Bijan Omrani

Good Rule Hunting

Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

By

Belknap Press 784pp £36.95 order from our bookshop
 

If anyone thinks that we live in a uniquely degraded political age, let them spare a thought for late medieval Italy. Consider, for example, Galeazzo II Visconti, who secured his rule over Milan in the 1350s by inventing the Quaresima torture protocol, a carefully designed forty-day programme of public torture – including eye-gouging, stretching on the rack, flaying and multiple amputation – to intimidate opponents of his rule; or his later successor Gian Maria Visconti, whose preferred means of executing criminals was to feed them alive to his hunting dogs.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter