In the middle of the period covered by this book, one of the most resonant accounts of urban life ever written was composed by the poet Dante. For all its startling vividness, however, Dante's evocation of the city in the Divine Comedy is not easy to interpret.
Caroline M. Barron’s book on London traces the history England’s largest medieval city, including its governmental structure, relations with the crown, its economy and guilds and its physical environment.
It has often been observed that the greatest legacy of the Paris Commune of 1871 was its myth. In its short duration the Commune failed to transform Paris in any lasting way – even its supreme gesture of repudiation of the military traditions of the French past, the toppling of the Vendôme column, was to be reversed.
If one looks today at a satellite image of Manama (1), the capital city of Bahrain, the picture of the extended urban conurbation which covers both the north of the main island and the little island which faces it (Muharraq, the former capital of the emirate in the 19th century) is rather different from the ‘Islands of Paradise’ featured in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic
Political biography has a relatively minor part in medieval and renaissance Venetian historiography when compared to other European states – such as England – or Italy’s other major republic in the period, Florence.
Medieval Italian cities have frequently been the focus of international historical research. The particular qualities of the elites that emerged here were notably stressed by Marino Berengo in his classic book on the history of European towns.(1)
In May 1995 Alain Corbin organised a conference on the history of the barricade, quite a novel departure at that time. Being asked to focus exclusively on one part of the insurrectionary process intrigued those of us invited to contribute.
Hitherto, the historiography of ‘city-states’ has in general not been comparative, preferring to focus on one city, or one region, rather than taking a European perspective.
Jonathan Jeffrey Wright’s The ‘Natural Leaders’ and their World is an important contribution to the history of Belfast as well as to the broader subjects of Ulster liberalism and Presbyterianism.
A stigma around the ill-defined genre of popular history lingers in the academy.