Italy in the Central Middle Ages: 1000-1300

Italy in the Central Middle Ages: 1000-1300

Italy in the Central Middle Ages: 1000-1300

Italy in the Central Middle Ages: 1000-1300

Excerpt

Writing the early history of a politically fragmented and economically diverse territory which has only been unified in recent times is a difficult task; both medieval Italy and medieval Germany, tied together by their links to the Holy Roman Empire, have posed similar problems in this respect. The difficulties are magnified in the Italian case because of the existence in the south of political structures quite different from those in the north, and because of the ethnic and religious diversity of the south by comparison with the north. And this perhaps explains why most attempts to write a history of Italy in the central Middle Ages have in fact emerged as something slightly different: as studies of power relationships in the towns and great feudal states of the north, in the case of Giovanni Tabacco; as a study of the evolution of the city-state in the case of J. K. Hyde. Hyde's rather Whiggish tendency to see the evolution of north Italian urban society as a path leading to the creation of republics controlled by their citizens forms part of a wider tendency to see the city-states of

G. Tabacco, The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy: Structures of Political Rule,
trans. Rosalind Brown Jensen (Cambridge, 1989).

J. K. Hyde, Society and Politics in Medieval Italy: The Evolution of the Civil Life,
1000-1350
(London, 1973).

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