Of the times we have described so far, “not only have the stories disappeared, but we can also suspect, if not believe, that very few were composed of them at the time; and if our good luck had not saved us Longobardic historyof Paolo Diacono until the year 774, then the history of Italy would remain in a great darkness. Nevertheless, the same one continues to be so poor in light even from there until after the year 1000, that if the chronicle of Liutprand perished, and those of the Franks and the Germans did not help us, we would find ourselves now, so to speak. , in a desert for almost three centuries after the aforementioned Paul. In addition to having lost the memory of many events of that time, those that remain, so badly disposed well often present themselves before us, that to be able to assign the years away does not remain, given the negligence or discord of the writers, and is forced not infrequently the chronology to grope ”.
These unadorned words of the father of Italian history are valid, if not to obtain an apology, to justify the hesitancy that the reader will have noticed at one time in our story, of the scarcity of facts, of the ignorance of the causes. And yes, we did not believe we were obliged to ascertain each year as the chronologue, nor to discuss the dates except when they change nature and significance to the events; and by sparing the discussions, we have exhibited the convictions produced in us by investigations, of which we veiled the most ungrateful fabric to the readers.
Little by little we have mentioned the poor chroniclers from whom we drew, and besides Paolo Diacono, around the first Carolingians, Erchemperto (from 774 to 889) subsidized us, and the chronicle of a priest Andrea from Bergamo, anything but despicable for things neither for the form nor for that dowry which, very rare in chroniclers, is not common in historians, to know which events are important to report, which ones to neglect. Giovan Diacono wove the life of Gregory the Great; Lamb priest, coarse in facts and in exposition, that of the bishops of Ravenna, in times that it was a very important city; rather better that of the popes the librarian Anastasio, or rather the various authors of the Pontifical Book, interrupted in 889, resumed in 1050 by the Cardinal of Aragon, always in a sentiment of praise; added the life of Alexander III, living painting of the time of the Lombard League.
At the end of the eleventh century, Gregory monk of Farfa was the first to have the good inspiration to collect the diplomas relating to his monastery, and on their basis he compiled a chronicle, continued by others and imitated by many, and deh it had been by all monasteries, which were the center of not only intellectual but social activity. Of the most important is that of Montecassino, begun by Leone Marsiccino, led up to the abbot Desiderio who was later Victor III, then followed again by a deacon Pietro.
In translating the traditions of the invading peoples into our language and styles, the chroniclers altered them, at the same time that they became the cause or occasion that lost the originals, as happened with the Goths for Jornandes, and the Lombards for Paolo Diacono. Using a language that they no longer spoke, in words, not born in childbirth with thought, they expressed more or less of the concept, even if they did not attribute to it an arbitrary meaning; having read the ancients, they drew the sentences well or badly to represent quite different things, a completely different condition of society. Of which society they had an eye on the progress, so that they throw no more than a hint to describe a complication that is inextricable to us, a revolution, which was evident to them, while we struggle in vain to explain it to us; they touch in flight a very important fact to posterity, while they stretch out over a flood or a comet, which troubled the imagination or the interests of contemporaries.
In the midst of this inopia we can discern Liutprand of Pavia, employed in serious affairs, secretary, then enemy of Emperor Berengar II, exiled to Germany, and brought back from there by Otto the Great, and placed bishop of Cremona. The contemporary events, from the taking of Frassinetto in 891 to the Roman council of 963, he exhibited with cultured style and with a wit that often degenerates into frivolity, and a passion that does not even shy away from slander. In his embassies, with a difficult and negative spirit, quite discordant with the good nature of the chroniclers, he criticizes, laughs, exaggerates the vices and defects of the Byzantine Court to flatter the German, and longing for childish or senile affectation, and collecting without discernment, we like to vent his partiality even at the cost of modesty.
This explains his sentence, then repeated to his fill and almost a historical oracle, which, when one wanted to denote the height of every vice, was called Roman . Sent by the German emperor to that of Constantinople, who boasting of the title of Roman, as such claimed primacy over the Western, Liutprando removes to cuculiar him, transmitting in praising the Germans, and asserting that Roman is no more than the title of insult and compendium of every improperity. This contumelia is therefore low flattery, which, moreover, the whole of his story convinces that he did not say it to the Byzantine Court, but only included it in his report to ingratiate himself with the Ottoni.
The Normans were fortunate of good historians. Gaufrido Malaterra, commanded by Roberto Guiscardo to keep memory of his enterprises, dedicated them to his successor. Guglielmo Apulo sang the actions of the Normans in five books, beginning magnificent, following remittance, ending with proud baseness  . To Ugo Falcando di Benevento the painting of the reign of William the Evil acquired the title of Tacitus of Sicily; then passed to William the Good, he does not have enough words to exalt the happiness of the nation: which rapid journey no less than the rhetorical elegance make his assertions suspicious. Courageous and sensible, he foresaw the calamities that the island would bring to pass into the lordship of the Germans; and like other Sicilians even of more civilized times, he did not conceal hatred and contempt towards the Pugliesi, people, according to him, «of supreme inconstancy, always greedy for the new, yearning for freedom without knowing how to preserve it; on the field they barely wait for the sign of the attack to escape; unable to war, they do not know how to rest in peace ”  .
Matteo Bonello, a rich prelate, wrote with feeling the story of William I, of which he was minister. Goffredo da Viterbo drew a Pantheon from the beginning of the world until the wedding of the Empress Constance, “having (he says) for four years, on both sides of the seas, rummaged through all the Latin, barbarian, Greek, Jewish, Chaldean armadjs”. Romoaldo archbishop of Salerno, minister of William II, enlivened his chronicle with precious peculiarities; another by Amato monaco di Montecassino, we know from the French version . Pietro d’Ebulo poured out the riots of Sicily, opposed to King Tancredi: Ricardo da San Germano notajo, an eyewitness and sincere witness although Ghibelline, outlines the times of Frederick II. From his death to the coronation of Manfredi, Nicola di Jamsilla continues, with Ghibelline partiality, but with dearest ingenuity. Matteo Spinelli di Giovenazzo from 1247 until the battle of Tagliacozzo, where he died, wrote a newspaper which is the oldest in our vulgar. Saba Malaspina, the anonymous Salerno, Alessandro di Telesa, Nicola Speciale, the chronicle of the time of Queen Giovanna by Domenico Gravina, are robust aids to the history of the realm, of whose writers Francesco Soria gave the catalog.
But culture had already grown with freedom, the chronicle of the monastery was substituted by that of the Municipality, and the importance of the things exposed raised the narrative and associated it with politics, in a way of instructing and enticing, showing sufficient knowledge, and witty estimation of events, and characteristic particularities, and that movement that derives from true feelings. In the great municipal turmoil, no city can be said to lack its chronicler, especially as many in the 12th and 13thcentury had all the acts reduced in register to insure them from eventualities; and many used it for history. Arnolfo and Landolfo the Elder, Milanese who lived shortly after the year 1000, and the first lay people who wrote civil history, although they lack accuracy, like to hear them explain the origin of the disputes between nobles and commoners, between cherics and secular only the civil constitution, but the social one. The first shows the feudality pierced by the people led by the priests, who give the first freedoms. Landolfo shows the winning archbishops of the nobles; then Landolfo Juniore will say how devout tribunes won the archbishops imposed by the emperor, and made free election triumph.
