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 keeping with giungere alla Firenze del XX secolo con i suoi problemi e le sue crisi, ma anche con los angeles 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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Additional info for A Short History of Florence
At that time the city was so shattered and depopulated that when the Byzantines tried to restore the defences they tightened the ring of city walls by tens of metres, on the north, east and west: what it came to was that the city was bounded on the south-west by the ruins of the baths, on the north-west by the Campidoglio, and on the south-east by the theatre (the area occupied today by Palazzo Vecchio). And so, reduced to a heap of hovels and rubble (which nevertheless bore traces of a noble past), Florence, in about 570, fell into the hands of the Longobards, who left their imprint on her but gave greatest importance - in Tuscany - to Lucca.
From the name of one of the Swabia castles), and this led to their being called the “Ghibelline” party. Members of the opposing alliance were called the “Guelphs”; this was supposed to mean partisans of the House of Welf, that is to say the Duchy of Bavaria and later of Saxony, traditionally rivals of the House of Swabia. But at that time the House of Saxony, when Otto IV of Braunschweig died, had no hope of competing for the imperial crown. The term “Guelph”, shorn of its original meaning, signified simply “anti-Ghibelline”, and, as time went on and relations between the Pope and the Emperors of the House of Swabia got worse and worse, it came to mean “supporters of the pontiff”.
But the Florentine dialect bears many signs of that tough period of life in the city, the era of the Commune, with its freedoms and its factions. Even today someone who does not have a clearly defined role in society, who does not have the energy to achieve a position and command respect, and who does not possess qualifications is said to have “né arte né parte” (to be good for nothing). Not being able to see yourself as part of some social or professional group, not having any party membership and therefor not having a direction to go in, an objective to aim for, is considered equal to having no part in the collective life of the city.