The Materiality of Res Publica: How to Do Things with Publics

For the last 100 years, political science has traditionally concentrated on the publica part of the expression res publica, conceiving this notion as a form of government opposed to, say, monarchy. However, the Ancients and citizens of Renaissance republics were just as attentive to the res part of the expression. The goal of this richly illustrated volume—containing 94 images—is to draw attention to this res, things and affairs that bring people together. The book first focuses on the central role played by the Rialto Bridge in Venice and by the main bridge in Novgorod the Great in the lives of the respective republics. It includes studies of res in other res publicae: an analysis of the republican icon of a woman crowned with ramparts found in three European cities; and a detailed study of iconography figuring Hobbes’ theory of res publica.


Donatella Calabi is Professor of History of Architecture at IUAV University of Venice. Her works include The Market and the City, XV–XVII Century (2004).

Dominique Colas, co-editor of this volume, is Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po, Paris. His works include Le Léninisme (1982), Civil Society and Fanaticism (1997), and Citoyenneté et Nationalité (2004).

Oleg Kharkhordin, co-editor of this volume, is Professor of Political Science, European University of St. Petersburg. He is the author of The Collective and the Individual in Russia (1999) and Main Concepts of Russian Politics (2007).

Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen is a Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He has published many images and articles in the Journal of Material Culture and elsewhere.

Quentin Skinner is Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London. His many works include The Foundations of Modern Political Thought (1978), Visions of Politics (2002) and most recently Hobbes and Republican Liberty (2008).

Sergei Troianovskii is Vice-President of the Novgorod Society for Antiquities and author of over 50 articles on the history and archaeology of that city.

"Situating itself on the boundary between disciplines, it draws from a wide range of perspectives in archaeology, classical studies, sociology and political science...That is the great strength of this book: in bridging disciplinary boundaries, it makes new connections betweekn hitherto disparate fields."

Matt Edgeworth, University of Leicester in The Society for Medieval Archaeology Journal; Vol. 54, November 2010

dominique colas

Oleg Kharkhordin

turo-kimmo lehtonen

Quentin Skinner

sergei troianovskii

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-0958-6

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-0958-0

Release Date: 3rd July 2009

Pages: 301

Price: £44.99

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