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.