The Visor of Agilulf. Source: Wikipedia

Conflict and Violence in Medieval Italy 568-1154

Studies have shown that people in the Middle Ages were inherently more violent than at other times. New book explores how this violence played out in Medieval Italy 568-1154

Conflict and Violence in Medieval Italy 568-1154
ed by Christopher Heath and Robert Houghton
Amsterdam University Press 2021


This collection of essays from both established and emerging scholars analyses the dynamic connections between conflict and violence in medieval Italy. The contributors present a new critique of power that sustained both kingship and locally based elite networks throughout the Italian peninsula. A broad temporal range, covering the sixth to the twelfth centuries, allows this book to cross a number of ‘traditional’ fault-lines in Italian historiography – 774, 888, 962 and 1025. The essays provide wide-ranging analyses of the role of conflict in the period, the operation of power and the development of communal consciousness and collective action by individuals and groups. It is thus essential reading for scholars, students and general readers who wish to understand the situation in medieval Italy.


1 Introduction: Discordant Minds and Hostile Nations (Christopher Heath and Robert Houghton)

2 Morbidity and Murder: Lombard Kingship’s Violent Uncertainties 568-774 (Christopher Heath)

3 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Lombard Italy (c600-700) (Guido M. Berndt)

4 Troubled Times: Narrating Conquest and Defiance between Charlemagne and Bernard (774-818) (Francesco Borri)

5 ‘Nec patiaris populum Domini ab illis divinitus fulminandis Agarenis discerpi’: Handling ‘Saracen’ Violence in Ninth-Century Southern Italy (Kordula Wolf)

6 Formosus and the ‘Synod of the Corpse’: Tenth Century Rome in History and Memory (David Barritt)

7 Sex, Denigration and Violence: A Representation of Political Competition between Two Aristocratic Families in Ninth Century Italy (Edoardo Manarini)

8 ‘Italy and her [German] Invaders’: Otto III’s and Frederick Barbarossa’s Early Tours of Italy – Pomp, Generosity and Ferocity (Penelope Nash)

9 ‘I Predict a Riot’: What Were the Parmense Rebelling Against in 1037? (Robert Houghton)

10 The Strange Case of Deusdedit and Pandulf: Two Accounts of Honorius II’s Election (Enrico Veneziani)

Afterword (Ross Balzaretti)


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