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14 Founding a Social Cosmos: Perspectives for a Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Lombardy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the practices of the reproduction of social and political relations, seeking to discuss, concisely, the greatest number of themes which have been the object of renewed interest and leaving more space to the protagonists that the encounter between history and anthropology has brought to the fore in recent years. It examines how group identities, social cohesion and political loyalty did not rest only on a conventional and utilitarian foundation, but were based on profound feelings of identification, culturally dense rituals and symbols of unity, eloquent in communication and of recognized efficacy in action. Early modern Lombardy was the location of a particularly intensive cultural circulation, that allowed even apparently minor subjects to make their voices heard. In the last centuries of the Middle Ages village and township communities experienced impressive social and institutional development.

Keywords: early modern Lombardy; historical anthropology; Middle Ages

10.1163/9789004284128_016
/content/books/b9789004284128_016
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