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Title: Small and medium estates of florentine citizens: the significance of "Poderes" and "Villas" in everyday life
Authors: Krasnova, I. A.
Краснова, И. А.
Keywords: Landownership in contado;Natural landscape change;Podere;Food crises;Stock-holding;Concentration of suburban land complexes
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Krasnova, I. Small and Medium Estates of Florentine Citizens: the Significance of "Poderes" and "Villas" in Everyday Life // ISTORIYA-ELEKTRONNYI NAUCHNO-OBRAZOVATELNYI ZHURNAL. - 2017. - Том: 8. - Выпуск: 8
Series/Report no.: Istoriya
Abstract: In the second half of the 14th - 15th centuries, the tendency of land investments in the country side among Florentine citizens of middle and lower levels, who often started from small plots, but with increasing wealth and social status, moved on to larger acquisitions of real estate, is especially notable. They sought to create compact complexes, which contributed to a more rational organization of land utilisation and managerial efficiency of the economy. Florentines bought land from church, small contado seigniors, free farmers who moved to cities or turned into tenants and hired workers. The article examines the main functions of suburban estates in Florentines' daily life. They were a provision source - bread, butter and wine, a survival resource in conditions of frequent food crises. If land productivity allowed, citizens merchandise surpluses getting a small but stable income. Estates constantly appeared in credit transactions as collateral, loan guarantees, and means of payment. The social functions of poderes and villas in the contado lied in elevating the owner's status in the urban society evidencing his prosperity and respectability. "Our place" in the contado was perceived as the gens root elevating the degree of his nobility. Obtaining a certain influence in the contado helped recruiting the best workers, tenants, servants, guards and defenders during frequent civil unrest within the city. The villa was contrasted with the city, as a place for rest from professional duties and compared to Eden described in idyllic tones. The author of the article adheres to the concept of modern researchers J. Pinto and M. Cassandro in that the increasing land investments of Florence citizens significantly changed the natural landscape of Tuscany, ensuring the alternation of fields with vineyards and fruit plantations, which has survived to this day
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