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The Lombard League, 1167–1225

Gianluca Raccagni

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264713
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734847 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264713.001.0001

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

The Lombard League, 1167–1225

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The Lombard League was an association created by the city republics of northern Italy in the 12th century in order to defend their autonomy and that of the papacy in a struggle against the German Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. The League has enjoyed an iconic status, and in the nineteenth century was glorified as a precursor of the Italian struggle for independence in political and historical pamphlets as well as in paintings, novels, and even operas. The League played a crucial role in the evolution of Italy’s political landscape, but it did more than ensure its continued fragmentation. Historiography, in fact, has overlooked the collegial cooperation among the medieval Italian polities and this volume examines the League’s structure, activity, place in political thought, and links with regional identities. Using documentary evidence, histories, letters, inscriptions, and contemporary troubadour poems as well as rhetorical and juridical treatises, the book argues that the League was not just a momentary anti-imperial military alliance, but a body that also provided collective approaches to regional problems, ranging from the peaceful resolution of disputes to the management of regional lines of communication, usurping, in some cases, imperial prerogatives. Yet the League never rejected imperial overlordship per se, and this book explains how it survived after the end of the conflict against Frederick I, one of its most lasting legacies being the settlement that it reached with the empire, the Peace of Constance, which became the Magna Carta of the northern Italian polities.

Keywords: Lombard League; Frederick I Barbarossa; Italian independence; political place; regional identities; histories; troubadour poems; rhetorical treatises; juridical treatises; Peace of Constance

Book.  240 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Lombard League, 1167–1225

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Conclusion in The Lombard League, 1167–1225

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