Edited By Flocel Sabaté
Quivi hanno refugio tutte le nationi come commune domicilio del mondo (Here all the Nations have Refuge as Shared Home of the World). The Cosmopolitan Identity of Rome between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Anna Maria OLIVA
CNR, Istituto di Storia dell’Europa Mediterranea
It is not easy to speak of identity for a city like Rome that is symbolic par excellence. Identity is a complex institutional, political, social, cultural, and anthropological concept. It is not an objective reality, or a piece of cold data, but the sum of several elements. It is a phenomenon of flow, closely connected to the concept of movement and change, because the identity of a given people alters over time, as well as being linked to processes of construction, since it is the result of a number of social, economic, and cultural elements that are both individual and collective1.
An analysis of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which inspired the movie Blade Runner and which deals with androids that are intended to be “more human than human”, shows how the existential drama of these artificial life units is connected to the “lack of memory and thus of identity”2. The link between memory and identity, since there can be no identity without memory, strongly influences any reflection on the identity of Rome, a city where memory has some particularly profound symbolic and ideological aspects (in ← 99 | 100 → this respect one has only to think of its definition as the eternal city) and where identity derives from accumulation, perhaps more than in any other place.
The sources that have defined the image of Rome between the fifteenth...
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