local police to restore order. Camillo Paleotti (d.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 199 of escalating conflicts in the streets of Bologna. busta 263. Farn. On the earlier Camillo Paleotti. as for the successive conflict of 1702 between the same parties. The catalyst for this event. while the piano nobile has an early seventeenth-century frieze by . it still possesses an elegant internal courtyard with sixteenthcentury Signor Camillo Paleotti. 1959). 2 vols. 1670. thus displaying their superiority and forcing their opponents to walk into the middle of the street? The identity of the narrator. today it is a university building. Storia della chiesa di Bologna (Bergamo: Bolis. note 1). fol. Farn. faldone 7. who married Lelia Malaspina in 1621. Pompeo Scipione Dolfi. 26 Ott. 1990).19 In this document he observes that the initial conflict took place on a Tuesday in via Santo Stefano. and served as Bologna’s ambassador to Rome from 1668 to 1675. assumed the job of Governor of the Ancarano College in March 1653 (ASNa. while the principal conflict took place two days later directly outside the windows of his house.. 19 Not to be confused with his eponymous illustrious ancestor Camillo Paleotti (1520-1594). 1678). Arch. fol. 47-50. see Paolo Prodi. 1997). busta 263. offers a chronology of the family. Arch. remain uncertain. who was the elder brother and biographer of Cardinal Bishop Gabrielle Paleotti. p. but says no more about Camillo di Galeazzo than does Guidicini above. 1652]). This Camillo Paleotti does not appear to have taken a degree at the university. The probable narrator is the Marquis Camillo di Galeazzo. was apppointed senator of Bologna in 1628. close to Piazza Verdi. as well as the precise date and location of the event. anastatic repr. perhaps Palazzo Paleotti at the corner of via San Donato (today via Zamboni) and via del Guasto. II. who coincidentally composed for the Ancarano College the “Ordini e ricordi dell’Ill. The narrator was probably the Governor of the Ancarano college. and corresponded vigorously with the Duke in subsequent years.20 The narrator cites eight people by name in his acvided the other with a copy of the manuscript because they were both intrigued by Bolognese history. faldone 9). 569-577. The full text of this account is to be found in Appendix. 698). and Paolo Prodi. Cronologia delle Famiglie Bolognesi (Bologna: GB Ferroni.

See Francisco Giordano. 770. while the archives of the Ancarano college – which include correspondence. Ms. the exhaustive 92-volume chronicle of Bolognese history by A. il Sig. budget records.. 779 [19 Oct. fol. Marioni. Ghiselli. whom I suspect were students of the Ancarano college. 223-233. decrees. Matteo Griffoni (see note 26 below) was sent by Archbishop Giacomo Boncompagni to Parma in 1654 and again in 1660 to resolve an unidentified problem—perhaps to smooth over the strained relations between the Duke of Parma and the Bolognese church as a result of this incident between the seminarians and the Duke’s own students? 23 BUB. pp.200 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH count: three students and a professor from the Ancarano college.F. ASNa. Marioni” should be admitted to the Ancarano college as soon as a place was available. “essendo questo suddito e servitore attuale della sua Serinissima casa” (ASNa. as well as budget records for many years but not the 1650s or 1660s. Memorie Storiche. but his provenance from Brescia makes it unlikely that he was a member of the Ancarano college. Assuming that Marioni enrolled in 1654-1655. Camillo Paleotti was the last member of this family to inhabit the palazzo prior to his death in 1690 and that he had no children.F. the professor is “il Sig. ASNa. Matteo Sagaci. Severo Masetti Modonese. et il medesimo Sig. Dottor Griffoni. e il Sig. A letter of 19 Oct. the archival records of the Sem- Domenico degli Ambrogi and Girolamo Curti (known as il Dentone).” while the administrators of the seminary are “il Sig. and the police officer who intervened to separate the brawling students. Conte Alessandro Ghislieri..” Il Carrobbio 16 (1990). no. “Il Palazzo Paleotti a Bologna: Vicende storiche e costruttive.21 The identity of these persons suggests that the event happened between 1655 and 1659. See the following notes for more precise identification of each individual. assistente della Cattedra del suo Collegio. Farn. 8. busta 263.” The rector of the seminary is “D. the rector of the seminary and two of its senior officials. . Arch. 1654]). A student named Rizzardo Marinoni took a degree in law in January 1659. Innocenzo Passioniei of Fossombrone and Giovanni Carlo Morandi of Piacenza. although there is no record of him taking a degree from Bologna. Morandi”. Passionei. Giordano notes (225) that the Marquis Giuseppe Maria q.” The policeman is Domenico Caporale of the Marches. Arch. includes correspondence between the Dukes of Parma and the Governors of the Ancarano college from 1600-1654 and from 1734-1779. 1654 from Camillo Paleotti to the Duke of Parma confirms the Duke’s desire that a student identified as “Sig. Corrispondenza anni 1653-1654. has no mention of this event between 1654 and 1663. Farn. and so forth for much of the seventeenth and eighteenth century – are frustratingly silent about the period from 1654-1663. Ghiselli does not mention this event.23 As stated earlier. Arch. Griffoni. matriculation lists. 21 The students are “il Sig. maps. he would have been present in the late 1650s. et il Sig. both took degrees in law in March 1659. 22 Matteo Sagaci’s death in 1663 provides the terminus ad quem.22 The Bolognese chronicler A.

2005). As explained in note 23 above. and Iohannes Carolus Morandus (no. Registro delle patenti del Collegio Ancarano. date of admission. including their name. not only because the[ir] college is older but also because of their position. and location of origin.. 7259) of Piacenza. graduated 15 Mar. seminarians] obstinately maintained a false pretension.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 201 inary have not been available for examination. Thus although some question marks remain. even though (according to the narrator) the Ancarano students “legitimately had the right to keep it [the wall]. Qui voluerit in iure promoveri…: I dottori in diritto nello studio di Bologna (1501-1796) (Bologna: Clueb. Arch. When the seminarians returned a few minutes later and again claimed the right to stay along the wall. Encountering the seminarians. Passionei. Farn.. Guerrini lists eight students with variants of the surname but none seem likely to be our student. the college rector saw the distinguished jurist and professor Matteo Griffoni walk- Farn. graduated 29 Mar. fol. the Ancarano students stepped into the street and allowed the seminarians to remain along the wall. and Morandi24) were walking after lunch in the street of Santo Stefano in order to watch a horse race or procession described as la corsa del Palio. Morandi stepped forward. sponsor. 8. 24 Based on Maria Teresa Guerrini. A similar list of admitted students exists for the period from Jan. the students are probably Innocentius Passioneus (no. 827r-831v. 7265) of Fossombrone.e. . 1646 to Sept.”25 Realizing that his college had been slighted.” The Ancarano students immediately returned to their college to relay these events to their rector. 25 See Appendix 1 for the full text of this account. the identity of the student ‘Marioni’ is problematic. and grabbing them by the hand together with his companions he pulled them into the street. fols.. 8bis. The story begins on a Tuesday afternoon when three students of the Ancarano college (identified as Marioni. and thus succeeded in [both] preserving the rights of the college and not allowing themselves to be discredited. having the wall on their right. “seeing that those others [i. Marioni exclaimed to his companions that this had been unfair. While waiting to discuss the matter with the college’s governor at his home. Corrispondenza anni 1653-1654. lists students admitted from 1591 to 1640. 1659 utroque iure. 705r). 1659 utroque iure. the richly-textured narrative still tells a captivating story about seventeenth-century student violence. 1652 (ASNa.

and in Salvatore Muzzi. Griffoni (1614-1677) had been appointed to teach within the Ancarano college in December 1652 by the Duke of Parma. Jr. 1650. pp. nobilis. 301-304 offers a succinct biography and publications list of this important jurist. S. 165 (no. concurrently with his position as Lettore Eminente (Distinguished Reader) at the University of Turin. who graduated from Bologna in canon and civil law in 1634 and received an exemption from the Bolognese Senate in Sept. patritius. no. 27 Ghislieri graduated from Bologna utroque iure on 12 May 1639. reverendus.) Griffoni also worked in the Sacred Rota of Rome and for various cardinals from 1635-1641..G. the rector explained the situation to Griffoni and asked for an opinion about whether the Ancarani had been justified or not in defending their place next to the wall. His well-known ancestor Matteo Griffoni senior composed the Memoriale historicum de rebus bononiensum that described the city’s history from 4448 BC to 1472 AD.” On the following day (Wednesday). concivis. Count Alessandro Ghislieri and Matteo Sagaci. Repertorio di tutti i professori antichi e moderni [.” see ASNa. fol. Griffoni. he also worked as a troubleshooter for the Archbishop of Bologna in the 1650s. 7. Arch. which in 1641 denied his petition for a promotion but in 1647. 367-368. Metropolitane ecclesie canonicus. Fantuzzi.. IV. after listening intently. 8:237. professore di istituzioni legali. 1847). (He may also have received degrees in Philosophy and Theology – the sources disagree about when and whether he did so.” Matteo Sagaci (d.. in Archivio Biografico Italiano (ABI) I:512. For Griffoni’s autograph letter to the Duke of Parma on 21 Dec. S. Griffoni also served as a priest and canon of the cathedral of San Petronio beginning in 1653. As noted previously (note 23). 6302) as “frater illustrissimi et reverendissimi comitis Francisci Ghislerii Rote Romane auditoris. and became the archpriest of San Petronio in 1666. 1846). Tommaso d’Aquino. Saur.. busta 263. he is identified by Guerrini (no.. filosofo.. Annali della città di Bologna dalla sua origine al 1796 (Bologna: Tip. 3rd ed. Tommaso d’Aquino. 1652 and allowed him to keep his cattedra (chair) at the university until 1675. 690. Notizie. sacerdote.27 According to our 26 On Matteo Griffoni. declared his intention to take the matter up with the directors of the Seminary “in order to determine how the situation might be resolved. 1652 confirming his appointment “di leggere alli Signori Alunni dell’insigne suo Collegio Ancarano. 5:1814. Griffoni met with two senior members of the seminary’s administration.202 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH ing by.26 Presumably seeking a sympathetic ear. comes. Furthermore. see Indice Biografico Italiano (Munich: K. precisely the time when he was teaching for the Ancarano college. 1635 so that he could teach at the University despite his youth. Farn. which describes him as “conte. vol... 2002).. and 1652 increased his stipend and ultimately appointed him as Avvocato della Camera on 14 Oct.]di Bologna (Bologna: Tip. in 1652 he was praised by the Bolognese Senate for 27 years of service and for teaching hundreds of Bolognese students.” with more details in Serafino Mazzetti. He had a contentious relationship with his patria. 1671). 1663) was a wealthy canon (1622) .

6]. which I saw.” Portici 4/6 (Dec. see Fantuzzi. 1814). n. and whose name was Severo Masetti of Modena.” and furthermore that he had stationed the students directly outside his own house so that he could watch them from the upstairs window. Suddenly the seminarians arrived. pp. 290. sub voce “S. and Le chiese parrocchiali della diocesi di Bologna (Bologna: Tip. S. On Thursday morning the Ancarano students were again in the street to watch a procession. [but p. and holding it in his hand he whacked Sig. 10-11. On Sagaci’s contribution to the Scuole Pie. on Sagaci’s donation of the Reni painting. The Ancarano student Marioni wasted no time in responding to this assault: and later provost of the basilica of San Petronio (1629). pulled out a white club. doffing their hats as they walked past two-by-two following the priest. p. a request was made to the archbishop’s vicar to initiate a trial and to excommunicate the Ancarano students. “La Madonna che vuole restare con noi.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 203 narrator. Bartolomeo di Porta Ravenna. Courteous discussion ensued. 2000). Tommaso d’Aquino.d. Marioni. n.p. as well as giving a painting of The Virgin and Sleeping Child by Guido Reni to the church of San Bartolomeo di Porta Ravenna. The narrator claims that he “had warned them to be very circumspect and to avoid any possible encounters. and this time it was the seminarians who eventually conceded the wall. Notizie. His intuition that something was amiss seems to have been correct.” .. Sagaci donated money in favor of the Scuole Pie and boys’ education. as usually just one priest accompanied the young men on their outings. see Claudio Santini. VI. It was (always according to our Ancarano narrator) these “secret negotiations” that may have led to the bloodshed of the following morning. for the last priest. vol. who was the Rector of the Seminarians. The narrator noted that it was odd for the seminarians to have both a priest leading the group and another following behind. and insisted that the Ancarano students move aside. as well as the author with Giovanni Andrea Rota of Vita di Suor Pudentiana Zagnoni (1650). as soon as he was near our boys. which suggests that Griffoni was either unsuccessful or that he betrayed the Ancarano college by siding with the seminarians.

and that the policeman then added verbal insults too. the narrator accompanied the college’s rector to visit the Cardinal Legate. as he later testified to me in person. the narrator emphasizes that the policeman. it is possible. once the investigation into the event had been concluded. [Marioni] attempted to defend himself as best he could. he attacked the priest and lightly wounded him in the left shoulder. Forty years later. At this point the police arrived. Marioni was better able to protect himself. a similar conflict erupted between the same two parties. 1658) or Girolamo Farnese (Jun. seems to have deliberately refused the student’s request in order to humiliate him. Morandi and Passionei graduated in March 1659. 1658 to Jan. Domenico Caporale. using a small dagger that was quickly tossed to him by his companion.204 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH Finding himself unexpectedly under attack. though unlikely. to find that the second Ancarano student had joined the fray and had hurled the seminary rector to the ground in order to wrest the club from his hands.28 from whom he extracted a promise that the prisoner Morandi would soon be freed. but not in time to have Morandi transferred in a carriage. as would have been more befitting for a student of his stature. that the wound sustained by Marioni might have led to his failure to receive his degree. Indeed. “both to provide medical treatment to the boy who had been injured by a blow from the club and to see them both safely home. . Sadly we do not know the outcome of this case. Now that Sig. The narrator by this time had descended to the front door of the house. 1652 to Jun. but there are no explicit references to the earlier fra- 28 Either Girolamo Lomellini (Aug. Nor do we know whether the archbishop’s vicar or the cardinal legate took further action against any of the students. Despite his frequent entreaties to shed his collegiate robes – presumably to disguise his identity as a member of the college and to protect the institution’s reputation – he was not allowed to do so. The police captured Morandi and transferred him to prison. Instead the narrator busied himself transferring Marioni and Passionei to the college’s residence. 1662).” With the immediate crisis resolved.

’) busta 7. 1703).29 Unlike the fight in the 1650s. Other extant documents make clear that conflict had been brewing for some time between the two sides. those other sources (explained below) provide rich detail about the political.p. An eyewitness account from these Ancarano students provides vivid (albeit one-sided) details of that encounter. fasc. ‘Collegio Ancarano’. (9 Feb.” . only vague implications about previous hostilities. 9 February 1703. and philosophical aspects of this conflict over precedenza. When a standoff ensued. with each side unwilling to give way. they were returning toward their college on via dei Malcontenti on Friday morning. and thus they wished to bury any remembrance of it. as if preparing to assault 29 ASPr. which once again focused on the question of precedenza.” The five students who signed this narrative were Pietro Grisolago Lazari. The 1702-1703 conflict In early February 1703 a heated argument broke out in the street between five members of the Ancarano College and nearly thirty seminarians. “La sincera e pura notizia del accidente occorso fra noi Ancarani et i Seminaristi. Given that the Ancarano regularly recorded such precedents resulting from fights with other colleges. judicial. their faces feverish and threatening. Tomaso Scuozi. just across from the church of Sant’Andrea dei Penitenzieri. Perhaps the outcome was viewed by the Ancarano college as shameful. this later argument never descended into fisticuffs but instead remained at the level of verbal sparring. and Giovanni Battista Grainelli. it seems odd that this fracas in the late 1650s should have escaped its collective memory two generations later. Fondo Istruzione Pubblica Farnesiana (1451-1787) (hereafter ‘Arch. ten or twelve of the biggest seminarians immediately stepped forward.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 205 cas. Saverio Nicola Paiselli. when they unexpectedly encountered a large group from the Seminary. “capitano del Collegio. and each invited the other with exaggerated courtesy to step into the street. According to the eyewitness account penned by the Ancarano students. Bartolomeo Bonzetti. Farn. Both sides pressed themselves against the wall. n.

1703): “Cediamo la mano rispetto di questo Prete. both sides withdrew to their respective houses. riservandosi a miglior tempo e più opportuno il diffendere le nostre raggioni. busta 7.32 Carminati instructed the seminarians to cede passage to the Ancarano students.. Collegio Ancarano (13 Feb. ‘Collegio Ancarano’ (9 Feb. che non indicavano che pensieri insolenti [violenti? intenti?] a qualche attione ben prima premeditata. threatened the Ancarano students.30 Claiming that they were both outnumbered and taken by surprise. the seminarians would learn a bitter lesson the next time that the groups met. without further altercation. but not before one of the seminarians yelled out “We shall give way out of respect for this priest. but not out of respect for you!”33 In a manner reminiscent of juvenile playground quarrels. non al riguardo vostro!” . fasc. Arch. while still “reserving the right to defend our proper rights at a more opportune time and place. Arch. 30 ASPr. Arch. presumably by alternate routes. Arch. the confessor of Archbishop Boncompagni. busta 7.. the Ancarano students responded that the disdain felt by the seminarians toward the Ancarano students could not begin to compare with that felt by the Ancarano students toward the seminarians. Farn. tenendo farsi avanti sotto la veste qualche Arma. Collegio Ancarano (9 Feb. the Ancarano students were planning to retreat.. which clearly indicated their premeditated intention to do us harm.”31 At that moment there appeared the Barnabite Paolo Carminati. busta 7. they were hiding weapons under their cloaks. which they did. già pensavamo tornar a dietro. 1703): “vedendo detti Seminaristi che noi altri non cedevamo punto. Furthermore.” 32 ASPr. Farn. per non metterci in compromessa di qualche stravaganza. letter from Angelo Porto to Duke of Parma. al numero ben di dieci o dodici con faccie alterati e minaccianti. 33 ASPr. fasc. After several more verbal exchanges and threats of future retaliation. for the college would not always have so few members present.” 31 ASPr.206 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH us. busta 7. and a man described as uomo degnissimo (most worthy man) by his fellow cleric Angelo Porto. fasc. 1703): “sorpresi noi da prepotenza et avantaggio. sbalzarano avanti subito li più grandi. come per farci violenza. fasc. 1703). e far certi atti. as was obvious from the fact that each of them kept their hands moving under their cloaks. ‘Collegio Ancarano’ (9 Feb. che chiaramente potè comprendersi dal vedere prontamente ciascuno cacciar le mani sotto la veste. Farn. Farn.

desiderando io di amichevolmente vi si dia l’opportuno rimedio. The conflict of the late 1650s had engendered suspicion and enmity between the two groups.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 207 As noted previously. confi- . che loro compette.” Felini represented the Duke of Parma as chargè d’affaires in Rome at this time. prima di procedere ad alcun atto. che dovessero desistere. fasc. Archbishop Giacomo Boncompagni had written to an agent of the Duke of Parma.34 In December 1702.36 34 See Rosaria Greco Grassilli. 35 ASPr. an event which stirred up further hostility between the residents of Bologna and the students from Parma. Arch. non desistendo quando gli incontrano per le strade di dargli tal volta degli urtoni e di togliergli arditamente la mano. “Una dama bolognese del XVII secolo: Cristina Dudley di Northumberland Paleotti. Count Francesco Felini.. and they [the Ancarani] refuse to stop shoving these clerics or to allow them to pass freely. 19-20 (1993-94). nevertheless in light of the fact that they are under the protection of your most Serene Highness of Parma. nondimeno sul riguardo che stanno sotto la protezione del Serenissimo di Parma. busta 7. Farn. Arch. busta 7. bad blood had existed between these two institutions for some time. Collegio Ancarano (20 Dec. pp. Then on 5 September 1662 Count Suzi of Parma ordered an assassination attempt upon the Bolognese Marquis Andrea Paleotti and his family. 1702): “Questi collegiali del Collegio Ancarano è un tempo che vanno perturbando ai chierici collegiali di questo mio seminario quella precedenza. I resolved to notify your Excellency… in the expectation that your great zeal and notable piety will be sufficient to turn your mind to take those steps necessary so that these boys cease their pretensions. Collegio Ancarano (20 Dec. Farn. 36 ASPr. and desiring that you be advised in a friendly way to take the appropriate steps before I proceed to any further action.. 185-186. 1702): “Benchè io con i dettami delle facoltà proprie potessi ordinare a medesimi. in order to warn the Duke quite explicitly that “these students of the Ancarano College have for some time been pestering the clerics of my seminary about the precedence which they claim [to possess].”35 The Archbishop noted that he had the authority to intervene.” Il Carrobbio. fasc. ho risoluto significarlo a V[ostra] S[ignoria] affinchè Ella mi usi l’amorevolezza di renderne riverentemente partecipe di I[llustre] S[ignore]. but he preferred the Duke to do so with his own charges: Although the laws permit me to order these boys to desist.

(4) as an integral part of the body of Bolognese clergy. Pietro D’Ancarano).. busta 7. the seminary should enjoy all the privileges associated with that clerical status. Arch. The essential points included the following: (1) A college operating under ecclesiastical authority (i.e. and typically the easiest to establish through reference to a testament or other attestation of the college’s founding. Farn.. Farn. fasc. founded by the bishop) should always precede a college founded by a lay person or private entity (i. these arguments resemble those proffered by other colleges in order to establish superiority over rival institutions. 2r): “l’anzianità sola è quella che suol attendersi in materia di precedenza. perche essi desistano una volta dalla loro [f. fol. 1702).” 37 ASPr. e la singulare pietà della medesima sarà per piegare l’animo a fare quei passi che convengono. (3) the seminary should enjoy priority because it had been founded first. 1v] pretenzione. whereas the Ancarano only became a regular college in 1592 when it adopted the insignia of the Duke.. Arch.208 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH The Archbishop’s expression of concern was prescient. Collegio Ancarano [hereafter ‘Informazione’]. (5) the seminary had always enjoyed precedence over the Ancarano college. busta 7.e. entitled “Informazione delle ragioni che assistono al Collegio Ancarano per la precedenza sopra il Semminario” (ASPr. the Archbishop included a list of reasons why the seminary should enjoy precedence over the Ancarano college.38 The eminence of dando che il sommo zelo. 38 As the Ancarano college put it in their response authored by Bartolomeo Manzoli. fasc. early February 1703) the sides were once again at loggerheads. In order to clarify his position further. in 1567..” . Collegio Ancarano (20 Dec. for within six weeks (i. The claim of seniority (anzianità) was the most powerful.37 In broad strokes. (2) the objectives of the seminary were “more noble and worthy” (più nobile e degno) because the seminarians would go on to serve God and to take care of souls in a way that had both temporal and spiritual benefits. whereas the lay college graduates would contribute little of significance.e.

if one could cite a court case or a legal opinion in support of one’s position. care. The age-old question of whether lay or ecclesiastical status was superior is also evident in this debate as the two sides quarreled about the purpose(s) of their respective institutions. fasc.” Such an aspect was open to definition and interpretation in a variety of different ways. Farn. the Ancarano college did not take long to respond to the gauntlet thrown down by the Bolognese Archbishop. 1703). busta 18. Legal precedent was important too. Additional factors – such as distinguished alumni. On 8 February 1703 – ironically the day before the conflict occurred – the Ancarano college compiled its own list of reasons to rebut the arguments of the seminary.” 41 ASPr. particularly if he were a pope or powerful cardinal. large estates. The possession of certain privileges. was another way to determine the prestige of individual colleges. In eight double-sided pages. 67r-82r (1673-1674). that often carried substantial weight. and to its “protection. Privilegia. Perhaps the most nebulous characteristic.40 Manzoli’s brief is still impressive. Collegio Ancarano (8 Feb.39 Although not as extensive as the list of seventy-seven razones (reasons) prepared by the Spanish College (Collegio di Spagna) in its dispute with the Montalto college in 1672. His cover letter of the same date notes that he had drawn from the scritture antiche (old documents) preserved in the College’s own archive in order to assemble his justifications. 40 BARCS. an impressive building. Bartolomeo Manzoli laid out for the Duke of Parma various rationales that supported the Ancarano’s claim to superiority. In this case of 1703.41 Manzoli’s “Informazione” opens with two paragraphs devoted to the founding of the college in the fifteenth century by Pietro D’Ancarano. which we shall encounter shortly.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 209 the founder was another important factor. Arch. letter from Manzoli to Duke Francesco Farnese of Parma. busta 7. . and governance” by the 39 See previous note. was the issue of a college’s “quality. “Razones que assisten al Colegio…para la Precidentia que tienen al Colegio de los Montaltos.. such as exemption from taxes or from civil jurisdiction. fols. stiff admission requirements – might also come into play when attempting to establish priority and precedenza.

always claimed and justly maintained to hold precedence not only over the seminary but also with regard to all other colleges in Bologna.210 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH gloriossima (most famous) Farnese dynasty in Parma. Manzoli cited a number of external examples to buttress his case too. Arch. including several pointed remarks about the inferior quality of the seminary. Clearly he had a copy of the Archbishop’s letter of 20 December in front of him.’ fol. Farn.” Archbishop Boncompagni had disingenuously claimed that until 1592 the Ancarano was only a boarding house rather than a full college. “the great prerogative of seniority enjoyed by the Ancarano college for more than a century over the seminary. 2r: “anzi. the Ancarano College could still claim superiority over the Seminary. including other collegiate conflicts over precedence and parallel examples from the Roman Rota.”43 Other examples were included to show that the principle 42 ASPr.”42 The Archbishop’s assertions were “unfounded” (insussistente) and “fallacious” (un fallace supposto). for he repeatedly made reference to the Archbishop’s prior assertions even as he dismissed them. ha preteso et ha giustamente sostenuto di precedere non solo al Seminario. for everyone recognized that the Ancarano college had existed far longer than the Seminary. 2v: “si sa pubblica e notoria- mente che il Collegio Ancarano ancor col mezo di liti dispendiose. “on the strength of this claim alone and in the absence of any other reason at all. Indeed. in virtù di questo possesso potrebbe il Collegio Ancarano . but argued that the Ancarano had always been a full college: “It is well-known that the Ancarano college has. ma a gli altri Collegi ancora di Bologna. at significant expense.” 43 Ivi. fol. ‘Informazione. busta 7. Manzoli admitted that the Duke had added his crest to the students’ robe in order to lend it greater prestige. He went on to explain at considerable length the other reasons for which the Ancarano should exercise precedence. Thus Manzoli sought to establish from the outset that the Ancarano college clearly enjoyed both seniority and greater eminence in its founders. The strongest argument in the Ancarano’s favor was. said Manzoli. in Manzoli’s words. he continued.. basing his allegation on the fact that only in 1592 did the Ancarano students begin to wear a collegiate robe with the symbol of the Duke of Parma.

but across the board. Manzoli observed that even within the Sacred Rota of Rome.” 45 Ivi. Anzi. 2v. 2r-2v: “Per havere poi dato il Sacro Concilio di Trento la facoltà ai Vescovi d’errigere un Seminario in servizio della Chiesa. 4v: “et in Roma stessa nella Rota li vescovi sedono nel suo luogo secondo l’anzianità del Vescovato e non secondo la loro dignità.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 211 of seniority was valid not just in this particular case.45 Secondly. non ha però loro data alcuna facoltà e privileggio di pregiudicare nella precedenza a gli altri Collegi prima fondati.”44 Manzoli was quite right that the Ancarano college pre-dated the seminary by nearly two centuries. noted Manzoli. and thereafter the Ancarano college enjoyed status equivalent to any pontifical college.” 44 Ivi. et nell’essercizio delle Virtù Christiane. modest. “the bishops sit according to the seniority of their bishopric and not according to their individual dignity. 46 Ivi. quando il Sig. Manzoli concluded that the intent of the Church had never been to garnish seminarians with special privileges or powers because these were antithetical to their avowed purpose in life. ha voluto precisamente tenerli lontani da ogni desiderio d’honor secolare e mondano. The Archbishop had commenced his argument by pointing out that episcopal or ecclesiastical authority should always trump that of a private or lay entity.46 Furthermore. Paul III) immediately prior to the Council of Trent. i giovani che v’entrarono furono chiamati ‘Poveri di Christo’. et appunto. per instradarli nel vero culto di Dio. essendo stato di sua mente. For example. 2v] poveri. although it was true that the Council of Trent had granted certain privileges to bishops who wished to found a seminary. Manzoli pointed out that such privileges “were only to be quando li mancasse ogni altra ragione pretendere la precedenza sopra il Seminario. when Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti had created the seminary in Bologna he had expressly referred to the seminarians as the “Poor of Christ” (Poveri di Christo). He noted that the Ancarano college had been approved by two popes (Julius II. there was nothing in that decree that suggested the seminaries would be superior to pre-existing colleges. and obedient. He used the same logic to reject the Archbishop’s contention that seminarians should enjoy any and all privileges associated with the clergy. fol. fol. and ordered them to remain humble.” . fols. che tali Seminarij servino ad educare un certo numero di fanciulli [f. Manzoli dismissed this argument in several ways. Cardinale Palleoti fondò il Seminario di Bologna.

