Storica. 35-36 • anno XII, 2006.

Testata: Storica • Anno di pubblicazione: 2007
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pp. 324, ISBN: 9788883342950
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Per una nuova storia dell'alto medioevo siciliano
Annliese Nef, Vivien Prigent

Towards a New History of Late Medieval Sicily
The aim of this essay is to underscore the need of rethinking the history of late medieval Sicily by raising issues pertaining to both the Byzantine and Islamic period. Even though it is crucial to incorporate this story into the general history of medieval Sicily, it is above all necessary to integrate it, in the first place, in the evolution of the Byzantine empire and, then, of the Islamic empire: without an emphasis on comparison it is impossible to understand the specific features of Sicilian history. This reappraisal is all the more necessary as the historiography on the two empires is taking on a new course.

La repubblica nella storia: la questione dell'umanesimo civile
Laurent Baggioni

The Republic in History: The Question of Civil Humanism
This article examines the concept of civil humanism in the context of its formation and dissemination. The point of departure for this essay is the historical and political debates that took place in Weimar Germany in which Hans Baron (1900-1988), a German scholar who later moved to the United States, defined this notion. The focus of the analysis is on the way in which this idea was later assimilated within an Anglo-Saxon discourse inspired by anti-liberalism.

Ripensare il nepotismo papale nel Seicento
Francesco Benigno

Rethinking Papal Nepotism in the Seventeenth Century
This essay attempts a reappraisal of nepotism in the Seventeenth century by looking at the causes of the persistence of this system as well as at those of its institutional «abolition» and by challenging the traditional view that regards it as a «sin» of papal real politik inevitably destined, sooner or later, to be corrected. Alternatively, the debate on nepotism can be seen not as the effect of the crises of conscience of the popes, nor as the cyclical return of a theoretical and teleological matter, but as a consequence of actual and specific crises of political legitimacy of the papacy in an international arena dominated by the confrontation between Spain and France. In the same way, the «deinstitutionalization» of the nepotistic practice is to be interpreted as the result of the French political attack as well as of a cultural change, namely the overcoming of the sceptic viewpoint that justified such a practice.

Pensare il XIX secolo con Benjamin
Michèle Riot-Sarcey

Imagining the Nineteenth Century with Benjamin
Walter Benjamin’s Livre des passages, though still neglected, are a brilliant analytical tool to learn about nineteenth century France and Europe. A complex and apparently chaotic collection of fragments, it opens up a vision, different from the prevalent one, that is the idea of the development of European civilization according to a notion of progress that arises exactly from the nineteenth century as the «century of history». Within a mass of quotations is hidden an alternative theory of historical change, together with that different vision. However, both of them are possible, according to Benjamin’s methodology, only by linking together past and present. So dramatic is the experience of the 1930s that it allows Benjamin to shape a different perspective, by reading together, exactly in the light of the 1930s, the «major» e «minor» authors of the recent past. On the other hand, it is our own experience of the transition, between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, another age of crisis, to urge us to rediscover an unknown century and, through its lens, a possible interpretation of our present.

La nuova storiografia israeliana, venti anni dopo
Bruna Soravia

The New Israeli Historiography, Twenty Years After
The so-called New Israeli Historiography emerged twenty years ago in the wake of the opening of the archives related to the end of the British Mandate and to the War of Independence of 1948. This new perspective has refuted the main myths developed by the Zionist historiography explaining the establishment of Israel and its relationship with the Palestinians and the neighbouring Arab countries. Research conducted by historians who identify themselves with this trend, although adopting a diversity of viewpoints and aims, has had a profound impact not only on the scholarly knowledge of Israeli past, but on the national and collective consciousness. The New Historiography, influenced by the important changes occurred in Israel during the 1980s, has strongly, and at times controversially, argued for a revision of the historical judgement on the establishment of Israel and on the choices made at the time, envisioning a different outcome of the conflict with the Arab world and, at the same time, a different future for the Israeli state.

Aristocrazia e Stato: prospettive dall'alto e dal basso medioevo
Alessio Fiore

State and Aristocracy: a Perspective between High and Low Middle Ages
In the last decades, the framework employed to read the relationship between «state» and aristocracy in the Middle Ages has been founded on the assumption of reciprocity and symbiosis between the two worlds. Through the analysis of some recent works this essay argues that, in recent years, the historiography of the high and low Middle Ages is taking different paths. As much as the high Middle Ages are concerned the paradigm of cooperation is altogether the dominant one; on the contrary, in the low Middle Ages this interpretation is increasingly perceived as restrictive and inadequate to account for a more complex and ambivalent relationship.

Tommaso da Celano biografo di san Francesco
Chiara Frugoni

Tommaso da Celano, biographer of Saint Francis
This essay is a broad analysis of the book by R. Michetti, Francesco d’Assisi e il paradosso della minoritas. La Vita beati Francisci di Tommaso da Celano, Istituto Storico per il Medio Evo, Roma 2004, which aims at taking a closer look on the independent perspective of the biographer from the instructions of Pope Gregorio IX, patron of the biography, and at examining the message of Tommaso, through a number of hints, to his fellows, that is the more cultured friars, to underscore the essence of the original Franciscan message.

La guerra al tempo dell'atomica
Fabio Bettanin

War at the Time of the Atomic Bomb
The Cold War has contributed to shape the world we live in. Only recently historians have systematically analysed the role of the events in the so-called Third World in those years. In particular, one important contribution is the release of the work of Odd Arne Westad on The Global Cold War. This book draws a dark picture of the intervention of the two superpowers in fuelling «hot» wars of devastating political, economic, and human effects. The resentment and the resistance caused by them have generated a widespread rejection of both soviet-like socialism and western liberal ideologies, creating a gap often filled by religious fundamentalism. The underlying hypothesis of Westad’s work, as other studies on the topic, is that the legacy of the Cold War is still shaping the policy of the great powers towards the Third World and that the American reaction after 9/11 is a continuation of post-World War II interventionism.