Politics and Justice in Late Medieval Bologna

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BRILL, 2010 - History - 671 pages
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This book is the first to investigate the practice of summary justice in a late medieval Italian commune. In delineating the political and social context of that development in late medieval Bologna, it also is the first to study the phenomenon of oligarchy not only at the level of the executive body of a commune, but also in the broader councils of commune and popolo, as well as among the ranks of the enfranchised political class. The dominant popolo party constructed itself through multiple forms of exclusion that deeply affected the administration of justice and led to the rise of new institutions of judicial appeal and equity. Exclusion also led to shifting concepts of the legal status and perceptions of social identity of insider and outsider, of popolano and magnate, as revealed in the testimony of witnesses in trial records. Bologna's rich archival sources make it possible to bring a new perspective to key issues in legal and social history.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Setting the Boundaries
15
Part II Prosecuting the Excluded
43
Councils of the Commune
69
Councils of the Popolo
113
Legal Definitions
135
Part II Perceptions of Identity and Proofs of Status
183
V The Politicization of Criminal Justice
313
Epilogue
499
Map of Bologna
509
Appendices
511
Bibliography
641
Index
655
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Sarah Rubin Blanshei, Ph.D. (1971) in History, Bryn Mawr College, is Dean of the College and Professor of History emerita at Agnes Scott College. She has published a monograph on inedieval Perugia and articles on criminal justice in late medieval Bologna and Perugia.

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