è egli privo di quelle qualità che constituiscono l’essere di Collegio. fols. Manzoli cleverly cited a passage from Proverbs 8:15 – per me reges regnant et leges conditores iusta decernunt – to demonstrate that “the purpose of the Ancarano College is to nourish these modest and untitled young men in such a way that they learn the law and thus are able to implement and ensure that justice which is so necessary for the temporal and spiritual well-being of a Christian Republic. thus. and therefore cannot call itself anything more than a dormitory even if the Council of Trent had defined it as a college. perche imparino le leggi e s’abilitino alla retta amministrazione della giustizia tanto necessaria al sostentamento temporale e spirituale della Cristiana Repubblica. and that students had to pay fees even for those services. cioè della qualità.” 49 Ivi.212 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH respected when they are wearing their robes and actually engaged in Church services.” . fol. e non trovandosi nel Seminario che quella d’alimentar molti giovani. anzi di ricevere dal maggior parte dei medesimi la dozena [dozzina]. The Archbishop had claimed that the objectives of the seminary were more worthy than the insignificant goals of the Ancarano college.”48 Manzoli turned next to the issue that he defined as the “quality” of the respective institutions. non dà loro maggior ragione o prerogativa in disputa di precedenza fissi della Chiesa con i Collegiali Secolari. fol. il fine del Collegio Ancarano s’è d’alimentare in esso giovani di condizione assai civile e sino titolati. he concluded. 4v: “Se il fine dell’errezione dei Seminarij è stato di giovare alla Cristiana Repubblica col far instruire nei medesimi poveri fanciulli perche imparino l’opere pie.”49 47 Ivi.” 48 Ivi. essendo solo da rispetarsi in loro tal qualità quando sono con la Cotta nell’attual essercito e funzione della Chiesa. He claimed that the Seminary did little more than offer room and board to its students. e l’abilitino alla retta amministrazione delle chiese.”47 The avowed purpose of the college and of the seminary was also a point of contention. 2v: “Il volere considerare i Seminaristi per parte del corpo e gremio del Clero. o quando sono con il resto del Corpo del Clero. come si legge nei Proverbi – per me reges regnant et leges conditores iusta decernunt [‘By me kings rule and rulers make laws that are just’] – Onde non si può inferire che il fine dell’instituzione del Collegio Ancarano sii inferiore a quello del Seminario. “it is lacking those qualities that constitute the essence of being a college. e perciò non può nominarsi al più che convittoria benchè dal Sacro Consilio sii stato denominato Collegio. 3r-3v: “Onde passando all’esame dell’altra conditione. or when they are together with the entire body of the clergy.

e quando anche lo fossero non hanno già l’esercitio nella Chiesa per ragione dell’ordine. he argued. he points out that the rector of the Ancarano college was permitted to graduate without defending a set of puncti (theses) as a sign of the esteem in which he was held. on the other hand. a sense of exclusivity and social prominence that set the Ancarano students apart. 5v: “quando il Rettore del Collegio Ancarano s’addottora (come s’addotorano la maggior parte de suoi collegiali. “a lay judge… precedes an ecclesiastical judge” just as within the Studio of Bologna it was an established and respected tradition that “inside the College of Doctors and inside the University the lay professors precede the priestly professors and canons by virtue of the seniority of their doctoral 50 Ivi. Elsewhere in his treatise. the Ancarano college possessed all the signs of an established and significant college: namely. fol. molti dei quali si vedono per uscire dal Seminario senza progredire negl’ordini ecclesiastici.”50 Manzoli further denigrated the quality of the clerics by observing that many of them left the seminary without ever progressing to take orders. quanto che non sono neanche tonsurati.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 213 In contrast. he pointed out the principle that lay dignitaries generally preceded their ecclesiastical counterparts. he said.51 External examples of precedenza were an important component of Manzoli’s arsenal too.” 51 Ivi. e tanto meno se ne deve far caso. alcuni dei quali si vedono uscire di Seminario et andar per fattori nelle botteghe della Città) non gli vien replicato a gli argomenti dei dottori ma gli fanno subito la scarpazata. Thus. [because] many of them when they leave the seminary they go to work as clerks in the stores of the city. nella guisa appunto che si vedono tanti servire alle Chiese et ad altri usi della chiesa che non sono veramente chierici. and it required proof of citizenship from applicants’ families as a condition of admission. e tutta via s’addimandano latamente chierici. “this is not something that the seminarians can do. it had a rector and officials appropriate for the number of collegiali (student members) enrolled.” . for example. In defending the primacy of the secular Ancarano college against the seminary. and that most of the Ancarani also finished their degrees. il che non fanno i Seminaristi. It becomes clear from Manzoli’s narrative here that he was describing. at least in part. fol. and even more were not tonsured or claimed to be clerics in name only. it did not charge fees to its students. 3v: “Da ciò ancora si vede che non deve farsi caso della qualità clericale dei Seminaristi. ma per semplice servitù.

this group of eminent men was convened by Pope Clement X to hash out a solution that would apply to all colleges. se si trovassero nello Studio come scolari. In the spring of 1672. che sii posteriore. He notes that in 1674.” Loc. cit.”55 Manzoli gleefully points out that while the Ancarano. and even if some were absent [the Congregation] would move ahead with its decision. fol. 4r: “Il giudice laico anteriore di tempo precede al Giudice Ecclesiastico. Manzoli initially points out that the specific solution in this case favored the Spanish college. however. “all the colleges of the city were required to appear before the aforementioned Congregation in order to explain their respective claims and justifications for having precedence [over the others].” 53 Ivi. ove nel Collegio dei Dottori e nello Studio Pubblico i Dottori laici precedono ai Dottori sacerdoti e canonici per ragione dell’anzianità del dottorato. fol. the Seminary 52 Ivi.: “E più di tutti corrobora ciò la consuetudine particolare et inveterata di Bologna. Santità. Montalto. Bonacccorso Buonaccorsi (16161678). by order of the Cardinal Legate of Bologna. following a particularly contentious debate between the Montalto college and the Spanish college over precedenza.”52 Manzoli also cited it as the common opinion of learned men that “if the bishops themselves were students then they could not claim the precedence that comes with the dignity [of their office] so long as they remain students.”53 Perhaps the most devastating argument that Manzoli included in his treatise. fol. fol. 55 Ivi. 6v: “Dell’anno per tanto 1674 per ordine del Sig. et a dedure e rapresentare alla medesma le loro ragioni e pretensioni per la precedenza perche altrimenti non ostante la loro contumacia si sarebbe proceduto alla decision delle differenze. and thus served as yet another example of a lay institution being recognized ahead of an equivalent ecclesiastical institution. Manzoli returns to the actions of the congregation of cardinals. Cardinale Bonaccorsi Legato di Bologna attesane la commissione havutane da S. furono citati tutti li Collegi di questa città a comparire accanto la sudetta Congregazione. 4r: “Anzi i Dottori dicono che se gl’istessi Vescovi fossero scolari non potrebbero pretendere la precedenza dovuta alla loro dignità. and Hungarian-Illyrian colleges showed up to defend their respective privileges. pertained to the proceedings of a gathering of church cardinals in 1673.” .214 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH degrees. 4v.” 54 Ivi.54 Toward the end of his discourse.

56 On the other hand. 56 ASPr. fol. Farn. Collegio Ancarano. busta 7. Porto summarized the story briefly for the Duke and emphasized how the seminarians had had to back down per the command of Paolo Carminati.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 215 could not even muster the necessary courage or arguments to show up. Manzoli’s detailed and effective narrative would surely have carried weight with any reader. Arch. Porto goes on to say that he had just drafted a preliminary agreement to avoid repetition of such unpleasant events. in commanding that each side must stay close to the wall on their right-hand side. or even to defend themselves against the increasingly secular and anti-clerical society that surrounded them. Unfortunately we have no extant record to attest to the outcome of this debate. from Angelo Porto to the Duke of Parma. and his declaration that the seminarians’ actions were a “presumptuous affront” (premurosa insinuazione) that must be rebuffed immediately was simply a reformulation of the college’s own perspective. 1 (13 Feb. Porto is far from an objective source. fasc. and that he had already obtained tentative agreement from Paolo Carminati and another cardinal on behalf of the Bolognese seminary. Porto’s draft largely echoes the decision of the Congregation of Cardinals three decades earlier. the circumstantial evidence suggests that the Ancarano college prevailed. . One could argue that the seminarians withdrew from such arguments in order to focus upon their own education and prayer.. The only subsequent document of which I am aware is a letter dated 13 February 1703. 1703). but it is equally plausible that such a stinging defeat caused them to renounce any further attempts to bait other colleges or to assert their primacy. Porto’s letter implies that the Ancarano college had emerged as a victor in this conflict. Writing just several days after the conflict described above. Nevertheless. Although arguments about precedenza continued into the eighteenth century. the seminary was not often involved. As an agent of the Duke.

and early eighteenth-century Bologna demonstrates that violence – both verbal and physical – was a relatively common phenomenon among university students. More specifically. Given the potent combination of international students. this close examination of the scuffles between the Ancarano college and the episcopal seminary can illuminate the social and institutional histories of each group as well as help to shed light on the civic and ecclesiastical realities of the city. and fierce pride that existed in Bologna and in other university towns. and the concomitant failure of civic and university institutions to regulate such disagreements. and of the important role that honor and masculinity played in early modern Italian culture. a tendency toward violence is not particularly surprising.216 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH Conclusion This pair of case studies of collegiate conflict in seventeenth. . it aids our understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of conflict over precedenza. male testosterone. Nevertheless.

e che però haverebbe veduto quello che sopra ciò havesse potuto risolvere. che si accostasse l’hora opportuna di trovarmi in casa per darmene parte. Pastionei. o a ragione havessero gl’Ancarani preteso il muro da Seminaristi. Ms. e vedendo che quelli ostinatamente stavano su una falsa pretensione. 18 (= pp. et di non lasciarsi far torto. ecco li Seminaristi dall’altra parte dove pure erano passati li nostri per vedere il rimanente del corso. I have followed BCAg Ms.B. non solo per ragione di anzianità di Collegio. cioè il Sig. Miscellanea storica bolognese. no author. mentre la mano era per anco delli nostri [f. che fu il mercoledì.” No date. Griffoni. no. di dove poi li riuscì l’intento di conservare il Ius al Collegio. “Essendo andati martedì doppo pranzo li Sig. Stefano. 128-132). come anche per dimandarli parere. dove fu trattato questo negozio gravemente. BCAg. Il Sig.“CACCIÒ FUORI UN BASTONE BIANCO” 217 APPENDIX N. 129]. A questo effetto fu fatta la Congregazione il giorno seguente. Griffoni doppo havere inteso il tutto. e il Sig. Dottor Griffoni assistente della Cattedra del suo Collegio. Scolari del Collegio Ancarano. Hor[a] mentre stavano discorrendo il negozio. che doppo il fatto se ne avidde fece instanza all duoi suoi compagni. ecco che vidde passare il Sig. e pur di nuovo pretenderlo. Il Sig. Marioni. che in quel giorno si faceva nella strada chiamata di S. che questo era in pregiudizio proprio del Collegio. ritirarsi al muro. il Sig. et il Sig. ma ancora di sua natura. con far instanza a Monsig. si dichiarò esser de superiori del detto Seminario. 29 cm. h x 20 cm w. 3629. “Informazione del succeduto fra li signori scolari del Collegio Ancarano e li Seminaristi. pigliandoli per la mano con i compagni gli ritirò nella strada. incontrarono il Seminario. e questo non so se a suggestione [f. che sono il Sig. 130] dei superiori del Seminario. et il medesimo Sig. havendo la man destra. when discrepancies have arisen. A questo espose il fatto sì per farlo partecipe di quanto era successo a scolari. Per note 18 in the text above. Morandi per vedere la corsa del Palio. Marioni. quale levò il muro a questi che legittimamente il possedevano. o pure dei medi- . Vicario che ne facesse fare il Processo. Il Sig. et ne scommunicasse li scolari. Doppo questo fatto si ritirarono a casa. mentre stava aspettando. la dove trovato il Rettore le diedero parte del seguito. Questo. se a torto. two virtually identical versions of this text exist. Matteo Sagaci. Morandi fecesi avanti. 3629. Conte Alessandro Ghislieri.

cosa insolita a farsi. In questa maniera passarono gli trattati segreti. Marione e Pastionei. in tal maniera. ma non potei arrivare a tempo. subito che fu vicino a nostri cacciò fuori un bastone bianco. ma l’ultimo prete [f. Vedendosi il Sig. quando ecco li Seminaristi arrivar d’improviso. come havevo determinato. onde loro si erano ritirati sotto le sudette mie finestre. quale come ho detto passava avanti la mia casa. Si[c]che passò il primo Prete et il Seminario cortesemente. A questo rumore accorsero li sbirri. perche erano già partiti li sbirri. Allora questo vedutosi d’improviso assalito procurò di diffendersi alla meglio che potè. che era avanti un Prete [ed] un’altro doppo. 131]. quali vedendo il Sig. Stavano li scolari d’Ancarano sotto le mie finestre osservando la Processione. doppo che andai con il Rettore dal Cardinal Legato. sicche non potei mandare il Sig. e liquidata la causa. et arrivò una bastonata al Sig. che in quel [momento] mentre haveva gettato a terra il prete. sì per far medicar quello che era percosso sopra un braccio d’una bastonata. quale (da quello si può comprendere) usò questo termine per fare ingiuria. subito che sarà formato il Processo. Marioni in maggior possa di diffendersi assalì il Prete. Tanto feci. Morandi. che si chiama D. Marioni. e si affaticava per levargli il bastone. e le diade leggermente una ferita nella spalla sinistra. perche le havevo ordinato che andassero circonspetti. dalle quali stavo io osservando la medesima processione. e lo condussero [in] Prigione. quando che prestamente le fu somministrato uno stile da un suo amico. onde m’applicai per allora a condurre a casa li Sig. da quali poi derivò l’effettivo accidente il giovedì mattina. come per condurli ambidoi [ambedue] salvi in Collegio. al quale esposi il fatto.” . lo presero. quale io viddi. e vedessero di sfuggire ogni incontro. Furono fatte diverse repliche. che promise di darmi fra breve tempo libero il Prigione. et in mezzo il Seminario. Morandi in carozza. dopo le quali cederono il luogo li Seminaristi. che è il Rettore di quelle. anzi l’ingiuriò con parole. e passarono a duoi a duoi. Severo Masetti Modonese. ciò non le fu conceduto da Domenico Caporale Marcheggiano. e per quanta instanza posè egli fare di cavarsi la veste collegiale. Vedendo il fatto andai abbasso. cavandosi tutti il Cappello. e pretendere che questi si ritirassero dal muro per farle lucco [luogo] da passare. che teneva legato alla mano. Devo però anteporre. essendo ordinario.218 CHRISTOPHER CARLSMITH simi Seminaristi. che così a me ha testificato [testified] di propria bocca. che un solo Prete accompagni quelli giovini [sic]. quali legittimamente posso chiamar cortesi.



by Gérard Delille and Aurora Savelli. 2 Unfortunately there are no recent studies on the Repubblica Ambrosiana. Ricerche storiche. “Un popolo di lunga durata. drew attention to what Ascheri defined as “un popolo di lunga durata”. in those cities in the north of the peninsula that had been ruled by a Signore since an early stage. .” in Essere popolo. 32 (2002). “Uno sguardo a ritroso. the late survival of popular and communal heritage both in those communes which remained republican for a long period in central Italy and.1 The aim of this article is to highlight how. usually known as the Repubblica Ambrosiana. pp. 163-172. pp. on the topic of “Being a People: Prerogatives and Rituals of Belonging in Italian Cities of the Old Regime.Paolo Grillo (Università degli Studi di Milano) THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN. ed. Probably the most famous phase was in 1447: the short but highly relevant experience of the restoration of the independent commune. Banca e politica a Milano a metà Quattrocento (Rome: Viella. Mario Ascheri.”in Ivi. 63-94 and the bibliography cited there. in other words. through the lens of revolts.2 In my 1 Giorgio Chittolini. pp. 173-185. Prerogative e rituali di appartenenza nelle città di antico regime. 2010). For path-breaking perspectives see Beatrice Del Bo. though less visibly. REVOLTS AGAINST THE VISCONTI IN THE FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES In a 2002 monographic issue of Ricerche storiche.” Giorgio Chittolini and Mario Ascheri. it is possible to detect the “longue durée” of Milanese communal life that managed to preserve its own memory and a relevant ability to act effectively even after decades of Visconti domination. in two contributions unfortunately underrated in later studies.

mainly focusing on one of the episodes in Milan’s history that has been most neglected by historians: the peculiar institutional structure resulting from the great popular revolts of 1402-1403 that followed Giangaleazzo Visconti’s death. as I would like 3 See Francesco Cognasso.222 PAOLO GRILLO view this experience was not at all an anachronistic. “L’unificazione della Lombardia sotto Milano. Francesco Cognasso – surely also because of his conservative political positions – always looked down on popular initiatives. Popular revolts in Milan in the fourteenth century Milanese popular revolts have not received much attention in the literature. led to the breach of the pact of legitimacy thanks to which the Visconti had previously always governed according to the authority which their subjugated cities – first of all Milan – had recognized as theirs. The majority of later scholars aligned themselves with this position. La signoria dei Visconti (1310-1392) (Milan: Fondazione Treccani degli .4 From this perspective.5 In reality.” in Comuni e signorie nell’Italia settentrionale: la Lombardia (Turin: Utet. pp. 1998). later exploited or maneuvered by one of the factions of the political élite. Il ducato visconteo e la Repubblica Ambrosiana (1392-1450) (Milan: Fondazione Treccani degli Alfieri per la Storia di Milano. VI. 5 Francesco Cognasso. which used to manipulate the city and were active at the Visconti court. vol. 681-786 and p. “La Repubblica di S. V. the proclamation of the Duchy. judging them to be usually irrational explosions. dinamiche politiche e strutture istituzionali dello Stato visconteo-sforzesco. Ambrogio.” in Storia di Milano.” in Storia di Milano. which Cognasso presented in his impressive contributions to the prestigious Storia di Milano published by the Fondazione Treccani degli Alfieri. In particular. 387-448. pp. unrealistic attempt to restore an “archeological” buried past – as many recent and less recent historians3 have judged it to be – but the climax of a long-lasting claim on the part of the Milanese commune to autonomy. 720. In fact. in 1395. 1955). 4 Francesco Somaini. “Processi costitutivi. vol. I would like to dwell in particular on the first half of the fifteenth century.

“L’unificazione della Lombardia. Il dominio di Milano fra XIII e XV secolo. vol. Idem. VI. 1993). the great revolts that shook the city in this period (there were of course also a number of minor uprisings and small riots. vol.’ Una sommossa popolare in difesa del rito ambrosiano a metà del XV secolo. pp. since many Alfieri per la Storia di Milano.” in Rivolte urbane e rivolte contadine nell’Europa del Trecento. pp. vol. even during the signorial regime. “Il ducato visconteo da Gian Galeazzo a Filippo Maria. Un confronto. came to an end. as is well known. pp. 197-216. 451-544. “Rivolte antiviscontee a Milano e nelle campagne fra XIII e XIV secolo. It had been definitely spurred on by the della Torre family. Laura De Angelis Cappabianca. above all. V. ed. pp. managed to preserve room for action and political self-organization. pp. instead of preserving the communal structure by fostering a real reconciliation between the opponents.” in Storia di Milano.” in Storia di Milano. 2008). notes 43-45 and corresponding paragraphs. by Monique Bourin. aimed to suffocate civic autonomy by imposing appointed vicars. by Luisa Chiappa Mauri. 3-567. soon placed under the cumbersome stewardship of Guido della Torre. culminated in the overthrow of Matteo Visconti. but it surely also involved the popolo organization.9 When it was clear that the emperor. 8 Paolo Grillo. with the arrival of Henry VII in Italy. Idem. ‘“Donec habuero lignam ego vollo procurare pro offitio Sancti Ambrosii. VI. in 1311. 443-464. or gate districts.” in L’età dei Visconti.8 The communal restoration of 1302. thanks to the across-the-board involvement of the popolo.THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN 223 to illustrate here. 6 For example. Giovanni Cherubini. the 1302 revolt that. ed.7 In one of my previous articles I studied. “Istituzioni comunali e signorili di Milano sotto i Visconti.” in Storia di Milano. who in 1310 entered Milan and set himself up as a peacemaker in the dispute between the Torriani and Visconti followers. 7 See below. a new revolt burst out. and Giuliano Pinto (Florence: Firenze University Press. 9 Cognasso. and Patrizia Maionini (Milan: La storia editore. 1955). related to incidental events)6 were rooted in the opposition to acts perceived as extremely subversive of the rights of the Milanese commune by those families deeply bound to the communal tradition and. through territorial organizations such as the vicinie. 3248. The popolo. 3-385. see Cristina Belloni. pp. by the people of Milan. from this perspective. . who had attempted to make the office of Capitano del Popolo hereditary by sharing it with his son Galeazzo.

pp. people who had to flee from the city following Guido della Torre in his escape. who had joined the revolt. pp. 89-116. with the city in the end losing control of the northern part of the contado. who created the conditions for the final consolidation of Visconti power over Milan and its extension to the majority of the nearby cities. pp. 12 See now Federica Cengarle. The uprising was then put down by the sword. “La signoria di Azzone Visconti tra prassi.13 An explanation of the long. “Rivolte antiviscontee. retorica e iconografia (1329-1339). pp. In general.” in Tecniche di potere nel tardo Medioevo.12 From this date on. “Processi costitutivi. by Luigi Alberto Ferrai (Rome: Forzani. the chronicler Giovanni da Cermenate. ed.11 It was Azzo Visconti. betrayed his fellow citizens and placed his followers at the service of Henry VII. 208-211. 13 Somaini. The story is well known: Matteo Visconti. 701-703. 11 Grillo.10 Here it is not possible to undertake a careful investigation of the later events.224 PAOLO GRILLO vicinie took up arms in the attempt to get rid of the imperial army. even though our main source. In short. by Massimo Vallerani (Rome: Viella. . suggesting that the price they paid was extremely high. 1889). due to papal hostility. Giovanni. The widespread discontent burst out into a number of revolts of the great boroughs in the district. 50-53. for almost seventy years. limiting himself merely to referring to the sad fate of the insurgents. The number of the people banished was striking. not even on the occasion of conspiracies that from time to time shook the vertices of signorial power. Bernabò and Galeazzo Visconti over Milan would definitely merit thorough investigation. ed. while Matteo Visconti was rewarded with the title of imperial vicar and given real power over Milan.” in Comuni e signorie. Regimi comunali i signorie in Italia. Luchino. appears oddly reticent in his narration of the effects of the outbreak. Historia. between 1330 and 1335. imperial incumbency. we can 10 Iohannis de Cermenate. it is worth pointing out that the power Matteo and his son Galeazzo had over Milan remained extremely precarious. peaceful domination by Azzo. divisions inside the family and the ineradicable armed opposition of the fuorusciti.” in Rivolte urbane. 2010). building up a vast regional domination. Milan was ruled by the Visconti without relevant acts of opposition occurring inside the city walls.

