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Throughout the early modern period, the villas of Frascati played a central role in Roman social politics. New families penetrated Roman society and began to climb from the ranks of the ecclesiastical nobility into the secular aristocracy in the mid-sixteenth century. In this study, Tracy Ehrlich analyzes one such villa--the Villa Mondragone--(built by Pope Paul V Borghese) to demonstrate how architecture, landscape and rituals of villegiatura (villa life) were used to forge a new identity as a Roman noble house.