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Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Robert Sturges, ed.)

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On the morning of November 27, 1401, a brief confrontation took place at a countryside road just outside Milan. A small but intent group of delegates from the Fabbrica del Duomo, the institution in charge of the building and maintenance of the Cathedral of Milan, met Prince Gian Galeazzo Visconti right outside his castle, as he was riding toward the city.1 The angry ambassadors complained to the prince about his latest interference in the governance of the Fabbrica: a letter ordering it to re-hire Jean Mignot, the French architect whom the Council of the Cathedral had fired a month before. Mignot was a favorite of the prince and had been appointed to the position of director of the works thanks to the prince’s pressures on the counselors. In turn, Mignot had tried to manipulate the Council’s decisions in the direction of the prince’s project: transforming the Cathedral of Milan in his dynastic mausoleum. But something had not gone according to plan and as a result of Mignot’s attempt to exert control over the building project, he had lost his job.


This is the manuscript version of The Prince and the Prostitute: Competing Sovereignties in 14th Century Milan. For the published version of this book contribution and the full volume, Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, please visit: