A History of Siena provides a concise and up-to-date biography of the city, from its ancient and medieval development up to the present day, and makes Siena’s history, culture, and traditions accessible to anyone studying or visiting the city.
Well informed by archival research and recent scholarship on medieval Siena and the Italian city-states, this book places Siena’s development in its larger context, both temporally and geographically. In the process, this book offers new interpretations of Siena’s artistic, political, and economic development, highlighting in particular the role of pilgrimage, banking, and class conflict. The second half of the book provides an important analysis of the historical development of Siena’s nobility, its unique system of neighborhood associations (contrade) and the race of the Palio, as well as an overview of the rise and fall of Siena’s troubled bank, the Monte dei Paschi.
This book is accessible to undergraduates and tourists, while also offering plenty of new insights for graduate students and scholars of all periods of Sienese history.
Table of Contents
Part I: From the Origins of Siena to the Fall of the Sienese Republic
Chapter 1: The Origins of Siena
From the Etruscans to the Romans
Lombard and Carolingian Siena
Chapter 2: Urban Development and the Formation of the Sienese State (1000-1260)
The Rise of Siena
The Economic Boom of the Early Thirteenth Century
The Growth of the Sienese State
Chapter 3: Siena’s Golden Age: Montaperti and Good Government (1260-1355)
Montaperti and Its Aftermath
Santa Maria della Scala and Siena’s Principal Institutions
The Government of the Nine (1287-1355)
The Artistic Legacy of the Nine
The Fall of the Nine
Chapter 4: Renaissance Siena and the Fall of the Republic (1355-1555)
A fifty-year crisis: 1355-1404
Siena in the 1400s: Consensus and Stability
Siena’s Political System in the Fifteenth Century
The Renaissance in Siena: Culture and the Arts, Society and the Contrade
From Pandolfo Petrucci to the War for Siena (1487-1555)
Part II: From the Age of the Medici to the Present Day
Chapter 5: The Age of the Medici (1557-1737)
An Intelligent Compromise
The New, Broad Sienese Nobility
Beside a Changing Nobility: Monte dei Paschi and the Surroundings
The Contrade and the Palio in Early Modern Siena
Festivals and Culture from Prince Mattias to Violante of Bavaria
The Twilight of the Medici Age
Chapter 6: From the Enlightenment to the World Wars (1723-1945)
Hard Times? The Reforms of the Lorena Family
The Co-management of the Monte dei Paschi and the Modern Commune (1787): Among Nobles and Contrade
French Lights and Shadows: Viva Maria!
The Lorena Family in the Age of Restoration (1814-1859)
Social and Economic Concerns in Nineteenth-Century Siena
Unification Strengthens the Civic Dream
Substantial Developments in the New Century
From the "Red Biennium" to the Triumph of Fascism
Chapter 7: Siena From WWII to the Present Day
The Postwar Economic Boom
The Magnificent 1990s: Synthesis of a Civilization
The Fall of Monte dei Paschi
Mario Ascheri, a former professor at the University of Rome 3, Italy, has written extensively on institutions, law, and justice in the Middle Ages and on Italian supreme courts in early modern history. He is a former member of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and is a senior fellow of the Robbins Collection Library (Law School, University of California, Berkeley, USA), and doctor h.c. of the Université de l'Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand), France. Author and editor of hundreds of books and articles on Siena, Dr. Ascheri was awarded the prestigious Sienese award, the Mangia d'oro, in 2003.
Bradley Franco is Associate Professor of Ancient and Medieval History at the University of Portland, USA, and is the author of numerous publications focusing on religion, community, family, and power in late medieval Siena. He has also published extensively on Franciscan studies and organized the first ever International Conference for Franciscan Studies in Siena in 2015. Along with Dr. Ascheri, Dr. Franco is a proud member of the contrada of Onda.