By John M. Najemy
I purchased Najemy's historical past of Florence as instruction for interpreting Dante. The period of time is ideal. fascinating occasions. different reviews led me to think this might be a very good updated historical past of the interval, and the 1st few chapters make sure that; besides the fact that, Najemy isn't really an outstanding author. As a tutorial familiar with captive audiences, he does not take sufficient care to appreciate what a reader must be aware of and does not constantly outline phrases earlier than he makes use of them. a few passages can be footnotes, and should were copied from magazine articles the place readers should be anticipated to grasp the history.
There are examples the place sentences are unacceptably ambiguous: p. forty: "Both kinds of organization seemed in Florence no later than the early 13th century..."
He potential "first seemed ... no later."
His dialogue on p. 39 of periods mentions Ottokar's process from 1926 and Salvemini's from 1899. during this paragraph Najemy engages in a tutorial argument compatible for a magazine paper, yet does not arrange the reader first by means of declaring his personal category essentially sufficient. Nonspecialists would like to listen to merely Najemy's personal rationalization of sophistication constitution, awarded in actual fact. the tutorial haggling may be relegated to footnotes for specialists.
For those that desire a splendidly well-written creation to the fundamental heritage, I hugely suggest Richard W. Church's essay from 1850, "Dante." It used to be a excitement to learn this essay, which does not sound dated. it may be stumbled on on the net. This was once pointed out within the preface to John Sinclair's Inferno, with the unique Italian and a literal translation.
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Additional info for A history of Florence 1200-1575
No doubt many Ghibellines supported the imperial cause with the same passionate intensity with which Guelfs opposed it. Less clear is why certain families supported the Ghibellines and others joined the opposition. Only in the 1260s does an economic rationale emerge: the alliance among the Guelf commercial elite, the The Elite Families 25 papacy, and the house of Anjou (who united to defeat the Ghibellines) opened broad avenues for economic proﬁts in the south of Italy conquered by the Angevins.
Other smaller and less powerful Ghibelline families had more of an economic role (Bonizzi, Macci, Dell’Antella, Pulci, Portinari, Strozzi, and Saltarelli), and they largely survived the change of regime and eventually merged with the prosperous Guelf elite of the last third of the century. Their Ghibellinism may have been more a matter of pragmatic accommodation than deep conviction. The preference for the Guelf cause (under some pressure from the papacy in the 1260s) of most of the rising commercial and banking families sealed the fate of Florentine Ghibellinism.
Older but less wealthy families like the Donati resented this combination of wealth and the inﬂuence it could buy. Rivalries spawned or inﬂamed by the ﬂaunting of disproportionate wealth, inﬂuence, and power by one family within the elite were a recurrent source of factional division. But the factions do not neatly conform to the distinction between older and newer families, or between those more or less involved in big business, and the precise causes of the ﬁerce antagonisms between the factions remain obscure.
A history of Florence 1200-1575 by John M. Najemy