Date of Award

9-1981

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Supervisor

E.M. Beame

Language

English

Abstract

This study focuses on the reigns of Borso and Ercole d'Este who ruled Ferrara consecutively from 1450-1504. During this period Ferrara became one of the leading courts of Italy and a prominent European cultural centre. This was largely the result of the rulers' display of "Magnificence" , a classical concept which gained a new significance in the later fifteenth century. The Este used Magnificence to consolidate their dynasty and to fulfill personal political aspirations. Furthermore, they used it to emphasize class differences; such behaviour indicates the crystallization of an upper-class identity among the ruling elite of Italy. Ercole, in particular, emerges as an example of the self-assured, aristocratic ruler who appeared in the later Quattrocento Italian courts.

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