Images of the Good Estate: Political Legitimacy in Fourteenth-Century Rome Under Cola Di Rienzo
It is 1347 and Rome is in turmoil. Aristocratic families battle in the streets and the common people suffer. Who can restore justice and order? Cola Di Rienzo, a common clerk with knowledge of what Rome once was and what she could once again become steps forward to rule Rome. Against all odds Cola Di Rienzo succeeds in bringing peace and prosperity to Rome but on the wings of heretical angels. More
It is 1347, a year before the Black Death embraces Europe, and Rome is in turmoil. Aristocratic warlords battle in the streets and the common people suffer. The markets are empty and pious pilgrims fear to visit. Rome is dying. Who can restore peace, justice and simple social order? Some look in vain to an Emperor who has never set foot in Rome. Others look in vain to a Pope living in lavish opulence in France and refuses to return to the Vatican.
It is a time of revolution. The common people need a leader and one arises from their lowly ranks. Cola Di Rienzo, a civil clerk with knowledge of what Rome once was and visions of what she could once again become steps forward and is proclaimed the ruler of Rome, the Eternal City, the Capital of the World.
How does Cola Di Rienzo legitimize his political rule in a time when democracy is all but unheard of? In 1347 political power stems from only two sources, Imperial or Papal. Yet Cola Di Rienzo discovers a third source, the apocalyptic prophesies of a heretical religious movement.
Against all odds Cola Di Rienzo succeeds in bringing peace and prosperity to Rome but on the wings of heretical angels.