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H 175 x W 245 mm

178 pages

48 figures (colour throughout)

Published Mar 2024

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803277363

Digital: 9781803277370

DOI 10.32028/9781803277363

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Law; Water Management; Medieval Italy; Medieval Environment; Geographic Boundaries; Environment History

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Water and the Law: Water Management in the Statutory Legislation of Later Communal Italy

By Francesco Salvestrini

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Investigating water resource law in the statutory legislation codified by commune, oligarchic and seigneurial governments in Northern and Central Italy from the 13th-14th centuries, this book explores the relationship between water management norms and the local environment, and the protection of inhabited areas from the danger of flooding.





I. Medieval Statutes and Water Management: The Italian Context


II. Verifying a Hypothesis


III. Legal Norms for Water Management: The Urban Context


IV. Legal Norms for Water Management: Rural Areas


V. Conflicts and Regulatory ‘Solutions’


VI. Water Quality


VII. Water-driven Machinery


VIII. Transportation of Merchandise and People. Timber Rafting


IX. Protection from Flooding and the Religious Dimension


XI. Concluding Remarks


List of statutes examined







About the Author

Francesco Salvestrini is Full Professor in Medieval History at the University of Florence (IT), and has been visiting professor at the University of Bristol (UK), Universität Kassel (D), Hankuk University of Foreign Studies - Seoul (KOR), Université de Tours (F). He is especially interested in ecclesiastical, social and environmental history of Late Medieval Italy and Europe. He studied the Bendictine tradition, the Vallumbrosan monastic congregation, the Tuscan Cistercians, the Camaldule and Sylvestrine monastic orders, Italian Augustinians and Minorites; the municipal law of many Italian towns and cities, with attention to their translation from Latin into Vernacular; and the interrelations among medieval ecosystems, water resources and human settlements. He was the Director of the Project Erasmus+ UNINET in 2019. Among his main publications are: 2005: Libera città su fiume regale. Firenze e l’Arno dall’antichità al Quattrocento. Firenze: Nardini; 2017: Il carisma della magnificenza. L’abate vallombrosano Biagio Milanesi e la tradizione benedettina nell’Italia del Rinascimento. Roma: Viella.