James A. Palmer
- Doctoral Candidate
- Washington University in St. Louis
This dissertation examines the relationship between the commune, or city-state, of fourteenth-century Rome and a novel form of community that emerged there. In this period, rival elites came to form a collaborative ruling group that favored a diffuse model of governance, not centered solely on the institutions of the commune. This preference led them to make innovative use of various common technologies of community, including pious gifts, family chapels, and extra-judicial peacemaking, in order to signal their association and bind themselves to one another. The community they made was distinct from the jurisdictional world of the commune and outlasted its fall by several generations. This project’s approach thus separates the study of community in this period from that of the city-states and has implications for our framing of the relationship between society and the modern state.