In the times of Barbarossa it is useful to correct the republican genius of Sire Raul or Rodolfo Milanese ( De gestis Frederici ) with the imperial inclinations of Ottone Morena magistrate of Lodi ( Rerum Laudensium ), who was followed in a more generous and liberal tone by his son Acerbo, who militated with Barbarossa, and died in the expedition against Rome in 1167. Both surrender their hands to Ottone, bishop of Freising and Radevico his canon, who, one in continuation of the other, outlined the wars of which they were witnesses and part, no longer content, like the chroniclers, of a single city and ignoring the neighbors, but embracing all of Italy, and observing the legality in the organic struggle of the two powers.
Galvano Fiamma ( Manipulus florum ), after cluttered with baje the primordj of Milanese history, improves of sense and color approaching one’s own times. Pietro Azario narrates the facts of the Visconti with clear prose and very tasty ingenuity, and with an impartiality unusual in the previous factions. Gherardo Maurisio from Vicenza wrote about Ezelino III when he had not yet shown himself to be a rebel; whence he walks partially, as much as the chroniclers of all the neighboring cities, among which Rolandino of Padua, excel. As a teacher of grammar and rhetoric, he made a work that was more orderly and clearer than his contemporaries, and read it in front of the professors and pupils of that university, who approved it, or at least applauded it.
Albertino Mussato, a Paduan magistrate, from whom we have the first modern tragedies in Achille and Ezelino , in sixteen books of History Augusta magnified the unfortunate attempt of Henry VII against tyrannies, in another eight the successes up to 1317, then in three canti the siege placed by Can Grande della Scala in Padua, lastly the dissidies that this submitted to the lords of Verona. The continuation of the two Cortusj in narrating the industrious rebellion of Padua is far from equaling its merit. The two Gattari see the one dechino, the other the loss of independence, deploring the causes, and spreading the scenes of the civil war also to the rest of Italy; because the chroniclers already turned their eyes even beyond his native land.
Cristoforo da Soldo from Brescia goes up to 1468; but uncritical and uneducated, he leans on rumors, and crudely expounds what he remotely thinks. Malvezzi finds the explanation of the ancients in new disasters. Castel da Castello in Bergamo with coarse truth describes the miseries to which his homeland reduced the civil wars up to 1407. Ricobaldo da Ferrara  plunged between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Ferreto da Vicenza in favor of the tyrants who triumph, others and others we judged by making use of them. Suffice it to say that the Muratori collection gives the chronicles of sixty-eight cities between the fifth and fifteenth centuries, and that the historical Bibliography of the cities and places of the Papal State alone fills a large volume in-4º with nothing but the name of the historians of seventy-one cities still in existence and sixteen destroyed in that country.
An ignorant jealousy, which posterity redeems splendidly, denied Muratori the Piedmontese chronicles; among which the first are those that over the previous ones compiled an Ogerio Alfieri, mistakenly believed to be a monk, ending in 1294, which was succeeded by Guglielmo Ventura in 1325, and shortly after by Secondino Ventura. Fra Jacopo d’Acqui filled the origins of the Marquises of Monferrato with dreams in the Chronicon imaginis mundi , where he stowed many readings without order or discernment  .
Some worsened the story by wanting to verse it, to the ineptness of the narration by adding the difficulty of the meter. Lorenzo the Deacon of Pisa did not uncultively sing his expedition against the Balearic Islands: Donnizone, bishop of Canossa, renounced the actions of the Countess Matilde; an unnamed the praises of Berengar; the Cumano the ten-year war of the Lombards against Como; Moisè del Brolo the glories of Bergamo around 1120; Gaetano degli Stefaneschi the times of Bonifazio VIII; maestro Pietro d’Eboli exposed the wars between Henry VI and Tancredi in elegies; Antonio d’Asti the Guelph and Ghibelline struggles in the elegiac history of his homeland until 1341; Fra Stefenardo di Vimercate, in the best verses of his age, the Milanese glories from 1262 to 95. Then in Italian Boezio Poppleto and Anton di Boezio sang the things d’Aquila from 1252 to 1382, the Arezzo chronicle ser Gorello de ‘Sinigardi, the Mantuan Buonamente Aliprando, the Perugian Bonifazio Veronese in the Eulistea .
In Genoa the chronicle of each year was presented in full council, and approved by placing it in the archivj. Hence the Caffaro, who was consul and captained the fleets against the Pisans and the Saracins, derived his story, which he left in 1163 by death. By public decree continued by Ottobono, by Ogerio Pane, by Marchisio, by Bartolomeo, Chancellors of the Republic until 1264, it was then committed to illustrious and consular personalities, Marino Usodimare, Jacopo Doria, Guglielmo Multedo, Arrigo Guasco Marquis of Gavi, Oberto Spinola and others who arrive at 1294: after the four-year interval, Giorgio Stella and others of his family and the Senarega resume until 1514; lastly Filippo Casoni points to 1700. They are the sources of Genoese history, partial yes, but very precious continuity of contemporaries, which no other city can boast. Giovanni Bracelli da Sarzana too, in good Latin without rhetorical ostentation, went back to the events from 1412 to 44, well informed as chancellor that he was of the Republic. Other independent writers fill the warping officer, but frà Jacopo da Varagine, known for the legend of the saints, in the long chronicle of Genoa from the Trojan Janus until 1297 pedantically bags without sifting, and grafted there with a faded morality.
Giovanni Diacono, vulgarly known up to now as Sagornino, a good speaker while the doge Pietro Orseolo II, is the best credited among the many chroniclers of the dark and conjectural times of Venice, who were eclipsed by Andrea Dandolo. Trained in laws and fine literature, all decorum, gravity, love of country, and prudence as befits the driver of a great republic, he explained in Latin a story from the vulgar êra 1342, bloodless and without criticism for old times, for later rich in documents, and less partial than we would expect as a noble and republican. Benintendi de ‘Ravegnani continued it, then Rafaelle Caresini. Although just the Altinate chronicle came to light, which is rather a knot of chronicles of different merit; and, more tempting to read if not more fertile with news, the chronicle written in French or in French translated by Da Canale in 1267. Then in 1516 two hundred sequins were assigned a year to a historian and librarian of San Marco, who recorded the glories of the ; and the first was Marcantonio Coccio called Sabellico, but he hugged; Bernardo Giustiniani had clung to good documents to investigate the first evo, but he stopped at 809. And in general Venice was not so fortunate as historians; nor do her overwhelmingly show the need for accuracy,
He does not want to forget the party taken in it since 1296, that the ambassadors presented to the magistrate an account of the physical and moral condition of the country to which they were sent; then in 1425 it was ordered to reduce them to writing  , and they were kept in the public archive, from which, perhaps illegally, copies of them now owned by private individuals were obtained; and for the fullness of the information, and for the opportunity that they had to know the great ones nearby, they are very precious foundations to that science, which was later prostituted with the name of statistics.
Bologna also had a chronicle of nearly four hundred years. Matteo Spinelli’s Neapolitan is believed to be a counterfeit, and certainly his Italian is more relaxed than Malespini’s later one. But Florence gives us the best for both dictation and common sense and shrewd ingenuity. Remember Malespini wrote in his native dialect what he “found in the histories of the ancient books of master doctors”; and since at that time they were synonyms written and true, it draws the name of Pisa from the weight that the shopkeepers make there, of Lucca by the light of Christianity brought there, of Pistoja by pistolence ; ago the church of San Pietro in Rome founded at the time of Augustus, at the time of Catiline to celebrate mass in the rectory of Fiesole, Florence devastated by Attila ; but with better wisdom and with admirable calmness, although inclined to the Guelphs, he expounds the accidents of which he himself was a witness until 1280.
