New Publication: ‘A Companion to Late Medieval & Early Modern Siena’, edited by Santa Casciani & Heather Richardson Hayton

A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena presents chapters by prominent scholars on the powerful commune that birthed a pope, sheltered saints, built banking institutions that have thrived for nearly 1000 years, and nurtured vibrant communities of artists and intellectuals. This multi-disciplinary book, edited by Santa Casciani and Heather Richardson Hayton, redresses scholarly imbalances of the past by introducing early period Siena to a wider audience. Focusing mostly on the 12th to 16th centuries, each chapter explores how the Sienese crafted a distinctive civic identity that remains intact still. Modern readers will find Siena’s responses to plague, political factionalism, and aggression from powerful neighbours particularly relevant.

Contributors are: Mario Ascheri, Saverio Luigi Battente, Elena Brizio, Santa Casciani, Konrad Eisenbichler, Bradley Franco, Fabrizio Nevola, Anna Peterson, Colleen Reardon, Sheri Shaneyfelt, Jane Tylus, Andrea Beth Wenz, Demetrio Yocum.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Heather Hayton

Part 1: The City and Commune

1. Siena: the City and its State Throughout Time, Mario Ascheri

2. The Significance of Montaperti, Bradley R. Franco

3. “Per queste cose ognuno sta in santa pace et in concordia”: Understanding Urban Space in Renaissance Siena, Fabrizio Nevola

4. Saint Catherine and Siena, Jane Tylus

Part 2: Art and Religion

5. “Beata quella città della sua patria!”. Siena’s Religious Culture and Carthusian Monasticism, Demetrio S. Yocum

6. The Marian Altarpieces of Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Sheri F. Shaneyfelt

7. The Discussion and Transmission of Reformed Religious Beliefs in Early-Modern Siena, Andrea Beth Wenz

8. Bernardino of Siena in the History and Culture of the City of L’Aquila, Santa Casciani

Part 3: Culture and Society

9. Public Health and Hospitals in Medieval Siena before the Black Death, Anna M. Peterson

10. “Sebben che siamo donne …”: Sienese Women in the Troubled Years at the End of the Republic (c.1500–60), Elena Brizio

11. “Sotto un Lauro in corona”: Literate Women in 16th-Century Siena, Konrad Eisenbichler

12. “An Occasion to Banish Melancholy”: Musical Culture in Early Modern Siena, Colleen Reardon

Epilogue: The Foundations of Contemporary Siena

The “Gothic Queen”: the Myth of Siena in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Saverio Luigi Battente

Santa Casciani, Ph.D. (1994, University of Wisconsin, Madison), is Professor of Italian at John Carroll University and founding director of the Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Program, and a Rome program. She has published widely on Michelangelo, Dante, Italian and Italian- American literature, and pedagogy.

Heather Richardson Hayton, Ph.D. (2000, Pennsylvania State University), is an award-winning professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Guilford College. She has published on medieval desire, monstrosity, and various topics in pop culture. She regularly leads a study-abroad program in Siena.

Find out more here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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