First Paper, due Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Length: About 4 pages (1250 words)
This paper is an opportunity for you to do some writing in a smaller format before taking on the research paper that is the most important paper for the term; it is in addition an opportunity for you to pull together what you have learned about the cities in northern Italy during the term's first four weeks. I would like you to base your discussion on a combination of primary and secondary sources, including material quoted directly from the texts, especially the primary sources. Citations should be internal, as follows: "[H]e loved the church and all catholics very much, and he hated Patarenes and heretics and all those believing in them" (Jansen 353). I would expect you to identify in your writing the origin of the source itself.
- Characterize the popular regimes that emerged and then eventually were superseded by signorial regimes in the medieval communes of northern Italy. What kinds of people participated? How did they come into being? What were their strengths and weaknesses?
- Much of the history we have studied so far features a high level of violent conflict. What were some of the sources of conflict and divisions in the northern Italian communes, both external and internal? How did such conflict affect life in these cities, and what were some of the efforts people made at containing it?
- Explore the ideals of the saints whose lives we have been reading in the context of the medieval Italian communes we've been discussing. What evidence do you find in these saints' lives of the violence that characterizes communal life? What evidence do you find for the economic activities and inequities of these communes? How do the various saints navigate this environment?
Laurel Carrington email@example.com
Most recent update: February 28, 2012