This Encyclopedia gathers together the most recent scholarship on Medieval Italy, while offering a sweeping view of all aspects of life in Italy during the Middle Ages. This two volume, illustrated, A-Z reference is a cross-disciplinary resource for information on literature, history, the arts, science, philosophy, and religion in Italy between A.D. 450 and 1375. For more information including the introduction, a full list of entries and contributors, a generous selection of sample pages, and more, visit the Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia website.
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Based on papers presented at the 41st Conference on Editorial Problems held at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., from Nov. 6 - 8th, 2005.
First published in 2004, Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia provides an introduction to the many and diverse facets of Italian civilization from the late Roman empire to the end of the fourteenth century. It presents in two volumes articles on a wide range of topics including history, literature, art, music, urban development, commerce and economics, social and political institutions, religion and hagiography, philosophy and science. This illustrated, A-Z reference is a cross-disciplinary resource and will be of key interest not only to students and scholars of history but also to those studying a range of subjects, as well as the general reader.
Medieval Italy gathers together an unparalleled selection of newly translated primary sources from the central and later Middle Ages, a period during which Italy was famous for its diverse cultural landscape of urban towers and fortified castles, the spirituality of Saints Francis and Clare, and the vernacular poetry of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. The texts highlight the continuities with the medieval Latin West while simultaneously emphasizing the ways in which Italy was exceptional, particularly for its cities that drove Mediterranean trade, its new communal forms of government, the impact of the papacy's temporal claims on the central peninsula, and the richly textured religious life of the mainland and its islands. A unique feature of this volume is its incorporation of the southern part of the peninsula and Sicily—the glittering Norman court at Palermo, the multicultural emporium of the south, and the kingdoms of Frederick II—into a larger narrative of Italian history. Including Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Lombard sources, the documents speak in ethnically and religiously differentiated voices, while providing wider chronological and geographical coverage than previously available. Rich in interdisciplinary texts and organized to enable the reader to focus by specific region, topic, or period, this is a volume that will be an essential resource for anyone with a professional or private interest in the history, religion, literature, politics, and built environment of Italy from ca. 1000 to 1400.
Muslims in Medieval Italy is the history of a Muslim colony established at Lucera in southern Italy during the Middle Ages. It examines Muslim-Christian Relations, the legal and social status of Muslims in Christiandom, and the contributions made by Muslims to the economy and defense of the Kingdom of Sicily.
Catharism was a popular medieval heresy based on the belief that the creation of humankind was a disaster in which angelic spirits were trapped in matter by the devil. Their only goal was to escape the body through purification. Cathars denied any value to material life, including the human body, baptism, and the Eucharist, even marriage and childbirth. What could explain the long popularity of such a bleak faith in the towns of southern France and Italy? Power and Purity explores the place of cathar heresy in the life of the medieval Italian town of Orvieto. Based on extensive archival research, it details the social makeup of the Cathar community and argues that the heresy was central to the social and political changes of the 13th century. The late 13th-century repression of Catharism by a local inquisition was part of a larger redefinition of civic and ecclesiastical authority. Author Carol Lansing shows that the faith attracted not an alienated older nobility but artisans, merchants, popular political leaders, and indeed circles of women in Orvieto as well as Florence and Bologna. Cathar beliefs were not so much a pessimistic anomaly as a part of a larger climate of religious doubt. The teachings on the body and the practice of Cathar holy persons addressed questions of sexual difference and the structure of authority that were key elements of medieval Italian life. The pure lives of the Cathar holy people, both male and female, demonstrated a human capacity for self-restraint that served as a powerful social model in towns torn by violent conflict. This study addresses current debates about the rise of persecution, and argues for a climate of popular toleration. Power and Purity will appeal to historians of society and politics as well as religion and gender studies.
This study explores how the themes of the disperata genre - including hopelessness, death, suicide, doomed love, collective trauma, and damnations - are creatively adopted by several generations of poets in Italy and France, to establish a tradition that at times merges with, and at times subverts, Petrarchism.
In this important study, Trevor Dean examines the history of crime and criminal justice in Italy from the mid-thirteenth to the end of the fifteenth century. The book contains studies of the most frequent types of prosecuted crime such as violence, theft and insult, along with the rarely prosecuted sorcery and sex crimes. Drawing on a diverse and innovative range of sources, including legislation, legal opinions, prosecutions, chronicles and works of fiction, Dean demonstrates how knowledge of the history of criminal justice can illuminate our wider understanding of the Middle Ages. Issues and instruments of criminal justice reflected the structure and operation of state power; they were an essential element in the evolution of cities and they provided raw material for fictions. Furthermore, the study of judicial records provides insight into a wide range of social situations, from domestic violence to the oppression of ethnic minorities.