Dino Compagni continued it until 1312, wanting to «write the truth of the certain things he saw and heard; and those that he clearly he did not see, write according to hearing; and because many, according to their corrupt wills, spend in telling and corrupting the truth, he proposed to write according to the greatest fame ». Strange canons of credibility, which attest to us that the true story was still in its infancy, the office of which is not only the recounting of facts, but sorting them out, ordering them, exposing them. As in the frequent magistracies of the fatherland he brought about peace, so in the scriptures; and from that feeling not infrequently he draws his style vehemently, and – Get up, you wicked citizens, full of scandals, and take iron and fire with your hands, and spread out your malice, reveal your iniquitous wills and bad intentions; suffer no more, go, and ruin the beauties of your city, shed the blood of your brothers, strip yourselves of faith and love, deny one another help and service, sow your lies, which will fill the granary of your children; do as Silla did in the city of Rome, that Mario in a few days avenged all the evils it caused in ten years. Do you believe that God’s justice has failed? even that of the world makes one by one. Look to your ancients if they receive merit in their strife; barter the honors they have acquired. Do not delay, miserable ones; because the more a day is consumed in war than many years are not gained in peace; and small is that spark that leads to destruction a great kingdom ». With such noble intentions and right judgment and great probity he brings to his work brevity, precision, vigor, as can be desired in simple and truthful history: yet it remained unknown to his contemporary Villani and to posterity almost to Muratori: today reasons for prove it apocryphal.
Giovan Villani, merchant and magistrate, went to Rome for the jubilee of 1300, and “finding himself in that blessed pilgrimage of the holy city”, the sight of many monuments and the reading of Sallustio, Livio, Valerio, Paolo Orosio, Virgilio, Lucano and other masters of stories inspired him to narrate the events of his homeland, “to give memory and example to those who are to come, and to the reverence of God and of the blessed saint Joanni, and to commendation of his city of Florence”. Which he did in twelve books, with no pretensions to doctrine or system prevention, drinking heavily from ancient fables; even long stretches, removing weight from Malespini without even indicating it, not appearing at the time plagiarism but ability to take advantage of whoever had preceded: then reached his time, with great righteousness of feeling and reasoning he expounds the facts, and not only of the homeland, with efficacy of those who can say – I have seen as a writer, I have been ». He hangs apart from the Guelph without concealing it , but frankly expresses his sincere sentiments, warming himself up in the reasoning of his homeland, telling with affectionate and sometimes picturesque evidence, and relaxing in the particularities, without doubting that he is indifferent or annoying to others what was of interest to him. As a merchant that he was, he pays attention to the positive things that foreign contemporaries neglect; and while these give us only their personal impressions, Villani proceeds precisely and intelligently, examines, compares, judges, and to the gravity of the ancients, whom he knew not only by name, he combines personal experience. So positive, he doesn’t distract from believing in miracles and astrologies, a weakness that is easily forgiven. Lack of literary apparatus, unconditional of grammar  , in the binding of the voices is natural and analytical; nothing excessive, nothing studied filler, forced transposition, artificial regiment, but always a simple and cheerful familiarity. True way, by which Italy could have risen to the original history, had it not also wanted to bask in imitation in this.
Died from the terrible plague of 1348, his brother Matteo continued it, in eleven books embracing just sixteen years: evident portraitist of customs and events, practical of the human heart and of the tangles of politics, he is indifferent to vice, he gets excited about freedom, religious reverence does not keep from revealing or rather exaggerating the misguidedness of the popes, so that trust and love are reconciled. The new plague of 1362 kidnapped him, and his son Philip spun his story up to 65: man of study and called to read Dante in the chair, he has more adornment and less naivety than his father and uncle, and in the Lives of illustrious Fiorentini leaves the desire for that color and detail which form the soul of the biographies.
Even Marchione da Coppo Stefani, thinking “how well it is for men to find something that reduces ancient things to memory, and especially the principles of cities and every writing, to remind those who have vagueness about it »the history of the country. Starting from the creation, he drew the story of the Villani until 1385, narrating the discords of the Ricci and the Albizzi that Matteo had concealed. Piero Minerbetti made a tail too inferior to the Villani that he wanted to imitate; nor do the Morellis have any value. I Commentarjdi Neri di Gino Capponi up to the peace of Lodi with the vigor and evidence attest the limpid ingenuity of that political right and good military, to whom the republic entrusted to draw up the most important dispatches. Giovan Cambi up to 1480 he copied “from an ancient book and to give you good faith” and found it with others: then from there follows his Memorial “simple and purely without adornment of words”, like a merchant who notes day by day what he sees and hears, from everything drawing moral reflections on the justice of God, on the depravity of morals, on the nothingness of human grandeur, and, like all Florentines, regretting the good republican state, which he saw going to rout. Filippo di Cino Rinuccini dictated historical memories from 1282 to 1460, whence his sons Alamanno and Neri continued them until 1506. And it was customary among those Athenians of Italy to keep certain books which they called Prioristsbecause the priors of each year noted in it, and at the same time the principal events of their country and of foreigners, a domestic tradition; dear always, because not the writer, but the man appears there; and as comforting as conversing with a respectable and rememberable old man.
The other innumerable chroniclers of Tuscany express themselves with the clarity and precision of commoners, not spoiled by school and pretension  . The Pistolese Stories , of overwhelmingly municipal inspiration, emphasize the broad perspective of the Villani. Perugia in 1366 ordered that “all the facts of the city be written in a yellow book”. The gasping of Pisa under the blows of Florence is drawn by Palmerio; by Guarniero Berni the ruin of Agobbio; from Manetto the inexhaustible factions of Pistoja. There are no historians of Siena in the time that it kept in balance with Florence and Pisa; and only Andrea Dei expounded the facts starting from 1186, flying away in ancient times and reaching up to 1348; from there continues Angelo Tura: from 1352 to 81 they serve the Annals of Neri di Donato. Of the historians of Lucca, the oldest is Tolomeo Fiadoni, who also tells the fugitive of the fate of all of Tuscany from 1063 to 1303, making use of the Registry and the now lost Lucensi Acts . It happens Giovanni Sercambi, who sententious and staid wrote a chronicle from the origin of the republic to the tyranny of Paolo Guinigi, and another on this principality, but with many errors about the past, and disloyalty about his Di lui  . The history of Lucca, preserved as a republic because its great enemy Pisa succumbed, is rather to be gathered in its archives, the most precious in Italy after those of Rome.
In the chronicles the author neither selects the false from the true, nor studies with a cultured and orderly exposition, but notes with unconscious ingenuity what he sees or hears, crisply reports the vicissitudes of the seasons, the price of food, the rumors of the square; sometimes naivety reaches the point that the chronicler recounts his own death  : the anecdote wins over history, it goes from fragment to fragment; individual news, sometimes frivolous, always disconnected. Yet, to keep in mind that sometimes uniqueness makes them representatives of a country or an age, they captivate souls as a revelation of the times, and as a straightforward expression of popular sentiments and accentuated passions: when they cease a source of itchy taste is exhausted.
And they should cease, because they see everywhere the immediate government of Providence, punishments and rewards in every event, predictions and wishes; while from then on the cultivation extended and politics became more complicated, the facts ceased to be instinctive and impetuous, they prepared themselves by design, the concatenation of facts, the remote origins and consequences were considered, which constitutes history, which is memory, starting , exam. But the vigorous sentiment required to reproduce the facts, the criticism to demolish them, the austere reason for judging them, the extensive understanding to coordinate them, are badly combined neither with the enthusiasm of the chroniclers, nor with the erudition of those who succeed them. . Who began to compile stories in Latin, still contemporaries, but already aiming at the effect, and often spoiled by classical reminiscences, for which the facts are sometimes distorted, more often the feelings. The man of letters therefore takes away from man, the pen from the heartbeat, waiting for the shameful era of the gazettes to arrive: they have clichés and stereotypical phrases, for which every mediocre person can tellwell , but to tell nothing, with insipid chatter, with controversy, with the inintelligence (even the most witty) of the great fact that stops the sublime Italian launch, because they see everything through the Roman prism.
