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L'aria delle città rende liberi. Le città medievali come comunità volontarie

City Air Sets Free. Medieval Cities as Voluntary Political and Economic Communities

Anno XXIX, n. 127, ottobre-dicembre 1994
Centro Einaudi


Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

This essay is intended to be an interpretation of medieval cities as the outcome of the institutional dynamics of freedom. The first section deals with some general notions about alternative human orders in an attempt to set medieval society within a theoretical framework. The second section describes the revolution from what we call the feudal city to the communalist city, while showing that the dissemination of the urban phenomenon was not merely a question of economically more of the same, but a thoroughgoing political change. The third section focuses on cities as factors of change in the legal tradition. The fourth section deals with the sensitive questions of defence and security of individuals within cities and of cities in their relationship with other cities and princes. The fifth section outlines tha way medieval cities were administered and how several public utilities were provided. The sixth section ends with some conclusions about the importance of the medieval urban revolution for present political thinking.

[See the comments by Franco Pizzetti and Carlo Lottieri]