View Full Version : Making Peace and War in the ‘City State’ of Worms

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Making Peace and War in the ‘City State’ of Worms, 1235-1273

David S. Bachrach

Specialists working on the western medieval empire have long identified the cities of Northern Italy as politically precocious in comparison with contemporary cities in the German kingdom. In particular, scholars have emphasized the development of de facto, if not de jure, sovereignty in the cities of Lombardy and Tuscany, including Florence, Sienna, and particularly Milan, based on their ability to make peace and wage war on their own behalf without the interference of secular or ecclesiastical princes. The present study examines the development of the capacity by the German Rhineland city of Worms to make peace and wage war on its own behalf during the mid-thirteenth century, long before German cities are thought to have had these attributes of sovereignty. Although focusing on Worms, this study calls into question the broader chronology of urban political development in the German kingdom and northern Italy during the later middle ages.

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