The Signoria of Paolo Guinigi and the Evolution of the Fifteenth‐Century Lucchese State
The 14th century saw the temporary loss of Lucca's political independence; in the first three decades of the 15th century, Lucca, usually the model of a traditional Italian city‐republic, fell under the rule of a prince. The questions asked in this chapter repeat those of the previous one: how far and in what ways did radical changes in the political life of Lucca affect the dynamics of the city's control of its territory. The nature of princely rule inevitably brought some changes. Paolo Guinigi ruled at a time of a deepening demographic crisis; initiatives were taken to address the worsening problems of the countryside. There are many indications of a tightening of central control. But the revolutionary administrative restructuring that has been attributed to Paolo Guinigi is almost entirely mythical. The chapter argues, therefore, that the thirty‐year rule of Paolo Guinigi consolidated rather than changed Lucca's governance of the Sei Miglia and vicariates.
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