Captaincy and Vicariate

  • John Larner


So far, the first stage in the formation of the Romagnol signori. has been discussed. It has been seen how comitatinanza. the subjection of the contad. by the town, created a new dominant class, formed from two virtually indistinguishable elements: the old feudal nobility of the countryside, and the town nobility who had secured emphyteutic leases in the contado. In the absence of any bourgeoisie strong enough to challenge their predominance, these men became the natural leaders of the communes. Yet, at the same time, divisions grew within their ranks; each family and party wished to dominate the commune in its own interest. Something has been said about their motives in this; they include, for instance, the wish to control the marketing of their crops. But it would be a distortion to over-emphasise the element of calculation. Romagna in this era was essentially an ‘ heroic ’ society in which the habit of conscious calculation was much weaker than in the bourgeois republics across the Apennines. The Romagnol crimes which figure in the Divine Comed., the treacheries of Fra Alberico and of Tibaldello Zambrasi, for instance, startle precisely because of their irrationality.


Papal State Thirteenth Century Fourteenth Century Great Company General Council 
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Copyright information

© John Larner 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Larner
    • 1
  1. 1.Glasgow UniversityUK

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