Power And Imagination
The great Italian city-states: Venice, Florence, Milan, and the others. The particular nature of their history and culture through the five centuries of their emergence, magnificent flowering, and twilight is brilliantly explored in terms of the internal shifts of economic, social, and political power—by violence, by manipulation, by the gradual pressures of changing circumstance. And here are the life and culture and works of imagination that were created as the merchants and guilds wrested dominion from the ancient nobility, from the first struggles against the Holy Roman Empire in the twelfth century through the rich cultural blaze and political exhaustion of the sixteenth. Lauro Martines, Professor of History at UCLA, has drawn together and chronicled in a single fluent narrative all the explosive energies, the social strife, the civil disorder, the political violence, the economic transformations, the crises of control, the religious fervor and corruption, and the spectacular achievements of art and intellect that made and defined the city-states.
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