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An Economic History of Italy

From the Fall of the Empire to the Beginning of the 16th Century

By Gino Luzzatto

Routledge – 2005 – 192 pages

Series: Economic History

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $265.00
    978-0-415-37923-6
    November 2nd 2005

Description

This book is the first to provide English readers with a brief and comprehensive survey of economic life in Italy during the period of its greatest splendour: the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

The wealth of Renaissance Italy was the product of centuries of growth, and the great Renaissance cities, Venice, Milan and Florence, were first and foremost centres of international trade, which taught the rest of Europe the rudiments of modern business techniques. In a masterly synthesis, based upon a lifetime of study and research, Professor Gino Luzzatto, the greatest of living Italian historians, describes the main changes in Italian economic conditions from the end of the Roman Empire, when Italy ceased to be the centre of a European state, to the end of the Middle Ages when Italy lost the leadership of European trade and banking. The narrative chapters, which deal with barbarian Italy, feudal Italy and Italy in the age of the communes, are followed by a valuable analysis of medieval agriculture, industry, commerce and finance, in her principal Italian states. The range of discussion is wide and offers an excellent introduction to the economic history not only of Italy but of the whole Mediterranean region. This classic text was first published in 1961.

Contents

I. THE LAST TWO CENTURIES OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE page 1

1. Structural changes in the Empire during its first 20 years and their economic effects 1

2. Competition from the provinces 3

3. Depopulation and disaffection 5

4. Military and monetary anarchy 6

5. The reorganisation of the Empire by Diocletian and Constantine. Oriental despotism 9

6. The Germanic invasions and the fall of the western Empire 11

II. FROM THE FALL OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE TO THE PARTITION OF ITALY BETWEEN GREEKS AND LOMBARDS 14

1. Italy under the Ostrogoths 14

2. The Italian economy during the Gothic Wars and the first years of Byzantine rule 16

3. The Lombard invasion 17

4. The partition of Italy between Greeks and Lombards 19

5. The status of the vanquished Romans. The property of the Church 20

III. FROM THE PARTITION OF ITALY TO THE CAROLINGIAN CONQUEST (SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES) 23

1. Lombard society in Rothari’s Edict 23

2. Signs of revival under the last Lombard kings. Towns and trade in the eighth century 26

3. Elements of a money economy: trade and trades in Lombard Italy 28

4. Byzantine Italy in the seventh and eighth centuries. The origins of Venice 31

IV. ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN CAROLINGIAN AND FEUDAL ITALY 36

1. Lombard Italy under the Carolingians 36

2. New threats of invasion: Arabs, Hungarians, Slays, and Normans 38

3. The feudal system 40

4. The economic nature of feudalism 42

V BEGINNINGS OF REVIVAL IN THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES 47

1. The cities of Byzantine Italy: Ravenna, Rome, Ban, Amalfi 47

2. The rise of Venetian seapower between the ninth and eleventh centuries 51

3. Pisa and Genoa in the tenth and eleventh centuries 53

4. The revival of the inland towns 55

5. The beginnings of change in the countryside 61

VI. ITALY IN THE ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CENTURIES 66

1. Social changes after the tenth century and the rise of the urban communes 66

2. The First Crusade and the maritime towns of Italy 71

3. The Italian colonies in the Levant 73

4. The western offensive in the Byzantine East 76

5. Economic progress in the great inland communes and the development of the bourgeoisie 79

6. Origin, character, and purpose of the craft and merchant guilds 82

VII. THE URBAN ECONOMY IN ITS PRIME. THE THIRTEENTH AND FOURTEENTH CENTURIES 86

1. The expansion of the greater maritime cities after the Fourth Crusade 86

2. Economic conditions in the greater communes of inland Italy during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 91

3. Agriculture, industry, and trade in the age of the communes 98

4. Finance, money, and credit in the age of the communes 121

VIII. THE WANING OF THE MIDDLE AGES

1. The changing place of Italy in Europe after 1350 137

2. The great sea powers: Genoa and Venice 146

3. Town and country in Lombardy and Tuscany 155

4. The predominantly agricultural areas of Italy 161

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 168

INDEX 175

Related Subjects

  1. Economic History

Name: An Economic History of Italy: From the Fall of the Empire to the Beginning of the 16th Century (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: By Gino Luzzatto. This book is the first to provide English readers with a brief and comprehensive survey of economic life in Italy during the period of its greatest splendour: the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The wealth of Renaissance Italy was the product of centuries...
Categories: Economic History