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Chapter One

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Chapter Summary

The popolo of Bologna, from its earliest days in the thirteenth century as a congeries of voluntary associations to its final years a century later as a political force and party, structured itself and shaped its identity on the basis of exclusionary policies. These policies are found in their earliest format in the building blocks with which the popolo party was constructed - the guilds and arms societies. Other occupations had guild organizations, possibly established after the initial formation of the Societas Populi, but those guilds did not receive political participation during the thirteenth century, such as the fine wool guild whose statutes survive from 1256 and the rough wool guild from 1288. Gervase Rosser has shown how important it was to medieval artisans to maintain their reputation by dissociating themselves from the petty criminals, prostitutes, "terminally poor," and "permanently unemployed" who were marginalized to the edge of society.

Keywords: Bologna; Gervase Rosser; popolo; Societas Populi

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