Civic Identity and the Classical Past in Northern Italy, 12501350
By (author) Carrie E. Beneš
Publication date:21 March 2011
Length of book:296 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Between 1250 and 1350, numerous Italian city-states jockeyed for position in a cutthroat political climate. Seeking to legitimate and ennoble their autonomy, they turned to ancient Rome for concrete and symbolic sources of identity. Each city-state appropriated classical symbols, ancient materials, and Roman myths to legitimate its regime as a logical successor to—or continuation of—Roman rule. In Urban Legends, Carrie Beneš illuminates this role of the classical past in the construction of late medieval Italian urban identity.
—Christopher S. Celenza, American Academy in Rome