Italy and Early Medieval Europe: Papers for Chris Wickham

Oxford University Press
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A comprehensive survey of recent work in Medieval Italian history and archaeology by an international cast of contributors, arranged within a broader context of studies on other regions and major historical transitions in Europe, c.400 to c.1400CE. Each of the contributors reflect on the contribution made to the field by Chris Wickham, whose own work spans studies based on close archival work, to broad and ambitious statements on economic and social change in the transition from Roman to medieval Europe, and the value of comparing this across time and space.
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About the author

Ross Balzaretti is an Associate Professor and Head of History at the University of Nottingham. He completed his PhD at University College London and held a Rome Scholarship at the British School at Rome, for which he is now an ambassador. In 2015 he was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Julia Barrow is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds. She previously worked at the universities of Birmingham - where she held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship - and Nottingham. Her research interests lie chiefly in Church history in England and Western Europe to 1300. Patricia Skinner holds a Personal Chair in History at Swansea University. She completed her PhD under Chris Wickham's supervision at Birmingham, and remained there holding a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has published several books and numerous articles on Italian, gender and medical history.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jul 26, 2018
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Pages
592
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ISBN
9780191083266
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Europe / Medieval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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By the early fourteenth century, the city of Florence had emerged as an economic power in Tuscany, surpassing even Siena, which had previously been the banking center of the region. In the space of fifty years, during the lifetime of Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321, Florence had transformed itself from a political and economic backwater—scarcely keeping pace with its Tuscan neighbors—to one of the richest and most influential places on the continent. While many historians have focused on the role of the city's bankers and merchants in achieving these rapid transformations, in Florence and Its Church in the Age of Dante, George W. Dameron emphasizes the place of ecclesiastical institutions, communities, and religious traditions. While by no means the only factors to explain Florentine ascension, no account of this period is complete without considering the contributions of the institutional church.

In Florence, economic realities and spiritual yearnings intersected in mysterious ways. A busy grain market on a site where a church once stood, for instance, remained a sacred place where many gathered to sing and pray before a painted image of the Virgin Mary, as well as to conduct business. At the same time, religious communities contributed directly to the economic development of the diocese in the areas of food production, fiscal affairs, and urban development, while they also provided institutional leadership and spiritual guidance during a time of profound uncertainty. Addressing such issues as systems of patronage and jurisdictional rights, Dameron portrays the working of the rural and urban church in all of its complexity. Florence and Its Church in the Age of Dante fills a major gap in scholarship and will be of particular interest to medievalists, church historians, and Italianists.

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