Cover: Venice's Most Loyal City: Civic Identity in Renaissance Brescia, from Harvard University PressCover: Venice's Most Loyal City in HARDCOVER

Venice's Most Loyal City

Civic Identity in Renaissance Brescia

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$55.00 • £47.95 • €50.95

ISBN 9780674051201

Publication Date: 11/01/2010


374 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 halftones

Villa I Tatti > I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


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Brescia was the largest of the Venetian subject cities. Its temporary loss to the French in 1509 marked a major upset to the lives of the Brescians and their Venetian rulers…[Bowd] offers some fascinating glimpses into the complexities of Brescian life… The readiness with which Brescia and the other mainland cities opened their gates to the forces of the League of Cambrai in 1509 is often used to demonstrate the inherent weakness of the Venetian state. By looking at the relationship between Brescia and Venice, both before and after 1509, Bowd successfully reinforces the counter-argument that the strength of the mainland empire rested on a complex balance of power in which the Venetian and Brescian elites were only two of the most important players.—Alexander Cowan, The Times Literary Supplement

Bowd offers an intriguing look into the social, economic, military, and political realities of Renaissance Brescia at the dawn of European political modernization. He paints a vivid portrait of the town’s relations with Venice and other Italian states as well as with neighboring European kingdoms historically involved with Italian affairs. Traditionally striving to maintain rule over its mainland possessions in a landscape where the early process of state building involved competition between communal and civic identities, the Venetian Republic sought more centralized control over northern Italian territories believed economically and strategically vital to the survival of Venice. An admirable compilation of primary and secondary sources, which provide an invaluable resource for those interested in the relationship between imagined communities, the emergence of national identity, and the process of state building, complements Bowd’s panoramic picture.—P. Lorenzini, Choice

Stephen Bowd has written an impressive and impeccable book on a city that was of utmost importance in the Renaissance but that remains nearly unknown to the English-speaking world.—James Grubb, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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