Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

Italy-lnks – 12/7/04


Web links to info on medieval Italy by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: Italy-msg, SwissGuard-msg, pilgrimages-msg, popes-msg, fd-Italy-msg, Sicily-msg, fd-Sicily-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: "Lis" <liontamr at ptd.net>

Date: Thu Jun 12, 2003  8:04:29 AM US/Central

To: "Briant" <ladybriant at comcast.net>, "Stefan li Rous" <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>, <sca-aethelmearc at andrew.cmu.edu>, "kathy said" <sobheya at msn.com>, "joe chiffriller" <chiffj at urbancom.net>, "Gilbert" <wildcat2 at ptd.net>, "EH LIst" <TheEndlessHills at yahoogroups.com>, <SCA_kingdom_childrens_officers at yahoogroups.com>, "Meghan" <lionus at ptd.net>, "Coco" <double07 at ptd.net>, "Kerri" <khyarne at us.ibm.com>, "Joanne" <jlherr at mindspring.com>, "EK South" <EKsouth at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Links: Medieval Italy


Greetings all. Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this missive:

The weather here on the East Coast of the US and it's effect on the local

plant life's pollen cycle has not been conducive to breathing well and

consistently. To quote an unrecalled comedian, "But I'm feeling Muuuuuch

better now!"


This week's Links list is about Meieval Italy, by request of one of my

readers, my daughter. I hope you enjoy it in the spirit it is offered (that

of unceasing curiosity which, if left untreated, has been shown to effect

the lifespan of cats :), and will pass it along wherever it will find eager

readers. Searching for information about Medieval Italy (which really didn't

exist in it's modern form until later in  our period of study, except in

several over-run but plucky divisions), is a bit like looking for clams on

the beach: you know they are there, but it takes a lot of digging to find

the good ones.






Labrynth Library: Italian Texts


This is a list of links to Italian sources on the web. The primary sources

center around Dante and Bocaccio. Some images can be found at the Columbia

University site.



Online Catasto of 1427

Edited by David Herlihy, Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, R. Burr Litchfield and

Anthony Molho


(Site Excerpt) The Online Catasto is a World Wide Web searchable database of

tax information for the city of Florence in 1427-29. It is based on David

Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Principal Investigators, Census and

Property Survey of Florentine Dominions in the Province of Tuscany,



Sandro Botticelli Image Directory


This site is composed of  six gif's of Botticelli's work. Click on a menu

item to see it.


Castellitoscani.com (Medieval Tuscan Castles)


(Site Excerpt) ....But one can not pass through this land without being

aware of Medieval Tuscany. Still visible are the small walled towns which

are a testimony to the Middle Ages just as much as its great cities.

Castles, fortresses, watch-towers, and town walls appear everywhere; some

are well preserved, others are in ruins, but the main remnants are not on

the tourist routes. In this site, created to inform people of the existence

and preservation state of these testimonies to the medieval era, you will

find history, photos, and plans of some of these fortifications.


ORB Online Encyclopedia

Late Medieval Italy

A Guide to Online Resources




Medioevo Italiano


Click the English link at the bottom of the page. This is a portal to

Medieval Italy resource site, inlcuding the yahoogroup dedicated to Medieval

Italy, which bears the same name as the site.


Albertano of Brescia resource site


(Site Excerpt) This site offers texts and basic bibliographical references

to those interested in the works and influences of the thirteenth-century

Brescian causidicus , Albertano. Known and used by i.a. Brunetto Latini,

John Gower, Peter Idle (Idley), Erhart Gross, Geoffrey Chaucer, Renaut de

Louens, Dirc Potter, Heinrich SchlŸsselfelder (= 'Arigo'), Jan van Boendale,

archbishop Pedro Gomez Barroso of Seville, Bono Giamboni, Zucchero

Bencivenni, the author of the Fiore di virt, the author of the Cavallero

Zifar, Guilhelm Molinier, Christine de Pizan and (arguably) Dante Alighieri,

Jacobus von JŸterbog (= Jakob von Paradies), Raimund of BŽziers, Aegidius

Albertinus and Fernando de Rojas, Albertano and his work are often known

only vicariously to medi¾valists.


Vatican Library Exhibit: Rome Reborn


(Site Excerpt) Rome now is one of the grandest cities in the world. Millions

of pilgrims and tourists come every year to admire, and be awed by, its

treasures of architecture, art, and history. But is was not always this way.

