Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Humanism and EmpireThe Imperial Ideal in Fourteenth-Century Italy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alexander Lee

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199675159.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Communes, Signori, and Empire

Communes, Signori, and Empire


(p.31) 1 Communes, Signori, and Empire
Humanism and Empire

Alexander Lee

Oxford University Press

In the sixth canto of the Purgatorio, Dante Alighieri lamented the pitiable condition of Italy. Though once the donna di provincie, it was now the ‘dwelling place of sorrow’. Bereft of peace, its cities were wracked by constant strife. Attributing this to the absence of imperial governance, he called on Albert of Habsburg to right Italy’s woes with all haste. As this chapter shows, the earliest humanists embraced the imperial cause for much the same reasons. Although aware of the condition of the regnum Italicum, they were concerned primarily with the affairs of individual cities, and used their classical learning to rationalize the character of urban life. Worn down by civil strife, they too called upon kings and emperors to restore their peace and liberty. But while some associated the Empire with signorial government, the most striking and persistent appeals to imperial authority came from humanists living under communal regimes.

Keywords:   humanism, communes, signori, Padua, Vicenza, Milan, Lovato de’ Lovati, Albertino Mussato, Stefanardo da Vimercate, Ferreto de’ Ferreti

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .