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Emblems of the City: Civic Pageantry and the Rhetoric of Urbanism

To the world when it was half a thousand years younger, the outlines of all things seemed more clearly marked than to us. . . . Every event, every action was still embodied in expressive and solemn forms, which raised them to the dignity of a ritual. For it was not merely the great facts of birth, marriage and death which, by the sacredness of the sacrament, were raised to the rank of mysteries; incidents of less importance, like a journey, a task, a visit, were equally attended by a thousand formalities: benedictions, ceremonies, formulae.

. . . The great lords never moved about without a glorious display of arms and liveries, exciting fear and envy. Executions and other public acts of justice, hawking, marriages, funerals, were all announced by cries and processions, songs and music. . . .

Then there were the entries of princes, arranged with all the resources of art and luxury belonging

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