In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the nascent independent communes of central Italy expressed a new sense of civic identity through the staging of elaborate public liturgical processions that shaped and were shaped by local mythology and idiomatic urban landscapes. The Medieval Inchinata Procession at Tivoli: Ritual Construction of Civic Identity in the Age of the Commune examines Tivoli's Inchinata procession, which continues to circle the city every year on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption. Reconstructing the route and performance of the medieval Inchinata through textual, topographical, and archaeological data, Rebekah Perry argues that the procession evolved as an adaptation of “official” liturgical rites introduced by Tivoli's rival Rome to a native apotropaic ritual and local narratives embedded in the city's topography. Through the cosmographical choreography of the procession, the young municipality may have used this amalgamation to invoke the New Jerusalem as an appeal to divine authority for the right to self-rule.
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