By David Rosenthal

For greater than a century the artisans and labourers of Renaissance Florence became the town into their very own 'empire' during periods of public joyful celebration. From the republic of the past due 1400s via to the grand duchy of the early 17th century, as much as 40 brigades of fellows referred to as the potenze, or powers, elected kings, carved out territories, and entered right into a discussion with voters and with their Medici consumers.

This learn strains the increase and fall of this carnivalesque tradition for the 1st time. It describes how staff represented themselves, their neighbourhoods, and their trades at the public degree via rituals similar to stone-fighting and jousting, and divulges how the politics of this festive international have been heavily associated with daily styles of social bargaining round the individual of the prince. within the early 1600s the micro-states of the potenze have been in part suppressed and so they progressively disappeared from the Florentine city degree. The account of this variation provided right here exhibits how Tridentine reform and monetary quandary mixed to undermine hypermasculine carnival ritual as a language of civic agreement, confining the potenze to creating pilgrimages to shrines and convents within the Florentine geographical region. while it's proven how monetary and non secular swap empowered teams of artisan ladies to soak up the version of the potenze on the way to make their very own collective pilgrimages outdoor town partitions.

during the tale of the potenze, this e-book presents clean insights into the dynamics of sophistication and gender relatives, and the character of organization, in early glossy Italy.

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12° In 1561, all but two of forty-two dyers' workshops. wool and silk, were in Santa Croce: Battara, 'Botteghc e pigioni', p. 17. The precise streets arc indicated, for 1480, in Bianchi, 'Le botteghe fiorentinc'. , 984, ins. 53. fits r;~idtnza. Parte, 1478, fols 70, 218'. The earliest known reference to the pottnza of the Cardo m Santa Croce is, however, from the 1520s, and it appears as such again in 1545 and 1577: BNCF, 1525 census: Octo, 40, fol. , 984, ins. 68. While these zones changed little over time, the evidence indicates chat purging became increasingly concentrated here - all workshops were 'UNDER MY I'OTENZA': NETWORKS, COMMUNITIES, KINGDOMS 47 biggest textile group, meanwhile, formed one of several potenze that massed in the dense commercial and manufacturing heart of the city.

A discussion in 1606 on the annual palio involved Savclli and Giulio Carlctti, plus Battista Golpi, a Mela counsellor. Tintori, A. IV. 4, fol. 46•. This meeting is disussed in Chapter 3. For thesepounu: Parte,l478, fols 156', 226' (Scodc:llini): fols 149', 229' (Mela). 54 Chapttr 1 bourhood potenze - such as San Lorenzo of the bakers, in existence by 1529, or San Martino of the tavern-keepers, founded in 1542, although a potenza of Tavern-keepers and two of Bakers, all undoubtedly anchored in those confraternities, do emerge in the sources in the early seventeenth century.

Yet why appeal to the Virgin as the Biliemme, as a potenza? One reason perhaps was that potenze kingdoms were rooted in an idea of urban territory, and plague was understood to be a disease transmitted through the air, spread· ing in this way between neighbours and infiltrating whole districts. Howe;er, there were arguably more compelling motives. The kingdom was a mechantsm through which these men could cake their migrant solidarities and insert them into wider communities. To begin with, the neighbourhood·community chat the realm of the Biliemme looked to give shape eo was hardly uniformly German.

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