27 mar 2021

Three Empires, Three Cities

Identity, Material Culture and Legitimacy in Venice, Ravenna and Rome, 750-1000

Atti del Seminario Internazionale All Soul College, Oxford 20-2 marzo 2014

A comparative history of Rome, Ravenna and Venice through an exploration of their post-Byzantine identity before 1000.
This book focuses on three Italian cities in the early middle ages, Rome, Ravenna and Venice, and looks at them in a new light. The unifying element linking them was their common Byzantine past, since they remained in the sphere of imperial power after the creation of the Lombard kingdom in the late 6th century, up to 750.
What happened to them when their links with the Byzantine Empire were almost entirely severed in the 8th century? Did they remain socially and culturally heirs of Byzantium in the 9th and 10th centuries in their political structures, social organisation, material culture, ideological frame of reference and representation of identity? Or did they become part of the next imperial powers of Italy, the Carolingian and the Ottonian empires? A workshop in Oxford in 2014 brought together an international group of specialists to discuss these questions in a comparative context; the excitement of their debates is captured in the discussion sections linking the papers in this volume. Early medieval Italy can be seen in a new way as a result.