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1. Military Enterprise in Florence at the Time of the Black Death, 1349–1350

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with a war waged by the city of Florence in 1349-50, obscured by the Black Death, with which it coincided. A great deal of documentation for it has survived in the Florentine state archives. The documents provide a sense of how the city managed the war: the supplies it used, the personnel it employed and, more generally, the parameters of military expenditure. It focuses on supplies and labour, exclusive of soldiers in the field. Florence's war in 1349-50 was inherently economic in nature. The city initiated it to clear trade routes north of the city towards Bologna, a key point of passage of Florentine goods. Florence fought against the Ubaldini family, an independent feudal clan, whose patrimony lay on the roads in the upper Mugello region, where the Apennines crossed into Bolognese lands.

Keywords: Apennines; Black Death; Bologna; Florence; Florentine goods; Ubaldini



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