Urban Legends: Civic Identity and the Classical Past in Northern Italy, 1250-1350

Paperback | May 31, 2012

byCarrie E. Beneš

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Between 1250 and 1350, numerous Italian city-states jockeyed for position in a cutthroat political climate. Seeking to legitimate and ennoble their autonomy, they turned to ancient Rome for concrete and symbolic sources of identity. Each city-state appropriated classical symbols, ancient materials, and Roman myths to legitimate its regime as a logical successor to—or continuation of—Roman rule. In Urban Legends, Carrie Beneš illuminates this role of the classical past in the construction of late medieval Italian urban identity.

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Between 1250 and 1350, numerous Italian city-states jockeyed for position in a cutthroat political climate. Seeking to legitimate and ennoble their autonomy, they turned to ancient Rome for concrete and symbolic sources of identity. Each city-state appropriated classical symbols, ancient materials, and Roman myths to legitimate its reg...

Carrie Beneš is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at the New College of Florida.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.66 inPublished:May 31, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271037660

ISBN - 13:9780271037660

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Note on the Text

Introduction

1. Appropriating a Roman Past

2. Padua: Rehousing the Relics of Antenor

3. Genoa: Many Januses for Civic Unity

4. Siena: Romulus and Remus Revisited

5 Perugia: Adopting a New Aeneas

6. Classical Scholarship and Public Service

Conclusion

Biographical Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Beneš’ study allows us intimate access to the heart of the North Italian city-state, to the aspirations, fears, and passions, not only of the elites but of the wider urban community. . . . [This is] a magnificent piece of scholarship and a highly valuable contribution to a subject full of modern-day resonance.”

—P. Oldfield, English Historical Review