The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean : The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett
  • Series: The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History
  • 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome.
In these 24 lectures, Professor Bartlett traces the development of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, showing how the modern nation of Italy was forged out of the rivalries, allegiances, and traditions of a vibrant and diverse people.
This comprehensive portrait of Italian history opens an exciting new world-a grand mosaic of lustrous and storied cultures as distinctive as the people who helped build them. As you come to know these many "Italys," you'll see how the Italian states defined themselves against the others, competing for territory, trade, and artistic supremacy - and how the vestiges of these interactions are visible even today.
Among other things, you'll consider the rivalry between the Genoese and the Pisans, which stems from a nearly 800-year-old grudge; examine how the crusades influenced the development of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice; and explore Italy's troubled relationship with the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
You'll also get a glimpse into the lives of the powerful and influential, including Pope Paul IV, who championed the Roman Inquisition, and Luigi Gonzaga, who cut out the hearts of his enemies and nailed them to the doors of their palaces as a warning to others who might challenge his power.
As you get to know the distinctive personalities and events that define the peninsula, you'll gain fresh insights into the Italy of today. Surprising, enriching, always engaging, this course offers a unique perspective on one of the most dynamic and creative cultures of the modern world.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

excellent overview of interactions between cities

If you could sum up The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean in three words, what would they be?

This course offers an excellent overview of the political and economic interactions between the major Italian cities Venice, Genua, Milan, Rome, Mantua, Urbino, until the Napoleonic take-over of Italy. Medieval and Renaissance Italy is the battlefield for the competition between the Habsburg empire and the French kingdom fighting each other in Italy, the Italian cities becoming allies of either the one or the other. Within most of the Italian cities, the aristocrats oppose the merchant classes, the aristocrats linking themselves to the Habsburg emperor, the merchant classes linking themselves to the French king or to the pope, cities having to shift sides if the tide turned.

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- L Minnema

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses