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Land and power in late medieval Ferrara : the rule of the Este, 1350-1450 / Trevor Dean

Main Author Dean, Trevor Country Reino Unido. Publication Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1988 Description XIV, 212 p. : il. ; 23 cm Series Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought , Fourth series , 7 ISBN 0-521-33127-7 CDU 945"13/14"
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUMD 125749 Available 150070
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Among the many states of late medieval Italy, one stands out for its unfamiliarity to an English audience and for its neglect in historical research: that of the Este family, lords (later Dukes) of the cities of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio in northern Italy. This book is the first modern attempt to provide a detailed analysis of the political structure of this state based on archive sources. Much of the book is concerned with the ways by which the Este used their vast landed resources in and around Ferrara to build up and reinforce their personal political authority both within and outside their dominions. Among the major themes examined are the continuing presence of political feudalism in the relations between the Este and their supporters, the place of the court in Ferrarese noble society, and the violent imposition of Este authority over the powerful nobles of the Apennine hills.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • List of maps
  • Preface
  • List of abbreviations
  • Note on sources
  • Note on money, measurements and terms
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Este patrimony
  • 3 The Este tenure at Ferrara
  • 4 Noble society at the centre
  • 5 Noble society in the provinces
  • Conclusion
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Reviews provided by Syndetics


The Este family, lords of Ferrara from 1240 to 1597, had the longest reign of any of the early Italian signorial dynasties. Dean's study focuses on the period 1350-1450, during which the Este transformed their state from a family lordship into a principality with unusual territorial and political stability. Through extensive archival research the author has discovered the means by which this feat was accomplished, including ruthless accumulation and exploitation of landed resources, employment of able administrators from outside, and-most interesting-systematic creation and use of feudal relationships with clients and supporters. This is an admirably researched and well-written work that illuminates many current topics of discussion in Italian medieval and Renaissance studies, such as the princely court, feudal relationships, and socioeconomic trends. The book forms a companion piece to Werner Gundersheimer's study of the Este dynasty during the Renaissance, Ferrara: The Style of a Renaissance Despotism (CH, Mar '74). Dean's work is a must for any collection relating to Italian medieval history. Upper-division undergraduates and above.-T.C.P. Zimmerman, Davidson College

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