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Chapter Summary

This introduction covers the key concepts discussed in the book A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Milan: The Distinctive Features of an Italian State. The story of the state of Milan began with the start of the expansionist phase of the Visconti signoria. In the four centuries from its formation to the end of the Spanish era, the state of Milan appeared as a continually changing political and social space. The very links of clientage, that in all states of that time assisted in integrating the peripheries with the centres of power, assumed in the Visconti and Sforza duchy exclusive characteristics, that reflected its original plural configuration. The "tenacious tradition of political and institutional pluralism impeded the centralization of the functions of patronage", that continued instead to be disseminated among more or less powerful local lords, leading citizens, and community elites.

Keywords: institutional pluralism; Milan; Sforza duchy; Spanish era; Visconti signoria



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