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Power and Imagination

City-States in Renaissance Italy

Lauro Martines

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In Power and Imagination, a noted historian rethinks the evolution of the city-state in Renaissance Italy and recasts the conventional distinction between "society" and "culture." Martines traces the growth of commerce and the evolution of governments; he describes the attitudes, pleasures, and rituals of the ruling elite; and he seeks to understand the period's towering works of the imagination in literature, painting, city planning, and philosophy-not simply as the creations of individual artists, but as the forman expression of the ambitions and egos of those in power.



[A] brilliant study... of the extraordinary explosion of expression in art and scholarship which made Italy the model for Europe.

A book that seems designed to replace, or displace, Burckhardt['s Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy].


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Table of Contents

Preface to The Johns Hopkins Edition
Part I: The Ascent of Communes
Chapter 1. Background
Chapter 2. Communes Emerge
Part II: The Early Commune and its Nobility
Chapter 3. Communes

Preface to The Johns Hopkins Edition
Part I: The Ascent of Communes
Chapter 1. Background
Chapter 2. Communes Emerge
Part II: The Early Commune and its Nobility
Chapter 3. Communes and Empire
Chapter 4. Consular Institutions
Chapter 5. The Nobility
Part III: The Commune Around 1200
Chapter 6. Urban Crisis and Neighborhood Context
Chapter 7. Podestaral Government
Part IV: Popolo and Popular Commune
Chapter 8. The Divisive Issues
Chapter 9. Popular Organization
Chapter 10. Discipline and Takeover
Chapter 11. The Changing Popolo
Part V: The End of the Popular Commune
Chapter 12. Achievement
Chapter 13. Failure
Part VI: The Course of Urban Values
Chapter 14. Urban Space and Personality
Chapter 15. Florins: The Best of Kin
Chapter 16. Experience and Religious Feeling: An Anonymous Moralist
Part VII: Despotism: Signories
Chapter 17. The Seizures of Power
Chapter 18. Signorial Government
Part VIII: The Course of Political Feeling
Chapter 19. The Matrix: Local Feeling
Chapter 20. The Example of Brunetto Latini
Chapter 21. The Vanguard of Feeling
Part IX: Oligarchy: Renaissance Republics
Chapter 22. The Republican Environment
Chapter 23. The Lessons of the Ambrosian Republic
Chapter 24. The Workings of Oligarchy
Part X: Economic Trends and Attitudes
Chapter 25. The Land
Chapter 26. Population and Trade
Chapter 27. Public Finance
Chapter 28. A Unity of Attitudes
Part XI: Humanism: A Program for Ruling Classes
Chapter 29. The Program
Chapter 30. The Origins of Humanism
Chapter 31. The Problem of Objectivity
Chapter 32. Class and Group Conscience
Chapter 33. Ideological Themes
Part XII: The Princely Courts
Chapter 34. Perimeters
Chapter 35. The Courtly Establishment
Chapter 36. A Paradise for Structuralists
Part XIII: Art: An Alliance with Power
Chapter 37. Patronage and Propaganda
Chapter 38. Social Positions and Mobility
Chapter 39. Social Identity into Artistic Style
Chapter 40. Manner and Style
Chapter 41. Space Real and Imaginary
Part XIV: Invasion: City-States in Lighting and Twilight
Chapter 42. The Main Line of Events
Chapter 43. The Main Line of Failure
Part XV: The High Renaissance: A Divided Consciousness
Chapter 44. The Key Experience: Contradiction
Chapter 45. Patronage in Danger
Chapter 46. Religion and Leadership
Chapter 47. Political Thinking: Man Against Unreason
Chapter 48. The Language Question
Chapter 49. The Lure of Utopia
Part XVI: The End of the Renaissance
Supplementary Bibliography

Author Bio
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Lauro Martines

Lauro Martines is a former professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include Society and History in English Renaissance Verse and Power and Imagination: City-States in Renaissance Italy.