Introduction: Cola di Rienzo

Ronald G. Musto

in Apocalypse in Rome

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233966
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928725 | DOI:
Introduction: Cola di Rienzo

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This book is the story of Cola di Rienzo, of his rise to power, his coronation as tribune, his startling victories over the barons, his unexpected fall, his years of hidden wandering among the apocalyptic heretics of Italy's Abruzzi Mountains, his sudden appearance at the court of Emperor Charles IV in Prague, and his return, under arrest, to Avignon, there to stand trial as a heretic for his betrayal of the pope and the Roman church. The story then traces Cola's return to power in Rome and his death on the Capitoline near where the statue of him now stands. His actions and words may seem foreign to modern eyes and ears, less resonant of the history and traumas of the twentieth century, and his motivations, both stated and unstated, more perplexing to attempts at analysis using familiar political, social, or psychological models.

Keywords: Cola di Rienzo; power; coronation; Abruzzi Mountains; Emperor Charles IV; Roman church; Prague; Avignon

Chapter.  9113 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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