Poggio Bracciolini of Florence seeks only warlike events, not giving itself to civil changes, nor making us converse with great contemporaries, but recognizes the place that belongs to the beautiful city, which regenerated by the magnificent Lorenzo, does not falter behind internal parties, but observes general politics, and seeks general solutions to particular eventualities. Bartolomeo della Scala also wove a history of that city up to the point at the descent of Charles VIII. Leonardo Bruno d’Arezzo, being apostolic secretary in Rome, saw and sketched the miserable subuls of this metropolis; elected chancellor of Florence, he extended its history until 1404: an accurate writer of the sentence and of the period, requested by princes, visited by strangers, he also left versions from the Greek, and lives and letters, from which we will scratch the literary history of his time . The episode of the Pazzi conspiracy is drawn up with greater art, with which Agnolo Poliziano repaid the Medici for the protection granted to him.
Giovanni Cavalcanti narrated Tuscan affairs from 1420 to 52, a Guelph of persuasion, idolater of Cosmo de ‘Medici; Machiavelli prevailed without indicating it. Pedant although Tuscan, he has neither the ingenuity of the fourteenth century, nor the meditated purity of the sixteenth century; he spoils his dear maternal speech with crude Latinisms, mannered adjectives, twisted phrases, rhetorical rants; and in the midst of this plebeian ways more emphasized by the teaching tone. He will say Latin for Italian, the citizens quarreled ; and describing the horrors of the taking of Brescia, he amuses himself on his words.
Vespasiano de ‘Bisticci, an erudite bookseller, left lives of his contemporaries, neglected for style, good for things, sometimes dear for naturalness, always virtuous feelings. Besides the Book of the sayings and facts of King Alfonso for Antonio Bocadelli known as Panormita, Bartolomeo Fazio della Spezia gave us the story of that king, more solicitous of the elegant Latinity than of seeking the truth, although it was a witness to the facts. Lucio Marineo Siculo, on behalf of Fernando the Catholic, wrote in Latin the exploits of this and his father, flattering him. Pandolfo Colenuccio da Pesaro summarized Neapolitan history up to his days: Pier Paolo Vergerio dictated that of the Carraresi with elegance; Daniele Chinazzo from Treviso in Italian The war of Venice with Genoa: the Plátina la history of Mantua and the popes, based on documents; and if the passion too often led him, it was very rare in his time to doubt the ancient assertions. Giorgio Stella recounts the Genoa of the doges, wishing that, for the good of humanity, the names of the Guelphs and Ghibellines would be dispersed from memories: as if they were not the necessary knot of the history of that time.
The first chair of history that can be remembered was erected in Milan for Giulio Emilio Ferrario Novarese; then Andrea Biglia Augustinian faithfully and not inelegantly recounted the glories of that city from 1402 to 31. Pier Candido Decembrio, who lived at the court of Filippo Maria Visconti, then the heat of the Ambrosian Republic, when it fell he moved to Rome and elsewhere in the service of secretary ; repatriated, he wrote the lives of it Filippo Maria, of Sforza, of Nicolò Piccinino, and a chronicle of the Visconti, full of naive particularities in the manner of Suetonius, but without the latter purity. Giovanni, brother of the famous secretary Cicco Simonetta, celebrated Francesco Sforza, whom he had always been alongside, flattering but not smashed, always clear, often elegant, but without the vivacity that embellishes his contemporaries. Tristano Calco followed the story of Giorgio Merula’s Visconti; then a fracid sight of fables in the casket of Annio da Viterbo, he reshuffled it, drawing it up to 1323, with criticism of the sources and good style. His contemporary Bernardino Corio, Lodovico il Moro’s waiter, accomplished the most popular Milanese history, in a staggering vulgar; parabolano in old things, detailed and rich in contemporaries, although not very intelligent, and copying, almost translating Simonetta.
These authors lead us as far as the Middle Ages, and as far as those who deserve the title of historians. To clarify and interpret these authors, especially for the most silent centuries of light, to make up for their shortcomings, to ascertain their times, tombstones and coins help, as in ancient history; but a wealth of documents is added to it. Most of them are pagan writings, that is, private affairs: by which the statesman sharpens his eye to find the traces of the people and the character of the companies in the nature of possessions and contracts; the chronologist helps to arrange the successes for years, the first step in connecting and understanding them; history draws the colors from it in order to embody the arid outlines of the chroniclers.
Of what roughness such a work is, he cannot evaluate it unless he has stretched out his hands to it; hence it is found easier, and therefore it is more customary to deride it as erudite pedantry. And of mockers, disruptors of science and martyrdom of the industrious, there was no shortage in any time; but not even resigned ones, who patiently revisited them, questioned these witnesses of the past with sincerity, even if they did not know what they would put forward. Already in the sixteenth century (a century that for the raving of classical antiquity went to disgust as barbarism and ignorance everything that attacked the Middle Ages) there were chroniclers and historians who inlaid documents in their stories. On these he elaborated his History of the Italic kingdomfrom 281 to 1200 Carlo Sigonio, the first to penetrate that unexplored bush. He touched the archives all of Italy and singularly of Lombardy, for himself or through friends he examined the monuments ; and the catalog of these, published in 1576, arouses astonishment, although the growing knowledge has convinced him of many errors and far more shortcomings  .
Documents were used by Sabellico and Giustiniani for the history of Venice, Borghini in Historical Discorsi sopra Firenze , the Corio now called, the San Giorgio di Biandrate in the chronicle of Monferrato up to 1490, Gioffredo della Chiesa in that of Saluzzo until to 1419, the first of the subalpine countries to write in Italian; Benedetto Giovio in the History of Como ; and later Tatti in the ecclesiastical Annals of the same city, when also Campi in the history of Cremona, Martorelli in that of Osimo, Pellini in that of Perugia  , Ughelli in sacred Italy , Cinonio in the Lives of the popes , Puccinelli in Ugo the Great , Gallarati in Monuments from Novara , the Guichenon in the House of Savoy , the Compagnoni in the Picena Palace . One of the best Ghirardacci in the History of Bologna (of which we do not have the press until 1425) lacked the art of disposing, and almost always narrated uncultivated; but he offers such furnishings of news and documents, that even happy if all the cities prepared so many.
Knowing its usefulness, both chroniclers and documents were collected, and first by foreigners, since the Scriptores Rerum Sicularum and Rerum Italicarum Scriptores varii came to us from Frankfurt ; from Paris Ugo Falcando, and the Cassinensi Chronicles of Leone d’Ostia and Pietro Diacono; by Rouen Guglielmo Apulo; from Spain the Chronicle of Gaufrido Malaterra ; from Augusta the Ligurino del Guntero on the exploits of Barbarossa; from Lyons the Lombard Code , and the Tuscan Annals of Tolomeo Fiadoni; from Mainz Anastasio Librarian . Gilberto Cognato in the Sylva variarum narrationum gave us the Origin of the Guelphs and Ghibellines by Benvenuto da San Giorgio; Menkenio in the Germanic Things printed the chronicle of priest Andrea da Bergamo; Eckardt in Corpus historicum medii ævi that of Jamsilla from 1210 to 1258; Bongarsio in Annover the Liber secretorum fidelium crucis by Marin Sanuto; the Bollandists many acts of our saints; other novelties are the Bibliotheca Patrum , and Baluzio in the Lives of the Avignon popes and in the Miscellany of old monuments ; and Rymer in the Proceedings edited by the English Government; and Grevio and Burmann in the Treasury of the Antiquities of Italyin Leiden. Others appeared in the Glossarj of Ducange, Carpentier, Adelung, in the Centurie of Magdeburg, in the Library of Fabrizio, in the Diplomatic Collections of Dumont, Martène, Durand, in the Novissimo Treasure of Pertz, in the Brunsvice Writers of Things by Leibniz, in Diarium italicum by Montfaucon, in the Collections of Goldast, Mabillon, Wadding, Tillemont, and mainly in the Diplomatic Code of Italy by Lünig.
