City-States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy

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Athens and Rome, Florence and Venice--the best known city-states in European history--have given Western culture a wealthy inheritance. Many of our basic notions about the nature and organization of towns come from realities born in antiquity and brought to fruition in the Middle Ages. While ancient city-states and medieval "communes" have had great importance for modern culture, much about the history of these institutions is still paradoxical and difficult to understand. The contributors to City-States in ...
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Overview

Athens and Rome, Florence and Venice--the best known city-states in European history--have given Western culture a wealthy inheritance. Many of our basic notions about the nature and organization of towns come from realities born in antiquity and brought to fruition in the Middle Ages. While ancient city-states and medieval "communes" have had great importance for modern culture, much about the history of these institutions is still paradoxical and difficult to understand. The contributors to City-States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy offer valuable insights into these problems. This volume presents a parallel reading of the history and analysis of the development, structures, and conflicts of both sets of cities, using insights gained from one to illuminate the other. This comprehensive yet suggestive book offers innovative answers to familiar questions, as in the articles of David Whitehead and Erich Gruen on the nature and power of the citizen body. City-States also breaks new ground in its persuasive documentation of the ways in which seemingly disparate disciplines may profitably share methods and data.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The proceedings of a conference sponsored by Brown University's Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies and held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians, May 1989. The volume presents a parallel reading of the history and analysis of the development, structures, and conflicts of two sets of cities--Athens and Rome from antiquity, Florence and Venice from late medieval Italy--using insights gained from one to illuminate the other. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472102860
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/1992
  • Pages: 664

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 8
Editors' Preface 9
Introductory Remarks: Max Weber's "The City" Revisited 19
Pt. I Consciousness and Representation
Reflections of the Greek City on Unity and Division 33
Rome: The History of an Anachronism 53
The City and the "New" Saints 71
City and Citizen: Changing Perceptions in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries 93
Commentary 113
Pt. II Citizens and the Political Classes
Norms of Citizenship in Ancient Greece 135
The Legal Definition of Citizenship in the Late Middle Ages 155
Who Rules? Power and Participation in Athens and Rome 169
The Rulers of Florence, 1282-1530 197
From Social to Political Representation in Renaissance Florence 223
Commentary 241
Pt. III Politics and Conflict
The Exercise of Power in the Roman Republic 251
The Dialogue of Power in Florentine Politics 269
A Typology of Social Conflict in Greek Poleis 289
Social Structure and Conflict in the Medieval City 309
Commentary 331
Pt. IV Urban and Architectural Forms
The City of Athens: Space, Symbol, Structure 355
Urban Development in Ancient Rome and the Impact of Empire 381
Civic Urbanism in Medieval Florence 403
Urbanism in Medieval Venice 419
Commentary 447
Pt. V Symbols and Rituals
Symbols and Rituals in Classical Athens 459
From Violence to Blessing: Symbols and Rituals in Ancient Rome 479
Symbols and Rituals in Florence 499
The Self-Definition of the Venetian Republic 511
Commentary 549
Pt. VI Territory, External Relations and Empire
City-State, Territory and Empire in Classical Antiquity 565
The Italian City-State and Its Territory 589
Diplomacy in the Italian City-State 603
Commentary 619
Concluding Reflections 641
Index 649
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