“Istituzioni comunali e signorili. formally.18 Recent prosopographic research has confirmed the validity of the complaint: many aristocratic and merchant families from Milan 14 Somaini. 457. by Francesco Cognasso. p.16 According to Cognasso. VI. ed. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. On this board. 70. 1929). p.” in Tecniche di potere nel tardo Medioevo. The council was independent from the signori and was appointed by the Vicari di Provvisione.14 Azzo was the first to sign a proper treaty with the Milanese commune. in a way that made the arrangement bearable for the citizens. Liber gestorum in Lombardia. “La signoria di Azzone. but not unbearable. in 1330. under the tight control of the signore. p.THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN 225 suppose that a satisfying balance between the authority of the cities and that of the signori was reached. pp. stresses these aspects. subject to prior consultation with the elders of each parish – often of popular origin – who maintained an important role in the institutional framework of the city. “Processi costitutivi. the Visconti made the communal organization of Milan a mere administrative tool of the Signoria. 18 Petri Azarii. Pietro Azario from Novara complained about what he called an authentic invasion of Milanese people in all the offices of the dominion. 15 Cengarle. the different social and territorial elements that made up the city could still find representation and give voice to their needs. . In a famous passage in his chronicle. 96-99. where signorial prerogatives were defined according to the tradition of the golden age of the commune.” in Storia di Milano.” in Comuni e signorie. 467. XVI (Bologna: Zanichelli. pp. They never failed to have their power recognized by the city council. 16 Cognasso. the authority of the commune never faded out completely. but actually the degree of interdependence between the city and its signori deserves more in-depth studies.15 The city’s administration was in the hands of the college of the Dodici di Provvisione. decrease in room for autonomy was largely compensated by the advantages Milan gained in its new role as “capital” of a fairly vast political formation. which had to answer dialectically to the communal council. now restored to its “classic” size of nine hundred members. 710-722.17 It is important to consider that the drastic. so that. vol. 17 Ivi.



produced dozens of podestà, treasurers, and castellans (in the cities
or in the district) who held a monopoly on almost every public office, usually very well paid.19 Dishonest officials may well have taken advantage of their power to increase their income and Milanese
financiers lent money at high interest to subject communes, often
in trouble because of the heavy burden of the Visconti’s taxation.20
In this way an enormous amount of money was drawn toward Milan, fostering the economy of the city, which in fact appears to have
been particularly lively throughout the whole fourteenth century.
The rise to power of Giangaleazzo Visconti in 1378 ruptured
this balance. He conceived his rule as radically different from that
of his father and other family members. After ridding himself of
his uncle Barnabò in a violent manner, from the 1380s he tried to
separate the fate of the dynasty from that of the city of Milan. The
granting of the title of duke by the imperial authority, in 1395, represented the climax of a whole process of redefinition and re-legitimation of signorial power. It was no longer considered an emanation of Milanese predominance, but it appeared as virtually
“monarchic” within a homogeneous territory, in a “jurisdictional
entity within which it is best to reduce external and internal interference to a minimum.”21
His assumption of the title of duke undermined the relationship between the commune of Milan and its Signore by distancing
his power from the sphere of the civic institutions which, at least
formally, had since then delegated it to the different members of
the Visconti dynasty.22 Furthermore, those civic institutions underwent a dramatic change, since Giangaleazzo put the Council of
19 Paolo Grillo, “Istituzioni e personale politico sotto la dominazione viscontea
(1335-1402),” in Vercelli nel secolo XIV, ed. by Alessandro Barbero and Rinaldo Comba (Vercelli: Saviolo Edizioni, 2011), pp. 79-115; see also Paolo Grillo, “La selezione
del personale politico: podestà e vicari nelle signorie sovracittadine a cavallo fra Due
e Trecento,” in Tecniche di potere, pp. 25-51.
20 Patrizia Mainoni, Le radici della discordia. Ricerche sulla fiscalità a Bergamo fra
XIII e XV secolo (Milan: Unicopli, 1997), pp. 123-125.
21 Federica Cengarle, “Le arenghe dei decreti viscontei (1330ca-1447): alcune
considerazioni,” in Linguaggi politici nell’Italia del Rinascimento, ed. by Andrea Gamberini and Giuseppe Petralia (Rome: Viella, 2007), pp. 55-88, and p. 75.
22 Somaini, “Processi costitutivi,” in Comuni e signorie, p. 723.



the commune under his direct control, taking upon himself the appointment of the councilors in 1396. In this way, the highest urban authority became an organ appointed by the duke, whose
power derived now from the imperial title.23 In the eyes of the
people of Milan, this meant the total cancellation of the communal past: the city became subject and its central role in the dominion was also lost. Giangaleazzo marginalized the Milanese leading group in the assigning of government roles, preferring to draw
his staff from the wider spectrum of all the cities of the duchy and
other allied towns.24 He openly showed his preference for Pavia as
his residence and diverted onto the ancient royal capital a huge
volume of resources intended to finance, for example, the expansion and embellishment of the castle or the building of the new
Certosa, which was to become a true dynastic temple for the Visconti family.25
During Giangaleazzo’s life the Milanese opposition confined itself to symbolic actions, although not lacking in political and economic weight, such as the building of the new cathedral. This not
only underlined the supremacy of the metropolis over the other
cities but also created, with the birth of the Fabbrica del Duomo,
a new space for action and interface for the civic elites. The council of the Fabbrica was the cradle where the leading urban groups
of the first, tormented decades of the Quattrocento developed.26
“Long live the Popolo”: the revolt of 1403
When Giangaleazzo died in 1402, leaving as his heir Giovanni
Maria under the guardianship of his mother Caterina, a new political phase began, and the citizens of Milan could make their

23 Cognasso, “Istituzioni comunali e signorili,” in Storia di Milano, vol. VI, p. 457.
24 Grillo, “Istituzioni e personale politico,” in Vercelli nel secolo XIV.
25 Evelyn S. Welch, Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan (New Haven and

London: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 49-116.
26 Gigliola Soldi Rondinini, “La fabbrica del Duomo come espressione dello
spirito religioso e civile della società milanese (fine sec. XIV-sec. XV),” in Saggi di storia e storiografia visconteo-sforzesche (Bologna: Clueb, 1984), pp. 49-64.



voice heard once again. After a first period of uncertainty, characterized by economic difficulties and military defeats, the situation
came to a head in June 1403, when a deep rift in the circle of the
court led to a number of clashes between the followers of the powerful Francesco Barbavara, protected by the duchess, and other
members of the Visconti family.27 At this point, a great popular revolt burst out. It started by being aimed at Barbavara (one of the
few victims of the uprising was actually the Abbot of Sant’Ambrogio, one of Barbavara’s supporters), but it actually had political consequences of great importance, although neglected by historians.28
It is rather striking, for example, that Cognasso merely noted
the event and did not feel the urge to comment on the reinstitution – immediately after the outbreaks – of the Capitano del Popolo, a public official who in Milan had disappeared almost a century earlier.29 Concerning the very same uprising, Cognasso commented disparagingly: “People did not wonder about the motives
and justification of such a fiscal system, nor were they interested
in wars and conquests. They simply needed someone to point the
finger at a victim on whom they could then take revenge.”30 As we
shall see, this reading of the events proves to be extremely constrictive.
In fact, going back to the contemporary sources, the popular
roots of the revolt show through clearly. The other aspect that
comes to the surface is that the rebels had quite a precise plan for
institutional reform and that, for a period, they managed to influence significantly the public life of the city and the struggle for
power at the top of the duchy. According to concordant evidence
from the sources, the uprising broke out on 23 June because of the
conflict between Antonio and Francesco Visconti and Francesco

27 See most recently Andrea Gamberini, “Giovanni Maria Visconti,” in Dizionario
biografico degli Italiani, 56 (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2001), pp. 352357.
28 For a detailed narration of the events, see Bernardino Corio, Storia di Milano,
ed. by Anna Morisi Guerra, vol. II (Turin: Utet, 1978), pp. 984-985.
29 Cognasso, “Il ducato visconteo,” in Storia di Milano, vol. VI, p. 86.
30 Ivi, p. 85.



Barbavara, but soon the people of Milan took on a leading role. In
the streets people were chanting “long live the duke” and “death
to Barbavara,” as Corio reports, but also the much more subversive chant “long live the popolo.”31 A source from Tuscany reports
that “while they were chanting ‘long live the popolo,’ if they had
found the duke they would have killed him” (nel gridare “viva il
popolo,” se gli avesseno giunto il duca, l’arebbono morto).32 On 24
June the rulers tried to disarm the people, but the next day they
were forced to give in and to allow anyone who so desired to carry arms.33 One of the first tangible outcomes of the revolt was the
immediate reduction of fiscal pressure, since on 27 June the duty
on wine-selling was abolished.34 On 5 August all the taxes still to
be paid were remitted and all the people in jail for the rebellion
were freed.35 Governors still tried to calm the rebels down by lightening the weight of taxation, but the popolo was by then aiming at
much more significant goals.
Antonio Porro, count of Pollenzo and leader of the Ghibelline
faction, was particularly shrewd in assuming the leadership of the
populares, taking on the title of “capitano del popolo”, a figure rich
in political value. In July, the Orleanais governor in Asti worried
about Porro’s actions and blamed him for being the cause of the
“tumultuous popular uproars” (tumultuossos populares rumores)
against the duchess and Barbavara.36 But for a long time Antonio
had been a thorn in the side of the Orleanais domination, so it is
possible that such an approach was not completely impartial. The

31 Corio, Storia di Milano, p. 893.
32 The text is published by Gino Franceschini, “Dopo la morte di Gian Galeaz-

zo Visconti,” Archivio storico lombardo, 69 (1946), p. 52. It supports Corio’s narration, according to which Antonio Porro had people from the city and the suburbs taking up arms (“levò il popolo de la cità e li borghi a l’arme”): Corio, Storia di Milano,
p. 984.
33 Franceschini, “Dopo la morte di Gian Galeazzo Visconti,” p. 56.
34 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione e dell’Ufficio dei Sindaci sotto la dominazione viscontea, ed. by Caterina Santoro (Milan: Tipografia U. Allegretti, 1929), p.
157, doc. 221.
35 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione, p. 160, doc. 234.
36 Nino Valeri, “Caterina Visconti e la sua segreta corrispondenza col governatore di Asti,” Bollettino storico-bibliografico subalpino, 38 (1936), p. 349.



attention to the popular element in the uprising shows how striking it must have been for the public opinion of the time. Porro definitely managed to use the people as an instrument of political
pressure, since every time someone stood up to him or his ally, Peter the archbishop of Milan, they incited the people to rise up in
arms (“la plebe levavano a l’arme”).37
In any event, even after the return of Barbavara and the death
of Count Porro, treacherously murdered on 6 January 1404, the populares were still keeping the political leaders of the duchy in check.38
In the same year, in May, the people in arms effected the destruction of the Visconti fortress at Porta Vercellina, a symbol of oppression over the city, built by Giangaleazzo in 1392.39 And in 1407,
Ottobuono Terzi, leader of the Guelph faction, could threaten his
rival Iacopo dal Verme to stir the people up against him.40
The Duke and the people: the attempt at institutional renewal
The revolt led to a brief but profound reorganization of the government of the city of Milan. Unfortunately, historians from that
period focused on maneuvers in the corridors of powers rather
than on the institutional framework. First of all, ten representatives
of the citizens joined the aristocrats of the court in the ducal council, which since July 1403 had joined the duchess in making major
State decisions.41 New offices were created such as the above mentioned Capitano del popolo, established at an unknown date but

37 Franceschini, “Dopo la morte di Gian Galeazzo Visconti,” p. 52.
38 Gamberini, “Giovanni Maria Visconti,” p. 353.
39 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione, p. 170, doc. 17; Corio, Storia di Milano, p.

1006. On the citadel, see Nadia Covini, “Cittadelle, recinti fortificati, piazze munite.
La fortificazione nelle città del dominio visconteo (sec. XIV),” in Castelli e fortezze
nelle città e nei centri minori italiani (secc. XIII-XV), ed. by Francesco Panero and Giuliano Pinto (Cherasco: Centro Internazionale di Ricerca sui Beni Culturali, 2009),
p. 57.
40 Corio, Storia di Milano, p. 1012
41 Cognasso, “Il ducato visconteo,” in Storia di Milano, vol. VI, p. 90, who correctly points out that Caterina Visconti did not undertake these actions spontaneously, but that they were imposed by the people.

on 14 June Giovanni Maria appointed a board of thirty-six citizens. Cognasso. For example.42 In fact. p.46 After the clashes between Guelphs and Ghibellines in May 1404. 48 Cognasso.48 The tasks and limits of these offices are not at all clear and. p. Storia di Milano. 988. This institution actually survived the period of the “popular” government in the first years of the Quattrocento and. VI. 45 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. were particularly important in the new political order. to support the action of the capitano del popolo Bertolino de Zamboni. p. six captains were created: one for each gate (porta). 43 Grillo. 229. 124.43 As early as July 1403. He had jurisdiction mainly over public order. the captain of Porta Nuova 42 Marina Spinelli. 27-34. two men from each urban district were elected to force citizens to subscribe to the peace between factions.47 A new board of four citizens for each gate was established by Carlo Malatesta on 22 September 1406 with the same purpose.” in Storia di Milano. a board of twenty people for each gate joined the Ufficiali di Provvisione in the effort to find the 100. VI. p. it seems that popular officials may have been severely influenced by the factional divisions in the aristocracy and that it was in such a capacity that they took part in then-current conflicts. pp. They had broad powers to punish any kind of criminal behavior and could also call the people to arms to guard the city. their development was probably not linear. sometimes interacting with territorial organizations. vol. Milano in età comunale (1183-1276) (Spoleto: Cisam. p. 2001). .” in Storia di Milano. Storia di Milano. 106. 46 Corio.” in L’età dei Visconti. 171. on the basis of these districts. doc. six for each gate. 47 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. p.THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN 231 first attested in May 1404. vol. in a time of great political confusion.45 The following March.000 florins necessary for military expenses.44 The same month. In some cases. “Il capitano di giustizia durante la prima metà del Quattrocento. “Il ducato visconteo. 48593. operated until the middle years of the century. 23. “Il ducato visconteo. where the Milanese popular organization had its roots. doc. renamed Capitano di giustizia. the territorial districts. 159. pp. 44 Corio. 1002.

Documenti illustrativi (Milan: Gastaldi. The duke was not allowed to grant immunities to anyone. the captain of Porta Vercellina tried to prevent the populares from taking up arms on behalf of the duke and the Ghibellines who were fighting against a group of Guelph rebels. communal pressure on the ducal government led to even more radical changes. . 86.232 PAOLO GRILLO appears to have been bound to the Guelph family of the Casati. VII. Storia di Milano. Memorie spettanti alla storia. doc. in defense of which the captain took action even against Duke Giovanni Maria in May 1404. or if instead the factional strife concerned the populares. al go- verno ed alla descrizione della città e campagna di Milano ne’ secoli bassi. Two days later. All the novitates introduced since the time of Bernabò Visconti would undergo thorough inspection by the vicario and the Dodici di provvisione. as asserted by Corio. p. 1857). 50 The act is published in Giorgio Giulini. The latter also kept for itself the monopoly on the collection of revenues from tax. In 1405 Duke Giovanni Maria was forced to agree with the commune on a series of capitula regulating the taxation level (the community would provide 16. to give away such revenue or to ask for compulsory loans. up to that time assigned to the Visconti household. including from the territories of Monza and Angera.000 florins per month). pp. 1004. salt and duty. pp. A first draft is in I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. as Cognasso correctly argued: “The communal element of Milan aimed to preserve both the duke and 49 Corio. From then on they would be designated in a ratio of two per gate by a board of thirty-six members appointed by the outgoing councilors.50 In this framework ducal government was constricted. 274-277. 180-181. under the rigid control of officials appointed directly by the commune. The budget was to be spent according to a strict list of cost components. In later years. and could be cancelled if necessary. The agreement contained an extremely important reform. The office was thus removed from ducal control and regained its central role in the political representation of the citizens. traditionally supporters of peace. regarding the appointment of the Dodici di provvisione.49 It is not clear if this was a sign of the partiality of the captain. who preferred not to get involved.

vol. Venice and Genoa.” in Storia di Milano. . Even though Cognasso spoke of the “imbavagliamento del comune” (a gag being placed on the commune). in January 1408 Carlo Malatesta broke up the council of the nine hundred. doc. while hitting large landowners. in a moment of particular tension caused by conflicts between the condottieri supposedly serving the duke. 36-40. 204.”51 In 1406 a dossier drawn up by a group of citizens to suggest tax reform to the duke seems to outline a prominently popular political project. Cognasso. existing side by side with the duke.52 On 16 August. “Il ducato visconteo. came to an end. 51 Cognasso. involving the anziani delle parrocchie (parish elders). 66-68. with the help of two clerks as notaries. The core idea was to replace completely the levy on salt and the duty on wheat. doc. 31. p.54 Finally. p. “Il ducato visconteo”. trying on the one hand to gain the support of the popolo while on the other wanting to limit its power. p. VI. Cognasso. vol. 457. 53 Cognasso. wine and hay with a land tax and the appraisal of goods.53 On 15 March 1407.” in Storia di Milano. p.THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN 233 the duchy. 1846). The aim was to cut taxation on commerce and basic products for a large population. “Il ducato visconteo. pp.” in Storia di Milano. For example. The various ducal condottieri who de facto ruled the city behaved in an ambiguous manner. 124-125. decreti e let- tere famigliari dei duchi di Milano (Milan. pp. in Storia di Milano. who. 119. Ossia raccolta di leggi. Codice visconteo-sforzesco. VI. pp. 55 Morbio. 23. which was a form of funded public debt following similar examples in the republics of Florence. but only as an achievement of civic life. vol. the duke actually ordered a new appraisal to be drawn up. 130. The roots of the Repubblica Ambrosiana It is not clear when this interesting attempt to create a communal and popular regime in Milan. an attempt was made to create a “Monte”. milling and baking taxes were abolished. VI. were in charge of the whole operation. “Istituzioni comunali e signorili. replacing it with a board of seventy-two citizens. 54 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. VI.55 Repression and memory. vol. 52 Carlo Morbio. Codice visconteo-sforzesco.

doc.” in Storia di Milano. but Filippo opposed the idea. 262. VI. 57 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. . 14.57 The military occupation of the city by Facino Cane. 131.” in Storia di Milano. ed. “Il ducato vis- conteo. p. 467. p. 157. Bergamo and Brescia. p.59 But he soon began to operate to reaffirm his power. He immediately restored the council of the nine hundred as it had been before Giangaleazzo’s reforms. vol. while the Visconti army was defeated a number of times on the battlefield and the duchy was losing Vercelli.”56 The duke actually appointed councilors.” in Storia di Milano. even though he tried to compensate the people with a large fiscal amnesty. doc. 61 Cognasso. II. p. VI. 268. which died out. 144. p. 254. 4. which opened the way to the representation of the Guelph and Ghibelline “parties.” pp. was a heavy blow for popular institutions. 152-153. 214. the city council tried to obtain control of the civic revenue. 60 Cognasso. being composed mainly of “people from the trading bourgeoisie rather than the usual elements of nobility. 6. vol. doc. p. 59 Documenti diplomatici tratti dagli archivi milanesi. reaffirming the duke’s superiority over urban government institutions. vol. in November 1409. 399. “Istituzioni comunali e signorili.60 The turning point came in 1427-1428 when an attempt was made to re-establish communal power. Cognasso.” in Storia di Milano.58 The situation must have still been fluid when. and put its members under his direct orders. 58 Cognasso. doc. 1869). 62 Somaini.234 PAOLO GRILLO the new organism.61 The following year. one after the other. “Il ducato visconteo. “Il binomio imperfetto.62 This attitude was in line with Filippo Maria’s auto56 I registri dell’Ufficio di Provvisione. gave voice to popular entreaties. VI. but selected them from a list provided by the Dodici di provvisione. in exchange for a subsidy to continue the war. p. p.” was first granted and then withdrawn. VI. vol. a change in the formation of the council. after the death of Giovanni Maria and Facino Cane. On 1 December he broke up the communal militia by disarming the citizens. In 1427. “Il ducato visconteo. See also Documenti diplomatici. based once again on gate districts (twelve councilors per gate). to the great detriment of civic officials. by Luigi Osio (Milan: Tipografia di Giuseppe Bernardoni di Giovanni. as imposed on Giovanni Maria in 1405. Filippo Maria Visconti took over Milan in June 1412. and returned full authority over the contado to the civic podestà.

Immagini di potere e prassi di governo. pp. 9-11. 64 Corio. 65 Ivi. and to restore the independent commune with the widespread consent of the population. 2006). p. . as “the people agreed to deny lordship to a single prince as it was a terrible plague” (fu mirabil concordia in tutto il populo de non altrimente ricusare la signoria de un sol principe che una pessima pestilentia). Storia di Milano. they managed to declare the ducal investiture irrelevant. and so the people knocked down the castle and the stronghold (“il populo subito fece gittare a terra il castel tutto e la roccha”). 1199.”63 The innovations brought about by the revolt of 1403 were suffocated but not forgotten. “state of freedom of the noble and excellent community of 63 Federica Cengarle. It was a wise mix of political pressures. The virtually bloodless transfer of power should not obscure the fact that the city was packed with the troops Alfonso of Aragon sent to take over the ducal succession. meaningfully. p. focused more on the events related to Francesco Sforza than on the city. and they made a comeback on the political scene in 1447. who were Alfonso’s supporters. when the last Visconti died without an heir. La politica feudale di Filippo Maria Visconti (Rome: Viella.65 This is not the correct context in which to study the so-called Republic of Sant’Ambrogio – whose official name was. Once Filippo Maria died. briefly mentions the popular revolts: “Such a sudden and unexpected death upset the whole city and on every side the cries could be heard and people were in doubt as to which side to take” (sì improvisa e non aspectata morte turbò tuta la citade e per ogni parte se sentivano le cride e s’era in dubio che partito prendere). military threats and donations of funds which led the garrisons of the castles. 1198. to abandon the fortresses. since it had been conceded without the approval of the citizens of Milan. but the operation was very well orchestrated. The reaction to the attempt to erase residual communal autonomy by Giangaleazzo allowed the survival and formation of a leading group composed of people of urban origin.64 Corio.THE LONG LIFE OF THE POPOLO OF MILAN 235 cratic ambitions: it was no coincidence that he referred to the citizens of Milan as his “subjects.

At least until the mid-fifteenth century the great popular revolts were not an instrument easily manipulated by the factions related to the court.236 PAOLO GRILLO Milan” (libertas illustris et excelse communitatis Mediolani) – which was established on that occasion. . Its violent end. after the extremely long siege of the city by Francesco Sforza. was not caused by the supposed anachronistic nature of the experience. That is why the fact that its first leaders had previously cooperated with the duke does not invalidate the republican nature of the new institution. dialectical and bilateral than historians are usually ready to admit. even after several decades of Visconti rule. though. In reality they always aimed to defend or reaffirm the political role of civic and popular institutions. and which still was widespread and well-established among the population. to reassert that the republic was rooted in shared memory that had been tenaciously fostered and protected in the previous decades. * * * Using popular revolts to explain and understand some of the crucial points of the public life of Milan during the Visconti domination allows the “longue durée” of the communal memory of the city. It is important. but was due to a number of unfavorable occurrences on the “international” scene and to the military weakness of the Republic. nor to analyze how much of the communal memory was still alive in it and what the weight of the popular element was. The relation those institutions had with the Signoria appears to be more complex. to be highlighted.

The eyes in his analogy were the pope and the emperor. The tablet was inscribed with a majescule script that none among them could decipher. he said. to Avignon and Prague. 2 Master Gregory. Chapter 18. AR).2 It was Vespasian’s Lex de impe1 Anonimo Romano. and surrounding it was a painting communicating the meaning of the tablet’s inscription. decrying what he saw as his city’s lamentable condition. Bringing his audience to a hushed silence. had fallen. Despite his humble origins. the thirteenth-century author of the Mirabilia Urbis Romae. and on his way to becoming one of Rome’s most famous popular leaders. and notaries assembled before an ancient bronze tablet. Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354) was already a renowned orator.Alizah Holstein (Cornell University) “NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE”: KNOWLEDGE AS SOCIAL CONTEST IN MID-TRECENTO ROME In the Roman basilica of St. Rome. exiled. p. as it were. before his eminent and largely learned crowd. deciphered it. Ascending the podium before this group of prominent men was the young notary and government official who had orchestrated the spectacle. 1991) (henceforth. since her eyes had been plucked from her head. a group of Roman barons. Cronica. by Giuseppe Porta. and could not see where she lay. . 108. 2nd edition (Milan: Adelphi.1 Cola then turned to the tablet and. a confidant of Petrarch. he said. owed their loss to nothing other than the vices of her citizens. ed. judges. Rome. Cola began his speech. The year was 1340. John Lateran. and it had been more than three decades since the papacy had left the city for Avignon. an expert Latinist.

and the reader has to supply most of the words.238 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN rio. yields insights into the still-obscure social and political worlds of fourteenth-century Rome. note 82. p. John Lateran illuminates the way in which Cola communicated with the Roman nobility and the strategy he deployed to do so. maintained ties to Rome that were largely symbolic and more often than not ambiguous. called the tablet ‘prohibiting sin’. “Political Renovatio: Two Models from Roman Antiquity. despite the complexities of the Anonimo’s chronicle. 52. the spectacle in St. however. as Cola has received scant even-handed attention from historians who have tended both to diminish his relevance and to exaggerate his eccentricities. to make peace among themselves.” in Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century. The idea of the people of ancient Rome conferring political authority – and by extension. On this tablet I read much. 1982). p. describing the political authority that the Roman plebs had conceded to that emperor in the first century C. Cola encouraged the Roman elites gathered before him to assume the mantle of leadership that their forebears had abandoned and guide Rome to a brighter political future. Benson and Giles Constable (Oxford: Clarendon Press. in which the emperor. the term “strategy” seldom applied to his political persona. possessing the power to revoke it – could only have compared starkly with the situation Cola and the Roman elites knew.” Another attempt was made by the Bolognese jurist Odofredus.E. The chronicle recounting this episode is the Anonimo Romano’s Vita di Cola di Rienzo. by Robert L. to better the conditions for trade. In recent years. Musto.. The result is that Cola is still popularly viewed as a quirky demagogue. . for they were aphorisms. And this. in turn. 356. 2003). on which are written the principal statutes of the law. Robert Benson has noted that there is some doubt about which tablet he was looking at: Robert Benson. but understood little. who concluded that he was looking at the Roman Law of the Twelve Tables. Ronald G. a few historians have begun the work of reappraising Cola. ed. I begin with the episode because. residing in a faraway land. Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age (Berkeley: University of California Press. and to assure the Christian world that Rome was a safe place for the pilgrims participating in the 1350 Jubilee. There is no large body of historical research to rely on here. of contextualizing him within the framework of claims to have had trouble deciphering the tablet: “In front of [the Lateran portico] there is a bronze tablet.

