A Short History of Florence by Franco Cardini

By Franco Cardini

L'autore ricerca i 'caratteri originali' della grande città d'arte attraverso un viaggio nel suo passato, dalle origini ai tempi della florentina libertas, dai fasti del Principato mediceo e asburgo-lorenese, consistent with giungere alla Firenze del XX secolo con i suoi problemi e le sue crisi, ma anche con l. a. sua carica inventiva e l. a. sua spinta al rinnovamento. Il volumea ha lo scopo di cogliere in pochi, forti tratti della città, di rivisitare il passato alla luce del presente consistent with comprendere i caratteri originali.

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Thanks to Zanobi, the entire citizenry of Florence thereupon embraced the new religion, abandoning whatever was left in it of paganism. The Syriac saint, Reparata, was in consequence chosen as patron of the city. It was on her day that Florence had been liberated from the threat of Radagaiso. Celestial patrons, earthly protectors, surrounding walls A long eclipse seems to envelop the history of Florence between the fifth and ninth centuries, like that of the other centres of the old Western-Roman world; almost all of them were involved in the long process of disintegration and convulsed by incessant “barbarian” raids.

But in Florence, and for Florence, this weight is on the one hand crushing, while on the other hand it is the thing that shapes the life of today. At the urban and monumental level, this tallies very obviously, even if perhaps with less dramaticity than in Venice (but much more than happens for many other historic centres). It is, all the same, the heritage of the past in terms of cultural and traditional significance that still conditions life, the nature of society, the policies, the tastes, the economy and the image of Florence and the Florentines.

This time the Uberti had the support of many representatives of the merchant and craftsman classes, who had no reason to side with the consular establishment, having always been debarred by them from any form of participation in city government. However, in practice the abolition of the consular system simply meant the substitution of one group of family alliances for another as rulers of the city; there was no real difference between the two, as to social composition, outlook or way of life. The consular system was re-established in 1197, once Henry VI was dead, but by then it was clear that the government of the city must be redefined on some new and different basis if it was to have greater stability.

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