Among us had already appeared the collections of the Roman Bullario by order of Sixtus V  , the Bullario Cassinese by Margarini, and the Political Treasury containing reports from Venetian ambassadors; then in the past century this concern grew. A Palatine Society of Milanese nobles printed works of scholarly homeland, and mainly Muratori’s Rerum Italicarum Scriptores , arranged in order and with wise notes and prefaces  . As a complement you will need the Italicæ Historiæ Scriptores of Assemani, the Rerum Italicarum Scriptores ex florentinæ bibliothecæ codicibus by Tartini, the Collectio anecdotorum medii ævi ex archivis pistorensibus by Zaccaria, the very rare collection of the Mittarelli Ad Scriptores Rerum accesses renowned stories and chronicles of Naples.
The knowledge of the Middle Ages brought new subsidies by Giorgio Giulini with twelve volumes of Memoirs pertaining to the Government and the description of the city and countryside of Milan in the early centuries , patient with research if inept with inductions; Abbot Fumagalli and his Cistercians with the Milanese Longobardic Antiquities , with the Santambrosian Diplomatic Code , rich in as many as one hundred and five documents from 721 to 897, and with the Diplomatic Institutions . Argelati, lacking in criticism and discernment, reasoned about Italic coins, and cataloged the Milanese writers; the Allegranza, the Sassi, the Oltrocchi, the Bona illustrated the rites and the ecclesiastical antiquities: Gian Rinaldo Carli, beyond the Italic Antiquities, spoke of the coins and mints of Italy, also examined by Vincenzo Bellini and Guid’Antonio Zanetti  . Canon Lupo collected precious documents from 740 to 1190 in the Bergomense Diplomatic Code , in the prodrome many points of our political constitution he recognized with an acumen that verun contemporary equaled. Hundreds of diplomas were given by Corner in the eighteen volumes of the Monuments of the Venetian Church , by Rossi in those of the Church of Aquileja, by Brunacci and Gennari in those of Padua, by Vairani in those of Cremona, by Moriondi in those of Acqui, from Jacopo Durandi in the News of ancient Piedmont , whose laws and legal practice dealt with Galli and Duboin; by the Fiorentini and by the Mansi in the Memoirs of the great Countess Matilde , by Pellegrini in the History of the Longobard princes , by Carlini in the Peace of Constance , by Placido Troilo in the General History of the Kingdom of Naples , by Giovanni de Vita inThesaurus Antiquitatum Beneventanarum medii ævi . The Jesuit Zaccaria, in the Excursus Litterarii per Italiam ab year 1742 to 1752, produced many monuments of civil and ecclesiastical erudition. Giambattista Verci proved tireless in looking for documents, very generous in publishing them, a good Christian in examining them, and witty in drawing new knowledge or amending old ones in the Eccelinian Code and in the History of the Marca Trivigiana in twenty volumes, of each of which two thirds are documents .
Meanwhile, the Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementina Vaticana was given out in Rome by the Maronite Assemani ; from Cenni the Codex Carolinus , which clarified the donation of Charlemagne to the popes; from the Mansi the most complete collection of the concilj, as well as improving the works of Baronio and Pagi. Marco Fantuzzi in the Ravenna Monuments printed eight hundred and sixty-five documents and extracts, from the seventh century where the precious collection of papyri by Marini ends, up to the sixteenth . Scipione Maffei in Diplomatic History clarified and fought the Mabillon, and in Verona IllustrataHe was a model not only of careful collecting, but of wise reasoning. By Monsignor Giusto Fontanini, who, richer in vanity than of ingenuity, erudition and good faith, pedantically short-sighted and sophistic without acumen, he dealt with many points, ecclesiastical maxims, and gave the history of Italian Eloquence, the many errors and infinite omissions repaired Apostolo Zeno, from whom they are also to ask the judgments about the Italian historians who wrote Latin . We add the Delights of the Tuscan scholars , pedantic compilation of the father Idelfonso, of Mansi, of Lami, without choice or comparison of codes, nor fidelity of lessons, so that one cannot rely on them as betrothed. From Lami the monuments of the Church of Florence were added; the dukes and marquises of Tuscany from Della Rena and Camici; the Ancient Seals from Manni; i Selected Pisan diplomasand the dissertations on the history of Pisa by the Dal Borgo, on that church by Mattei, on those statutes by Valsecchi; the Pistoian Anecdotes from Zaccaria: besides the documents, however disordered and for a completely different purpose, which Lami accumulated in the Odeporico , and Targioni Tozzetti in his Travels , appropriately used and raised by Repetti in the geographical dictionary .
Many municipal histories were backed up by documents. Such was Giuseppe Rovelli’s Como, who in his preliminary speeches put wise reflections on the state of Italy at various times, making up for the lack of scholarship with common sense and legal doctrine. For Friuli we had news of Liruti, and the dissertation on the servants of the Middle Ages, beyond the homeland of Friuli described by Franco Berretta; for the Valtellina the dissertations of the Quadrio on the Rezia on this side from the Alps, spoiled by a false love of country; Monsignor dell’Orologio for the Trevisana brand; for Ferrara the Frizzi; for Reggio, history up to 1264 from Affaroso, for Parma and Guastalla from Affò, for Brescia from Biemmi, for Monza from Frisi, for Rimini from Battaglini and Zanetti, for Agro Piceno from Colucci, for Bologna from Savioli, for Pistoja from Fioravanti, for Garfagnana from Pacchi, for Mantua from Visi, for Perugia from Mariotti. The Veronese churches received illustrations from Biancolini, the law and constitutions of Milan from Gabriele Verri  , and his Church from Puricelli, Allegranza, Sassi  , Oltrocchi  : the senators of Rome from Vitale and Vendettini, from Galletti the primicerio, his arts from Minutoli, from Coronelli, from Ficoroni, from Bosio, from Aringhi. Tiraboschi, in addition to the diplomatic code of Modena, presented the history of the abbey of Nonantola, and the monuments of the Umiliati; those of the Cistercians by Tromby, by the Camaldolesi by Costadoni and Mittarelli, by the Friars Gaudenti by Federici, then by the Dominicans by Razzi and now by the Marquis.
The genealogies of some houses provided an opportunity to clarify new deeds and diplomas, such as the Carafa family and various other nobles for Biagio Aldimari, Sforza and the dukes of Urbino for Rinaldo Reposati, the counts Guido for his father Idelfonso  and for Scipione Ammirato, the Conti family for Andrea Salici, de ‘Monaldeschi for Ceccarelli, the Bolognese ones for Leandro Alberti, the Vicenza ones for Castellini and, not to mention, the Este family for Muratori, a model of broad erudition and wise if not disinterested criticism [ 249] . Add a lot biographies, such as the Camaldolese Ambrogio by Mehus, the Marsilio Ficino by Brandini, the Trivulzio and Filelfo by Rosmini, the Countess Matilde by Fiorentini.