2 vols. I seek to lay another brick in this new foundation. 1313-54) and the World of Fourteenth-Century Rome (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. the following two recent studies: Amanda Collins.3 In this paper. . 4 For Cola as an early humanist.4 Rome in the early fourteenth century offered him few interlocutors. Cola knew a Rome that was a shadow of its former self. had almost ten years earlier departed for Avignon. why knowing Latin and being able to decipher inscriptions was not just an incidental detail or oddball characteristic of a charismatic leader. 2002). Cola’s personal background also made him an unlikely candidate for an erudite public career. few rewards for the intellectually minded. The papacy. Cola’s passion for the distant past was unusual for a Roman of his time. Those seeking power or wealth tended to leave the city for more lucrative posts in the communes and courts of northern Italy and France. and inscriptions could be used to better contemporary society. artifacts. for example. Vom Mittelalter zur Reformation. which were largely in line with early humanist ones. most of them in the Veneto and Tuscany. he claimed at one point to be the product of a secret liaison between his mother and the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII. Cola would have had only a few models. showing in particular why Cola’s erudition – as evidenced. Preussischen akademie der wissenschaften. and generally speaking. 1912-1929).“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 239 late medieval Roman society. by his display of the Lex de imperio before the Roman nobility – was so effective in his political world. Born to a tavern-keeper and washerwoman living on the dilapidated banks of the Tiber River. traditionally the institutional backbone of the city. but rather a sophisticated strategy for challenging Roman elites and effecting the kind of political change described in his sermon. (Berlin: Weidmann. whom Cola purported to have lodged in his family’s tavern on his 1312 visit to Rome. Born around 1313. Men of this station did not often rise to prominence in Rome. about how ancient texts. Musto. Cola was a member of the lower tier of Rome’s popolo. see Briefwechsel des Cola di Rienzo. im auftrage der Königl. where the political are3 For example. on which to base his ideas. To begin. by Konrad Burdach and Paul Piur. ed. Perhaps craving a more impressive pedigree. Apocalypse in Rome. Greater Than Emperor: Cola di Rienzo (ca.

On 15 August he staged an elaborate ritual in which he was dubbed knight in St. and went on to become a notary. to an assembly planned for 1 August 1347 in which Rome would become capital of an Italian federation. some of whom showed up. as it had been under the Empire. orators and poets. however. unpredictable.240 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN na tended to be dominated by noble families with connections to the papal curia. This education Cola put to use at all stages of his political career. which went roughly as follows. Cola’s next step was to try to reinstate Rome as the head of Italy. killing in the process the venerable Stefano Colonna. John Lateran Basilica. earning himself enemies among the popolo and nobility alike. at times ruthlessly. he invited representatives from Italian cities. historians. Cola’s unpredictable behavior and inflammatory rhetoric decrying the depredations of elites and of the church soon lost him the papal support he had initially enjoyed. where his mellifluous rhetoric left Pope Clement VI spellbound. members of Rome’s noble families. his platform of social justice. Tensions escalated until on 20 November Cola’s forces met and defeated the noble faction. where he took up for over two years with a group of hermits . Cola made use of a cache of symbols of and references to ancient Rome. In the following years. Cola received a solid education. when he began to threaten. Some observers. who in Avignon had become his close confidante. based on his study of Latin texts.” Cola spearheaded a strike on the city’s noblemen. particularly the Colonna. Calling himself “tribune. of restoring to Rome the grandeur and power it had once possessed. in a mercurial manner. Through an uncle in Anagni. Staging a major coup with papal support in May 1347. it appears that from this point forward Cola became increasingly ineffective. and repressive. studying Latin writers. The Roman communal government in 1343 sent the young Cola as representative to the papal curia at Avignon. Although the details provided by the Anonimo Romano are hazy. The following months witnessed Cola pursuing. hailed him as a savior of Rome. In December Cola fled Rome for the mountains of Abruzzi. such as Petrarch. Cola developed a political program. To this effect. whom he accused of lawlessness and violence. Things turned for the worse in September.

Emerging in July 1350. He was also learned in the classics. and by the fourteenth century was nothing new. The fact that ancient learning was such an effective mantle for a young popular leader to don lays bare some of the internal nexuses of culture and power in fourteenth-century Rome. by virtue of his education. where he disparaged the pope and implored Charles to use his imperial authority to redeem Rome and reunite Italy. and in early October. Within several weeks. he was assassinated by a Roman mob in front of the senate house on the Capitoline hill. How to explain it? Though Cola was himself a member of the popolo. he traveled to the Prague court of Emperor Charles IV. Appointing Cola senator of Rome. It seems striking in retrospect that Cola won a popular following by distancing himself from his base. at least initially. leaving the Roman dissident in the hands of the much more sympathetic Pope Innocent VI. Although the Roman popolo greeted Cola warmly and with great fanfare. Each time a German king made his .“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 241 thought to be associated with the Spiritual Franciscans. Rhetoric linking medieval Rome with its more powerful ancient self had long been an effective tool for gaining popular support. by playing on his cultivation. the political support of the Roman popolo. and then handing him over to Pope Clement VI in Avignon. After centuries of cultivating their relationship to a unique past. Clement’s successor shared Cola’s aspiration of reining in the Roman barons. and further. Cola’s contemporaries were already thoroughly accustomed to seeing it woven into facades of authority. hoped to reinstate papal authority and pave the way for the papacy to return to its traditional home. The impressive arc of Cola’s political career shows beyond doubt that he was able to harness. By a stroke of fortune Clement died first. he was also a member. on his extraordinary erudition. who in August 1352 condemned Cola to death. The emperor responded unsympathetically by clapping Cola in prison for over a year. his tendency to act arbitrarily and occasionally harshly quickly lost him their support. he was again fearing for his life. Innocent dispatched him alongside Cardinal Gil Albornoz to the city in August 1354. of the cultural elite – he was skilled in Latin and worked as a notary. and excelled far beyond his peers at deciphering inscriptions.

For in addition to gaining Cola popular political support. Romans were reminded of their political inheritance and of its continued influence on their present. then. . declared much the same message. often used the terms barone and senatore interchangeably. “Una nobiltà bipartita. the art and architecture that they sponsored.”5 Of all the senators between 1306 and 1347. 82 percent (78 out of 95) came from only five ultra-elite Roman families. and even the city walls. knowledge of ancient history – into his public life is connected to the deep fibers of the social and cultural milieus of fourteenth-century Rome. was by the fourteenth century an overt symbol of elite power. Cola’s reason for incorporating early humanist concerns – texts.” p. for example. itself a throwback to the ancient institution. that the Roman chronicler known as “Anonimo Romano” who narrated Cola’s career. cemented into the sides of houses. inscriptions. Savelli. The countless shards of spolia. The association between Roman elite families and the senate remained so strong throughout the period that the upper tier of Roman nobility is in some scholarship called the “senatorial aristocracy.” Archivio Muratoriano. and preserve when possible. and Conti.242 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN way toward Rome. Carocci. This was reflected in their institutional affiliations. and even Cola himself. note 62. The medieval Roman senate. links between their families and the ancient empire. 6 The five families were the Colonna. and with the Colonna family in particular. Many of them tried to create when necessary. 95 (1989). it is not surprising that Cola also employed this rhetorical tool to enhance his political stature. Annibaldi. to create imaginative associations between his political persona and the grand past to which many medieval Romans still aspired. and in the quasi-mythical lineages and symbols that they adopted. pp. 98.6 No wonder. “Una nobiltà bipartita: Rappresentazioni sociali e linaggi preminenti a Roma nel Duecento. staircases. or architectural spoils. For this reason. Elites pro- 5 Sandro Carocci. By the mid-fourteenth century. Orsini. his appeal to ancient learning was the symbolic sword in his long battle with Roman elites. elites had come to dominate the cultural realms of ancient history and language. But there is more to be said. 71-122.

though the jewel in their crown was Castel Sant’Angelo. “Castelli e palazzi. Jahrhundert. 15. Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher also claims a column of the scourging. A fascinating study is Die Mitteralterlichen Grabmäler in Rom und Latium von 13. The differing depictions of nobles and cavallerotti (usually donning military garb) can be seen in plates 29-32 in Roma medievale. pp. 180. ed. The Theater of Marcellus. became a Pierleoni fortress. as they were often depicted donning not war attire. bis zum 15. p. ed. 2001). 1981). Besides offering prestige. (Rome and Vienna: Verlag Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Cardinal Giovanni Colonna acquired a relic that came to symbolize Colonna power. 9 The complex genealogy of the elite Roman families has been mapped by Sandro Carocci. by Angiola Maria Romanini (Rome: Erma di Bretschneider.” in Roma anno 1300: Atti della IV settimana di studi di storia dell’arte medievale dell’Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. Juffinger and Bryan Ward-Perkins.7 Families such as the Colonna also sought to augment the family image by acquiring ancient artifacts and linking them to their family history. La nobiltà duecentesca nel territorio laziale. they also had at their disposal a vast array of ancient monuments by which they augmented both their military power and its symbolic meanings. 353-380. While in the East in the 1220s. Rome Before Avignon: A Social History of Thirteenth-Century Rome (Berkeley: University of California Press.8 Through its ownership the Colonna gained prestigious connection. and was later similarly used by the Savelli. 1990).“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 243 moted this association on their tombs. Rome Before Avignon. a fact that forced numerous 7 Paolo Delogu. 2 vols. For the Colonna. for example. 1983).10 The Orsini owned the Theater of Pompey. 8 Robert Brentano. p. this “greatest of Colonna relics” was the lower fragment of a marble column. 1993). by Jörg Garms. even if invented. to earliest Christianity and the Paleo-Christian heritage. ancient monuments were also frequently transformed into formidable fortifications from which Roman elites waged their battles.9 While Romans engaged in frenzied tower-building as often as their counterparts in other Italian cities. ed. supposedly where Christ had been scourged. . by André Vauchez (Rome: Laterza. but senatorial robes. Enshrined in the church of Santa Prassede. 10 Brentano. see Sandro Carocci. as had their earlier medieval ancestors. Baroni di Roma: Dominazione signorili e lignaggi aristocratici nel Duecento e nel primo Trecento (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo.

” in Roma medievale. he chased not vainglory. the Colonna owned the Mausoleum of Augustus.. But there existed in Rome as well incalculable rubble from which were plumbed countless columns. 268. to rely on them for protection. but was also enacted through ritual and display. see in particular Brentano. fearing armed assaults on the Vatican. pp. 312-1308 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. ed. Nicolaus. but desired. rather. “Arte del medioevo romano: la continuità e il cambiamento. 5 (1940). 171-210. 13 “Non fuit ignarus cuius domus hec Nicolaus. 2-10. spolia – that went to adorn not only defensive structures but domestic housing. like Castel Sant’Angelo an easily fortified circular structure used to dominate surrounding neighborhoods. These monuments. quod fecit hanc non tam vana coegit gloria quam Romae veterem renovare decorum. to restore the ancient elegance of Rome. Nicolaus inscribed a proclamation that in building such a home. 2001). Rome Before Avignon. the tombs and civic structures of the ancient city. built a home in the mid-eleventh century using a hoard of spolia essentially as bricks in the framework.11 Such were the fates of the great. inscriptions. 12 Umberto Gnoli. and Richard Krautheimer.” L’Urbe. The Crescenzi house originally had a defensive tower above it.” Serena Romano. pp. called the Tor Monzone in some sources (because Nicola’s inscription referred to the building as a “mansione”). This tower. Rome: Profile of a City. then formally request- 11 For summaries of the property holdings of particular Roman families. Roman monuments. “La casa di Nicola di Crescente o casa di Pilato. The Crescenzi.13 The cultural dominance of elite families in fourteenth-century Rome was not limited to the material world. was too parsimonious to buy new materials – spolia after all. A potent example is the highly symbolic ceremony in which Petrarch was crowned poet laureate in the Senatorial Palace on Easter Day 1341.12 It was not that the owner. costing only the price of transport – but he recognized the prestige that using ancient artifacts proffered him. decorative tiles – in short. became in the Middle Ages the nuclei from which prominent Roman families projected their military force. by André Vauchez (Rome: Laterza. Across the river. marble slabs. an older elite family.. were cheap. . and enduring. Above the main entrance. was destroyed in 1312 during Henry VII’s provocative visit. Petrarch initiated the ceremony with an address on the nature of poetry. for example. 1980).244 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN popes. p.

approval of his writings. Later. in a procession reversing the path traditionally followed by newly installed popes. p. 1342). As such. and Roman citizenship. full of university terminology and much of it in Latin.” The Anonimo Romano wrote of him as a venerable and fierce baron. 1339. the vicar of the King of Naples (1332) and several times as senator of Rome (1328. Life of Petrarch (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. by Paul A.” in Rome in the Renaissance: The City and the Myth.” noting his “vis animi” and his “corporis robur. where Petrarch offered his laurel crown on the high altar.17 Petrarch’s coronation was very much an academic celebration. Wilkins listed eight specific honors: Petrarch was declared “magnum poetam et historicum”. Petrarch and a cohort of nobles and popolo traced their way from the Capitoline Hill to St. in Latin. Peter’s Basilica. resulting in the exile of many Colonna and the expropriation of their property.15 Following the public’s affirmation. Scritti inediti di Francesco Petrarca (Trieste: Tipografia del Lloyd austro-ungarico. 55. “The Poet Laureate: Rome. Stefano Colonna il Vecchio had lived a colorful and impressive life. and had almost singlehandedly ignited the rage of Pope Boniface VIII. according to Petrarch. and. Apocalypse in Rome. Massachusetts: Mediaeval Academy of America. 1961). he would become one of the most hostile adversaries of Cola di Rienzo. Trapp. 15 Joseph B. and Giordano Orsini – delivered a lengthy oration. while Stefano Colonna il Vecchio delivered a concluding eulogy. Ramsey (Binghamton. accreditation as a professor of the poetic art and of history. Daniel Philip Waley. “Stefano il Vecchio Colonna. pp. ed. 300-313. the ceremony put the cultural dominance of participating Roman elites on display. He served as papal rector of Romagna (1289). the rights and privileges of professors of liberal arts. Renovatio. 17 Musto. enumerating the honors accompanying the poet’s new status. Studies in the Life and Works of Petrarch (Cambridge. Giordano Orsini handed Petrarch his long-awaited diploma. p. pp. organized large military campaigns against the popular regime. his title “magister”. 1874). despite his age. 103-104. two Roman nobles – Orso degli Anguillara.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 245 ed the laurel crown. Petrarch lauded him as “summum militie decus. de- 14 Petrarch’s speech has been translated in Ernest Hatch Wilkins. 433-436. pp.16 Finally. 1982). the laurel crown. and Translatio Imperii.” in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. 28. . The three Roman barons. A transcription of the Latin text can be found in Attilio Hortis. 1955). Ernest Hatch Wilkins.14 In response. He was one of the principal aggressors against the Caetani family at the turn of the century. the right to confer the crown on other poets. 27 (1960). 16 Already seventy-six years old at the time of the coronation. New York: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies.

He was well educated. and soon after was elevated to the cardinalate by John XXII. p. Giovanni was named cardinal-deacon of the Church of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria. offering him the benefits and securities of elite patronage. had taken the poet under the Colonna wing. Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. Some of this derived from their personal relationship with the fêted poet.18 In front of that impressive assembly. ed. pp. by Paolo Delogu (Florence: All’insegna del Giglio. possessed numerous claims to intellectual prestige and influence within the cultural sphere of early Trecento Rome. For during Petrarch’s extended stay in Avignon. son of Stefano il Vecchio. and to the international culture of Latin learning. the very neighborhood where Cola would cut his political teeth.20 Still later that same year. “La nobiltà duecentesca: aspetti della ricerca recente. pp. 68-69. vol. Apocalypse in Rome. and thereafter serving as a judge in Rome. There are few extant sources for the event other than what Petrarch has written about it. “Collatio laureationis.246 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN livered their speeches in Latin. The intellectual achievements of the Colonna family were by this time far from few.” in Roma medievale.19 He was named papal notary in 1327. 2. Over the course of his twentyplus-year cardinalate. by Antonietta Bufano (Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese. the three barons flaunted their connections to the Angevin king. Francesco Petrarca. 19 Bologna was the university of choice for many Colonna. 163. 1998). Among the triumvirate of elite families represented beside Petrarch. probably having studied law at Bologna. for example. Giovanni also obtained prebends and ecclesiastical benefices in numerous dioceses in the East. the Colonna had attained particular eminence. Roman elites emphasized their cultural dominance over the city.” in Opere latine di Francesco Petrarca. 1255-1283. in addition 18 Perhaps illuminating the short reach of the education of many of the Roman elite. So often did Colonna youths go to Bologna to study that the family maintained houses there for them: Sandro Carocci. and publicly highlighted their far-reaching political connections with influential artists and patrons. 1975). 20 He likely replaced his recently deceased uncle Pietro Colonna: Musto. . Aggiornamenti. Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. By participating in the coronation ceremony of 1341. ed. the pope. Petrarch is thought to have helped compose the senators’ speeches.

and it was he who convinced the poet to choose Rome over Paris for his coronation site.21 During his many years in Avignon. see Francesco Surdich. The chapter titles of the seventh book are published in Giovanni Colonna. 27 (1960-).” Speculum. Scriptores.” in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. however. 6 (1989). They are 2.5-8. This was manifested not only in people – through.s. 22 For the convincing argument that they were not the same person. p. 3. 23 Baxton Ross. 538. 24 (Leipzig. 24 Petrarch’s Epistolae rerum familiarum contains eight surviving letters to Fra Giovanni. Fra Giovanni was sent in 1332 to Avignon. “Giovanni Colonna. p. 4 (1970). 337-338. and later a correspondent. ed. he was a Dominican friar who had studied in Paris and spent the late 1320s as chaplain to the archbishop of Cyprus. 25 Baxton Ross. another Giovanni Colonna who was also an important personage in Trecento Rome. Martin of Tours (1331) and at the Roman churches of Sant’Eustachio (1327) and Santa Maria Rotonda (1328). . canon at St. pp. An adventurous type. 337. Historian at Avignon. Yet Giovanni he singled out as one of exceptional learning and intellectual curiosity. by Georg Waitz. 85. 1879). of Petrarch.” in Monumenta Germanica Historiae. Colonna patronage of learned 21 He was. p. for example. “Giovanni di Bartolomeo Colonna. “Giovanni di Stefano Colonna. “The Tradition of Livy in the Mare Historiarum of Fra Giovanni Colonna.2-4. p.22 About twenty years younger. Though a scholar “of no specially extraordinary achievements. “Mare Historiarum. he was thought to have traveled in these years to Persia. and 6. The manuscript remains unpublished. n. archdeacon at Viviers (1327) and Châlons-sur-Marne (1342). Giovanni Colonna became one of Petrarch’s most powerful protectors. Arabia. For other offices.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 247 to holding offices in churches throughout Italy and France.13. no. see Agostino Paravicini-Bagliani. and Egypt.”23 Fra Giovanni played his part in correlating the Colonna name with cultural achievement.25 That the Colonna maintained their positions in the Avignon Curia better than most Roman elite families provided them with unmatched access to a vibrant cultural world. 45.” Studi Petrarcheschi. where he became a close friend.24 Petrarch readily disdained the cultural and intellectual life of contemporary Rome. There was. 333.” in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. vol. 27 (1960-). and archpriest at Santa Maria Maggiore (1336). say. and he blamed Romans for their ignorance and lack of curiosity about the Roman past.

Giuseppe Billanovich stated long ago that Rome in this period “offered little opportunity for buying books.29 The papal library there is thought to have been among the best in Europe. 28 The phrase is in Vincenzo De Caprio. was quickly becoming a “promised land. Massimo Miglio has lamented that no study of the Roman book trade has yet been conducted. L’età medievale (Turin: Einaudi. Martino V (14171431): atti del convegno 2-5 marzo 1992. p. 1928). sermons. by Maria Chiabò. as well as biblical commentaries. 30 Ross.27 The noble families’ hereditary control over information restricted and controlled the flow of cultural capital in Roman society. 1886-1887).26 More recently. history. In contrast to Rome.” The few books that were for sale often came from France.30 In addition. containing over two thousand volumes of law and theology. See also Maurice Faucon. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. p. (Paris: Ernest Thorin. “Giovanni Colonna. 1. one had better know the right people. Vol. by Aldo Francesco Massèra (Bari: Laterza. Opere latine minori. and a sizeable collection of Roman texts. 534. ed. political treatises. note 42.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes.” in Letterature italiana: Storia e geografia. p. we do know that families with substantial libraries tended to circulate books among themselves and their friends. 321. Avignon became a nucleus for the north-south transmission of manuscripts. and particularly Avignon. 2 vols. 31 Ross marshals as examples the compilation of Livy. and in particular through Chartres. to fulfill literary ambitions. 29 “Avinioni musarum alv[us]”: Giovanni Boccaccio. 14 (1951).28 Boccaccio’s description of the city as the “womb of Muses” reveals the widespread success Avignon had achieved in just a few decades as a cultural center of major importance. 112.” attracting scholars in search of libraries and a cosmopolitan scholarly community. 1992). Paola Piacentini. La libraire des papes d’Avignon. 497. France. 1987).248 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN men like Petrarch – but also in access to materials unavailable at Rome. “Roma e Italia centrale nel Duecento e Trecento. Giusi d’Alessandro. 27 Miglio has noted the Orsini’s circulation of collections within the family: Massimo Miglio. the revival of Seneca’s .31 26 Giuseppe Billanovich. however. “Cortesia romana.” p. philosophy. 156. ed. Editeur.” in Alle origini della nuova Roma. In the absence of a detailed study. Concetta Ranieri (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo. with constant traffic of scholars and diplomats. p. reinforcing the point that.

1. Scholastic texts by Aquinas and Bonaventure. Landolfo engaged in writing history. He recorded his experiences in his Tractatus brevis de pontificali officio: Massimo Miglio. and the works of Propertius (Ross. . 33 Billanovich. “Giovanni Colonna. a nearly outdated model soon to be replaced by the newly discovered ancient historical tradition. 1991).35 He never built a private library to rival Tragedies. pp.32 The Colonna also maintained a regular. a pro-Guelph treatise later studied by Marsilius of Padua and incorporated. 34 Like his nephew. geographical studies such as those by Pomponius Mela. p. His Breviarium historiarum is a “ponderous” history spanning creation to the modern day.” Rivista di storia della chiesa in Italia. whose holdings outnumbered all but three other contemporary private libraries. “Il cardinale Pietro Colonna e la sua biblioteca. seventeen volumes of patristic texts. twenty-seven volumes of sermons. Landolfo had studied law in Bologna. including Saint Augustine and Saint Anselm. a liber officiorum. a pontifical. Flanders. for more than thirty years.” in Scritture. 27 (1960-). A prime example is Landolfo Colonna. Per la storia del Trecento a Roma. the pope’s libraries.34 Landolfo was a curious and energetic researcher. 32 Not including. His possessions numbered many clerical books: a gradual. 1326). uncle to Fra Giovanni. 20 (1941). He also wrote the Tractatus de statu et mutatione imperii. p. 349. almost inherited. The centrality of Avignon as a nucleus of document exchange was propounded by Walter Ullmann. e storia. who was. and the transmission of texts such as the younger Pliny’s letters. 35 Massimo Miglio.” Philological Quarterly. though with significant changes. 29-33. and England. of course. canon at Chartres. four volumes of saints’ lives. Such a library illustrates the unparalleled access to books that a Colonna could enjoy: Hermine Kühn-Steinhausen.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 249 As a result of their Avignon connections. “Landolfo Colonna. succession to benefices in France. 153. by Massimo Miglio (Rome: Vecchiarelli. 351. these benefices opened to them valuable channels of learning.” in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. more than seventeen whole or partial Bibles. ten volumes of ancient and ecclesiastical history. Although Landolfo wrote in the tradition of Christian history. 44. Vol. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. and numerous Biblical commentaries. “Et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma. like many Colonna.33 Because of the rich libraries and cultural activities of these regions. two antiphonaries. scrittori. A case in point was the impressive collection of the Avignon cardinal Pietro Colonna (d. 535-536). “Some Aspects of the Origin of Italian Humanism. into his De translatione imperii. and one medical text. ed. p.” pp. 5 (1951). and his stores of books reflect his wide-ranging interests. This collection was supplemented by twenty-seven juristic works of both ancient and contemporary authors..” p. the Colonna established some of the largest private book collections of their age.

he brought back to Rome a far more complete Livy text than had been seen between the Colosseum and the Pantheon for many centuries.” p. consulted Landolfo’s copy of Livy. when he came to Rome in 1337. In 1308. Landolfo in 1329 returned to Rome. he borrowed Boethius’ De consolatione. however. Boethius’ De consolatione. Billanovich. Il Liber Pontificalis.40 Elites such as Bartolomeo Carbone de’ Papazurri. perhaps while between owners. for example. His copy of Lactantius. 115. Giovanni Cavallini was able to buy the Liber Pontificalis. 1958). like the swallow which heralds a new spring. Peter of Blois’ Contra Judaeos.250 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN Pietro’s. which also contained some writings of Bishop Fulbert. and again the Livy. These registers. 37 Billanovich. he borrowed a glossed psalter: Billanovich. illustrate the great variety of works to which Landolfo Colonna had access. 38 Namely. As Billanovich wrote. 39 There is some question as to how and when this occurred. he returned John of Salisbury’s Policraticus.” p. p. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy.36 Shortly before his death. See Billanovich.” p. and again in 1301. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. 154-155. later that year.” pp. Some books circulated amongst readers. for example. which he used in composing his 36 The details are fascinating. . note 3. 158.” p. Lat. le Decadi di Tito Livio e il primo umanesimo a Roma. 351. 166. for example. See also Miglio.38 Landolfo’s copy of Livy passed to his brother. studied by Giuseppe Billanovich. Paris Lat. and Cicero’s In Catilinam and the Philippics. indicating the range of Landolfo’s interests: in 1299. 1618 and 2540. went to his nephew Fra Giovanni.39 Not everyone. in late 1303. bought books. bought several miscellaneous compilations of sacred authors. 40 Billanovich. he took Justinus’ Epitome of the Philippic Histories of Pompeus Trogus. In 1318. 3762) both circulated in the 1330s around Rome to Colonna friends and family. “Landolfo deserved to be greeted with a public festival.”37 He brought back many other books too. 158. a volume of Livy. and the Liber Pontificalis (Vat.” in Italia medioevale e umanistica (Padua: Editrice Antenore. which were dispersed after his death. he took out Orosius’ Histories. Landolfo’s copy of Livy’s Ab Urbe condita (Paris Lat. he frequently used the cathedral library. since. “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. while Petrarch. “Landolfo Colonna. and soon thereafter to Petrarch. rather. “Gli umanisti e le cronache medioevali. which kept registers of his loans. Though poor. cardinal Giovanni Colonna. 5690).

the Colonna’s almost dynastic possession of benefices in southern France opened for them a rich world of learning.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 251 Polistoria.42 In addition to buying or borrowing from elites. which Petrarch later returned to the Colonna. This was true especially of the Colonna. was one avenue to power in this period. We can infer from his results some relevant conclusions. bequeathed a collection to the poet. 85. “The Tradition of Livy. and especially at the papal curia. or public support. Polistoria de virtutibus et dotibus Romanorum. Immediately apparent is the central position occupied by the noble families in maintaining and controlling the influx of cultural capital into Rome. a humble cleric like Giovanni would likely have enjoyed access to the library of a Dominican house. Their patronage of high-profile men of letters such as Petrarch offered them a degree of visibility in the cultural world at large. 43 A good example is Petrarch. need the right connections. Teubner. Culture. then. archives and scholarly communities. Furthermore. based in large part on Billanovich’s research. 158 note 3. Billanovich. 1995). however. It was. Like Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. . “Petrarch and the Textual Tradition of Livy. Men like Petrarch. clearly illustrates the crucial role played by France and Avignon in maintaining a connection to ancient culture and learning in Trecento Rome. whose international prestige offered Roman elites cultural privilege by association. p. Giovanni Cavallini was also a canon of Santa Maria Rotunda. including libraries.” p. for example.G.” p. One did.43 The above discussion. ed. who appear to have dominated Roman cultural life. 42 This codex still survives: Ross. Agapito the Elder. x. however. that in bits and pieces filtered back to their native city. as was noted. Romans of obscure social origin and with a disquieting tendency to speak out about what they viewed as the injustices of contemporary society. One did not necessarily need to buy books to have access to them. Men like Cola. at Cardinal Giovanni Colonna’s behest that Petrarch chose Rome for his coronation. by Marc Laureys (Stuttgart: B. particularly concerning the period from about 1320 to 1340.41 and he also owned a codex of Lactantius. often found themselves the recipients of generous donations of books. personal financing. found little access 41 Iohannes Caballinus. the designated heir of several Colonna collections.

All day he would contemplate the marble inscriptions that lie about Rome. . Seneca e Tulio e Valerio Massimo. Thus. what a fast reader he was! He often read Livy. his impressive erudition regarding Roman history and the Latin language. and his conflict with Roman elites. He correctly interpreted these marble figures. It is for this reason. how often he said: ‘Where are those good Romans? Where is their high justice? If only I could live in their times!’’44 In this passage. a good scholar. Cicero. the chronicler emphasized the exceptionality of his achievement. the Anonimo immediately emphasized three aspects of Cola’s character and political life: his humble social origin. a better orator. autorista buono. particularly the Colonna. Seneca. Deh. the well-known passage: From his youth he was nourished on the milk of eloquence. and Valerius Maximus. como e quanto era veloce leitore! Moito usava Tito Livio. was a good Latinist. Queste figure de marmo iustamente interpretava. Tutte scritture antiche vulgarizzava. como spesso diceva: ‘Dove sono questi buoni Romani? Dove ène loro summa iustizia? Pòterame trovare in tiempo che questi fussino!’”: AR. The very first sentence of the chronicle segment often termed The Life of Cola was “Cola de Rienzi was of low birth” (“Cola de Rienzi fu de vasso lenaio”). In the opening chapter on Cola. that Cola’s appropriation of ancient history and the culture associated with it was such a powerful and effective social reversal. megliore rettorico. pp. Non era aitri che esso. He translated all the ancient writings. Moito li delettava le magnificenzie de Iulio Cesari raccontare. his ideas about social justice.252 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN through elite channels to the stores of cultural capital. He loved to recite the wondrous deeds of Julius Caesar. Deh. che sapessi leiere li antiqui pataffii. The Anonimo Romano’s chronicle supports the notion that there is a strong connection between Cola’s impressive learning. Chapter 18. then. and his ability to ruffle the Roman nobility. the Anonimo expressed both admiration and sur- 44 “Fu da soa ioventutine nutricato de latte de eloquenzia. buono gramatico. Lord. All translations from this text are the author’s. Lord. No one knew better than he did how to read those ancient engravings. Tutta dìe se speculava nelli intagli de marmo li quali iaccio intorno a Roma. By framing the subsequent discussion of Cola’s impressive erudition in light of his humble social status. 104-105.

pp. li adulterii. a complaint that Cola directed specifically at the Roman elites. it is certain that few people in Trecento Rome could read the ancient inscriptions. Retaliation against the upstart Cola came swiftly at the hands of Cardinal Giovanni Colonna:47 45 Musto provides a detailed description of the educational world of late medieval Rome. as we have seen.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 253 prise about Cola’s mastery of Latin and history. Though the details of Cola’s education are unfortunately obscure. But Avignon. swayed by Cola’s mellifluous phrases. they permitted murders. Petrarch addressed him as “illustrious father” (pater inclite). le robbarie. and thus Cola’s incendiary speeches immediately brought him into conflict with several families. chap. they wanted their city to remain ravaged. voiced his criticism of the Roman elites in Avignon. and so for Cola to do so really was exceptional. ed.12. 34-37. by reading about the glories of ancient Rome. Cola began to see in critical relief the yawning gap between the ideals and accomplishments of his contemporary city and those of its ancient predecessor.45 The Anonimo’s description reveals his astonishment that someone of Cola’s low social status could have become so accomplished. of course. 2. where he was sent in 1343 as a representative of the communal government. In particular. In the passage cited above. This element of surprise reflects social tensions surrounding learning and education. The chronicler then claimed that Pope Clement VI. saying that the barons of Rome were highway robbers.”46 Cola. Rerum Familiarum. That is. cited from Francesco Petrarca. Opere di Francesco Petrarca. adulteries. robberies. Apocalypse in Rome. onne male. 105. The chronicler quickly explained Cola’s grievances against Rome’s powerful families: “Cola spoke to [Clement VI] at length. and every sort of crime. as well as an imaginative hypothesis of the probable course of Cola’s educational program: Musto. In a letter. essi voco che la loro citate iaccia desolata”: AR. his studies revealed to him the lack of justice in contemporary Rome. furthermore. took issue with the barons for their behavior. p. 47 This Cardinal Giovanni Colonna was one of Petrarch’s primary protectors. 18. was temporary home to many Roman elites. the Anonimo wove together the issues of knowledge and social conflict. 46 “Allora se destenne Cola e dice ca’lli baroni di Roma so’ derobatori de strade: essi consiento li omicidii. and by deciphering inscriptions on monuments. by Emilio .

He was pardoned and made Notary of the Chamber of Rome. 105. Here as well. p. the Anonimo revealed the identities of only two attendees: Stefano della Colonna and his son. Pope Clement VI. “Giovanni di Stefano Colonna. that the only named individuals to appear in the first chapter are Cola. only the Colonna does the chronicler mention by name. 722. the Anonimo established at the very start of his Life of Cola the intricate connection between Cola’s classical learning and his criticism of Roman elites. furthermore. fu fatto notaro della Cammora de Roma. 108. 18. chap. 50 This Giovanni was nephew to Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. called ‘Stefanuccio’ Colonna. judges. Cola fell into such disgrace. in tanta infirmitate. Paravicini-Bagliani. a petizione de missore Ianni della Colonna cardinale. 18. were many Roman nobles. p. and “many powerful men of Rome” (molti potienti di Roma). 48 “Puoi. p. . lawyers. Janni Colonna. venne in tanta desgrazia.50 demonstrating the centrality of that family to Cola’s struggle.49 Again. Chi lo puse in basso. che poca defferenzia era de ire allo spidale. who can control it – assumes a central position. among the noble families.” pp. And. such poverty. The Anonimo refers to him as one of the most clever and magnificent men of Rome (“delli più scaitriti e mannifichi de Roma”): AR. quello lo aizao: missore Ianni della Colonna lo remise denanti allo papa. Cola was made Notary of the Capitoline Chamber on 13 April 1344. p. The very form of com- Bigi. the issue of knowledge – who “owns” it.254 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN But then at the petition of messer cardinal Janni della Colonna. 108. A Roma tornao moito alegro. 18. such illness that it made little difference to go to the hospital. we see that also in narrating this event the Anonimo carefully illustrated the conflict between Cola and the Colonna. But he who laid him low raised him up: Messer Janni della Colonna brought him back before the Pope. and Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. with plenty of rewards and benefits. 49 AR. Present. He returned to Rome very exuberantly. If we return our attention to the episode of the Lex de imperio with which this paper began. 1964). fra li dienti menacciava”: AR. abbe grazia e beneficia assai. It is particularly striking. 2nd edition (Milan: Ugo Mursia. Tornao in grazia. as mentioned. chap. muttering threats between his teeth. 333-334.48 In this way. and son of Stefano il Giovane. chap. in tanta povertate. With his little coat on his back he stood in the sun like a snake. Con sio iuppariello aduosso stava allo sole como biscia.

utilized his knowledge to gain an edge over his adversaries. and emphasizing that the Roman senate had in the first century willingly granted authority to Vespasian. His message was that the barons should perceive the historical power of the Roman popolo. and it carried implications for his plans for impending social transformation. Cola very clearly. Although it is certain that Cola relished the spotlight. According to the Roman chronicler. Cola lectured the Roman elites about their past. He might even have been trying to get some of the less hostile barons on his side. both elite and popolo. but ended by lamenting the loss of that great society. freely translating the Latin. an established avenue to political power. The ears of a Stefano Colonna would certainly have picked up the accusation in Cola’s words.”52 Cola then listed all the privileges that the Roman plebs had granted to the Roman emperors. and most importantly. the barons needed Cola to unveil for them the secrets and lost meaning of Rome’s past. Cola’s statement was powerful. 52 “Vedete quanta era la mannificenzia dello senato. p. Cola declared. Quaderni. he was demonstrating his position as a vital medium. no. amorphous group possessing citizenship but lacking titles. 18. Cola’s claim to be able to decipher the Lex de imperio was all the more impressive since the contents of the bronze plaque had remained an unsolved mystery for centuries. and by standing on a raised platform. Classe di Lettere e Filosofia. 236. chap. Cola’s invocation of the plebs would certainly have connoted the contemporary Roman popolo – the large. All of Rome.”51 In this case. he was saying. “you see how great was the magnificence of the senate. 14. Further. 108.” Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore.“NOURISHED ON THE MILK OF ELOQUENCE” 255 munication – using a plaque to convey political objectives – was propaganda “all’antica. “‘Rerum gestarum significacio’: L’uso di oggetti antichi nella comunicazione politica di Cola di Rienzo. 4 (2002). which gave authority to the empire. Rather. By gathering them together around the plaque. p. . needed him to interpret the past and to confer on the whole city the historical relevance which the barons so jealously 51 Chiara Franceschini. and it seems very consciously. To the barons. elite ancestry. ca la autoritate dava allo imperio”: AR. his dramatic display in front of the Roman nobles was not merely pedantic showing off.

engaged with the nobility through the medium of ancient learning. His craving for public displays of his erudition and his passionate dedication to ancient learning and ideals should not be viewed as evidence of psychological weakness or detachment from the realities of his world. Knowledge. were assured of political power and granted unhindered access to the rich cultural atmosphere of southern France. however. This new elite.256 ALIZAH HOLSTEIN sought by displaying their possession of spolia and laying claim to the wealth of ancient learning. as a coherent response to the social and political tensions that in the midfourteenth century defined his city. aspiring individuals and families. In Rome. such as the Orsini and Colonna. and Cola di Rienzo. of Livy and Sallust and Valerius Maximus. Acquiring knowledge of Rome’s ancient past. since it could not break into the old venues of elite power. in this way. exemplified by Giovanni Cavallini. as they largely eschewed the contemporary Christian histories. such as the senate or the papal hierarchy. For this reason. the papacy’s departure in the early fourteenth century left many Roman noble families vulnerable. placed critical value on classical education. they were increasingly challenged by a growing merchant elite. economically. but rather. Exerting some control over the cultural life of the city offered families such as the Colonna prestige and power in a period when. and established relationships of patronage and friendship with prominent intellectuals. the Anonimo Romano. In conclusion. for example. as members of the family collected libraries. In this light. Cola’s penchant for spectacle must necessarily be reevaluated. became for them a way to bypass elite control of Rome’s cultural capital. Ancient historians. became a locus of social contest. became the dominant prototype for chroniclers. with fewer economic and political conduits for their power. . of inscriptions and the history of monuments. wrote histories. Those families able to maintain connections in Avignon. the Colonna in particular became a nucleus of cultural production.

War. anywhere where they might be unfortunate enough to encounter troops looking for plunder. most famous of all. or tortured. sometimes in considerable numbers. Some of the atrocities against civilians were reprisals for such attacks on troops. While preparing a book on the Italian Wars. State and Society in Early Modern Europe (Harlow: Pearson Education. Rome in 1527. to 1 Michael Mallett and Christine Shaw. women and children were slaughtered. in the fields. Equally striking were the attitudes of the authorities. 2012). or raped.Christine Shaw (Swansea University) POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION DURING THE ITALIAN WARS Great emphasis – and rightly so – has been placed on the sufferings of civilians at the hands of soldiers during the Italian Wars. 1494-1559. and. and many left destitute. It is also known that (as in other wars) there were instances of civilians killing soldiers. as in other wars. when troops would be dispersed in billets. This resistance could be even more evident in periods of truce and the intervals between campaigns. Many more suffered such treatment in their towns and villages and homesteads. more feared by the soldiers – and at times more organized – than it is generally given credit for. where thousands of men. on the roads. Some of the most notorious episodes of the Italian Wars were the sacks of cities such as Brescia in 1512. . military and civilian.1 I have been struck by some aspects of this reciprocal violence between civilians and soldiers. The Italian Wars. which point to civilian resistance being more effective.

I. even when their actions were causing problems to them. that first focused my attention on these matters. 1873). where to billet them. is also illuminating: La Politica Española en Italia. There can be no question. in which the problem of what to do with the imperial troops – how to feed them. survives. the one published volume of the correspondence of the Abbot of Nájera. Bibliotecas y Museos. Despatches and State Papers. commanders and ambassadors. . and there was little question at the time. by Pascual de Gayangos (London: Longman. Preserved in the Archives at Simancas and Elsewhere [Calendar of State Papers. firewood. in the interval between the Battle of Pavia and the outbreak of the war of the League of Cognac. Correspondencia de Don Fernando Marín. part 1. during punitive raids in rural areas. although I shall also draw on examples from other arenas and other stages of the Italian Wars. When they could not buy what they wanted they would 2 This correspondence is readily accessible in full English summaries in the Calendar of Letters. ed. or sieges or sacks of towns and cities. they had much to endure routinely at the hands of the military. among themselves and with Charles V. recognizing that people could be pushed beyond endurance by the behavior of the troops. III. Relating to Negotiations between England and Spain. The impact of the soldiers on the civilians who were their unwilling hosts was one frequent theme of their letters. by Enrique Pacheco y de Leyva (Madrid: Revista de Archivos. clothing. Spanish]. Abad de Nájera. civilian resistance to soldiers. They could show understanding and sympathy for the civilians. 1919). and having no money to buy victuals. Provisioning arrangements for armies were generally ineffective. sooner or later the problem would arise of the soldiers not being paid. that if civilians were violent towards soldiers. Even when they were not caught up in active fighting. they had much provocation. Much correspondence between Spanish officials. a Spanish official with the army in Lombardy. con Carlos I. and effective. Even if attempts were made to organize merchants or others to bring supplies to them.2 Much of this essay will be concentrated on this period and this army. For the early 1520s. ed. It was the difficulties faced by the imperial army in Lombardy in 1525-1526. especially for instances of organized. how to find the money to pay for them – figures largely.258 CHRISTINE SHAW conflict between soldiers and civilians. fodder for their horses and other necessities.

perhaps theoretically on credit.” or “worse than enemy troops” were stock phrases to describe the behavior of soldiers who were supposed to be defending the state and its population. Perche. In any case. Vicenza. especially if they were in hostile territory. by Albert Büchi. 1920-1925). 2 vols.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 259 take it. Cardinal Matthäus Schiner reminded the Marquis of Mantua in 1512. or of that of an ally. torture. If they were encamped at one place for any time. to go looking for them where there aren’t any. especially if they were French or Spanish or German. the main burden had fallen on the rural areas. This was the problem with the imperial army in northern Italy in 1525-1526. foraging parties would be sent out until the countryside for miles around had been stripped bare. or they would simply steal it. Schiner. Geering. The commanders of the army tried to keep Spanish troops out of the city 3 “Non habiano causa per defecto de victuallie andar ad cercarle dove non siano. I. Threats. often just took what they could find from those unfortunate enough to be in or near their path. As you know.000 Swiss who had arrived in Italy. townspeople resented being forced to provide accommodation for soldiers during the Italian Wars. perhaps tens of thousands of troops and horses and camp followers would strain the resources of the most prosperous city or region that had to find provisions for them. 23 May 1512. Soldiers in quarters could be almost as great a burden on the resources of the local people in the long term as the destructive raids of armies on the march. Under the Sforza dukes of Milan in the fifteenth century. especially if they were unpaid. as during a siege. pp. Consequently. come quella sa. “Behaving as though they were enemy troops. hungry men know no fear. could be just as violent. troops were usually not billeted in towns and cities in any numbers. nescit plebs jejuna timere”: Korrespondenzen und Akten zur Geschichte des Kardinals Matth. Soldiers passing through. as those of the enemy. if they thought that goods were being concealed from them. the arrival of thousands. . as he asked him to see to providing supplies for 25. violence. even murder might be used. (Basel: R.”3 Troops in the territory of the state in whose service they were. 152-153: Schiner to Marquis of Mantua. on the march or on the loose. ed. for lack of victuals. “so they will not have cause.

warned one of the officials wrestling with the problem. how could they be fed. III. however. Spanish. 4 Nov. Generally. where was the money to come from to pay them? Charles V expected a grateful duke and a rich duchy of Milan to provide for his army. to be paid over to the troops. But a large part of these regions were mountainous districts. 5 Ivi. in addition to supporting the troops: the dual burden would be intolerable. it was difficult to provide adequately for large cavalry units in cities. still generally had to be billeted in the countryside. 9 Sept. of the marquises of Saluzzo. poor and sterile. Often soldiers had no means to pay their reluctant hosts. or of those considered subordinate to the Empire.5 Some units 4 Calendar of State Papers. p. Tens of thousands of civilians. and would need time to recover before it was in any condition to provide supplies for all those extra mouths. The duke was supposed to pay 700. and they would not necessarily pay even if they did have cash. Many were sent to be quartered in the lands of Charles’s allies. a large imperial army remained in northern Italy. they did not treat their hosts’ households or possessions with respect. because they knew how much the people hated them. ostensibly to support Francesco Sforza as duke of Milan. they might even be evicted out of their own homes. 430: Lope de Soria to Charles.4 The bulk of the troops. 320-321: Nájera to Charles. 100. . But where could these troops be put. and of the Malaspina in the Lunigiana. Monferrato and Ceva. but only if it was regularly paid. 1525. At best. these places could furnish subsistence for infantry. But even the imperial officials and commanders recognized that the duchy was in no condition to pay the taxes needed to raise that sum. pp. 1525. Genoa. their household goods and their food stores to these unwelcome guests. the Abbot of Nájera.260 CHRISTINE SHAW of Milan.000 of that as soon as possible. would have to give up their rooms. their beds. however. and could spoil or destroy much that they did not use up. as holders of imperial fiefs: to the lands of the duke of Savoy. Much of Lombardy had suffered greatly during the wars.000 ducats for imperial investiture with the duchy. in town and country. part 1. After their resounding victory at Pavia in February 1525.

imperial troops were not considered as “friendly” by the Milanese. warned the emperor in May 1525 that. warned Charles that the army was endangered by lack of discipline and bad management in quartering the troops. . pp. 1525. it should be emphasized. he feared that sooner or later they would be attacked – and have the worst of it – in some areas. After the discovery of the plot in which Gerolamo Morone and Francesco Sforza tried to suborn one of the imperial commanders. 347-348: Lope Hurtado to Charles. 27 Sept. 7 Ivi. Monferrato and the other places where the troops were quartered regard them as “friendly. but as occupiers. but it was decided that this would not be prudent. as the imperial forces could not be kept together owing to shortages of food and of money and had perforce to be quartered wherever they could find food. in certain circumstances. 8 July 1526. Consideration was given to whether some might not be sent to the Veneto. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza. Besides. and with the duke besieged in the Castello of Milan. the commanders of the army were apprehensive about the safety of their men when they were dispersed in billets. in October 1525. despite the protests of the pope. 163: Antonio de Leyva to Charles. informed him in July 1526 that such was the ill-will of the people in some rural areas. were not timid men inclined to see peril lurking where there was none. it was common knowledge that soldiers. Morone was arrested. Although some of his agents in Italy assured Charles V that the people of the duchy of Milan wanted him to take the state for himself.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 261 were sent to be quartered in the Papal States. Nor did the people of Piedmont. 785-786: Lope de Soria to Charles. that he thought the troops could be seriously molested. 23 May 1525. Antonio de Leyva. either in the Milanese or in neighboring states. Novara. Ferrante Francesco d’Avalos. the Marquis of Pescara.6 A few months later.8 These informants of the emperor. the bulk of the army was brought back to the duchy. Voghera. 8 Ivi. a tough-minded imperial envoy. Defeated 6 Ivi. pp.” In fact. the veteran Spanish commander. Lope de Soria. or enemies. Genoa. had real reason to fear popular hostility. p.7 Another equally tough-minded imperial envoy.

that they could not do them any other harm. Chronique de Louis XII. six hundred French lances were sent to lodge in the Mantuan countryside. Opportunistic murders of men caught in the act of stealing. Admittedly. and contadini in other areas could show the same spirit. travelling armed and in sizeable groups. serving the double purpose of relieving the pressure on the duchy of Milan and admonishing Francesco Gonzaga for his vac9 Jean d’Auton. seeing. ed. German. or men who had been paid off and were making their way home after the end of a campaign. could account for large numbers. as the French chronicler Jean d’Auton put it. say.262 CHRISTINE SHAW troops. Even when troops were in billets and were being picked off one by one. pp. and Swiss troops had all suffered at the hands of vengeful Italian peasants. One example of this was when German soldiers paid off by Louis XII after he took Genoa in 1507 were set upon by a large group of peasants as they were making their way up the Val Polcevera. but bands of peasants could come together to hunt down fugitives. 4 vols. The peasants escaped in the mountains. 243-244.9 This was peasants taking on a group of pike infantry. but they were not unique in that. fleeing from a battle. by René de Maulde La Clavière. and the German troops. not stabbing lone marauders. Even undefeated men. Hundreds of men in total could simply vanish. the men of Polcevera were seasoned in faction-fighting and used to handling weapons. French. 1889-95). were not infrequently killed by peasants as they tried to find safety. . (Paris: Librairie Renouard. Spanish. could be attacked. In the summer of 1516. IV. the others regrouped and pushed the peasants back with their pikes. burned what houses and villages in the neighborhood had not been burned already – a comment that reveals a likely motive for the assault. apparently for revenge for past sufferings at the hands of other soldiers as much as for any chance of plunder. they were particularly vulnerable if they were travelling alone or in small groups. Obviously. the total losses could mount up. Five were killed. By the mid-1520s. or having been stripped of their weapons and armor by the victors and then sent on their way after they been captured or following the surrender of a garrison.