By the fourteenth century, the great ancient city had dwindled to a

miserable village. Perhaps 20,000 people clung to the ruins despite the

ravages of disease and robber barons. Popes and cardinals had fled to

Avignon in southern France. Rome was dwarfed in wealth and power by the

great commercial cities and territorial states farther north, from Florence

to Venice. In the Renaissance, however, the popes returned to the See of

Saint Peter. Popes and cardinals straightened streets, raised bridges across

the Tiber, provided hospitals, fountains, and new churches for the public

and splendid palaces and gardens for themselves. They drew on all the riches

of Renaissance art and architecture to adorn the urban fabric, which they

saw as a tangible proof of the power and glory of the church. And they

attracted pilgrims from all of Christian Europe, whose alms and living

expenses made the city rich once more. The papal curia--the central

administration of the church- -became one of the most efficient governments

in Europe. Michelangelo and Raphael, Castiglione and Cellini, Giuliano da

Sangallo and Domenico Fontana lived and worked in Rome. Architecture,

painting, music, and literature flourished. Papal efforts to make Rome the

center of a normal Renaissance state, one which could wield military as well

as spiritual power, eventually failed, but Rome remained a center of

creativity in art and thought until deep into the seventeenth century.


Medieval Italy


(Site Excerpt) Byzantine dominion was however short-lived. In 568AD a new

Barbarian invasion brought the Lombards of Alboin to Italy. They reached as

far as the southern regions and built a large kingdom, with its capital at

Pavia, which was to last for over two hundred years (774AD). Italy was now

incapable of taking an independent political initiative and after the

Lombards had to submit to another European people. The Franks descended into

Italy to support the pope against the Lombards. With the victory of

Charlemagne over the Lombard Desiderius, Italy was to remain for over two

centuries (774AD) in the orbit of the Carolingian dynasty, which had

substituted the Lombards in the Kingdom of Italy.


The Chivalric Epic in Medieval Italy Book Review


(Site Excerpt) The Chivalric Epic in Medieval Italy offers a new

interpretation of the role of one of the most popular literary traditions in

northern Italian medieval culture. Whereas most previous studies describe

these epics as either inferior copies of their aristocratic French models or

as representations of a bourgeois ethos, Juliann Vitullo shows how the epics

contributed to discourses of social power. Emphasizing issues of orality,

literacy, and identity, she challenges the notion that late medieval Italian

society uniformly adopted humanistic models of bourgeois individualism.


Warfare in Medieval Italy (from Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries) A



A comprehensive bibliography woth several types of materials listed.


The Very Model  of a Medieval General:

A Website Dedicated to the Career of Matilda of Tuscany


(Site Excerpt) Matilda of Tuscany is one of the few women whose place in

history rests on military accomplishments. The details of her career have to

be gleaned from sources such as monastic chronicles, saints' lives and

polemics that were not intended to record military actions in a logical or

systematic manner. Despite their deficiencies by modern standards, these

sources allow a reconstruction of the measures taken by Matilda of Tuscany

on the pope's behalf when used in conjunction with other tools, especially

maps, and a working knowledge of the now-accepted paradigms of medieval



The Battle at the Hill of Death


(Note: Site contains an image of the original MS with a striking

illustration of battle. Site Excerpt) What links the beautiful Tuscan town

of Sienna with Dante's vision of hell? The answer lies in an act of

treachery that decided the course of the bloodiest battle in medieval

Italian history.

In the thirteenth century, Italy as we know it today did not exist. In the

South, the Kingdom of Sicily (which incorporated most of southern Italy) was

ruled by King Manfred, the illegitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick II. Central Italy was under the nominal rule of the Pope, who vied

with the Emperor for the hearts and minds of Christian Europe. But the north

of Italy was a fractious and shifting collection of city states, ruled by

petty tyrants and warlords and dominated by the competing interests of Pope

and Emperor.  In 1260, the town of Sienna, in northern Italy, was prosperous

as never before. Sienna's fortune was an accident of geography, for it

straddled the great Francigene Road, the major highway that lead from Rome

northward toward the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. The taxes reaped from

merchants that travelled the Francigene Road had spawned a mercantile

industry that made it the envy of its neighbours, an envy that spawned a

fierce rivalry with neighbouring Florence. And in the fragmented politics of

thirteenth century Italy, such commercial rivalry could easily flare into

bitter warfare.


