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social structures continued

Course Code
Nicholas Terpstra

of 3
Social structures in early modern Europe continued
11:08 AM
Towers in Europe
Bologna city had two towers that were their symbols
They had Campanilismo - tower pride they include bell, church towers
Back then towers like the Assinelli tower for protection/defence packed
with supplies and also to show a statement of who they were, so during
war you would pack the tower with people and wait till the battle was over
So when the city wanted to cut down a families power they destroyed their
Same thing goes for Sienna that has many cathedral and square tower city vs.
Also goes for Hantwerpen that had many towers with the cathedral tower at the
center looking over the city and building
Tower says a lot about what we are and the landscape and image and the cities
What are some of the dynamics? Like city shrines and festivals for the saints,
games, food etc. ?
Citizens and cities were much more homogenous they would have random city
squares etc unlike now that is much more spread out/ we have more zoning on
income and areas
for ex Bononia commercial places are throughout the city with rich and poor
mixed together in the center of the city, ( there was a procession way back when
to get rid of the poor to a work factory to deal with the overcrowding)
Architecturally the rich built 2 or 3 story elaborate places on the inside in
the core while on the outside of the first walls there are smaller one story
In the core city square you had the church, main banks, justice building
and the notaries
So cities like Bononia built their cities into quarters and all came together
into a neutral space in the city
Rituals of cohesion, solidarity and separation in towns
Another ex. place where we see this is in Venice and is made up of 60 individual
islands and it is divided into 6ths and to go another island you have to go by
bridge (which has a tower) and the island is seen independent and if one does not
like their neighbour they had bridge fights with the teens to see which side is
tougher, then by the 15th c they had one local battle with one at the bottom of
the bridge, they rush to the middle and try to take over the bridge with no rules
with only able to use their fists which turned into a ritual and expressed the
division of the city,
The Doge - a person who is elected for a term who lives in the palace and
on the 15 of august he would get into his boat and do a ritual procession in
the park in the center of the lagoon and take out a gold wedding ring and
would marry the sea and the idea was that Venice gained its prosperity
with the sea, so this show how there was also cohesion in the city
in Bologna August 20 the feast day of st Bartholomew they close the city
gates and have a big party, in the morning they races of a horse dog and
bird and around 3 they go to the city square and on the city balcony at the
city hall a bunch of politics throw out birds ( with wings clipped) for 2
hours then they get the biggest they could fins and cooks to roast it and
then toss the pig into the crowd, then they drop a big cauldron of soup into
the crowd - so this would celebrate the fact that the weather is cooling
The processions are important and what they would do just before planting or
harvest they would have - A beating of the Bounds where you would follow the
priest around the boundaries of the community to bless them and their land in
There were also a lot of processions to get the town together and what one
would do would go to one symbolic place to another to ask for help from
the saints
So these rituals of solidarity are fundamentally religious while the division
rituals are usually athletic
City/town life/councils
the focus of the town was neighbourhood life and it would be where you would
exercise your social political rights and you would work as a community to take
care of each other and each city had a representative in the council - which
meant that you act as the local power broker and provide them with everything
they need ex arranging marriages, work etc.
Ex. City of Florence with the main cathedral tower with a city hall and small
tower, the Medici family had their own power and started locally where they
offered a lot of money, the Strotzzi had their own territory on the NW and also
the Albizzi on the NE who wanted to get in the council and help their
neighbourhood and in the SW was called the Oltrano the working area, there are
also deep attachments to the cities where people do not like to go or move and
where so there