- Rural communities, land clearance and water management in the Po Valley in the central and late Middle Ages
- Journal of Medieval History
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
This article shows how groups that acquired the highest concentration of social and political power in the Po Valley in the High and late Middle Ages, firstly rural seigniorial lords and latterly urban governments, tried to subordinate rural communities to their policies of land clearance and water management. The development of forms of collective organisation among the rural population implied the ready availability of local structures that could mobilise manpower and provide knowledge of environmental conditions in the locality. Rural communities developed these functions through negotiation between their population and the socio-political forces that framed the government of the countryside, first the lords and then urban governments.
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