By John M. Najemy
I purchased Najemy's background of Florence as instruction for interpreting Dante. The period of time is ideal. attention-grabbing occasions. different reviews led me to think this could be a very good up to date heritage of the interval, and the 1st few chapters verify that; in spite of the fact that, Najemy isn't a very good author. As an instructional acquainted with captive audiences, he does not take adequate care to appreciate what a reader must comprehend and does not regularly outline phrases earlier than he makes use of them. a few passages will be footnotes, and should were copied from magazine articles the place readers may be anticipated to grasp the history.
There are examples the place sentences are unacceptably ambiguous: p. forty: "Both types of organization seemed in Florence no later than the early 13th century..."
He ability "first seemed ... no later."
His dialogue on p. 39 of sessions mentions Ottokar's method from 1926 and Salvemini's from 1899. during this paragraph Najemy engages in an instructional argument compatible for a magazine paper, yet does not arrange the reader first by way of declaring his personal class in actual fact adequate. Nonspecialists would like to listen to basically Najemy's personal rationalization of sophistication constitution, awarded basically. the educational haggling can be relegated to footnotes for specialists.
For those that desire a splendidly well-written creation to the basic heritage, I hugely suggest Richard W. Church's essay from 1850, "Dante." It was once a excitement to learn this essay, which does not sound dated. it may be came across on the net. This was once pointed out within the preface to John Sinclair's Inferno, with the unique Italian and a literal translation.
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Additional resources for A history of Florence 1200-1575
The Elite Families 31 their factions, and clients, and embrace instead the social values of merchants and guildsmen. 27 Its author is unknown, but its language shows he was Florentine, and references to contemporary ﬁgures place its composition between 1280 and 1300. From the themes and settings of the stories it is also possible to reconstruct the work’s social ambience and audience, particularly from its idealized representation of the Florentine elite. Unlike many of Boccaccio’s and Sacchetti’s stories, the Novellino’s tales largely ignore the city’s civic and mercantile environment.
The explanations for the rivalries and antagonisms that divided Florentine elite families over many decades are certainly more complex than this tradition allows. But the story’s importance lies in what it reveals of the family structures, social conventions, and collective self-image of the elite, and also of the popolo’s critique of the elite. If the account is in part parody and exaggeration, it parodies and exaggerates attitudes and institutions central to the life of these families: the expectation of family solidarity and the leadership of the elders; the networks of “friends and relatives” mobilized in times of crisis; the marginal position of women between their natal and marital families; the control of neighborhoods and churches by families or clusters of families; coalitions of family groups in political factions with their “councils”; the role of marriage in consolidating factions; knighthood and the emulation of the courts; and the easy and frequent recourse to violence and vendetta.
Filippo appeared in court to confront his accusers, who produced no fewer than twenty-four witnesses, men and women, to testify against him. “May God be praised,” comments Donato, the witnesses proved nothing and he was acquitted. The silence of the witnesses (he adds that one of them “in effect said little or nothing”) may have been the result of either fear or complicity in the coverup. In either case, such cooperation was the very stuff of elite power. The actual perpetrators did not appear before the court, presumably because their participation in the murder could not be denied.