1516. p.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 263 illating loyalties. the people of the Mantua area were to blame. nel carteggio privato con Mantova (1515-1517) (Paris: H. and all because they said that the Marquis sided with the emperor.11 but then changed tack.12 People in towns and cities may well have had to be more cautious in making such revenge attacks. Federico Gonzaga alla Corte di Francesco I di Francia. where Francesco Sforza 10 Raffaele Tamalio. 250: Federico Gonzaga to Francesco Gonzaga. the army provost sent a few troops to each of their houses to stay there and to levy the fine. Other soldiers could be close by. It was less likely that sizeable groups of townsmen would set out to confront or hunt down soldiers. they beat. Le Pont de Beauvoisin.10 Despite promises the troops would leave. 343: Federico to Francesco Gonzaga. 1994). many remained. were murders of individual soldiers in alleys and taverns and brothels. p. Neighbors came to help him. archers and foragers. Not only did the troops not want to pay for supplies. Largescale confrontation with soldiers in towns would be liable to be treated as an uprising against the authorities. wounded and killed the people. saying that if they had caused some damage. More common. . 11 June 1516. as they had murdered sixty men. and complaints from Mantua about the destruction they caused continued to reach the French court. 360: Federico to Francesco Gonzaga. 27 Nov. Champion. 12 Ivi. it could become clear that this was more than the everyday level of violence – that soldiers were being targeted. Amboise. ready with their weapons to aid their comrades. Cumulatively. 10 November 1516. When some citizens refused to pay the sums allotted to them. There were two such episodes in the city of Milan in April and June of 1526. even men-at-arms. perhaps. Amboise. Certainly. and the soldiers were forced to take refuge in the quarters of the German infantry who were besieging the Castello. The disturbances in late April began with protests and resistance to a forced loan imposed to pay the imperial troops. One civic official barred his doors and would not admit the soldiers. as the peasants did: that would have been a dangerous game. p. 11 Ivi. Their commander Lautrec maintained that his men could not have behaved better if they had been in France. there could be violent resistance from exasperated householders against soldiers making free with their property or dishonoring their women.

The commanders’ intervention also prevented several German soldiers who were buying provisions in the marketplace from being killed by the rioters. but the Sforzeschi began robbing and killing all the Imperiali they came across on the road. not as a matter of political significance or an expression of support for the Sforza duke besieged in the Castello. Spanish. 670-674: Abbot of Nájera to Charles. to assault the outposts of the besiegers.13 On the next night. castellan of the fortress of Musso. and does indeed appear to have been more organized. 14 Ivi. with banners and drums (indicating this was not a spontaneous assembly). pp.264 CHRISTINE SHAW was. Other killings took place in the suburbs and streets of Milan: a hundred and fifty Spanish and German soldiers and merchants and other foreigners were said to have been killed in two days. p. The generals agreed that a guard of citizens should be posted to keep the peace. by one account 13 Calendar of State Papers. as they often did. 28 April 1526. A deputation of leading citizens went to the commanders to offer their excuses. Milan. Antonio de Leyva and Abbot of Nájera to Lope de Soria. This episode was interpreted as a popular riot. a crowd of Milanese gathered. They occupied some of the streets and alleys leading to the German soldiers’ quarters before they were driven back. Thinking Milan would be quieter without them. part 1. Large numbers of Germans were on their way with their weapons to take up the fight when Antonio de Leyva and Alfonso d’Avalos. Satisfied that no gentlemen had been involved in the fighting.14 The episode in June 1526 was treated as more serious. 26 April 1526. 661: Marchese del Vasto. They described the incident as one of those accidents that happened so frequently when soldiers were quartered among the citizens. when some of the garrison in the Castello sallied out. which he was holding for the duke. But when an arrest was made of a Sforzesco supporter who called for help – crying. the imperial commanders let them go. and went to attack the siege lines. More than five hundred supporters of Francesco Sforza left the city to go to join Giangiacomo de’ Medici. Marchese del Vasto. del Vasto and de Leyva were content to take no reprisals. III. arrived in time to stop them putting the area to sack. Milan. .

761-763: Protonotary Caracciolo to Charles. there was some reasonable explanation. 22 June 1526. 756-757: Simon de Tassis to Lope de Soria. pp. Milan. . Spanish troops coming from the suburbs were held back. taken off guard alone in the streets. and fields without laborers. The people of the neighboring states where imperial troops were sent to be quartered did not see any reason why they should accept them. Only the prudence of the generals in continually riding through the streets had warded off further clashes between the Milanese and the soldiers. on bad terms with the people of city. but of deserted and ruined houses. they were very ill-disciplined. Seventy imperial soldiers were killed. 757-778: Marchese del Vasto and Antonio de Leyva to Lope de Soria. the insurgents took over the cathedral and the court. to arms” and by another account “Italia” – a riot began. he wrote. as it was supporting Francesco Sforza. pp. warned the emperor that while his troops were brave. and the posts of the imperial troops were attacked. Milan. for its presence. pp. insulting them and making excessive demands on them for provisions. other than force majeure.15 Much as the people of the duchy of Milan might resent the presence of the imperial army. A Neapolitan in the service of Charles.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 265 “Citizens. 18 June 1526. and the Landsknechts prevented from taking revenge for the deaths of their comrades. This riot was turning into an uprising. Order was restored only with some difficulty. their duke. 18 June 1526. Milan. who had also interceded for the Milanese with the angry generals. at least initially. Whatever weight that consideration might or might not have had. Hundreds of people were leaving the city – Charles would find himself in possession not of a rich and flourishing state. A deputation of the principal citizens attributed the violence to exasperation at heavy taxation and the bad behavior of some soldiers. the protonotary Marino Ascanio Caracciolo. It was clear to them that their own rulers did not want the troops there either – so resistance to these troops could not really be construed as rebellion against their own governments. the people made their opposition to providing quarters for the troops that were foisted on them plain – and their rulers do not seem to have 15 Ivi.

who was the Emperor’s sister-inlaw. 21 Sept. shutting up their shops and houses. Lope de Soria. and his duchess. Sestri. he reported – naturally enough. and how if they took it without paying for it. did not. however. and was satisfied that they had not been stealing. and the people in the countryside also took up arms. While he was out of the city. rumors spread that they were plundering as they came. .16 When there was concern in June 1526 that Andrea Doria. 734: Lope de Soria to Charles. the doge did agree with Soria to ask for two companies of Italian infantry which were quartered on Genoese territory to be sent to the city to help to defend it. Calm was restored. would be handed over at once. Soria went to investigate. who was then in the service of Francis I. Anything the troops had taken. he did not say). 1525. the people of Genoa took their own precautions. Genoa. Some citizens went to confront the troops and recover anything that had been stolen. might be coming with his fleet to attack Genoa. saying that the soldiers would be sure to despoil the area and commit depredations wherever they went. The soldiers met notable resistance from the people of Pied- 16 Ivi. In September 1525 the Marchese di Pescara wanted to send two thousand infantry to be quartered in or around Genoa. in his opinion. as the men had no provisions or money with them (although how they were to pay for the food they found if they had no money.17 Many imperial troops were sent to quarters in Piedmont. p. the imperial ambassador in Genoa. and went to appease the Genoese. Soria quickly gathered the troops together and put them – apparently for their own safety – in two monasteries (close together so each group would have been able to support the other).266 CHRISTINE SHAW regarded this opposition as disobedience to themselves. apart from food. Antoniotto Adorno. 8 June 1526. The doge. he promised. thought this was a good idea. 341: Lope de Soria to Charles V. p. duke of Savoy. and the men had to leave. despite the vehement protests of Charles III. but the government insisted nonetheless that the troops must return to their quarters on the frontier with Lombardy. Beatrice of Portugal. But as the troops approached. 17 Ivi. The men were only looking for food. that would not amount to theft.

Ibid. Were there to be an inquiry into assaults on the troops. he suggested. but they killed him. When threehundred lances were sent to be quartered at Biella. he thought. Pescara’s reaction was to try to prevent further trouble by sending two companies of Spanish infantry to back up the men18 19 20 21 Ivi. 22 April 1526. Ivi. 631. At length. The men-at-arms sent a trumpeter to parley with them. . pp. 317: Lope Hurtado to Charles. The troops could not be punished. 655-656: Lope Hurtado to Charles. He admitted the troops had ravaged the country and caused incalculable damage. Turin. Vercelli.20 Faced with the evidence in the formal statements drawn up by the communities of Piedmont and Savoy. these could amount to a considerable list and could be set against the excesses perpetrated by the soldiers. because they might mutiny. p. pp. 11. Many were murdered in their billets – no wonder. two thousand men descended on Biella from the mountains. and how many of them had been murdered in Turin and elsewhere in Piedmont.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 267 mont. its inhabitants impoverished and ruined. taking with them all their valuables. under no illusions about the behavior of his men. but an inquiry would only serve.18 The duke demanded that the troops be withdrawn. Pescara. The land had been completely wasted. thought Hurtado must agree to this and assist the duke. not just isolated murders. 9 Sept. destroyed the bridge and the mills. perhaps for as much as half a million ducats.21 There were some instances in Piedmont of coordinated resistance to imperial troops. A week after the arrival of the lances. the troops attacked and drove them off. Hurtado recognized there was hard evidence of many murders and much destruction of property by imperial troops. Ivi.19 Hurtado was ordered by the emperor to make inquiries. Milan. considering the country people had been driven to despair. 1525. to give the duke a claim against the emperor. or be asked to make recompense for what they had taken. and their depredations be investigated. they found the district deserted. but foresaw difficulties in arriving at a satisfactory resolution. 506-507: Lope Hurtado to Charles. 1 December 1525. as they were still not being paid. wrote Lope Hurtado to the emperor. and cut off the water supply. The people had withdrawn to a mountain nearby.

of their arms and horses.22 While the imperial lances were withdrawn from Piedmont. at other stages of the wars. Soon there was a full-scale uprising. and turned on the pursuing Piedmontese infantry (who were perhaps bands of militia). as the people of Piedmont took up arms against the soldiers. he wrote. During the war of the League of Cambrai. 706: Lope de Soria to Charles. pp. stripping at least one company of light horse. p. with which the men could sustain themselves in new quarters. 1525. however badly they might behave. 24 Ivi. . Vercelli. 704: Abbot of Nájera to Charles. 23 Ivi. 723-724: Lope Hurtado to Charles. but the cavalry – after ravaging the country to take their revenge – did leave for new quarters near Asti. 24 May 1526. Genoa. The people in the countryside refused to receive them. 9 Sept. but he did not know where else they could be billeted.24 Such instances of organized popular resistance to occupying or invading troops during the Italian Wars may have been exceptional. while he attempted to extract four thousand crowns from Biella. despite his fears that they would cause trouble. perhaps more. pp. The remainder of the light horse mustered on the border near Asti. 18 May 1526. however unwelcome the soldiers were to those forced to quarter them. p. The Piedmontese bands suffered considerable losses. and ill-treated them whenever they found them dispersed. Organized resistance by the people does not seem to have been directed against the troops of their own state. Milan. 700: Marchese del Vasto to Captain Juan Baptista Gastaldo y Gutier- rez. the Marchese del Vasto sent some Italian infantry and light cavalry there the following year. p. exasperated by the behavior of some Gascon infantry (who had a justifiably bad reputation for mistreating the civilians they lived amongst) were gath22 Ivi. 320-321: Abbot of Nájera to Charles.268 CHRISTINE SHAW at-arms. Genoa. and one of their banners was captured. 2 June 1526. 24 May 1526. for example. but only against the troops of other powers. there was an uprising at Roveto. and killing many of them. after the French occupied the area around Brescia. The inhabitants of Roveto. but they did occur in other regions.23 His fears were realized.

25 Storia di Brescia. The women of the village with all the moveable property were sent to safety higher up the mountains. p. La dominazione veneta (1426-1575) (Brescia: Morcelliana. Proposte per una rilettura del “Caso” veronese (1509-1517). the most capable of any community of the Vicentino in bearing arms. putting up wooden barricades. II. Ricerche sulla Terraferma veneta nell Quattrocento (Verona: Libreria editrice universitaria. but only temporarily. Small groups of soldiers who came on foraging expeditions would be attacked. and the peasants would then abandon their base before other soldiers arrived in force.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 269 ered together by the ringing of bells. one was taken to be executed in Brescia. It does not seem to be implied that the peasants were being organized or led by gentlemen. Comuni cittadini e Stato regionale. four thousand infantry and horse. with many men. and would fortify themselves there. Some soldiers were killed. those bold enough to try to pass the barricades were killed. 1963). “La Terraferma al tempo della Crisi della Lega di Cambrai. some were killed. and the rest left. and the principal leaders of the revolt were arrested. pp. 248. others taken prisoner. sending men out to the rural communities to threaten they would be laid waste if they did not pay their share of the contributions levied for the maintenance of the soldiers.25 In the Veronese countryside. 424-425. a local chronicler described how the German troops did not dare to lodge where there was no fortress. According to a local chronicle (as noted by Gian Maria Varanini) they would always act when they had numerical superiority. the chronicler explained. Barricades erected by the community of Breganze were more effective because. They would gather three to four hundred strong in the house of a gentleman. 26 Gian Maria Varanini. Any Germans who turned up were repelled. this was a remote mountain village. but stayed either in Vicenza or in camp. but the following day the troops arrived in force. They soon returned. Thiene tried to resist when the men first came. who in any case could well have been unwilling to expose their property to the danger of reprisals.” in Gian Maria Varanini. . When the people tried to defend themselves.26 In the area around Vicenza. peasants who banded together to harass soldiers anticipated the danger of reprisals. 1992).

even when they were in substantial units. they would find the peasants so well prepared that they would not be able to harm them. these episodes highlight the vulnerability of troops. of the danger of mutiny by the troops or rebellion by the people. during the siege of Florence by imperial troops. 27 Una cronaca vicentina del Cinquecento. in early April they were reported to be mustering more men. ed. but some points are worth reiteration. Firstly. Florence. after all. by Jeannine Guerin-Dalle Mese (Accademia Olimpica: Vicenza. let alone their troops. They were. the Dieci predicted. The commanders of the imperial army and the imperial envoys in Lombardy in 1525-1526 clearly did fear for the safety of their men. Missive. p. Fearing that the enemy would come in strength to take revenge. this village was never taken. trying to impress upon the emperor and his ministers the pressing need for money to be sent to pay his troops and the fact that they could not rely on all the funds that were needed being raised in Italy. the commanders’ anxieties would not have reflected very well on themselves. . 1 April 1530. who noted it in 1530. 1v: Dieci to commissioners at Pisa. 1983). of the oppression visited on the people of the districts where they were quartered. There may have been an element of exaggeration in their accounts of the destitution of the army. If the enemy did come to take their revenge. Dieci di Balia. to civilian reprisals. But that would not be a reason to pretend the soldiers were in danger from civilians if they were not – and if it was not at least a plausible assertion. 193. and killed 150 Spanish troops. erecting barricades across the roads and fortifying themselves in every way they could. 28 Archivio di Stato. Peasants from the plain of Pistoia (“quelli villani del Piano”) gathered together.27 Whether another such enterprise – this one in Tuscany – ended as successfully does not appear from the correspondence of the Dieci di Balia of Florence. fol. 107.28 It would not really be appropriate to draw any firm conclusions from this rapid survey of a few incidents noted during research into the campaigns of the Italian Wars.270 CHRISTINE SHAW Throughout the imperial occupation of the Vicentino.

if regrettable. Had it been seen as politically motivated resistance. the instances of civilian violence against soldiers were generally presented as retaliation for misbehavior by the troops. not the patriotic defense of their state or their prince. Personal revenge and defense of families and homes and property. . pp. Anti-Spanish or anti-French or anti-German sentiment might well have given an edge to the violence and bad feeling between soldiers and civilians. the attitude of the authorities could well have been much less sympathetic.POPULAR RESISTANCE TO MILITARY OCCUPATION 271 Secondly. The depredations of troops were so notorious that attacks on them were more likely to be regarded as understandable. 29 Calendar of State Papers. 699-700: Marchese del Vasto to Juan Baptista Gastaldo y Gutierrez. 18 May 1526. but said that if he were to execute all the guilty men. The Marchese del Vasto did dismiss some captains and even executed others to punish their excesses.29 Thirdly. it is striking that the accounts of resistance against troops were often more sympathetic to the people than to the soldiers. even when those accounts were given by their own commanders. Spanish. he would have to have the entire army beheaded. III. as they did in Piedmont and at Genoa. part 1. than as outrageous breaches of social order. against an invader seem – at least in the instances noted here – to have been seen as the primary motives for popular resistance to occupying armies. whether the perpetrators were peasants or townspeople. even excusable. but Italian troops could behave badly and provoke resistance too. or of Italy.


” in Communes and Despots in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. “The Myth of the Renaissance Despot. On Symonds and the “despots. lord of Cremona. 61-74.1 Almost certainly the story was a fabrication. Law. Cabrino Fondolo. A few years later. ed.John Easton Law (Swansea University) SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ITALY In Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien. disrespect for legitimacy. Kohl. But for both historians the incident was used to demonstrate the alleged cynicism. the story was retold by John Addington Symonds in his The Age of the Despots (1875). Their host. Law. invited the secular and religious rulers of Christendom to survey the Lombard plain from the city’s Torrazzo.” in L’Uomo del Rinascimento. . and 1 John E. 15-17. pp. “John Addington Symonds and the Despots of Renaissance Italy. pp.” in Victorian and Edwardian Responses to the Italian Renaissance. ed. 1988). Benjamin G. by John E. ed. first published in 1860. by John E. Law and Lene Østermark-Johansen (Aldershot: Ashgate. though one based on how Cabrino Fondolo had disposed of members of a rival family in Cremona. 2005). “Il Principe del Rinascimento. cruelty and violence of the Italian renaissance “despot. the Cavalcabò. 145-63.” This view has profoundly informed views of the Italian signori of the late medieval and Renaissance periods. pp. 2010). the lord of Cremona was tempted to throw both men to their deaths. by Eugenio Garin (Rome and Bari: Laterza. according to Burckhardt. Law and Bernadette Paton (Aldershot: Ashgate. There. Jacob Burckhardt relates how the emperor-elect Sigismund and the anti-pope John XXIII met in Cremona in 1414 to discuss the summons of a Church council at Constance.” see John E.

Dukes and Poets in Ferrara (London: Constable. Le Signorie Cittadine in Italia (secoli XIII-XIV) (Milan: Bruno Mondadori. I Gonzaga (Varese: dall’Oglio. pp. now in the Museo del Palazzo Ducale. the description given to such regimes by their enemies. 2008). Mercenaries and their Masters (London: Bodley Head. ed. as mercenary captains. Andrea Zorzi. 1994). the Gonzaga of Mantua. the Sforza in the Marches (and later in Milan). the Montefeltro of Urbino.4 There are many other examples. pp. with the signori as “tiranni. condottieri. “The Da Varano Lords of Camerino as Condottiere Princes.” brings signorial rule and violence closer together. Law.5 Finally. pp. signori could support themselves in power by military means. the least familiar may be the Da Varano. For an excellent recent treatment. Nato sul Mezzogiorno. The Lords of Renaissance Italy (London: The Historical Association. pp. 1981). For an attempt at an overview.3 or when in 1476 the lordship of Duke Ercole d’Este in Ferrara was unsuccessfully challenged by Niccolò. 1974). 4 Edmund G. Leonello. in 1385. 5 The most effective general survey remains that of Michael E. son of Ercole’s eldest brother. see Law and Paton. 1981). 143-149. 31-32. La Storia di Ezzelino (Vicenza: Neri Pozza. the very concept of tyranny conveys the sense of usurpation and violence. Witney. as tyrannies.” in Mercenaries and Paid Men. the Malatesta of Rimini and the Da Varano of Camerino are conspicuous examples. Gardner. see John E. 1904). Duke of Milan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010). Moreover. as when the Bonacolsi were driven out of Mantua by the Gonzaga in 1328. to secure the entire Visconti inheritance based on Milan. subsequent editions were published by Headstart History. After all. 14-16. 6 Giorgio Cracco. Law.274 JOHN EASTON LAW in many ways understandably. XIX-XX. Communes and Despots. Of these condottiere dynasties. . as when. Mallett. 3 Daniel Meredith Bueno de Mesquita. by John France (Leiden and Boston: Brill. Mantua. Notorious in these terms is Ezzelino III da Romano (1194-1259) who established a Ghibelline lordship in the March of Treviso. 1941). The arrival of many regimes to power was accompanied by acts of violence. Giangaleazzo Visconti. Giangaleazzo Visconti seized his uncle. on whom see John E. Bernabo.6 but there are other examples of sig2 Giuseppe Coniglio.2 Acts of violence could also follow the process of succession in signorial families. In 1494. There is no doubting the fact that violence could characterize the government of such regimes. 89-104. Marquis Francesco Gonzaga commissioned the Veronese painter Domenico Morone to celebrate the Gonzaga putsch – the Cacciata dei Bonacolsi.

note 10. but that would be unlikely to produce useful results. Books 13-19 cover the late medieval/early Renaissance period. III. see John Addington Symonds. in signorial regimes. this essay will not focus on such dramatic events as those contemplated at Cremona – possibly – in 1414 or carried out in Nocera and Foligno in 1421. 1860). 1769-1770).” p. One ob7 Silvestro Nessi. chap. For both authors. An earlier and very influential attempt at this exercise was undertaken by Carlo Denina. I have consulted the 1820 edition. Giuseppe Ferrari. Corrado Trinci took the castle and killed not only the guilty party but also his family and a large number of his real or perceived adherents. and below. pp. Earlier. Volumes 3 and 4 cover the late medieval/early Renaissance period. but look for more measurable evidence in the use of force. Carta Figurativa e Indice delle Guerre Municipali d’Italia secondo la Storia delle Rivoluzioni Guelfe e Ghibilline (Milan: Opuscoli scelti sulle scienze e sulle arti. one could be tempted into an exercise of old-fashioned quantitative analysis of regimes and acts of violence as attempted by some historians of Italy in the nineteenth century. and the violence associated with rulers like Bernabò Visconti (1312-1385)8 or Filippo Maria Visconti (1392-1447)9 in Milan. Didier. “con Giunti e Correzioni inedite dell’Autore” (Florence: Piatti). 17-20. 2006). vol. Law. “The Italian North.11 For that reason. The Age of the Despots (London: Smith Elder and Co.7 However. by Michael Jones (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. For example. to what extent is such evidence the creation of hostile or impressionable commentators. such incidents. and the work concludes with a “Tableau des Guerres Municipales” arranged alphabetically and chronologically. Ferrari had published a four-volume Histoire des Revolutions d’Italie ou Guelfes et Gibelins (Paris. see the Dizionario biografico degli italiani.” pp. Storia delle Rivoluzioni d’Italia. “Il Principe. 451452. Law. 19. contemporary or later?10 Of course. 9 Law. 133-140. or the threat of force. 2000). raise problems for the historian: how typical were such actions. . 1908). 8 John E. This was first published in Turin (I Fratelli Reycends. ed. “Il Principe. the work was published in a three-volume Italian edition “riveduta et aumentata dall’autore” in Milan (1870-1872). VI. after the castellan of Nocera murdered two members of the Trinci rulers of that town and the neighboring city of Foligno in 1421.” in The New Cambridge Medieval History. pp. 10 For much of the above.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 275 nori who used violence to crush and intimidate their opponents. I Trinci Signori di Foligno (Foligno: Orfini Numeister. 1858). 11 For example. how reliable is the evidence.

