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Event Details

Tue, November 27, 2018

18:00 – 19:30

Villa La Pietra
via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italy

A Dialogue with Fabrizio Ricciardelli, Kent State University Florence

Towards the end of the eleventh century, some communes of north and central Italy bypassed the authority of the pope and the sovereignty of the emperor and began appointing their own consuls, giving them final authority in judicial matters. While the majority of the countries of central Europe continued to have feudal and monarchic political structures, many cities of north and central Italy promoted republican forms of government, in contrast to monarchic governments which were held to be legitimate because they were thought to have come from God straight into the hands of men. The principle that distinguishes the Italian city-republics from the rest of the European monarchies lies in the implementation of a basic principle of contemporary democracies: that all political offices must be elective and held for limited periods of time. Naturally, this does not mean that in these forms of government regular democratic elections were held, because the right to vote was the privilege of a few, limited to male heads of households, who were required to demonstrate ownership of substantial property in the city and to have been born in the city where they were participating in political life. To establish the composition of the city councils, the city was divided into electoral districts, or in some cases, contradas, within which the citizens were allowed to vote to decide whom to seat on the city councils and whom to elect as rulers.

La Pietra Dialogues – Culture

Featured Biographies

Fabrizio Ricciardelli


Fabrizio Ricciardelli, Ph.D., is Director of the Kent State University Florence. His academic experience includes journal articles, conference presentations, and several reviews. He has authored and co-authored numerous books on institutional and political history. His main field of study is Italian city-states in the social, economic, political, and cultural landscape of Medieval Europe. In 2015 Ricciardelli was appointed Co-Secretary Treasurer of AACUPI, the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy. A native of Florence, Fabrizio Ricciardelli earned his undergraduate degree in Medieval History at the University of Florence and his Ph.D. at the University of Warwick in England. Some of his publications are: The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Italy (2007); I luoghi del sacro. Il sacro e la città tra Medioevo ed Età moderna (2008); The Culture of Violence in Renaissance Italy (2012); Umanesimo e università in Toscana (1400-1600) (2012); Late Medieval and Early Modern Ritual. Studies in Italian Urban Culture (2013), and Emotions, Passions, and Power in Renaissance Italy (2015); The Myth of Republicanism in Renaissance Italy (2015). His latest works are Regional History as Cultural Identity (2017) and A Tale of Two Cities: Florence and Rome from the Grand Tour to Study Abroad (2017).