Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the by Ronald G. Musto

By Ronald G. Musto

On may perhaps 20, 1347, Cola di Rienzo overthrew with no violence the turbulent rule of Rome's barons and the absentee popes. a tender visionary and the simplest political speaker of his time, Cola promised Rome a go back to its former greatness. Ronald G. Musto's brilliant biography of this charismatic leader--whose exploits have enlivened the paintings of poets, composers, and dramatists, in addition to historians--peels away centuries of interpretation to bare the realities of fourteenth-century Italy and to supply a entire account of Cola's upward thrust and fall.A guy of modest origins, Cola received a name as a skilled expert with an unprecedented wisdom of Rome's classical is still. After incomes the dignity and friendship of Petrarch and the sponsorship of Pope Clement VI, Cola received the affections and loyalties of all sessions of Romans. His buono stato verified the recognition of Rome because the heralded New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse and speedy made the town a effective diplomatic and non secular middle that challenged the authority--and power--of either pope and emperor.At the peak of Cola's rule, a conspiracy of pope and barons pressured him to escape the town and stay for years as a fugitive until eventually he used to be betrayed and brought to Avignon to face trial as a heretic. Musto relates the dramatic tale of Cola's next exoneration and go back to crucial Italy as an agent of the recent pope. yet purely weeks after he reestablished his govt, he used to be slain via the Romans atop the Capitoline hill.In his exploration, Musto examines each identified record relating Cola's lifestyles, together with papal, deepest, and diplomatic correspondence hardly utilized by prior historians. along with his intimate wisdom of historic Rome--its streets and ruins, its church buildings and palaces, from the busy Tiber riverfront to the misplaced attractiveness of the Capitoline--he brings a cinematic aptitude to this attention-grabbing historic narrative.

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In North America few serious studies of Rienzo had emerged since Cosenza’s edition of 1913 (reedited by the present writer in 1986 and again INTRODUCTION 19 in 1996). 4 A professor of philosophy at Columbia University and the leading scholar of the origins and nature of Renaissance humanism, Kristeller fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s but had been deeply influenced by Burdach’s theory of the spiritual and apocalyptic origins of the Renaissance. By the 1950s, however, Kristeller had rejected “Burdach’s attempts to derive the concept of the Renaissance from religious or mystical traditions” and instead delved deeper into the origins of humanism in the school culture of the Italian rhetoricians.

Many of these strains came together in the 1920s to produce Benito Mussolini as Italy ’s Duce. Sometime after World War II, Aldo Parini, an elderly Socialist, related the following story in Barzini’s The Italians (133–34). Just before the outbreak of the war, Parini asked for a meeting with Il Duce. The two had been Socialist comrades before Fascism, and Parini had a favor to ask: that his old friend Benito now help some of their former Socialist comrades who, in their old age, 14 INTRODUCTION had come upon hard times under the Fascist regime.

1345) testifies to these well-known origins of the name arenula, its broad swatch of sandy beach still prominent in late-nineteenth-century photographs. Until the creation of the Lungotevere Cenci, the riverbank was lined with a solid wall of buildings, many as high as seven or eight stories, rising directly up from the walls on the river across from the Tiber Island. The overall effect was much like that of the Oltrarno in Florence today. This “sandy shore” was accessed by a narrow gate below the Monte dei BIRTH, YOUTH, AND SOCIETY 29 Cenci and the church of San Tomasso, where via della Fiumara, which ran parallel to the river behind the row of houses fronting the Tiber, met via Cenci, and then continued west along via dei Vaccinari.

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