Florence: The Golden Age 1138-1737 / Edition 1

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Berkeley, CA 1998 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Sewn binding. 278 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Over the centuries many thousands of visitors have journeyed to Florence to admire the city's great beauty and to marvel at its unique history.
In this century Gene Brucker has been one of the city's most knowledgeable admirers. With the historian's ability to uncover the past, he skillfully relates the story of Florence's Golden Age and the conjoined forces that transformed the city on the Arno into one of the most glorious civilizations the world has known. Brucker's story of the premier city of the Italian Renaissance tells of great families and common people, wars and economic dislocations, natural catastrophes and religious turmoil, and extraordinary artistic and literary achievement.

The creative growth of the city of Dante, Giotto, Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo was made possible through Florence's role as an economic center, the zeal of its small manufacturing industries, and the enterprise of the merchants who spread Florentine influence well beyond the city's walls and territories. The pages of Florence are enlivened with the voices of historical protagonists, and their words richly convey the tenor of the times. Brucker's accessible writing is complimented by a wealth of paintings and drawings, 200 of them in full color. Also included are a chronology of important historical events, a listing of noted Florentine families, and a genealogy of the famed Medici family. Historians and students will find much of value here; so too will anyone who is in love with—or who plans to fall in love with—the shining city of Florence.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520215221
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/10/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene Brucker is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the Medieval Academy of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a foreign member of the Dep utazione di Storia Patria per la Toscana. Among his many books on medieval history and the Renaissance are Renaissance Florence (1969, California, 1983), and Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence (California, 1986).

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Table of Contents

The Uniqueness of Florence's Historical Experience 7
Florence seen from abroad 10
The Florentine "ingegno" 19
The city straddling the Arno 24
The Great Families 27
The origins 27
"A lust of ... dominion" 29
The old aristocracy and the popolo 34
"One hundred and fifty towers belonging to private citizens..." 38
The consolidation of aristocratic power 44
The life style of the aristocracy 48
The aristocracy under the principato 55
The Florentine palazzo 60
The Economy 65
Florin and lira, gold and silver 70
The great companies 74
Florentine trade and financial activity abroad 82
Profile of the Florentine merchant 84
Florence 1338: some rough statistics 88
The Medici bank 92
From crisis to stasis 96
Florence's wool industry 104
A School for Self-Government 109
The maturing commune 111
Guelfs, Ghibellines and the rise of the popolo 113
The guilds: corporation politics 114
Three witnesses 124
The time of troubles 131
The Renaissance republic 136
The Medici regime 139
Niccolo Machiavelli 144
Excise, valuations, loans, land surveys 154
The Formation of the Florentine Dominion 157
Montaperti 163
"Two bales of pink cloth..." 164
Territorial consolidation 170
The granducato 184
A Civic Culture 191
The monastery of San Marco 192
The cult of antiquity 201
"What a delightful thing is this perspective!" 206
The Laurentian era 213
Andrea del Verrocchio: a master and his workshop 216
Crisis 221
Florentine furniture 226
Florence Under the Principato 229
Games and festivities 232
Chronology, Illustrious Families, the Medici Family Tree, Glossary, Index 241
Chronology 243
Illustrious Florentine families 260
The Medici family tree 264
A short glossary of Florentine place names 266
Bibliography 271
Index 272
Picture sources 278
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 1999

    A multilateral review of a culture

    Brucker's work should be counted among the most elaborate studies performed concerning the outstanding city of Florence. The author tries to avoid emphasizing aspects which are appropriate for a touristic guide, concentrates rather on focus points of the historical timeline. However Brucker does not strictly cling to chronology and this is mostly pleasing for amateur readers. Also interesting is methodology used to narrate different though parallel aspects of the age. Three different narration plains are utilised: main one is the continuous text; second the explanations of the pictures and third independent topics of two pages each. I recommend this book to all who want to discover the ascent of a culture, the enablers behind it and magnificient achievements. One may be quite content with starting to read the book with the chronology at the end of the book, for not loosing the logical sequence, as the same occurences are depicted at different sections in different context.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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