A new – and, for once, largely Italian – “take” on the development of the Italian Renaissance State has just come out from Cambridge University Press. Edited by Andrea Gamberini and Isabella Lazzarini, this rich collection proposes a refreshingly “home-grown” and innovative view of the political history of Renaissance Italy. Not only are most of chapters written by leading Italian historians, whose work is sadly often omitted from university reading lists because of the language barrier, but the work also expands the horizons of the traditional Anglo-Saxon view of Renaissance Italy. Here is the chance to discover the latest Italian research on the relatively unexplored north-east and north-west frontier states, as well as more familiar territories.
The editors rose brilliantly to the challenge of managing (and sourcing the funding for) this major translation project. I don’t know how many translators were involved in all, but I expect that at least 20 of the 24 chapters were written in Italian. I was delighted to be asked to translate the chapters by Marco Bellabarba “The feudal principalities: the east (Trent, Bressanone/Brixen, Aquileia, Tyrol and Gorizia)”, and Alessandro Barbero “The feudal principalities: the west (Monferrato, Saluzzo, Savoy, Savoy-Acaia)”.
I’ve just finished teaching a 10-week course on “The State as a Work of Art”, but the next time I teach it, this book will certainly be on the reading list – if only as a library reference book!