1st Edition

The Culture and Politics of Regime Change in Italy, c.1494-c.1559

Edited By Alexander Lee, Brian Jeffrey Maxson Copyright 2023
    284 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume offers the first comprehensive survey of regime change in Italy in the period c.1494–c.1559.

    Far from being a purely modern phenomenon, regime change was a common feature of life in Renaissance Italy – no more so than during the Italian Wars (1494–1559). During those turbulent years, governments rose and fell with dizzying regularity. Some changes of regime were peaceful; others were more violent. But whenever a new reggimento took power, old social tensions were laid bare and new challenges emerged – any of which could easily threaten its survival. This provoked a variety of responses, both from newly established regimes and from their opponents. Constitutional reforms were proposed and enacted; civic rituals were developed; works of art were commissioned; literary works were penned; and occasionally, aspects of material culture were pressed into service, as well. Comparative in approach and broad in scope, it offers a provocative new view of the diverse political, culture, and economic factors, which ensured the survival (or demise) of regimes – not only in "major" polities like Florence, Rome, and Venice, but also in less-well-studied regions like Savoy.

    This book will appeal to researchers and students alike interested in cultural, political, and military history.

    1. Regime Change in Sabaudian Lands, 1536-1580

    Matthew Vester

    2. Memories and Fantasies of Regime Change in Spanish Naples

    Stephen Cummins

    3. Chutes and Ladders: The Twilight of Two Lombard Families in the Italian Wars

    John Gagné

    4. Regime Change in Papal Rome: Pius IV and the Carafa (1559-61)

    Miles Pattenden

    5. The Vacant See and Regime Change in Papal Rome, 1503-1559

    John M. Hunt

    6. The Failed Regime of Pope Adrian VI

    Brian Jeffrey Maxson

    7. The Prince’s Body: Imagining Regime Change in Mid Sixteenth-Century Florence

    Nicholas Scott Baker

    8. The Historiography of Regime Change in Machiavelli’s Discursus reum florentinarum post mortem iunioris Laurentii Medices

    Alexander Lee

    9. Alda Pio Gambara and Regime Change in Brescia during the Italian Wars

    Stephen D. Bowd

    10. Success in a Silent Regime Change: Electoral Politics, Family Strategies, and the Cappello Family in Early Sixteenth-Century Venice

    Monique O’ Connell

    11. In the Name of the Marquis, by the Hand of the Marchioness: Epistolary Networks and Languages of Resilience and Reaction in Mantua during the League of Cambrai (1509-1510)

    Isabella Lazzarini

    12. Trading and Investing during Regime Changes in Genoa

    Carlo Taviani


    Alexander Lee is a research fellow at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of five acclaimed books, including Machiavelli: His Life and Times (2020) and Humanism and Empire: The Imperial Ideal in Fourteenth-Century Italy (2018).

    Brian Jeffrey Maxson is professor of history at East Tennessee State University, USA. He has co-edited several projects and is the author of A Short History of Florence and the Florentine Republic (2022) and The Humanist World of Renaissance Florence (2014).