Public Rituals Of Renaissance Florence Essay example

2120 Words Nov 19th, 2016 9 Pages
Public ritual in Renaissance Florence involved many actors took many forms.1 Rituals could be civic rituals performed by the citizens of the city, or rituals primarily concerned with one family or group of people, but were displayed and therefore made available to the public.2 Some rituals were popular rituals were anyone could participate. These public rituals had various purposes, the most important ones being reproducing hierarchies which conditioned the organization of power within the Florentine polity, and ensuring civil peace and harmony.3 This was particularly important in Renaissance Florence as no one monarch ruled the city, and there was not a singular figure embodying authority and morality and who the people could look up to. Keeping law and order thus was the ruling class ' major concern, and public rituals were primarily used to that effect. To understand the purposes of public rituals in Renaissance Florence, it is important to first define ritual and see why public rituals were necessary at this time and place. To support my argument, I will look in the second half of the essay at the carnival of 1513 and use it as a case study to highlight the relevance and purposes of public rituals in Renaissance Florence.

Ritual is difficult to define, as it encompasses many different factors which usually appeal to our emotions.4 Ritual is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as 'a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a…

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