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: Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia
: Christopher Kleinhenz
: Routledge
: 2003
: epub
: 2160
: 33 MB
: English

This Encyclopedia gathers together the most recent scholarship on Medieval Italy, while offering a sweeping view of all aspects of life in Italy during the Middle Ages. This two volume, illustrated, A-Z reference is a cross-disciplinary resource for information on literature, history, the arts, science, philosophy, and religion in Italy between A.D. 450 and 1375.

This new resource is volume 9 in the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages, a series that began in 1993 and is intended for both the specialist and nonspecialist. The scope ranges from the late Roman Empire to the end of the fourteenth century. This comprehensive work contains 970 entries alphabetically arranged and varying in length from 100 to 10,000 words. The approach is interdisciplinary, with entries focusing on anything from major artists and cultural movements to particular cities and monuments. Longer entries are subdivided into sections, enabling quick scanning. For example, the entry on Black Death contains the subheadings "The Onset of the Plague," "Medieval Medical Explanations," and "Social Consequences."

Each entry is followed by cross-references and a bibliography. The bibliographies may contain references to primary materials, translations, secondary sources, and critical studies. In the case of a major figure like Dante, the bibliography is a full two pages long. Because a choice was made to use familiar names as entry headings, looking up Dante under his last name, Alighieri, yields no see reference redirecting one to D, which is where his entry is actually located (though there is such a see reference in the index). The volumes are sprinkled with illustrations and photographs. Three maps at the beginning of volume 1 roughly show the myriad political changes Italy went through in this time period, including the vast array of republics and patriarchates that emerged in the mid-1300s. Of course, as the introduction points out, "Italy" in this period refers more to a geographical entity than a political one, since Italy did not become a nation until the latter half of the nineteenth century. The appendix consists of a five-page list of popes and rulers, including Roman and Byzantine emperors; kings of the Visigoths, Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Lombards; the Carolingian Dynasty; and Norman, Aragonese, Angevin, and Hohenstaufen leaders. This is helpful for getting a quick idea of who was in charge at what time.


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