13 The Borgia built a “Rocca” in Camerino. Joanna Woods-Marsden. or the threat of violence. the “Sta 12 Ordine et Officij de Casa de lo Illustrissimo Signor Duca de Urbino. 13 John E. 22-27.12A similar situation is suggested by their lesser-known neighbors in the Marches.” as contemporaries called it. Their “palace” was put together from unfortified houses in the center of the city. a ruler who depended on the presence of a force of soldiers to insure him employability. “The Meaning of the Renaissance Fortress. by Trevor Dean and Chris Wickham (London: Hambledon. pp. by Cesare De Seta and Jacques Le Goff (Rome and Bari: Laterza. “Images of Castles in the Renaissance: Symbols of ‘Signoria’/Symbols of Tyranny.” in City and Countryside in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. vol.” Architectural Association Quarterly. by Sabine Eiche (Urbino: Accademia Raffaello.14 Here a “citadel” is understood as a fortification constructed at least in part to dominate. Le signorie. 1990). V (1983).” both in John R. 14 This is a subject that has been discussed before. .276 JOHN EASTON LAW vious subject to explore would be that of the condottiere prince. Law. Hale. “City. Zorzi. This contribution will focus on the role of the citadel as a means of expressing and enforcing signorial rule in Italian city-states in the late medieval and early Renaissance period. The palace he had built in Urbino was unfortified. in signorial government. the Da Varano family of Camerino. 1999). 1995). ed. 171-182. ed. Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan (New Haven and London: Yale University Press. which suggests a – possibly – more measurable way of assessing the role of violence. “The End of Florentine Liberty: the Fortezza da Basso. Evelyn S. 1500. see La Citta e le Mura. yet there is no sense in any of the contemporary or near contemporary or later literature that he governed by force. and the accessibility of the lord and his wife was stressed in a report written to the Borgia who ruled the city from 1502 to 1503. Hale.” Art Journal. Federigo da Montefeltro is commonly regarded as one of the most canny and successful condottiere princes of his day.” and “To fortify or not to Fortify? Machiavelli’s Contribution to a Renaissance Debate. 130-137. 129-131. Renaissance War Studies (London: Hambledon. 1983). Simon Pepper. but here again the evidence is uncertain. overawe or control a city’s population. and its household ordinances imply open access. chap. For a later period and in a wider context. pp. Welch. pp. 1989). see for example John R. 48 (1995). to provide a curb a “freno. ed. Court and Contado in Camerino c. and will try to discuss how much such structures meant in terms of violence. 7.

see Trevor Dean. see below note 25. 274-275 – and the device was incorporated into the defenses of Verona. exposing it to siege. Marino Sanudo was impressed by the Carrara castle. pp. 16 Cesira Gasparatto. vol. 167-168. Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana . pp. 2000). 1847. 1949).” in Shaping Urban Identity in Late Medieval Europe. ed. For Prato. vol. see below note 36.” Accademia Patavina di Scienze Lettere ed Arti. III (Turin: UTET. Among the more famous are the Passetto between the Vatican Palace and the Castel Sant’Angelo or the Corridoio designed by Vasari for Cosimo de’ Medici (1564). a city’s walls to allow for the protected. For the etymology of “cittadella” see N.16 To construct a fortress entirely isolated within a city would compromise its effectiveness. Enciclopedia Italiana. and control position. Benjamin G. recently it can refer to a place of refuge for crew and passengers when a ship is attacked by pirates. 169. 1964). movement of troops into the city. There are other examples of fortified corridors of the kind built by the Carrara. by Marc Boone and Peter Stabel (Leuven-Apeldoorn: Garant. Salvatore Battaglia. Kohl.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 277 in Pace” was the name given to the fortress the Visconti built in Parma. though in fact 1848). In 1509. p. pp. as in the case of the castello constructed by the Carrara in Padua in the fourteenth century. 1974). Tommaseo and B. or even hidden. X (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana. See Georgina Masson. Padua under the Carrara (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ed. Bellini Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (Turin: Unione Tipografica-Editrice 1865-1879). 2000). though sometimes this was achieved by the construction of an enclosed passageway. pp. I am grateful for the help of Bernadette Paton and Peter Richards on these usages. such fortifications were often built up against.” Itinerario per la Terraferma Veneziana nell’Anno MCCCCLXXXIII. but their purpose often meant that they enclosed a considerable area to allow for the stationing of a large number of troops. p. “The Significance of Citadels. linking the Palazzo Vecchio to the Pitti Palace. Firenze e Dintorni (Milan: Touring Club Italiano. 71-116. And it was possibly for that reason that from the fourteenth century many of these 15 John E. Touring Club Italiano. 498-499. In English and Italian ‘citadel’ can refer to a reinforced strong point. Giovanni Maria da Varano built one to connect the family palace to the Borgia Rocca – see Camillo Lilii. 18. Law. 79 (1966-1967). as noted in the Italian press in October 2011. especially a warship. 25. pp. 304305. 1835). In terms of size such fortifications varied in extent. 1965).15 To fulfill this function. citing the chronicle of Giovanni da Nono. or across. Istoria della Citta di Camerino (Camerino: Sarti. The Towns of Italy in the Later Middle Ages (Manchester: Manchester University Press. Ezzelino da Romano had built a fortress at one of the gates of Padua. p. The Companion Guide to Rome (London: Collins. ed. Rawdon Brown (Padua: Tipografia del Seminario. on a ship. UTET. and the facility to “meter quante giente si vol sopra la piaza senza niuno sapia. A century earlier. “La reggia dei Da Carrara. 1998). .

20 or the citadel begun by Giangaleazzo Visconti at the Porta Giovia of Milan in 1392. 496.18 Cittadella could also refer to a castle. Scritti Vari. by J.” in The Renaissance in Ferrara. “The Significance. Moretti (Cardiff and Ravenna: University of Wales and Girasoli. “Popular Unrest in Ferrara in 1385. 181-203. providing the origin of the English term “citadel. and in regard to the type of fortification other terms could be used. pp. (Florence: Le Lettere. the word can be found earlier – in the works of Compagni and Villani for example – and whatever its etymology.” in the sense of city within a city. Touring Club Italiano. I am very grateful to the Accademia della Crusca. X (1949). involving the construction of formidable castles: like the Castello Estense – the Castel Vecchio – built by the Este in Ferrara after a popular revolt in 1385. most obviously fortezza or rocca or castello. 5 vols. 1883). 495-496. Some authorities claim that this word is Spanish in origin. see above note 15. recently re-issued by The Echo Library (Teddington.17 However. Cittadella could also describe a small fortified town. For an evocative account of the Castello Estense. Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana. 20 John E. Enciclopedia Italiana. X. p. Dizionario della Lingua Italiana. see William D. and they associate it with the campaigns of the Spanish cardinal Albornoz in the Papal States in the mid-fourteenth century However.21 or the 17 Tommaseo and Bellini. pp. deriving from alcazar. pp. For generous advice on terms. cassero or cassaro could often be used – as at Spoleto. Salmons and W. Law.” which frequently refers to a fortified area dominating a city and designed to control as well as defend the urban population while accommodating a large garrison.278 JOHN EASTON LAW structures were called cittadelle. see Ernesto Sestan.. Art and Authority. usage and examples. pp.19 What kind of fortifications were built? Some were elaborate and substantial. 1989). 15-17. 2006). 51-53. ed.” p. like Cittadella built by the Paduans in 1220 to defend their frontier against Treviso. 341-342. 21 Welch. 175. or “little cities. it would be a mistake to be too rigid in matters of vocabulary. 18 Enciclopedia Italiana. Prato and Foligno. . 39-42. Italian Journeys (Edinburgh: David Douglas. 1984). Italia comunale e signorile (Florence: Le Lettere. In central Italy. pp. Veneto (Milan: Touring Club Italiano. II. 1969). the fact that it could also refer to the high point on the poop of a ship ties in with the idea of fortress built to dominate and control a city. Howells. 171. See above note 15. Ernesto Sestan considered that the phenomenon of the “cassero” deserved further study. 1988-2011). pp. p. 19 Law.

I am grateful to Christine Shaw for the last reference. 353-377. Verona e il suo Territorio. XIII (1884). Mallett (London: Hambledon. University of Melbourne. “Poesie Storiche Genovesi. A similar point can be made from the case of Verona. “Il problema dell’Augusta.23 If the account of Giovanni Villani is followed. 1975). twenty-nine huge towers and the expulsion of the inhabitants from Castruccio’s “exclusion zone. it contrasted with the Cittadella of Verona.” in War. XIII-XIV (1984-1985). Following a failed rebellion against his signoria. thesis. area between 22 For the role and significance of the Castelletto of Genoa. 124.” Actum Luce. begun in 1389 following Giangaleazzo Visconti’s capture of the city. 25 Law. xv. 2008). 1993). Chambers. by David S. tome 1 (Verona. Achille Neri. see Enciclopedia Italiana.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 279 Castelletto built on earlier foundations by the French marshal Boucicaut in Genoa around 1400.” in War. Gianni Perbellini. 2000). but not densely populated. 1986).D. “Fortified Enclosures in Italian Cities under Signori. 24 Egidio Rossini. p. This occupied a fairly central site within the city walls. also in Venice and the Veneto in the Early Renaissance (Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. voce Boucicaut.24 The Castelvecchio was a formidable fortress with high walls. pp. vol. towers and a moat. Clough. the lord of Lucca walled off a fifth of the city to buttress his regime. Culture and Society in Renaissance Venice.” Atti della Società Ligure di Storia Patria. 2000). . Letters from Renaissance Bologna. pp. and Castruccio Castracane: a Study on the Origins and Character of a Fourteenth-Century Italian Despotism (Oxford: Oxford University Press. I. Cecil H. 119. “The Cittadella of Verona. The result was a “marvelous castle” involving a massive wall. but it was linked to open country by a fortified bridge across the Adige to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies. 80.” Green’s study of the evidence reveals a more modest defense work. chap. 40-58. Istituto per gli Studi Storici Veronesi. involving much less disruption in the city. more generally.25 This enclosed a large. letter of 28 October 1488. 105122. pp. 9-28. Ritratto di Genova nel ‘400 (Genoa: Sagep. pp. sometimes built out from existing fortifications. p. pp. see Nicolai Rubinstein. Ennio Poleggi and Isabella Croce. Carolyn James. Cangrande II della Scala began work on what was later called the Castelvecchio. Castelli Scaligeri (Milan: Rusconi. Culture and Society. 683-700. ed. 1982). 23 Louis Green. and Michael E. The contrast is well illustrated in an article by Louis Green discussing the construction of the Augusta fortress in Lucca by Castruccio Castracane in 1322. 1-8. p.22 In other cases the defenses were relatively light and improvised. An Edition of the Letters of Giovanni Sabadino (Ph.

Moreover. The Carrara castello in Padua became a splendid reggia with rooms decorated in fresco by Guarienti. vol. 159-164. This introduces the point that the aspect and function of citadels could change. p. Society and Religion (New Haven and London: Yale University Press.28 The residential quarters in the Castelvecchio of Verona also became “palatial. 1991). Edith W. 71 (1989). One of the first acts of Galeazzo II was to build a citadel on the north side of the city (1360-1365). written in 1513. Machiavelli accepted that it was the practice of princes to defend themselves 26 Antonello Vincenti. and the north side of the palace was destroyed by French artillery in 1525. 28 Diana Norman. Five Illuminated Manuscripts of Giangaleazzo Visconti (University Park and London: Penn State University Press. set aside for the garrisoning of troops and allowing for the protected movement of troops and supplies through Verona’s circuits of walls.26 That city surrendered to the Visconti in 1359 after three years of heroic resistance led by the Augustinian canon Jacopo Bussolari.27 A similar point can be made from other examples where the ruler and his court were resident. pp. In other words. pp. “Galeazzo Maria Visconti and the Castello di Pavia. Castelli Viscontei e Sforzeschi (Milan: Rusconi. Siena. 27 Evelyn Welch. 173. 54-66. it is unlikely that the defenses of the Cittadella of Verona were either completed or very well maintained. But in time. Kirsch. A good case here is provided by the castle of Pavia. “The Significance. the modifications to the northern walls of the Cittadella were also light. leaving the square towers of that sector of the city’s wall facing outwards – and hence into the Cittadella – while a moat provided by the Adigetto still ran in its old course. . 1995). Its defenses were completed by the river Adige to the east and a light defensive wall to the west.” p.” Art Bulletin. and their active military role downgraded. 352-375. 1981). In fact. the Cittadella of Verona may have been rather like the Augusta of Lucca. Law. pp. even though its military function was not ended. 6.280 JOHN EASTON LAW the two circuits of Verona’s walls. Construction began on 17 March 1350. 14-15. Florence and Padua: Art. a relatively lightly defended zone.” In chapter 24 of The Prince. Castles once intended to subdue the local population could be modified into courtly residences. pp. the castle was converted into the setting for a magnificent court.

1975).C. N. 130-177. Machiavelli drew on contemporary examples to 29 Niccolò Machiavelli. pp. I (Durham. ed. Whitfield. especially when bombarded by gunpowder artillery. Lastly. 173-174. he argued that the castle built by Francesco Sforza. ed. 1965).31 Machiavelli went on to argue that it was more important for the prince to be able to count on the love of his subjects than on the strength of his fortresses. Il Principe.: Duke University Press. 1-8. 501-532. are a product of fear.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 281 against their own subjects.” in Essays in Honour of J. rather than military. Once again. pp. These two key essays appear in Hale’s Renaissance War Studies.” pp. and “To Fortify or not to Fortify? Machiavelli’s Contribution to a Renaissance Debate. terms. Culture and Society. pp.32 Here the argument shifted more strongly against the effectiveness of fortresses when confronted by an internal enemy. for Machiavelli fortresses could not provide a secure defense. he had reported that because the emperor-elect Maximilian controlled the fortresses of Verona it was unlikely that the city would rebel. (London: St George’s Press. however in The Prince recent events appear to have persuaded him that the efficacy of fortresses depended very much on the specific circumstances.30 In particular. “The Significance. and Nicolai Rubinstein. 1968). by Arthur Burd (Oxford: Oxford University Press.H. see below 32 Allan Gilbert. 392-398. Davies et al. Fortresses. 1968). and their existence arouses the hatred of the subject population. 1983). whether constructed by princely or by republican regimes. Moreover. ed. The Chief Works and Others. by H. 326-337. but again the point was expressed largely in political and psychological. proved to be the greatest cause for internal unrest facing his descendants. Also relevant is Woods-Marsden. . 31 Lodovico Maria Sforza did not agree. the possession of fortresses could lull their owners into a false sense of security and make them unresponsive to the needs of their subjects. “Fortified Enclosures in Italian Cities under Signori. “Images of Castles. by Nicolai Rubinstein (London: Faber & Faber. The issues raised here were identified as important by John Hale in “The End of Florentine Liberty: the Fortezza da Basso. pp. Machiavelli returned to the theme in the twenty-fourth chapter of the second book of the Discorsi written between 1516 and 1519. duke of Milan (1450-66).” in Florentine Studies. 99-119.” pp. as the former would afford him greater protection against external as well as internal threats. (London: Hambledon.29 Earlier in his career. 30 Law. for Machiavelli. C. pp. Machiavelli.” in War. which Machiavelli expressed concern at plans to enclose with defense-works the hill of San Miniato. it is clear that Machiavelli’s particular target in both The Prince and the Discorsi was not so much fortification in the sense of town walls or castles along frontiers. 998-999. but rather urban fortifications. pp. an important role in the defense of the last republican regime in Florence (1527-1530) – were eventually used by the Medici to affirm their control of the city. in his History of Florence (1525). so adding 33 Gilbert. VI- II. . ironically. Machiavelli argued that the possession of effective armies and the support of the population would provide an effective defense. This was constructed across the city walls.” Indeed. but concluded by stating that fortresses are expensive in peace and useless in war. This is the sense that emerges in a letter to Francesco Giucciardini written on 2 June 1526.34 Whatever. and not within a Florentine context – that such urban fortifications would be of little effect. Perhaps the changing balance of power in Florence and elsewhere – and developments in fortification and artillery – dissuaded Machiavelli from making more of the fact. pp. that the efforts of Walter de Brienne to turn the Palazzo Vecchio into a fortress to bolster his signorial regime in the city (1342-1343) failed. He reluctantly conceded that in some limited circumstances fortresses could have their uses. 1960).282 JOHN EASTON LAW support his arguments. the forebodings in the letter of 1526 were justified. I. Machiavelli.33 Here Machiavelli appears to have disregarded his own earlier opinions – possibly formulated in more detached circumstances. The defense-works at San Miniato – which had. 392-398. From the examples he discussed. In 1576 a Venetian ambassador reported that San Miniato and other Medici fortresses “were principally built to keep the people in check. or citadels. 34 History of Florence (London and New York: Harper. book 2. overlooking Florence and within the city’s walls. chap. and returned to what he claimed was the ill-advised and shortsighted decision of Francesco Sforza to build a castle in Milan. in the 1530s the Medici had built the Fortezza da Basso on the design of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.

Rocche e Forti Medicei (Milan: Rusconi. Una Guerra di Popolo (Pisa.39 Indeed the construction of such urban fortifications or the modification of older structures to take account of gunpowder artillery might 35 Hale. maintained and developed citadels in such subject cities as Prato. see Law. 2002). 90-91.36 The Republic’s acquisition of Pisa in 1406 led to the building of unpopular cittadelle. Florentine Traitor? Bruni. described the Fortezza as ‘a Cittadella. built by the last Duke Alexander as a bridle to the Florentines because he had newly taken their liberties from them’: Angelo Deidda. more than a mile and half in compass. 1998). 39 Gabriele Cateni and Alessandro Furiesi. 10. 148-157. Brucker. 270. the “Castello dell’Imperatore” built by Frederick II closer to the center of the city. LI/4 (1998).SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 283 to the arguments of anti-Mediceans who saw the Fortezza “as a prison and slaughter house for the distressed citizens.. The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 36 Giulio Giani. Pier Lodovico Rupi. Pisa (Pisa: Pacini. in his Historie of Italie first published in London in 1549. 1973).” p. 176 and 185. La Fortezza Medicea di Arezzo (Arezzo: Banca Popolare dell’Etruria. fourteenth-century “Rocca Vecchia” – garrisoned in 1342 by Walter de Brienne – to dominate as well as defend the city. pp. ed. William Thomas e l’Italia (CUEC Editrice: Cagliari. p. 2005). the Florentine Republic. The Welshman. 1976). pp. pp. . reg. “Fortezza. For Prato and Pisa. 37 Michele Luzzati. Arsenali e Citta nell’Occidente Europeo (Rome: la Nuova Italia Scientifica. for example. built.” Renaissance Quarterly. 561-562. 503.”35 The Medici. pp. Florence greatly enlarged the earlier.” p. 175. 204ff. pp. Universita di Pisa. 15-16. pp. Responsive Originali. 1109-1150. Maria Grazia Dongu. 100-109. 1986). Gene A. Lezioni ai Potenti. pp. pp. Florence’s acquisition of Prato in 1351 was followed by the construction of a fortified passageway to allow troops to reinforce. much attention was directed at the state of readiness of its “cassero” or “cittadella” in Arezzo. the Medici and an Aretine Conspiracy of 1437. 1987). from outside the town walls. were merely following the example of other Italian and foreign governments in the peninsula. 38 Archivio di Stato di Firenze. of course. “The Significance. For the Florentine republic’s concern for its rule in Arezzo.38 After Volterra’s rebellion in 1472. Prato e la sua Fortezza (Bologna: Forni. 129. Renato Della Torre. Laura Sanna. La Citta di Pietra. 580. see Arthur Field. 1980). Mura Etrusche e Mediervali di Volterra (Pisa: Pacini. Carlo Perogalli.37 In 1439 when Florence was anxious about the defense – and loyalty – of its frontiers. Dieci di Balia. William Thomas. Pisa and Volterra. “Leonardo Bruni. which were enhanced in the sixteenth century. see also several of the contributions to Ennio Concina. 1973).

177. p. and in the Republic’s skilful response. The same issue emerged when the citizens of Foligno surrendered to Cardinal Vitelleschi in 1439. The military and political worth of fortifications was a subject for discussion among classical writers. citing Cicero to the effect that fear is a poor safeguard for the prince. ed. N.C. “Neither castles nor walls will be more nearly impregnable than the defense which consists in having the spirits of your people well disposed towards you. and it is tempting to see the reflections of Machiavelli and others on the subject as typically “Renaissance.42 The Republic refused the request. p. 42 Law.: Duke University Press. who wrote in his Doveri del Principe of the 1470s. the debate on the efficacy of fortifications had a longer medieval and Renaissance tradition than some commentators have recognized. in 1369.284 JOHN EASTON LAW have contributed to Machiavelli’s interest in the subject. Hale and others have recognized – was literary and classical. by Benjamin G. Petrarch had written to Francesco da Carrara il Vecchio. However. Witt (Manchester: Manchester University Press. The Veronese asked that the Cittadella should never be rebuilt or turned into a fortress.” p. “The Significance. As Gilbert points out.41 The theme emerges again among the petitions presented by Verona on its surrender to Venice in 1405. Kohl and Ronald G.” combining an alert awareness of contemporary developments with a knowledgeable appreciation of the interested classical authorities. 41 The Earthly Republic. 159. but added that it hoped that the hearts of the Veronese would be at one with Venice. they 40 Allan Gilbert. However. Machiavelli’s Prince and its Forerunners (Durham. and that their good will would become the citadel and source of security. 1978). 1938). Moreover.”40 Much earlier. . another factor – as Gilbert. 46. if actual military developments encouraged the discussion of the efficacy of fortresses. Machiavelli’s statement that “the best fortress is not to be hated by the people” was anticipated by the Neapolitan political and military thinker Diomede Carafa. to give too much emphasis to the issue in literary terms risks undervaluing the very real concerns of Machiavelli and his contemporaries.

45 David S. Fonti.43 In 1444 or 1445. far from its walls and gates. for the discontent of citizens is a more serious cause of war than the enemy at the gate. Marquis of Mantua. expressed a similar idea. Borso’s niece. ed. Machiavelli’s Prince. “Francesco II Gonzaga. A. But Vasari claimed in his life of Andrea Pisano that the duke had plans to build a fortress at the gate of San Giorgio.”44 Borso’s claim that this advice was a reminder has a considerable irony to it. in Florence in 1343 was his attempt to turn the seat of communal government. In 1495. The Palazzo Vecchio (Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. Realta e Mito. 15-16. . 44 Gilbert. One of the reasons for the fall of Walter de Brienne. as his ancestors built the formidable Castello Estense in Ferrara following the rebellion against the regime in 1385. into a fortress to strengthen his authority. observations on the same theme – it suggests that it was a commonplace of medieval and Renaissance political thought. Lives. 1995). pp. 46 Machiavelli. Nicolai Rubinstein. at times deeds could speak more loudly than words. Borso d’Este addressed a memorandum to Alfonso I which included the reminder “that the fortress of a state consists principally of the love of the subjects. p. 1998). 47 Giorgio Vasari. Chambers. ‘Liberator of Italy. unrelated. the Trinci – now perceived as tyrants – be demolished. p.” p. 1995).” in I Vitelleschi. money or men at arms. and “The Significance. Burd cites an anonymous fifteenth-century French poem which expresses sentiments close to those of Carafa. pp. 159. Il Principe.’” in The French Descent into Renaissance Italy. “Profile of a Renaissance Cardinal. ed. Of course the Palazzo is in the center of the city. I (London 1912). However – taken together with other.46 Finally. Law. In his edition of Il Principe. the Palazzo della Signoria. where the Medici were to construct a citadel in the 1590s. 222. duke of Athens. 128-129. 178.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 285 asked that the cassaro built within the city walls by their previous lords. Isabella. by Giovanna Mencarelli (Tarquinia: Comune di Tarquinia.47 The Lucchese chronicler Sercambi describes the ferocity with which the Lucchesi destroyed a fortress in the city. pp. 70-71. pos43 John E.”45 And such observations had a European dimension.L. by David Abulafia (Aldershot: Variorum. again in the context of Naples: “Every ruler should set greater value on the hearts of his subjects than on fortresses. 335.

” Verona Illustrata. “Images of Castles. pp. at least not all the time. 460-462. 52 Gian Maria Varanini. Leon Batista Alberti stated that “a tyrant should live in a fortress rather than a palace” and that this should have the appearance of a prison more than of a residence of a great prince. a citadel dismantled by the Ambrosian Republic following the death of Filippo Maria Visconti in 1447. 130. like the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. pp. 790791. “Castelvecchio come residenza nella tarda eta scaligera. as has been mentioned. and actions. 175-176. Piatti. but he tried to suggest that in the wrong hands such a fortress could become a seat of tyranny. Citadels in Verona. Carlo de’ Rosmini. The plea – or advice – was ignored.51 but they also favored and lived in unfortified suburban and rural residences like Palazzo Schifanoia. Art and Authority. This episode in the history of Milan invites further scrutiny. 1820). 376-378. the Este built the formidable Castello Estense which dominated the city center of Ferrara. 50 Bernardino Corio. Pavia and Milan could take on an air of courtly magnificence behind their fortifications. VII (Milan: Fondazione Treccani. pp. Catalano. pp.286 JOHN EASTON LAW sibly associated with Pisan rule. who addressed Milan’s new ruler. L’Historia di Milano (Padua: Frambotto.” p. the scourge of rebellion against divine order. could fail. II (Milan: Tipografia Manini-Rivolta. he was urged not to rebuild the Visconti castle at the Porta Giovia.48 Writing in 1977. 51 Originally dedicated. Evelyn Welch.” History. II (1989).49 But words. in Storia di Milano. Welch. When Francesco Sforza secured the duchy of Milan in 1450. 13-14. Judith Hook vividly described the sequence of events which followed the Spanish surrender of the citadel in Siena in 1552. The lawyer Giorgio Piatti. But Alberti’s words also point to something that has so far been ignored. LXII (1977). pp. This essay has tried to suggest that such observations had political and military reality as well as literary tradition behind them. and what became known as the Castello Sforzesco was built. 49 Judith Hook. “Fortifications and the End of the Sienese State.50 In his treatise on architecture. not Giovanni. F. pp.52 48 Woods-Marsden. “Galeazzo Maria Sforza and the . For example. to Saint Michael. did not criticize Francesco Sforza explicitly. Not all Renaissance lords felt the need to live in fortresses. Dell’Istoria di Milano. 1646). 11-18. although Milan’s spokesman was Giorgio. 1956).

