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Civic And Ethnic Discourses Of Identity In A City-State Context: The Case Of Renaissance Ragusa

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Chapter Summary

Ragusan civic discourse is an example of a well-known phenomenon belonging to that wide category of self-representations of Late Medieval and Renaissance republics. This chapter investigates the relationship of this civic discourse with one of the less salient and yet important "secondary" offers of identity in Ragusan Renaissance culture, a discourse which - for the lack of a better name - the author proposes to call "ethnic". The first aim of the chapter is to shed light on the ways in which Ragusans themselves distinguished between those two types of imagined community by focusing on three important points used in differentiation: the criteria of membership, the modalities of their narrative representation, and their political implications. The second aim is to try to reconstruct the ways in which their relationship was understood and to investigate whether in the eyes of the contemporaries those two identity offers contradicted, competed with or complemented each other.

Keywords: ethnic discourses; Ragusan Renaissance culture



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