In the disputes of supremacy of the Roman curia with the Empire and with other states it was necessary to rely on papers  , and mainly in the famous dispute of the chinea, paid to Rome in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In this country a very large harvest was prepared in the Neapolitan Library of Toppi with Copious additions of Nicodemus, in the Delectus scriptorum rerum neapolitanarum of the Giordani, in the Corpus scriptorum and of the synchronous chroniclers and writers of the Norman domination (1845) by Del Re, in the Bibliotheca Sicula and in the Bullæ et instrumenta panormitanæ ecclesiæ by Mongitore, in the acts of Frederick II by Carcani, Codex diplomaticusby De Giovanni, in the Library of Sicilian writers under the Aragonese of Rosario De Gregorio, from which also the Collection of Arab things pertaining to Sicilian history , where the famous Sicilian Saracenic Chronica obtained from England by Gobbart; from which collected it De Gregorio drew excellent considerations . Add the Arab-Sicilian Diplomatic Code of Airoldi; the Memoirs and the Library historian of Caruso with monuments from the seventh century to 1282; the unfinished abbey of Montecassino del Gattola; the ecclesiastical history of Nola del Remondini, of Monreale del Grassi, who also gave the monuments for Sicily; the history of the Longobard princes of the canon Pratillo; that of the laws and magistrates of the Kingdom of Grimaldi; the sacred Sicily of Pirro.
Filiasi, Marini, Fanucci, Marsigli, Pagnini  brought light to trade and finances . Mansi dealt with spectacles and luxury: Pier Luigi Galetti published inscriptions, arranged according to the countries, that is, Venice, Bologna, Rome, Marca d’Ancona, Piedmont. In the Barbarorum leges antiquæ Canciani in order and criticism remained too inferior to the collections made since then. He contends that Roman law persisted in the Middle Ages  ; a thesis already supported by Donato Antonio d’Asti from Naples  , and which even as brand new our people admired when the German Savigny presented it to us, then precisely that the most severe scholars showed with how many reservations it had to be accepted.
Immunities were then held in high regard, whether it be the ecclesiastics, or the communes, or the civic bodies, powerful safeguards of a freedom, which the modernizing princes trampled, and the modernizing statesmen tried in vain to make up for it. that he connected with it, it was debated for a long time whether he had the high one on such a possession imperio a king or an abbot or the pope, if such parliament or senate could deny the tax or issue a decree; antiquated questions since our free century derided particular franchises, and bundled them up offered them in holocaust to a single, central power, not restrained by traditional customs, but at most by some improvised or traced paper and without guarantee of stability.
But it is not enough to gather a wealth of news items, because, like any other science, history is not a collection but an interpretation of facts; so that research must be followed by discussion, knowing how to question them with that acumen that transforms into truth what others report without even understanding it, distributing them with shrewdness, exposing them candidly, giving you meaning, character, breath of life. In this field Italy did not reap enough. Who could read the Gothic war in Aretino today, Attila’s war in Fino and Tommaso d’Aquileja, that of Federico Barbarossa in Cosimo Bartoli, the life of Charlemagne in Acciajuoli or Ubaldini, the kingdom of ‘Italy under the Barbarians in the Tesauro or in Ericio Puteano, the Lombard stories in the Rota, the Italian in Girolamo Briano or in Fra Umberto Locato  and in as many, mere pen exercises or inept compilations? The very elegant descriptor Carlo Botta in his rich phrasebook did not find enough insulting epithets for the Middle Ages; he perennial declaimer, and compiler of books already published, neither patient in seeking the truth, nor severe in exposing it. Seco gather the crowd of serviles to modern centralization, and of loyal to the encyclopedist school, which all futile contempt or blind idolatry, they did not describe the Middle Ages except for abstractions and clichés, that is, condensed darkness, universal ignorance, the regress of all civilizations, the trampling of all human dignity, the power of priests, the greedy indolence of friars, the concatenated usurpation of popes, fraternal massacres , republics. The age whose cry was God wills it , could it be understood by the one who only repeated Does the king want it ? And we counter this nail because we believe that the worst quality of a time or of a man is weakness, and all the more when he boasts of strength.
In another sphere, Machiavello and Vico should be placed, precursors of the one that we later bought from foreigners under the name of philosophy of history. The first, in the framework of the Middle Ages that he placed before his Florentine Stories , investigates the general ideas under the minuteness of the facts: but that chaos stifles his gaze, the still scarce erudition was not enough to start him, and from reaping all the fruits it prevented him the political concern, which was so great, that he hardly mentioned letters and arts, he lived in the most cultured city of half times. Not paying to hear, civil society measures only on the ancient model, separated from justice and unfolding in freedom; and always angry at those popes, who were at the head of the civilization  .
Giambattista Vico considered the human race as a lonely man who proceeds under the hand of God, but enclosed within a fatal circle, where he is advanced, he must retreat by inevitable courses and recourses. The Middle Ages therefore seemed to him only a reprint of the heroic age: that if this removed him from vilifying this providential evolution of humanity, it deprived him of evaluating the fulfillment and implementation of Christianity that took place in it, and which must forever prevent the return of barbarism.
Only an improbable yet loving investigation, an extensive yet profound meditation, a severe yet not spiteful criticism could lead us to understand times, in which many ruins still existed of the ancient society, while the new one was not yet built; times coordinated in such a way that their history was the history of the Church, and the history of Italy formed a primary part of this, thanks to the popes. Therefore torrents of light brought you to Cardinal Baronio, who in writing the Annals of the Church took advantage of the richest archive, which is the Vatican, publishing a flood of documents, and mainly of letters, a very opportune source , sifting them with multiform doctrine, and drawing the truth from them with method, clarity, precision, and with a loyalty, not barely opposed to them by the most resolute adversaries  . In the midst of so much confusion, it was impossible not to stumble upon a false one, and Pagi and Mansi corrected him, to name only ours. From 1198 to 1565, times of more abundant materials, continued Oderico Rainaldi critic not so sensible: but these two will always remain the most rich repertoire and the most valuable history of half times  .
Lodovico Muratori, an immense scholar who did not leave any part of the field of scholarship untried, and to judge of which it would be necessary to know how much he knew, in six large Latin volumes he published the Italic Antiquities of the Middle Ages, under distinct titles, bringing together what from his collection of Writers of Italian things he found about the kingdom of Italy, the consuls, coins, clothing, mangiari, games, rites, investitures, fiefs, seals, Arimanni, republics, tyrants, language, war, and so on. Such segregation of parts distracts from that unity of view, from which only a correct concept of the Middle Ages derives. Yet he was able to resort to very varied sources that would escape to another eye, and he deduced varieties and points of appearance, which if they appear today or scarce or common, were marvelous for then; an infinity of questions unraveled, others he proposed clearly, which is already a good way to solve them; many baje removed, many doubts cleared, many truths fixed; with common sense he made up several times for what erudition did not give, so that it is seldom fallacious even if it is often recognized as incomplete. Too bad that he was dispensed from examining and comparing the Germanic institutions, of which the Italics portrayed so much!
Then, with a speed that resembles portent, he compiled the Annals of Italy , where for years he arranged them events in our homeland from the vulgar era to his age. The controversial dates are discussed in him, and most often we follow him: where he did not grasp, we chose the one that proved best to us from investigations, of which we spare the reader the trouble. The chosen form forced him to separate the facts from their causes and consequences, and therefore deprived him of any spacious perspective; he then expounded with a vulgarity that undermines the truth  : yet the title of father of Italian history will last him forever, and from him it is forceful to take steps not only to deal with Italy, but with the average age in general.