13 and 133. Cl. the speed with which he wanted the building to proceed and the amount of money – 150. 1995). Archivio di Stato di Firenze. 176.57 Citadels. and had it celebrated in a fresco by Piero della Francesca and a medal by Matteo de’ Pasti. 276277. 164165.56 Julius II. Ducato di Urbino.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 287 Moreover. Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan (New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 56 Law. the worth and value of fortifications could be defended and even celebrated by their owners and builders. A report of May 1474 gives a clear indication of the importance of the “ciptadella” to Costanzo Sforza. “Images of Castles. “Against Fortifications. pp. 55 Woods-Marsden. Tuttle. LIII (1990). pp. “The Storm of War. fol. pp. 406. The Paduan Key to Giorgione’s Tempesta. apparently. The Defense of Renaissance Bologna.53 Sigismondo Malatesta named his citadel in Rimini. if resented and criticized by their subjects and enemies.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. ‘The Image of a FifteenthCentury Court. could be given a positive rather than a sinister interpretation – as an appropriate residence for the prince who was the controlling mind of the body politic. 66. 189-201. “The solidarity and preservation of states consists of two things. . Francesco di Giorgio Martini Castello di Pavia. Castruccio Castracane proudly called his citadel “Augusta. Court and Contado.”55 A report to Alessandro VI on the political climate in Camerino in 1503 urged that the inhabitants should be won over to the Borgia regime.” p. in the view of their builders. Filza III/2 .” Art Bulletin. 54 Fabio Mariano. the carro (cart) on the Reggia of Padua. “City. Architettura nelle Marche (Fiesole: Nardini.54 Despite his own experience. 53 Paul Kaplan. 57 Richard J.” pp. on 3 June 1474 Costanzo Sforza laid the foundation stone to the Rocca Costanza in Pesaro. A. pp. soldiers and respect for fortifications.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. 71 (1990). Div. after himself. 672. begun in 1437. ordered the construction of a citadel at the Porta Galliera – a citadel which was.00 ducats – he was prepared to spend on it. and their supporters. 352-375. no. therefore. but also that the city’s defenses should be strengthened and a rocca built within the walls. IV (1986). LXI (1982). 1995). p. In his Treatise elaborated towards the end of the fifteenth century.” The Da Carrara displayed their emblem.” Art History. to be destroyed five times in its history. posing as a liberator when he entered Bologna in 1506. I. Lodovico Maria Sforza observed in 1500. Emulating the Castel Sismondo in Rimini.

often requiring the destruction. seizure. protected his bedchamber with a picked guard. Religious communities as well as the laity could suffer. . Machiavelli and others discussed the last issue. And. as in Verona. Immured in strong places on high rocks.288 JOHN EASTON LAW adopted a traditional medieval concept of the ‘body politic’ when expressing the relationship of the fortress to the rest of the city. with a fortress associated with the prince’s head. Citadels. They took up space. The realities of the others occupy the generally less eloquent and less well-known holdings of archives across Italy. forced purchase or exchange of property. propaganda or high politics – the struggle between liberty and tyranny. Francesco di Giorgio was a leading military architect and engineer. point to the issues that later concerned Machiavelli. and Alberti’s observations on the ruler and his residence. financial and physical impact of such constructions on the lives of a community could be both immediate and long-lasting. accessible and celebratory role. administrative. 4. by Pietro Marani (Florence: Giunti. I. The political. were expensive to construct and maintain. Their building could involve the imposition of labor services and material requisitioning. ed. and watched his meat and drink lest they should be poi- 58 Francesco di Giorgio Martini. But the main point of this essay has been to argue that while the signori certainly did build fortresses and citadels to impress and overawe their subjects. “The life of the Despot was usually one of prolonged terror. they provided no secure defense against attack or revolt. he surrounded his person with foreign troops. The disciplining of their garrisons could cause problems. or confined to gloomy fortresses like the Milanese Castello. and this introduces a final point: the debate over citadels in Renaissance Italy was not confined to political ideas. p. Symonds was making an informed point when he observed. they were not the only forms of government to do so. 1979). of course. Trattato di Architettura.58 This reworking of an old idea. and in the case of signorial regimes – in residence – these structures could acquire a more courtly.

in his Power and Imagination.SIGNORIAL CITADELS IN LATE MEDIEVAL 289 soned. Cities of Northern Italy. see Law. 2011). see for example Kirsten Deiter. n. 1979). II (London: George Allen. Icon of Opposition (London: Routledge. 306. 62 As suggested above. note 14.”59 The sinister. The Age.).62 59 Symonds. revolution or war.60 Much more recently. The Tower of London in English Renaissance Drama. John Marriott. Lauro Martines restated the case.” p. p.d. “The most brutal and obvious manifestation of the prince’s power was his residence in the city: a fortress designed to withstand riot. 61 Power and Imagination. Beyond the Tower: a History of East London (London: Yale University Press. see Augustus Hare. the issue of the fortress/citadel had much more than an Italian dimension. p.”61 The signorial citadel could certainly be associated with violence – experienced. “gothic” impression Symonds gives is certainly one that appears in a good deal of the literature on medieval and Renaissance Italy. “The Significance. negative. City-States in Renaissance Italy (New York: Knopf. Martines was thinking of Milan and Ferrara in particular. 193-194. 2008). 92. . see above. pp. note 20 and 60. For Ferrara. 169. ongoing or anticipated – but this was not the whole picture. For Rome and Perugia. 60 For Ferrara.


194. family. 158. 164 Anonimo Romano. 54. 199. 266 Aigoni. 250 Basilico. 242.INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Abruzzi. 256 Antonio da Bruscolo. 253 Azario. 286. 221 Asciano. 239. 157 – Orlando. 252. 201. 128 Barbavara. Thomas. 212. student. 237. 254. 177. 161 Anagni. 192. 230 Bartolomeo Carbone de’ Papazurri. 56 Arezzo. 151 Albertanus of Brescia. 149. 171. family. 139 Aurifice. 89. 238. family. 59. 203. 210. 235 Alfonso I. 266 Beccaria. 253. 204 Andrea Pisano. 56 Aiuto. family. Pietro. 225 Baglioni. 151. 245 Ancarano College. Cardinal. 164 Beatrice of Portugal. Pope. 213. Saint. 151. 240 Achilles. 198. Antoniotto. 278 Alessandro VI. 228. 107 – Cesare. Dante. 110. 113. 240. Gil. 110. student. 241. 118 Ardinghelli. 215 – Marioni. Leon Battista. Bartolomeo. family. 94. 100. 135. 157 – Giovanni. 177 Antonio da Sangallo. 205. 40. 157. Mario. 204. 285 Alfonso V. 206. Gandolfo de. 93. student. 154 Aquinas. 137. Pope. 229. 201. 208. 50 Benevento. 58 Adorno. 151 Avignon. 202. 60. 251. 41 Alberti. 110 Ascheri. 195. 261. 214. 152. 204 – Morandi. 203. 136. 135 Arras. 285 Angera. 139 Benedict XI. Eleonora of. 200. 196. 117 Beik. 232 Anghiari. 197. family. 60 Arabia. 63 Bentivoglio. 287 Alexander of Scotland. 248. 158 Amore. 115 Amato. 247. 90. Francesco. . Michail. 247 Aragon. 170. 85. Giovanni. family. 282 Antonio de Leyva. 154 Alighieri. 209. 201. 204 – Passionei. 66 Alps (Alpi fiorentine). family. 115 Anjou. 201. 288 Albornoz. 264 Aprea. 229. 280 Adimari. William. Orso degli. 140 Adige. 240 Anguillara. Berengario. 96 Asti. 59. 264 Alfonso of Aragon. 56 Bakhtin. 56. 108 Alfonso d’Avalos. 268 Augustine.

Alfonso de. 234 Caninoca. 21. 199 – via Val D’Aposa. 234 Bertolino de Zamboni. Anna. 210. 168. 195 – via Zamboni. 194. Raimondo. 274 – Rainaldo. 19. 172. 256 Ceffi. 216. 150. 249 Cherubini. 95 Chianti. Patrick. 42. 109 Caithness. Facino. 162 Carlsmith. 269 Brizzi. 113 Chittolini. 250. 51. 231 Biella. family. 179. 196 – Sant’Andrea dei Penitenzieri. 195 Charles III. 276. 192. 179. 116 Castel Capuano. 168. 205 – via del Guasto. 37 Camerino. 273 Cavallini. 113 Castel Bonizi. Giovanni. 250. Giorgio. 165 Cavalcabò. 96 Cancellieri. 275. 170. 273 Burgundy. 171. 94 Boncompagni. 287 Campaldino. family. 234. 213. 110. family. 248. 137 Bussolari. 161. 90 Casentino. 241 Charles V. 22. family. family. 198. 279 Bourdieu. 178. 61 Cane. 246. 167. 258. 199 Bonacolsi. Peter. Bonaccorso. 106. Castruccio. 193. Nicholas. duke of Savoy. 248 Bologna. Stuart. Gian Paolo. 251. Jacopo. 100. Archbishop. Giovanni. 214 Burckhardt. Ciuto. 61. 131 Charles I. Jacob. 109 Brescia. 287 Botero. 32 Boucicaut. 276. 251 Boccaccio. 215 Carroll. 186 – Giovanni. 149. 119. Giacomo. 87. Christopher. 221 . 94. 206. Filippo. 207 Boniface VIII. known as Passerino. 188. 183. Giuseppe. 22 Carminati. 179 – San Petronio. 174. 199 – Porta Galliera. 182. 21 Ceva. 287 – Porta Ravennate. 152 Cade. Pope. Pierre. 56. Jack. 169. 170. 119 Buonaccorsi. 274. 206. 107 Brembre. 257. 174. 260 Chartres. 49 Boniface IX. 185. Paolo. 83 Bercé. 205 – via dei Malcontenti. 178. 197. Giovanni. Mariano Ascanio. 182. Yves-Marie. 114 Castro Montevettoloni. 107 Cabrera. 284 Caracciolo. family. 188 Benvenuti. Diomede. 187. 260 Changenet. 287 – Palazzo Paleotti. 58 Cerchi. 199 – via San Donato. 108 Calais. Giovanni. 36 Brandini. 129 Bergamo.292 INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES 180. 173. Domenico. 169. Giacomo. 195 Bruges. 191. 211. 36. 45. 199. 59 Boucheron. 265 Carioso. 279. 49. 115 Catania. 199 – via Santo Stefano. 267 Billanovich. French marshal. 142 Casati. 232 Cascina. 180. 204 Carafa. 109 Calorosi. 185. 139 Castracane. 23. family. 183 Borgia. 287 Castro Carchiano. Antoine. 131 Burke. 94. 38 Caporale. 21. 85. 266 Charles IV of Bohemia. 50. 62 Cesena.

242. 253. 135. Concino. 286 – Palazzo Schifanoia. 88 Federico III. Friar. 112 Doyle. Gina. 22. 250. 241. 100 England. 212 Cossa. 100. 246. 247 Da Carrara. family. Bernardino. Baldassarre. 247. 222. 223. Trevor. 110. 138 Corio. 246. 252. 15 Fiji Islands. 242. 157. 137 Coniglio. Jr. Randall. 286 – Castello Estense. 246. 56. 140. Giovanni. 233 Cohn. 154. 161 Cremona. 56 Fiesole. 287 – Francesco. 61. 195 Fasoli. 249 – Stefano (il Vecchio). 274 Europe. 225. 195. 138 Dorini. 169. 152. Cardinal. Cardinal. 154.INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Cicero. 255 Comberton. 148 Felini. 154 Dinant. 101 Domenico di Lassi. 150. 196 – Landolfo. 135. Gino. Elizabeth. family. Norbert. 240. Samuel K. Georges. 249 – Pietro. 153. 223 293 – Guido. 274 – Leonello. 278 – Borso. 277. 273 Council of Trent. 239. 196. 245. Francesco. 184 Farnese. 247. 249. Pope. 152 – Giovanni. 254 – Girolamo. 120. 279. 129. family. 187 Clement VI. 135. 241. 275 Dean. John. 194. 210 – Alessandro. 247 Elias. 254. 251. 248. 255. 133 Council of Constance. 32 Cyprus. Dino. 16 Colonna. 284 Ciompi. 275 Crescenzi. 274 – Niccolò. family. 251. 252. 285 – Ercole I. 150. 273. 158. 106.. 185. 224 Denti. 119 Dijon. 253. 274 Faenza. 132 Dolcino. 242. family. Andrea. 278. 81. 108 Egypt. 184 Crapanzano. 237. 192. 33. 136. 232. 152. 156. 141. 96 Edward I. 252. 20 Cola di Rienzo. 254 Clement X. 50. 253. 103. 109 Compagni. 155. Umberto. family. 266 Doria. 229 Council of Chalcedon. 62 Donati. 150. 179. family. Giuseppe. 249. William. 243. family. 108. 238. Nicolaus. 284 Da Varano. 214 Cognasso. 61. 157 – Andrea. 248 Ezzelino da Romano. 240. 240. 151. 151. 244. Francesco. 56 Federico II. 256 – Giovanni. 274. 21. 61 Doria. 158 – Francesco. 151. 130. 15. 251. 278 Concini. 256 Collins. 123 Duby. 62. 249 Este. 274. Pope. 117 Della Scala. 207 Ferrara. 134 . 104 Dominici. 51. 286 Fieschi. 184. 279 Della Torre. family. family. 95 – Cangrande II. 153. Ruggero. 49. 134. 244 Crouzet Pavan.

15. 37. 56 Green. 53. 103. 39. Matteo. 234 – Black Guelphs. 114 – Santa Croce. Paolo. 203 Gozzadini. 50. Julien. 181. 224 Giovanni da Legnano. 271. 114 – Santa Maria Novella. 113. 93 Griffoni. 119 Gherardesca. 181. Francesco. 231. 88. 178. 61 Guicciardini. 239 Hobsbawn. 22 Hector. 55. Patrick. Ghibellines. 201. 33 Froissart. 197 Flanders. 90. family. 58 Gilbert. 33. 176 Ginzburg. 89. 101. 184 Guantanamo. family. Jean. 181. 100. 49. 94. Carlo. 38. 50 – Santo Spirito. 107. the Whites. 282 – San Felice in Piazza. 200 Ghislieri. 249. 176 Giamboni. 92. Cabrino. infantry. 21. 111. Alessandro. 140 Henry IV. 184 Grierson. 233. 128 Gonzaga. 39. 42. 273 France. 184 Guelph. 178 Foligno. 114 Floriano di Benvenuto. 128 Holy Church of Rome. 91. Eric J. 231. 114 – San Lorenzo. 22 Hook. William. 91. 232. 136 Gaston d’Orlean. 49. 175. 56 Germany. 119. 55. 233. Judith. 109 Gluckmann. 185. 188. 274 Ghiselli. 57. 107. 85. 107. 114 – San Miniato. 56. 56 Ghibelline. 56. Bono. 64. 112. 223. 61 Giovanni da Vignano. 32 Giotto. 187. 249 Florence. 187. 63 Holstein. 262. 202 Giacomo da Preunti. Louis. 241 Freund. 274 – Ercole. 214 . 132 Genoa. 222 Fondolo. 114 Gascon. 187 – White Guelphs. 86. Alizah. 275. 202. 85. 175. 38. 178. 105. 56. 282. family. 262 Graisolfi. 88. 133 – Francesco. Philip. 251 Franciscans. 133. 89. Max. 36. 268 Gaspar de Coligny. 270. 49. 41 Gloucester. 101 Fucecchio. family. family. Guelphs. 229. 53. 142 Guasconi. 108 Flaminio della Torre. 194. family. 284 Gilli. 90. 111 Gaenna. 36. 110. 282 – San Simone. 181. 63. 57. 283 – Palazzo Vecchio. 224. 286 Hungarian-Illyrian College. 16. 65. 65. 188. 239. 133. 186 – Nanne. 179. 132 Henry VII. 279 – Castelletto. 278 Fondazione Treccani degli Alfieri. 230. 266. 57 Giovanni da Cermenate. 234. Antonio Francesco. 282 Grillo. 134 Giovanni da Cermenate. 247. 112. 177. 92. Allan. 61 – Parte Guelfa. 93. 248.294 INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Fitz Osbert. the Blacks. 140 Ghent. 117. 279 Geremei. 186 Graziolo da Tosignano. 279 Gregorio di Massimo di ser Guoro.

252 Kent. 274 Manzoli. 246 John XXIII. 286 – Fabbrica del Duomo. 162 Maire Vigueur. 32 Miglio. 247. 288 Magna Regia Curia. 109 La Ripa. 61. 106. 233. 211. 274. 248 Milan. 284. 227. 287 Medici. 212. 21 Latini. 130. 282. Karl. Melchiori. 211. Niccolò. 117. 266 Marcel. 182 Malvezzi. 287. 37 295 Malaspina. 158 Lactantius. 215 Marches. (anti-) Pope. 251 Lambertazzi. 184 Mangiadori. 23. Emmanuel. 177. 274 – Carlo. 22. 140 Masetti. 113. 265. 167. 39 Manni. 110 Lope de Soria. 131 League of Cambrai. 289 Jean d’Auton. 34. Patrick. 111. 33 Miglio. Massimo. Brunetto. 179. 250. 153 Martines.INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Iacopo dal Verme. 262 Louis XIII. family. 252. Giacomo. 41 Matteo de’ Pasti. 288 Marx. 23 Le Roy Ladurie. family. 31. 53 Louis XII. 184. 282. 178. Pope. 232. 259. Etienne. 103 Mantua. 101 Jerusalem. 259. 170. 94. 181. 184. 267 Lorenzetti. 263 Law. 95. 283. 186. 256 Llewellyn. 175. 194 Manfredi. 260 Luyken. 258 London. 152. 250. 233 – Sigismondo. Duke of Montblanch. 227 – Porta Giovia. 223. 268 League of Cognac. family. 132. 168. 172. 95. 89. 281. 236. 275. 260 Malatesta. David. 275 Marchese del Vasto. 36. Gianfranco. 108 Lombardy. 282. 213. 289 Martini. 279. 266 Lope Hurtado de Mendoza. family. 230 Italy. 123 Masaniello. 108. 222. family. 89. 99. Ambrogio. 287 Julius Cesar. 263. 100 John the Baptist. 129. 109. 280 Lunigiana. 235. 96 Menant. 274. 263. 58 Lautrec. 56 Lantschner. 264 – Maria de. 131. Ian. 64. II. 260. 128. 94 John XXII. 203 Matteo de’ Libri. 261. Pope. Bartolomeo. Jean-Claude. 139 Machiavelli. 117 Mannelli. François. John. 194 Martin I. 176. family. Severo. 224. 258 Livy. family. 136 Meloria. 184 Marescotti. 287 Maltraversi. 262 Jean le Bel. 261. 210. Lauro. 261. 185. 285 – Giangiacomo. 36. 271 Marchese di Pescara. 35. 148 Martin. 43. 132. Francesco di Giorgio. 67 Jews. 174. 286 . 230. family. 264. 170. 88. 185. 241. 231. 264. 101 Marescalchi. 209. 136 Lucca. 278. 214. Giacomo. family. 94. 273 Julius.

61. 88. Cardinal. 229. 286 Piazza.296 INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Modena. 214 Montaperti. 170 Pius V. Edward. 130. 152. 104 Nero. 150. Antonio. 150 – Santa Maria Maddalena. 247 Parma. 52. 261. 246. 23. 174 Norwich. 154. 266. 184 Polizzi. 276 Montauri. 131 Porro. 89. Angelo. 268. 283 Pisano. 185 Persia. Francesco. 195. 92 . 245 Ortalli. 155. 150 – San Pancrazio. 195 Paolo da Certaldo. 267. 267 Pescia. Giorgio. 166 – San Blasio. 225 Oddi. Gherardo. 232 Morone. 107. 163. 139 Pistoia. 109 Nocera. 56. family. 206. Angelo. 287 Paleotti. 108 Novara. 168. 243 Piero della Francesca. 161 Paoletti. 154. family. 270 Pius II. 161 Paul III. 117 Montefeltro. 138 Patrizi. 92. family. 127. 133 Pavia. 258. 199 Paoletti. 209. village. 150 Poltroni. 274 – Federigo. 111. 247. 94. 15 Pisa. 149. Albertino. 59. Pope. 195. 86. 196. 277 Parrino. Paolo di Tommaso. 36. 245. 185. 280 – Reggia of. 86 Monza. 150. 133 Poeti. 21. 61 Naples. count of Pollenzo. 115 Petrarch. 110. Antonio. 153. 97 Oxford. family. 209 Pinsent. 56. 45. 141 Mussato. 161. 194. 159. 181. Gio Leonardo. 150 – Santa Maria Maggiore. 181. Jean-Marie. 210. 278 Paris. Domenico Antonio. Gabriele. 145. 237. 38 Orsini. 87 Monferrato. 287 Pietramala. 286 Peleus. Pope. 194. family. Boris. 285 Neri di Donato. 56. Gabriele. 284 Piatti. 62. 135 Newgate. 215 Prague. 260. 58 Papal State. 250. 146. 150 – San Giorgio. 275 Noëllet. 158. 101. 261 Montalto College. Pope. 211 Palermo. 140 Pepoli. 256 – Giordano. 159. 137. 166 Piedmont. 96 Montecatini. 251. 191. papal legate. castello. 37 Porschnev. 158. 43. 261 Muir. 195. 119. Gerolamo. Camillo. 129. 271 Pierleoni. 277 – Carrara. 278. 191 Padua. 237. 90. 261. Cecil. 241 Prato. 56. 211 Paul IV. 247 Perugia. 230 Porto. 43. 37. 56 Olmo. 155. 195. 150 – San Nicolò. 119 Pietro D’Ancarano. family. 45. 280. 131. 119. 207. 63 Patti. 94. 244. 43. 283 Pucci. 90 Pescara. 156. 93. 136. Pope. 146. 151. 203 Moeglin. 260. 240.

Cardinal. Aldo. Ori. 251. 243 – Colosseum. 163 – Pietro. 248. François. 263. 123 Scott. 50. 245 – Castel Sant’Angelo. 62. 178. Fabrizio. 56 San Casciano. 175. 162. 164 – Muni. 56 San Gueninello. President. 105 Sallust. Susan. 124 Spinola. 135. Carl. 259 Schmitt. 130 Sbriccoli. Marquisa de Larrain. 240. family. 287 Sharpe. 286 – Compagnia del Bruco. 195 – Lodovico Maria. 281. 140 Qur’an. 15. 177. 15 Scott. Christine. 286 Rhineland. 117 Santayana. family. 22 Sicily. 82 Sforza. Micco. Mario. 148. Gabrielle. Matteo. 162. Antonio. 53 Simiand. 256. 250 – Mausoleum of Augustus. Jack. 66 Renda. 191 Remigio de’ Girolami. 33. 255. 285 Serchio. 274. 103. Giovanni. 243 – Tiber River. 253. 260 Salvucci. 15 Savorgnan. 257 – Capitoline Hill. 161 Repubblica Ambrosiana (Republic of Sant’Ambrogio). 141 Roveto. Simone. 51 Scacchesi. 163 – Spatafora. 236. 100 Ricci. family. 56 . 164. 146. 116 San Gimignano. Angelo in Peschiera. 265. 174.INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Puppi. 127 Soltes. 116. 22. Giovanni. 194. 242. Tommaso di. 268 Russo. 163. 239. 246 – St. 184. 209. 110. 250 – St. 237. George. 274 – Castel Sismondo. 163 Rimini. 102 Rwanda. family. 109 Shaw. Orest. 260. 20 Richard II. 245 – Theater of Marcello. 85. 53. Victor. 109 Rigiu. John Lateran. 221. 235. 181 Schiner. 104 – Palazzo Pubblico. 238. Renato. 286 – Guido Ascanio. laymo de. Ernesto. river. 244 Rosaldo. 162. 286 – Francesco. 146. Geoffrey. 163. 182 Scappi. 99. 22. alias De Pace. 119 Rashdall. 244 – Pantheon. 157 Rutenburg. 202 Salimbeni. 116 San Miniato. 142 Randazzo. 140 Spanish College. 24 Spadaro. 17. 192 Seneca. 252 Sercambi. Hastings. Niccolò. Peter Basilica. 252. 282. 241. 155 Siena. family. 49. 238 – St. 15 Scott. 134 Ricciardelli. 33 Schama. 191. Lionello. 235. 56. family. 61. 214 Spiegel. 239 – Vatican. 166 Ranum. 177 – Ugolino. 88 Settia. 102 Seminario Vescovile. 24 Screpanti. family. 136 Raggiolo. 256 Saluzzo. 246. 99 297 Sagaci. 287 Rodolico. 102 Rome. 259. 104. Matthäus. 261. 181. family. 247. 113. 150.

283. 280 – Giangaleazzo. 282. Paolo. 21 Torrazzo. Bruno P. Carlo. 269 Villani. 128 Tuscany. 228. 239. Jack. 129 University of Turin. 22. 275 Tronci. 224. family. 232. 94. Ilaria.. 83. family.298 INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES Spoleto. 231. 20. 85. Rosario. 162. 114 Udine. 228 – Galeazzo. 273. Edward P. 202 Urbino. 286. 230. 95. 22. 169. 91. 252. 284 Volterra. 185. Viceroy. 281. 49 Van Dülmen. 133 Varanini. 186. 288. 176. 15. Cardinal. 88. 226. 279 Vespasian. 107 Treviso. 269 Vasari. 278. 279. 227. 168. 224. 93. 226. 276 Urrea. 109 Walter of (de) Brienne. 234 Verona. 110 Val Polcevera. 275 – Filippo Maria. 52. 92. 111. 284 Ventrone. 278 Trexler. 61. 95. Giovanni. 20 Terzi. Cosmé. 280 – Antonio. 227. 223. Paola. 131 Titone. 222. 126. 261 Venice. Stephen. 58. 237. 128 Tilly. 223. Max. 33. 277. Chris. 230 Thompson. 128. 235. 234. 15 Symonds. family. 234. 45. 95. 275. 84. 96. Thomas. 235. Ximenes Lope de. 227. 224. 174. 24 Weber. Charles Augustus. 274. 280. 223. Gian Maria. 135 Turner. 39 Veneto. 234. 94 Straw. 56. 224 Vitelleschi. 108 Ubaldini. 89. 275. 235. 16. Ottobuono. 88. 234 – Matteo. 229. 84 Vercelli. 93. 285 Velluti. Wat. 274. Richard. 29 White. 31 Zambeccari. 221. 228 – Azzone (Azzo). 137 Visconti family. 186. 108 Strong. 113 Valerius Maximus. Andrea. John Addington. Fabrizio. 94. 283 Walsingham. 163 Val di Chiana. 278 Stefani. 58 Tournai. 270 Tyler. 187. 112. 151. 94. 262 Valdinievole. 279 – Giovanni Maria. 256 Valois. 279 Villari. Voctor. family. 232. Natalie. 175. Charles of. 128 Zemon Davis. Arnold. 171. 233. 236. 225 – Bernabò (Barnabò). 186. 289 Taddei. 129 Zorzi. 224 – Galeazzo II. 140 Van Gennep. 177. 288 – Castelvecchio. 138 Tura. 285 Wanrooij. 143 Wickham. Placido. 117 . 278. Richard. 273 Tosinghi. 128. 92 Troyli. 224. 167. 188. 274. 239. 94 Trinci. 225. 286 – Francesco. 255 Vicenza. 84. 186.. Marchionne di Coppo. Charles. 178 Zambia. 285 – Corrado. Giorgio.