A Short History of Florence by Franco Cardini

By Franco Cardini

L'autore ricerca i 'caratteri originali' della grande città d'arte attraverso un viaggio nel suo passato, dalle origini ai tempi della florentina libertas, dai fasti del Principato mediceo e asburgo-lorenese, in step with giungere alla Firenze del XX secolo con i suoi problemi e le sue crisi, ma anche con l. a. sua carica inventiva e los angeles sua spinta al rinnovamento. Il volumea ha lo scopo di cogliere in pochi, forti tratti della città, di rivisitare il passato alla luce del presente in line with comprendere i caratteri originali.

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Like the other cities of the Italian proto-Communal world, twelfth-century Florence set out to conquer the county, subdue the castles of the surrounding territories and gain ascendancy over the land-owning families and knights who dominated the territory from their strongholds. In the space of two years, between 1113 and 1115, the Cadolingi family, who controlled Valdarno to the west of Florence, petered out and the Countess Matilda died. Ten years after Matilda’s death the Emperor Henry V also died, and there followed a long interregnum.

John the Baptist, the baptistery was identical with the legendary “temple of Mars”. It was built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (for a time it was even used as the cathedral), but it seems that it was erected on a fifth-century foundation. It was on that account true that the Florentine palladium, the “Beautiful St. John” (as Dante called it), was in some way connected with the Roman world, if not with the pagan heritage. This was not the only legend that possessed a slightly distorted and obscured nucleus of truth.

It shared a boundary with three others: Arezzo to the east, Pistoia to the west and Siena to the south. Meanwhile Florence expanded and its surrounding walls were strengthened. This was a good thing, though the cause was not: the Magyar raids of the first half of the tenth century probably contributed to the growth of the city, by leading people who lived too insecurely in the rest of the county to move into the city. A third circle of walls was now built, replacing the original Roman circle and the later, smaller, Byzantine one: it covered, more or less, the lines of the Roman walls and took in the residential districts which had grown up in the area south of the north side of the old quadrangle.

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