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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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Good Governance and the Economy of Violence

Good Governance and the Economy of Violence

(p.167) Chapter 6 Good Governance and the Economy of Violence
The Virtues of Economy

James A. Palmer

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the economy of violence. Through a theatrical form of ritualized peacemaking, Roman elites managed private violence, claimed justice and peace as characteristic of Roman political society, and claimed for themselves a unique capacity to sustain this rightly ordered social world. Such peacemaking was the domain of the political elite but under their guidance was participated in not only by prominent male citizens but by women, noncitizens, and even Jews. Performed on the city's streets, these rituals make clear the importance of the circuit between the Roman political elite and the city's diverse political society. They also reveal the gradual decentering of communal institutions. Nowhere is the legitimization of power in a political society that transcends the civic realm clearer. It is in these rituals that the transformative potential of Rome's new political culture becomes most apparent, as they gradually produced a distinct new Roman elite with a new kind of claim to the virtues of good governance.

Keywords:   violence, peacemaking, Roman elites, Roman political society, Roman political elite, communal institutions, power, Roman political culture, good governance

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