For the Este family, in whose pay he lived, he often had to fight the pretensions of the Roman court; and, weakness of our nature, man in questions wont get hot in such a way as to lose the sense of truth, even if he had it on the first ones. Muratori always respected the popes; he does not cover up his stigmas, but he does not exaggerate them, critical yes but reverent. Heard that in Rome the false zealots, who usually worsen even the best causes, were tinkering to have his work prohibited, he wrote to the pontiff; and Benedict XIV him he replied, having indeed found in his works some reprehensible passages about temporal domination, but never having come with the intention of subjecting them to censorship, persuaded that a man of honor should not be disturbed by matters not concerning dogma or discipline.
On the contrary, Pietro Giannone, in the Civil History of the Kingdom of Naples , in the manner of a lawyer, piled up what was appropriate to his thesis, copying other authors without mentioning them, without mentioning them or taking care to unify them, as long as the usurpations of the Roman Court garrissero , so daring as to want to bind the omnipotence of the Sicilian kings, against which later only the diátribes and the insurrections remained: confusing times and customs, narrowing the view to its territory, instead of comparing it with other countries, it gives an air of arrogance and of intrigue to what was a plain consequence of generally accepted dogmas.
The Risorgimento d’Italia by Saverio Bettinelli for a certain warmth, which, if he does not offer it, allows a glimpse of the truth, can be discerned among the futile productions of the past century. The Revolutions of Italy by Carlo Denina, of sufficient impartiality and not deep but extensive views, can still be recommended as an elementary book. Defending ecclesiastical institutions as he did is found common to all loyal historians  ; yet loyalty was a rare merit when history was easily made through sentences, dissertation and declamation, and was reduced to a great conspiracy against the truth. Of which Voltaire was champion, who too much concerned himself with Italic things, mainly in the Essay ; and the English Gibbon, whose history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire embraces the whole of the Italian Middle Ages. Of very broad erudition, but cold scorn, he knows no enthusiasm, he does not believe in heroism or sacrifice, be it for the benefit of the Church, the country or science; he overwhelms intentions where he does not dare to facts, and with a celia or some lubricity he defuses the most intemerate hunger. Both idols of the past age, there were those who dared to face ridicule and nicknames to combat their prejudices, and tear the purple mantle that covered their inhuman selfishness.
Better than any of our materials, the gathered materials brought together a Genevan, who gloriously was of Italian origin, and who lived among us for a long time, and always cherished our affairs, Sismondo de ‘Sismondi. That exposition of him familiar to him; the extended attention to contemporary events throughout Europe; avoiding jolts, seeking the connection of partial events with the common action point of a given time; the happy choice of those particularities, which present the allure of a municipal history, while he knows how to inlay each one with the neighboring ones, and indicate their causes and spirit; the constancy in the views which at his time seemed liberal, and which before dying he heard himself accused of being aristocrats; an invariable respect for the dignity of man, a continuous interest in the larger class,
But first of all he lacks order. – Italy in middle times it offers such a labyrinth of equal and independent states that one rightly fears losing the thread. We do not conceal this essential defect in the argument assumed; but even if our efforts fail, the reader will want to know the degree of what we do to achieve the intent ». We add these words of his preface more to our excuse than to his incrimination, too, knowing how much the fragmentation of Italy takes away that either the rarity of the facts makes the story quick, or their importance interests him: but in that labyrinth he he did not try to orient himself by the thread of ideas; he brings together and groups events and dramatizes them, but nothing more; and the just intelligence of eminently Catholic centuries put an obstacle to him not so much the arid Calvinic negation, how much the philosophical disregards the vital institutions of that time. Consequently he moves from conventional axioms to judge the specialties of the past; in controversies between princes and priests he always sided with the former, he who nevertheless always judges peoples against princes; he finds ridiculous those questions, under the form of which the capital economic and government problems were produced; he sees nothing but a sacristic thrust in that war of the priests in Milan, which gave occasion to municipal emancipation; he would claim that Gregory VII, Innocent III, Thomas Aquinas, not only had the ideas, but used the language of De l’Olme or Rousseau. he who nevertheless always sentences for peoples against principles; he finds ridiculous those questions, under the form of which the capital economic and government problems were produced; he sees nothing but a sacristic thrust in that war of the priests in Milan, which gave occasion to municipal emancipation; he would claim that Gregory VII, Innocent III, Thomas Aquinas, not only had the ideas, but used the language of De l’Olme or Rousseau. he who nevertheless always sentences for peoples against principles; he finds ridiculous those questions, under the form of which the capital economic and government problems were produced; he sees nothing but a sacristic thrust in that war of the priests in Milan, which gave occasion to municipal emancipation; he would claim that Gregory VII, Innocent III, Thomas Aquinas, not only had the ideas, but used the language of De l’Olme or Rousseau.
On the other hand, by entitled History of the republics his own, he skipped the most problematic phases of our Middle Ages, namely the invasion of the Barbarians, the state of conquest, feudality. Only from the study of these can the transformation of the Roman world into the new be gathered; hence the cardinal problem of the formation of the Communes, not an idiom, but he cuts off, making a concession, from King Otto who has done his utmost to humiliate the defunct vassals; so that a foreign king should be given credit for an order of things, to the development of which foreign kings were always the greatest obstacle. Then in Italy up to the year 1000 the upper half had been called a kingdom ; then this name passed to indicate the southern country; extensive portions of the peninsula constantly lasted under the dominion of dynasts: hence he, intending to describe the republics, would have had to decompose our history, if fortunately he had not broken the barriers that he had suddenly set up, and had not become fond of the last Swabians and opposed to the Angevins, as Barbarossa and Massimiliano already tried again for love of the Milanese and Venetians .
A vital part in the history of Italy are the arts and letters. Saverio Quadrio and Mario Crescimbeni had already conducted patient research on literature, but suffocating vital facts under insignificant peculiarities: and Girolamo Tiraboschi also sinned of this. With diligence he unearthed names, ascertained dates and titles of books so as to leave very little to be corrected and made up for; but nothing more; he did not know how to examine the intent of the authors, not to assimilate to the times, not to connect the literary trend with the great questions, under which variety at every step, humanity reproduces social problems; in short, do not present literature as an expression of civilization. Instead of his own judgments, he supports or reproves others, limiting himself to confronting them, and expecting to reconcile them even where it is less possible; always ready to laugh at himself when others, even the cyclical Andres, oppose him with arguments or even just assertions  . Moreover, no grace of language, no choice of images, no concern for making oneself pleasant, no constant elevation of thought; nor did he realize how many literary facts escape unnoticed, as a sign that in order to inscribe its history it is necessary, by studying the imagination and the natural law of its developments, to complete the documents which reached us mutilated, and to ask the science of the human spirit for them.
Chronological disputes have been substituted by the analysis of the books, even if they are inconclusive as not to deserve it, or so capital not enough; multiply those approximations of other literatures, which ours lacks; animate the life of the authors with anecdotes, for which the general physiognomy of the time is forgotten; all sprinkled with irreligious jokes and with the inhuman epigrams of Voltaire’s workshop, and you will have disguised the Jesuit Tiraboschi in the encyclopaedic Ginguené. The unfortunate inclination to collect and gulp down everything that rains on France, or is thought and written in the French way, made this book also recommended to young people; so that the history of the country which is the center of Catholicism can be learned from a Calvinist and an incredulous author. But how dare we complain if we do not know how to prepare anything more pleasant to the reader, more reasonable to those who think?
