Anger and spectacle in late medieval Rome: Gauging emotion in urban topography

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This chapter reveals several possibilities for analyzing the intersection of urban topography and emotion. The example of Cola di Rienzo's death and his body's subsequent treatment demonstrates how studying the use of city space in the context of a particular event can lay bare social networks and affiliations that might otherwise have remained undocumented. The chapter shows that anger can once again be seen mapping itself onto the city, as catalyst for violent and meaningful public spectacle. Having already voiced their anger, then, Romans did not need to alter the election of 1378 a year later. While all sectors of Roman society were at fault, the fact that the participating Roman popolo all hailed from determinate urban neighbourhoods dominated largely by the Colonna family suggests that the operative element in Cola's downfall were networks of clientage linking all stations of Roman society.

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Cities, Texts and Social Networks, 400-1500: Experiences and Perceptions of Medieval Urban Space