A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena


A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena presents chapters by prominent scholars on the powerful commune that birthed a pope, sheltered saints, built banking institutions that have thrived for nearly 1000 years, and nurtured vibrant communities of artists and intellectuals. This multi-disciplinary book, edited by Santa Casciani and Heather Richardson Hayton, redresses scholarly imbalances of the past by introducing early period Siena to a wider audience. Focusing mostly on the 12th to 16th centuries, each chapter explores how the Sienese crafted a distinctive civic identity that remains intact still. Modern readers will find Siena’s responses to plague, political factionalism, and aggression from powerful neighbours particularly relevant.

Contributors are: Mario Ascheri, Saverio Luigi Battente, Elena Brizio, Santa Casciani, Konrad Eisenbichler, Bradley Franco, Fabrizio Nevola, Anna Peterson, Colleen Reardon, Sheri Shaneyfelt, Jane Tylus, Andrea Beth Wenz, Demetrio Yocum.

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Santa Casciani, Ph.D. (1994, University of Wisconsin, Madison), is Professor of Italian at John Carroll University and founding director of the Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Program, and a Rome program. She has published widely on Michelangelo, Dante, Italian and Italian- American literature, and pedagogy.
Heather Richardson Hayton, Ph.D. (2000, Pennsylvania State University), is an award-winning professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Guilford College. She has published on medieval desire, monstrosity, and various topics in pop culture. She regularly leads a study-abroad program in Siena.
"Der von Santa Casciani und Heather Richardson Hayton herausgegebene Band versammelt damit durchweg hochqualitative, oft auch innovative Arbeiten zur sienesischen Stadtgeschichte. [...] Der Sammelband leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag, um städtisches Leben in Italien in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit auch einem breiteren Publikum ohne Italienisch-Kenntnisse zugänglich zu machen, was ihn auch für die universitäre Lehre zu einem Gewinn macht". Read the full review here
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Heather Hayton

Part 1: The City and Commune

1 Siena: the City and its State Throughout Time
Mario Ascheri

2 The Significance of Montaperti
Bradley R. Franco

3 “Per queste cose ognuno sta in santa pace et in concordia”: Understanding Urban Space in Renaissance Siena
Fabrizio Nevola

4 Saint Catherine and Siena
Jane Tylus

Part 2: Art and Religion

5 “Beata quella città della sua patria!”. Siena’s Religious Culture and Carthusian Monasticism
Demetrio S. Yocum

6 The Marian Altarpieces of Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Sheri F. Shaneyfelt

7 The Discussion and Transmission of Reformed Religious Beliefs in Early-Modern Siena
Andrea Beth Wenz

8 Bernardino of Siena in the History and Culture of the City of L’Aquila
Santa Casciani

Part 3: Culture and Society

9 Public Health and Hospitals in Medieval Siena before the Black Death
Anna M. Peterson

10 “Sebben che siamo donne …”: Sienese Women in the Troubled Years at the End of the Republic (c.1500–60)
Elena Brizio

11 “Sotto un Lauro in corona”: Literate Women in 16th-Century Siena
Konrad Eisenbichler

12 “An Occasion to Banish Melancholy”: Musical Culture in Early Modern Siena
Colleen Reardon

Epilogue: The Foundations of Contemporary Siena

The “Gothic Queen”: the Myth of Siena in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Saverio Luigi Battente

All interested in medieval and early modern European studies, history, religious studies, and particularly those in Italian Studies, the humanities, or art history. Well-suited for scholars, graduate students, and libraries.
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