Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation
Edited by Katherine L. Jansen, Joanna Drell, and Frances Andrews
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009
Medieval Italy gathers together an unparalleled selection of newly translated primary sources from the central and later Middle Ages, a period during which Italy was famous for its diverse cultural landscape of urban towers and fortified castles, the spirituality of Saints Francis and Clare, and the vernacular poetry of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. The texts highlight the continuities with the medieval Latin West while simultaneously emphasizing the ways in which Italy was exceptional, particularly for its cities that drove Mediterranean trade, its new communal forms of government, the impact of the papacy’s temporal claims on the central peninsula, and the richly textured religious life of the mainland and its islands.
A unique feature of this volume is its incorporation of the southern part of the peninsula and Sicily-the glittering Norman court at Palermo, the multicultural emporium of the south, and the kingdoms of Frederick II-into a larger narrative of Italian history. Including Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Lombard sources, the documents speak in ethnically and religiously differentiated voices, while providing wider chronological and geographical coverage than previously available.
Rich in interdisciplinary texts and organized to enable the reader to focus by specific region, topic, or period, this is a volume that will be an essential resource for anyone with a professional or private interest in the history, religion, literature, politics, and built environment of Italy from ca. 1000 to 1400.