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The Virtues of EconomyGovernance, Power, and Piety in Late Medieval Rome$
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James A. Palmer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501742378

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501742378.001.0001

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Power, Morality, and Political Change in Fourteenth-Century Rome

Power, Morality, and Political Change in Fourteenth-Century Rome

(p.41) Chapter 2 Power, Morality, and Political Change in Fourteenth-Century Rome
The Virtues of Economy

James A. Palmer

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the second major challenge facing Rome's ruling elite: the transformation of the ruling group itself. It looks at the two visions of Rome that defined the city's early fourteenth-century political culture: the Rome of the barons and that of the nonbaronial urban elite. This long-standing ideological conflict was waning by the mid-fourteenth century, as formal rivals for power in Rome began to come together to form a new composite ruling group. The chapter then reveals this transitional moment through an analysis of the unique testament of a Roman baron, Francesco di Giovanni Romani Bonaventurae. Like all testators, Francesco feared death and prepared for it, but he did so in a highly unusual way, a confessional way that allows one to glimpse how the complexities of mid-fourteenth-century Roman politics could be instantiated in a single life. The chapter also studies court cases and other documents revelatory of his character as well as his relationship to Rome and to his political rivals there.

Keywords:   Rome, ruling elite, Roman political culture, urban elite, power, Roman barons, Roman politics

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