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The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600Hinterland, Territory, Region$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274604.001.0001

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The rise of the communes, 1000–1150

The rise of the communes, 1000–1150

(p.17) 2 The rise of the communes, 1000–1150
The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600

Tom Scott

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores the legal and political foundations of the early Italian communes, especially the close, but problematic, ties between cities as the seats of bishops, and the Roman and Frankish legacy of county and diocese. Though the territorial expansion of Italian cities in many cases was erected on that legacy, some cities soon outran these historical confines. Expansion brought the cities into conflict with rural lords (many already with an urban presence), who were brought into alliances of mutual obligation and support, the phenomenon known as comitatinanza, which could take a variety of forms. The rivalries between feudal lords were frequently transferred into the cities where they were obliged to reside for part of the year, thereby making factionalism and instability permanent features of communal politics.

Keywords:   diocese, county, bishops, consuls, conflict with rural lords, comitatinanza, urban aristocracies, consorterie, factionalism

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