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Rural settlement and economic development in Southern Italy: Troia and its Contado c.1020 - c.1230

Oldfield, Paul (2005) Rural settlement and economic development in Southern Italy: Troia and its Contado c.1020 - c.1230. Journal of medieval history, 31 (4). pp. 327-345. ISSN 0304-4181

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Abstract

The history of urban life in Southern Italy during the eleventh and twelfth centuries was particularly disjointed. At varying points many of the regions' cities were subject to the domination of petty Lombard princes, Byzantine emperors, Norman dukes and, as one passes into the twelfth century, Sicilian kings and German emperors. This paper uses the case of the northern Apulian city of Troia to show that, below this surface of political discontinuity, it is possible to discern a different understanding of an urban history. In highlighting the significance of the economic development of Troia's surrounding territory and the manner in which this created a damaging rivalry with the neighbouring settlement of Foggia, this essay emphasises the need to take into account local (and not only wider-ranging political) influences on the shaping of medieval south Italian urban life. In this context the paper also considers the importance of the development of a stable local government and a burgeoning civic conscience at Troia.

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