Catalogue

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Absolutism in Renaissance Milan [electronic resource] : plenitude of power under the Visconti and the Sforza, 1329-1535 /
Jane Black.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2009.
description
ix, 242 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780199565290
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2009.
isbn
9780199565290
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
abstract
Jane Black shows how authority above the law, once the preserve of pope and emperor, was seized, exploited, and eventually relinquished, by the ruling Milanese dynasties. Lawyers supported the free use of absolute power at first, but both sides realised that society could not function unless property and other rights were respected.
catalogue key
7065246
 
Electronic reproduction. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2010. (Oxford Scholarship Online). Mode of access: World Wide Web. System requirements: Internet Explorer 6.0 (or higher) or Firefox 2.0 (or higher). Available as searchable text in HTML format. Access restricted to subscribing institutions.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
Black deftly lays out relevant events and official actions with clarity and a level of detail that respects her goal.
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Jane Black shows how authority above the law, once the preserve of pope and emperor, was seized, exploited, and eventually relinquished, by the ruling Milanese dynasties. Lawyers supported the free use of absolute power at first, but both sides realised that society could not function unless property and other rights were respected.
Main Description
Absolutism in Renaissance Milan shows how authority above the law, once the preserve of pope and emperor, was claimed by the ruling Milanese dynasties, the Visconti and the Sforza, and why this privilege was finally abandoned by Francesco II Sforza (d. 1535), the last duke. As new rulers, the Visconti and the Sforza had had to impose their regime by rewarding supporters at the expense of opponents. That process required absolute power, also known as 'plenitude of power', meaning the capacity to overrule even fundamental laws and rights, including titles to property.The basis for such power reflected the changing status of Milanese rulers, first as signori and then as dukes. Contemporary lawyers, schooled in the sanctity of fundamental laws, were at first prepared to overturn established doctrines in support of the free use of absolute power: even the leading jurist of the day, Baldo degli Ubaldi (d. 1400), accepted the new teaching. However, lawyers came eventually toregret the new approach and to reassert the principle that laws could not be set aside without compelling justification. The Visconti and the Sforza too saw the dangers of absolute power: as legitimate princes they were meant to champion law and justice, not condone arbitrary acts that disregardedbasic rights. Jane Black traces these developments in Milan over the course of two centuries, showing how the Visconti and Sforza regimes seized, exploited and finally relinquished absolute power.
Main Description
Absolutism in Renaissance Milanshows how authority above the law, once the preserve of pope and emperor, was claimed by the ruling Milanese dynasties, the Visconti and the Sforza, and why this privilege was finally abandoned by Francesco II Sforza (d. 1535), the last duke. As new rulers, the Visconti and the Sforza had had to impose their regime by rewarding supporters at the expense of opponents. That process required absolute power, also known as "plenitude of power," meaning the capacity to overrule even fundamental laws and rights, including titles to property. The basis for such power reflected the changing status of Milanese rulers, first as signori and then as dukes. Contemporary lawyers, schooled in the sanctity of fundamental laws, were at first prepared to overturn established doctrines in support of the free use of absolute power: even the leading jurist of the day, Baldo degli Ubaldi (d. 1400), accepted the new teaching. However, lawyers came eventually to regret the new approach and to reassert the principle that laws could not be set aside without compelling justification. The Visconti and the Sforza too saw the dangers of absolute power: as legitimate princes they were meant to champion law and justice, not condone arbitrary acts that disregarded basic rights. Jane Black traces these developments in Milan over the course of two centuries, showing how the Visconti and Sforza regimes seized, exploited and finally relinquished absolute power.
Main Description
Jane Black's study of absolutism in Milan shows how the Visconti and the Sforza invoked power above the law to overrule the rights of those who stood in their way. Lawyers were willing at first to co-operate, but both sides eventually realized that society could not function unless property and other rights were respected. Absolute power was a dangerous expedient for rulers who prized their reputation for justice, and the last duke (d. 1535) abandoned theprerogative altogether. Black traces these developments in Milan over the course of two centuries, showing how the Visconti and Sforza regimes seized, exploited and finally relinquished absolute power.

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