Volume 6 // A Communal Society and Polycentrism

The evident goal of this volume is to give the idea of a globality. The authors examine a multidimensional, differentiated and polycentric history of the society of communes. The outline of various essays composing the book offer a profound analysis of the epoch going from the eleventh to the twelfth century when economy and commerce are evolving, society structures and rules are developing, religious and heretic communities are growing,  arts are flourishing thanks to the cities’ support on the background of the conflict between the popes, the empire and the cities’ independence. The result is an Italian scenery having in its centre the dualism coming to life: from one side, there are communes of the Central and Northern Italy, from the other – a monarchial unity of the South. This dualism will go on and will see, from one side, the affirmation of a bourgeois class, commerce and artisans’ activity in the North, from the other, the dominion of the feudal class and the development of agriculture in the South. This dense context gives space to specific researches that will draw the reader’s attention to the usually-neglected data and facts, e.g.: an evident increase of the population number characterizing the epoch and its consequences for the social mobility, exploration of new lands and foundation of new villages – all this means, on a foreign affairs level, crusades, a restart of the commercial relationships with the Near East and a launch of the exchange-based economy founded on money and credits. At the same time, the Italian communes, slowly but efficiently developing, see the birth of the social, civil and economic premises aiming at the creation  of a new type of culture and a new modern man of culture: an intellectual.


Seashore cities from the commercial revolution and the crusades to the beginning of the thirteenth century
Francesco Surdich

The Italian society and the crusade movement
Franco Cardini

Freedom of the cities
Paolo Brezzi

Feudal army and communal armies
Paolo Brezzi

Norman monarchy in Sicily
Salvatore Tramontana

A new religious spirit and heresies
Anna Benvenuti, Massimo D. Papi

Innocent III and the pope’s theocracy
Anna Imelde Galletti

From Frederick II to Charles I of Naples: Italy of Guelfs and Ghibellines
Sergio Raveggio

Economy and urban society
Gabriella Piccinni

Rural communities
Andrea Castagnetti

Intellectuals and culture
Franco Cardini

Cities and arts
Franek Sznura

title: A Communal Society and Polycentrism
pages: 461
price: 28,50 €

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