A foreigner came to Italy, as the ultramontans use, to take a walk there, praise the sun and the women, take a look, and oracular sentences, all wisdom of the senses: but staying in Rome, he took vagueness of the arts, and began to study them; and always with the suitcase ready to leave, he stayed there for thirty years. The History of the Arts was the fruit of his studies , where D’Agincourt, although not cured of philosophical contempt, collected or indicated so many works of the Middle Ages, that even from the appearance of beauty it was no longer legitimate to call him barbarian. Viemeno then, since the attention turned to the majesty of the cathedrals, and by ceasing to idolize only the forms, the sublime inspiration in the execution, however incorrect, of the miniatures, of the sepulchres, of the stained glass windows was recognized.
Surely foreigners contributed not a little to improve us, both for the new way in which they observed the history of their own country, and for what they said about ours, scared of anger and love for events that do not concern them, and of that arrogance that we exchange for the sake of country, and which becomes more alive when a nation feels more crushed and powerless to a resurgence, of which it would like to show itself deserving. But let us believe that it is too easy to condescend to systems that have come from beyond the mountains, to the point of contorting the facts so that they understand in those frames. To some Germans we must, above all, endlessly call ourselves obliged to have examined our cases from their own point of view at an age in which the institutions held so much of the Germanic; and even if, to exalt their own, they have sometimes depressed our things, we owe them, if only, a more correct knowledge of that Germanic civilization, which combined with the Roman to form the modern one, and which I identify the importance that was previously reserved for the citizen and the state. But will we therefore diminish the supreme value of Roman relics and consider that an indigenous civilization was of little value, even though it did so much where it was only imported? This annihilation of the Italian people, this transfusion of the Nordic blood, necessary for the Latin semen to disbarbarisse , how can you believe it, if, in silence Rome, we see Venice, untouched by conquests, making such a magnificent makeover with only the corrupt elements of the declining Empire, but with freedom?
More astute research, more complex exams; more thoughtful judgments, less prejudiced opinions who can deny at our age? We came to this side one revolution, long-hand prepared in the field of ideas, before it was violently implemented in the field of facts; and whose main character was to demolish the past to radically reform civil society, to unleash above all against the Middle Ages, because it is the least intelligible to those who reject historical evolutions, and judge not from the complex but from fragments. Seventy years  they passed from that first shock, yet it is not yet time to judge it, because the effects and the movements nevertheless last; it amused the minds from the placid searches, it dissipated those monastic societies where the fatigue was lightened and completed by the brotherhood; and as if one wanted to make war on the past, not only in its consequences but even in its memories, part was lost, part moved from the documents. Yet amid the ensuing din there was no shortage of us who continued the scholarly investigations: Brunetti was somehow beginning the Tuscan Diplomatic Code  ; Meo the critical-diplomatic Annals of the Kingdom of Naples; Princess Elisa Baciocchi had the Memoirs and Documents compiled to serve the history of the Principality of Lucca, a work that, with the highest intelligence continued up to now, is one of the most copious sources of Italian civil history.
Then when the clamor of the war was silent, the fears of an immeasurable past and the anger of destruction ceased, science was able to contemplate the accumulated ruins without mockery and without hatred. The collapse of the denigrated institutions left such a void that it was convincing how much good they could have done in other times: it was known that civilization and truth do not enter the world of rush, not by decrees of kings, not by plebeian insurrections, but progressive, and by taking the moves from the previous institutions, so that the chain of facts and concepts is knotted, and considered the humanity as a lonely man who always progresses and never dies, nothing had to be considered with contempt, because everything was in keeping with the times, and because it climbs to the very present, which is also only a start to future progress. Would it be reasonable who went out with masks in the days of the Passion? or who cursed the tree in spring because it shows only the flowers and not yet the apples?
Then, among us too, we went back to studying the past without anger or contempt, with more acute intentions and fewer declamations; and to keep the historians silent for now, binders abounded, precious even when they lack intelligence, such as Daverio, Ronchetti, Marsand and some living beings  . Stork accumulated non-ordinary cognitions in the collection of Venetian inscriptions : others are scattered in newspapers and in special brochures. But two publications were awarded special praise. The Historical Archivedel Vieusseux, with an erudition free from pedantry and aware of the most recent historical problems, which are also social problems, if it abounds more in modern memories, he prepared not a few of them around the Middle Ages. Of these then the Deputation of homeland history was very generous, established in Turin, and that with the nine volumes published so far  , of largely unpublished or at least improved upon subjects, aids the seekers of the homeland histories, all the more so since some collaborators are themselves distinguished in these studies.
There were also foreign publications of powerful aid, including mainly the historical monuments of Germany from 476 to 1500, designed by Pertz on the model of Muratori; the Regesta of the emperors of Böhmer, of Döniges, of others; those of the popes of Jaffe  ; the lives of Gregory VII, of Innocent III, of other popes, conceived in a different sense from the vulgar.
And now that history has become the arsenal from which theology, politics, statistics, morals take up arms, that of Italy was a fashionable theme, and not only within the borders of the Alps: but if I I have to become a pupil rather than set myself up as a judge, I hear from those who are competent to assert that ours did not seem to advance in line with the steps of the century; that we show ourselves to be amateurs rather than scholars; that the most extensive work in this matter, Bossi’s Storia d’Italia , is an indigestible compilation, incomplete, reckless and strewn with the anger of an apostate Levite; in which they resemble that of Levati in continuation of Universal History of the Ségur, and of some others who allowed themselves to be frivolous in such a serious matter, to think like Voltaire when Voltaire would no longer have thought so, to have for his subject a contempt even more of laziness than of reflection, or of sterilization in the pedantic I haughtiness, in generic phrases, nor conventional and preconceived feelings.
The political epidemic brought it new damage, distorting it because it represented, or at least alluded to, the present, and to shady disputes by superimposing the nightmare of national honor; and the hardships and denunciations against those who painted the true Theodoric, Charlemagne, Frederick II, Innocent III, were not inspired by zeal for the truth or by conscientious intolerance, but by aversions and loves for today’s facts and people.
The antipathy to the temporal dominion of the popes, as old as it, and incalorated today by the opposition to whoever governs, even if it did not govern badly, always altered the judgments on times when the pontiffs supremely; and just as some wove fearless apologies for less excusable acts, so others shared a traditional ambition, a conspiracy to the detriment of thought and freedom, which continued for fifteen centuries between such disparate minds and wills; and while an emperor canceled the name of Gregory VII from the calendars, the Sophists deified Crescenzio and Arnaldo da Brescia. What shall I say of the sentimentals, who everywhere put a few words of charity, of brotherhood and, what has been most abused in our days, of nationality and hatred of foreigners? ideas unknown at the time they describe,
Some of these clichés got sick of it; but proposing to avoid them, they broke into paradox, praising only because they were vilified, trampling only because they were venerated; usual surpluses of rehabilitations. However, there was no lack of patient scrutinizers and sensible admirers who, exercising criticism on facts of erudition and feeling the importance of opposing reality to the vague and incomplete, found to change entire series of facts, conventionally received for historians, and more often the way of evaluating some event which, when placed in relation with the preceding and subsequent ones, acquired a new color, gave a new meaning to a man or an age.
Although here, as opposed to the overly imitated French, every work of the town is depressed, if only with silence, adoring Italy and trampling every Italian, and, like Samson, the jaw of the dead mare is used to kill the living. , however, the names of those of ours who worked to straighten scholastic concepts both around the Middle Ages as a whole, and especially around Italian history, and especially the Lombard age, the condition of the plebs, the origin of the Common: and perhaps there is no lack of anything but a robust synthesis that all those particular efforts assume in a powerful unity, which is both the fruit and the proof, following that chain of knowledge, feelings, actions, freedom that, never interrupted,it connects us moderns with all the forefathers in the great work of propagating doctrine, and thus uplifting the lower classes, extending liberty, protecting dignity, consecrating equality under the discipline of conscience, rather than under official violence.