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G. Sergi, I confini del potere. Marche e signorie fra due regni medievali, Einaudi (Biblioteca Studio 17), Torino 1995, pp. 412, L. 38.000

More than two decades of research engaged Giuseppe Sergi in analising the relations between society, institutions and territory in two great kingdoms of Early Medieval Europe: those of Italy (that included Northern and a great part of Central Italy), and of Burgundy (that included the Aosta Valley, part of Switzerland, Savoy, and Provence). As a result, in this book boundaries are intended in the terms of political geography of the early Middle Ages. Political geography and its fluidity, in the sense suggested by the meeting between the germanic mentality of command over people, and the latin tradition of govern within defined territories. We can find boundaries everywere, in the Middle Ages, that's why they offer us a variety of view points from which we can observe the complex political, cultural and economic dinamics of a given society. So can for example have territorial boundaries (between districts, kingdoms, areas separated by a range of mountains); cronological boundaries (the X and XI centuries, between the IX, carolingian, and the XII, the age of Comuni); institutional boundaries (for example between powers that are no longer public, but not yet private); ethnic boundaries (between Lombards and Romans, or Franks and Lombards, or Arabs and Byzantines, and so on).
As a whole, this book gives a clear definition of a new way of intending the political history. A history that, without ignoring the social, cultural, imaginative, simbolic aspects of political power, at the same time sheds light on its geografic and territorial aspects.

Antonio Sennis

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