A Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Bologna


Volume Editor: Sarah R. Blanshei
Long neglected by scholars, medieval and Renaissance Bologna is now recognized as a center of economic, political-constitutional, legal, and intellectual innovation, as the city that served as the cultural crossroads of Italy. The city’s distinctive achievements and its transition from medieval commune to second largest city of the Renaissance Papal State is illuminated by essays that present the work of current historians, many made available in English for the first time, from the broadest possible perspective: from the material city with its porticoes, the conflicts that brought bloodshed and turmoil to its streets, the disputations of masters and students, and to the masterpieces of artists who laid the foundations for Baroque art.

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Sarah Rubin Blanshei, Ph.D (1970), is Dean of the College and Professor of History Emerita at Agnes Scott College. Her major publications include Perugia, 1260-1340: Conflict and Change in a Medieval Italian Urban Society (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 1976) and Politics and Justice in Late Medieval Bologna (Brill, 2010).
"This hefty volume is comprised of twenty-one essays of diverse lengths, most of them written by Italian scholars whose work appears here in English for the first time". [...] Sarah Rubin Blanshei’s introduction provides a valuable overview of historical writings on Bologna, from the medieval chronicle tradition to modern historiography, which has only recently begun venturing beyond the fourteenth century in a meaningful and systematic way. It also offers a compelling summary of the current state of the field, which this ambitious publication competently synthesizes and broadens.[...] This rich and varied collection of essays on the history of medieval and Renaissance Bologna succeeds in its goal as a “companion”—it offers a great deal to a novice and an expert alike, and it can lend itself extremely well to undergraduate teaching. Especially useful for students will be the engagement with archival and other primary sources demonstrated in many of the essays, as well as their methodological range; also valuable will be the individual bibliographies that accompany each essay, in addition to the comprehensive bibliography and a detailed index at the end of the volume". Nadja Aksamija, in Renaissance Quarterly, 73 (1), pp.284-285.

List of Illustrations

Introduction: History and Historiography of Bologna
Sarah Rubin Blanshei
1 Archival Sources: Governmental, Judicial, Religious, Familial
Diana Tura
2 Fiscal Sources: the Estimi
Rosa Smurra
3 Shaping the City: Urban Planning and Physical Structures
Francesca Bocchi
4 Public Health
G. Geltner
5 Regulating the Material Culture of Bologna la Grassa
Antonella Campanini
6 Economy and Demography
Fabio Giusberti and Francesca Roversi Monaco
7 Bankers, Financial Institutions, and Politics
Massimo Giansante
8 Civic Institutions (12th-early 15th Centuries)
Giorgio Tamba
9 From One Conflict to Another (13th-14th Centuries)
Giuliano Milani
10 Libertas, Oligarchy, Papacy: Government in the Quattrocento
Tommaso Duranti
11 Popular Government, Government of the Ottimati, and the Languages of Politics: Concord and Discord (1377-1559)
Angela De Benedictis
12 Making of an Oligarchy: The Ruling Classes of Bologna
Andrea Gardi
13 Criminal Justice and Conflict Resolution
Sarah Rubin Blanshei and Sara Cucini
14 The Church, Civic Religion, and Civic Identity
Gabriella Zarri
15 Confraternities and Civil Society
Nicholas Terpstra
16 Mendicant Orders and the Repression of Heresy
Riccardo Parmeggiani
17 The University and the City: Cultural Interactions
David A. Lines
18 Bolognese Vernacular Language and Literature
Armando Antonelli and Vincenzo Cassì
19 Literary Culture in Bologna from the Duecento to the Cinquecento
Gian Mario Anselmi and Stefano Scioli
20 Miniaturists, Painters, and Goldsmiths (mid-13th-early 15th Century)
Raffaella Pini
21 Art and Patronage in Bologna’s “Long” Quattrocento
David J. Drogin
General Bibliography

All interested in medieval and Renaissance Italian history in particular and urban history in general. Of special value to anyone interested in any aspect of medieval and Renaissance Bolognese history.