Booklist: Medieval Italian History



The Sforza Hours


(Site Excerpt) The Sforza Hours, is one of the British Library's outstanding

Renaissance treasures. The manuscript was commissioned about 1490 for Bona

of Savoy, widow of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. It was decorated by

Giovan Pietro Birago, a leading Milanese illuminator much favoured by the

ducal court, whose style reflects familiarity with the work of Mantegna and

Leonardo da Vinci. Even before work on the book was finished, a number of

major illustrated pages had been stolen from Birago's workshop and the Hours

remained incomplete for more than quarter of a century until it passed into

the hands of Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands and Bona's niece

by marriage. In 1519-20 she arranged for the missing pages to be supplied by

her own court painter, Gerard Horenbout, one of the most celebrated Flemish

book painters of the day.


The Art of Manuscript Illumination (In Italy)


(This site is richly illustrated with examples of Italian Illumination. Site

Excerpt:) The decorated initial emerged as an accentuated or emphasized

first letter of script, providing a marker for the reader's eye in an

otherwise unbroken line of text. Initials mark the beginnings of books or

chapters and, in this way, offer a visual gateway into the more important

parts of a book's text. Such initials became the focus of exceptional

decoration clearly to draw attention and to help classify the priorities of

the text. Familiar images within an initial's decoration (called historiated

initials) further assisted in explaining the text visually. In an era when

books contained no page numbers, decorated letters made a text easier to

find. Large decorated letters also enhanced a manuscript visually by

providing a look of great luxury, often sought by the book's owner.


History for Kids: High Middle Ages Italy



Italian Renaissance Persona


(Site Excerpt) Rinaldo Moretto de Brescia is the name of one of my secondary

personas. It allows me the excuse to wear the Italian garb that I like. I am

fortunate to have a wonderful Lady-wife who loves to make clothes for me.

Check out her wonderful work on one set of my Italian garb made of white

satin and blue leather, by clicking here. If you have an interest in

developing an Italian name and/or persona, check out the following links:


Family Portrait: The Medici of Florence



The Founder of the Medici fortune was Giovanni, son of Averardo (also

colled Bicci).

He belonged to the Cafaggiolo branch of the family and he occupied the

highest position in the popular party. There he worked prudently and

silently, in accordance with his mild, affable character. The Medici policy

was always aimed at encouraging democratic aspirations, but the basic

intention of the family was to turn those aspirations to their own advantage

and to exploit them into their own interest. Giovanni was a skillful banker,

intelligent businessman, thoughtful and reserved. He didn't distinguish

himself in dress or lifestyle. He lived simply in the serene peace of his

family. Giovanni didn't like to be involved with public appointments, but he

accepted to be "Priore" (prior) in Florence for three times.


Stefan's Florilegium: Clothing of Medieval and Renaissance Italy


This collection of messages from various email lists deals witht he subject

of clothing in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.


Italian Illumination from the Bodelian Library collection



Distinguishing Characteristics of Medieval Italian Heraldry

©1997 Louis Mendola


(Site Excerpt) Were the observer to view the oldest Italian coats of arms

depicted in medieval rolls and seals, or engraved in relief on the walls of

castles and other structures during the Middle Ages, he would encounter

designs remarkably simpler than the ornate Renaissance and Baroque imagery

identified with Italian armory today. During the Longobard, Norman, Swabian

and Angevin domination of much of what is now Italy, Italian coats of arms

were not too different from those encountered in France, England or

elsewhere. Something resembling the "heater" shield, as opposed to the

squarish escutcheon (scudo sannitico) seen in most Italian achievements

today, was usually employed in these early representations, and most of the

charges were not rendered too differently from those seen in the coat armor

in use outside Italy. None of this is surprising or unexpected if one

considers the origins of the peoples who ruled Italy when heraldry was



The Battle of San Romano Cycle


(Note that there are photo images of artwork. Site Excerpt:) Florence and

its neighbour Siena had long been rivals when, in 1432, the Sienese formed

an alliance with the powerful Duke of Milan against Florence. The Sienese

mercenary army, under the command of the condottiere Bernadino della Ciarda,

won a number of successes against the Florentines. In the face of these

losses the Florentines replaced one condottiere commander, Micheletto da

Cotignola, with another, Niccol˜ da Tolentino. The latter rapidly turned the

tables on the Sienese. On 1 June 1432 Tolentino and a handful of cavalry

were surprised by della Ciarda and his troops near the Tower of San Romano.

Despite being vastly outnumbered Tolentino and his men fought on for eight

hours. They were finally relieved by the main Florentine force under

Cotignola and the Sienese were put to flight.


Modern Political Map of Italy in about 1050



Aila's Atlas of the early Italian Renaissance


Menu items are: Early Modern Italian States and Early Modern Italian Cities.

A drop-down menu provides a comprehensive list of in-depth articles to read.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org