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    Structures of power: from imperial villa to monastic estate at Villamagna (Italy)

    Fentress, E. and Goodson, Caroline (2019) Structures of power: from imperial villa to monastic estate at Villamagna (Italy). In: Reynolds, A. and Carroll, J. and Yorke, B. (eds.) Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages. Proceedings of the British Academy 224. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780197266588.

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    In early medieval Italy, some medieval settlements were anchored on ancient Roman sites which may have provided authority and legitimacy for their post-Roman inhabitants. The current paper examines the broad phenomena of use and reuse of an ancient imperial site, through the case study of the recently excavated site of Villamagna, near Anagni in Central-Southern Italy. This site provides new information about the life of an imperial villa over the Late Antique and Early Medieval periods and the influence that ancient legacies had on the shape of later use of the site. We will argue that the ancient estate of Villa Magna, founded in the second century, remained an imperial property through the seventh century and was transferred to the papacy at some point before the ninth century. The history of the estate between the late fifth and the twelfth century is described, and the evidence for changes of ownership is discussed. The use of some of the villa’s physical structures, the maintenance of its agricultural terrain and the remains of its architectural materials to project power over the landscape of Southern Italy can be seen as a case of imperial ownership, over time, providing an unbreakable stability and anchoring a centre of power even through very changed historical contexts.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Edited by A. Reynolds, J. Carroll, B. Yorke
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 17:19
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


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