The Other Tuscany (Paperback)
Studies of late medieval Tuscany have traditionally relied on historiographical premises derived from the experience of its intensely investigated capital city. Specifically, normative and quantitative data from Florentine sources have been employed to chart demographic, social, and economic trends during the communal age and across the period of the Black Death and its aftermath. The results have invited instructive comparisons with other regions of Italy, as well as other parts of Europe. At the same time, however, the focus on Florence in its role as a metropolitan center belies the conceptual problems inherent in the modern definition of “region,” applicable only with hindsight to medieval juridical and topographical boundaries. The essays in this volume offer non-Italian scholars a representative sample of current European research and a summary of recent debates regarding the historical evolution of those republics that posed the most formidable obstacles to the extension of Florentine hegemony. While they cover a range of topics, they all provide evidence of the important resources available to scholars working in provincial Tuscan archives and the volume offers an excellent sampling of the state of scholarship on these Italian communities.