Government and Social Structure in Medieval Italian City-States

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, urban settlements in Italy generally enjoyed a greater continuity than in the rest of western Europe. Introduction The Italian city-states were a political phenomenon of small independent states mostly in the central and northern Italian Peninsula between the 9th and the 15th centuries. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, urban[…]

The Origins of Medieval Peasant Communes and Their Social Order

Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Introduction Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense (both physical defense and of traditional freedoms) among the citizens of a town or city. These took many forms and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late[…]