Cose in comune e bene comune. L’ideologia della comunità in Italia nel tardo medioevo

Autore: E. Igor Mineo
In: I libri di Viella. 128

The centrality of the notion of "common good" in the late medieval political discourse is the centrality of a conventional principle – the quality of regimes varies according to their ability to preserve the collective good – but also of a typical equivocal locus of the common sentiment, where the uncertain relationships between individual, private "good" and public "good" were measured. The ideologies of the common good were complex because the terrain on which the ideologies and representations of the community faced off against each other were complex and full of conflict. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, very different ideas of community confronted each other and found in the works of writers like Remigio de’ Girolami and Marsilio da Padova two major poles of synthesis. In the attempts to rationalize the Italian political situation contained in their works – the situation of "crisis" of the regimes of the "people" – a prominent role is played by the construction of a new idea of "common good," increasingly abstract and indeterminate, which tends to coincide with the value of the union and temporal continuity of the community. This is an idea that conceals and casts out the perception of "things held in common," of the well-defined sphere of goods, lands, and resources, that had been at the base of the life of the community and that, within this new "common good," changed function completely.