Medieval Lucca: And the Evolution of the Renaissance State

Hardcover | April 9, 2008

byM. E. Bratchel

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Although there are many books in English on the city and state of Lucca, this is the first scholarly study to cover the history of the entire region from classical antiquity to the end of the fifteenth century. At one level, it is an archive-based study of a highly distinctive political community;at another, it is designed as a contribution to current discussions on power-structures, the history of the state, and the differences between city-states and the new territorial states that were emerging in Italy by the fourteenth century.There is a rare consensus among historians on the characteristic features of the Italian city-state: essentially the centralization of economic, political, and juridical power on a single city and in a single ruling class. Thus defined, Lucca retained the image of an old-fashioned, old-stylecity-republic right through until the loss of political independence in 1799. No consensus exists with regard to the defining qualities of the Renaissance state. Was it centralized or de-centralized; intrusive or non-interventionist? The new regional states were all these things. And thecomparison with Lucca is complicated and nuanced as a result.Lucca ruled over a relatively large city territory, in part a legacy from classical antiquity. Lucca was distinctive in the pervasive power exercised over its territory (largely a legacy of the region's political history in the early and central middle ages). In consequence, the Lucchese stateshowed a marked continuity in its political organization, and precociousness in its administrative structures. The qualifications relate to practicalities and resources. The coercive powers and bureaucratic aspirations of any medieval state were distinctly limited, whilst Lucca's capacity forindependent action was increasingly circumscribed by the proximity (and territorial enclaves) of more powerful and predatory neighbours.

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Although there are many books in English on the city and state of Lucca, this is the first scholarly study to cover the history of the entire region from classical antiquity to the end of the fifteenth century. At one level, it is an archive-based study of a highly distinctive political community;at another, it is designed as a contrib...

M. E. Bratchel is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of the Witwatersrand and has held visiting fellowships at many institutions, including the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, Cambridge, the University of London, the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, and the L...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:April 9, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199542902

ISBN - 13:9780199542901

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Table of Contents

1. Lucca's Ancient Heritage: The Early Structures of City and Territory2. The Early Commune and the Conquest of the Contado3. The Administration of a Medieval City-Territory: Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries4. The Fourteenth Century: The Lucchese State from the Loss of Independence to the Recovery of Liberty5. The Signoria of Paolo Guinigi and the Evolution of the Fifteenth-Century Lucchese State6. Lucca and its Territories in the Fifteenth Century: Politics and Administration7. Lucca and its Territories in the Fifteenth Century: Economy and SocietyGlossaryBibliographyIndex