The Oxford Illustrated History of ItalyBook - 1997
This is the story of Italy from the Roman Empire to the present day. Until just over a century ago, Italy did not exist as a political unit, but in previous periods it had been both the heart of the Christian Church and the seedbed for the extraordinary cultural flowering of the Renaissance.In the middle ages and early modern Europe, the merchants of Florence, Genoa, and Venice bridged Asia, Europe, and America with their trading and financial activities. Italy itself remained a region of fiercely independent city-states, with a complex political life and an incomparably rich andvaried culture. In the nineteenth century an upsurge of nationalist fervour was channelled by Cavour and Garibaldi into a victorious war against Italy's Habsburg and Bourbon overlords. A political vision was finally realized and the nation of Italy was created. In recent decades Italy has prosperedin a way that would have seemed improbable a century ago. This extensively illustrated survey by twelve leading historians offers a fascinating introduction to the whole history of Italy, and also pays proper attention to the evolution of its culture.