How seriously did the leading families of Florence in this period attempt to govern in the general interest of the population of their city?
Giovanni Villani's chronicle of Florentine history, written before the Black Death, contains a famous chapter entitled 'On the Greatness and State and Magnificence of the Commune of Florence.' The statistics he includes in this chapter place Florence among the five most populous cities in Europe in 1338; only Paris, Venice, Milan, and Naples were larger in size. Florence was also one of Europe's wealthiest cities, in a large part due to the production and sale of woollen cloth, the value of which exceeded one and one-half million florins a year. However, Villani's 'survey of the city in 1…
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- How seriously did the leading families of Florence in this period attempt to govern in the general interest of the population of their city?
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