History of the KINGDOM OF NAPLES 1250 - 1489 (Paperback)

History of the KINGDOM OF NAPLES 1250 - 1489 By Christopher David Costanzo (Translator), Angelo Di Costanzo Cover Image
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An English translation of a key Italian history of the Kingdom of Naples from the death in 1250 of the German Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen who ruled Naples and Sicily, down through the reign of King Ferdinand of Naples in the late 1480s, shortly before Naples became a province of Spain, The author, Angelo di Costanzo (1507-1591), was one of the greatest Italian lyric poets of the 16th Century. Yet he is better remembered for his History which he first published in its entirety in 1581. In his work he describes straightforwardly, event-by-event, the pageant of medieval and renaissance history relating to southern Italy. Through his intimate and detailed account of major events, incidents large and small, battles, conversations, parliamentary debates, diplomatic initiatives and public festivities, he conveys the flavor of medieval and renaissance attitudes to a degree that is so often missing from modern histories. Individual protagonists, emotional struggles, tragedies, triumphs, family ties, and social classes all come into stark relief. Reading the History is a rich experience, akin to applying a strong magnifying glass to resolve colorful detail embedded in the broader story. There is also a moral dimension to the work. Di Costanzo delineates the duplicity, greed, and ruthlessness of kings, princes, nobles, and popes, as well as the suffering of the common people, all against a backdrop of posturing, dissimulation, murder, extortion, betrayal, and pitiless, never-ending, self-serving, cruel, military adventurism. It was a society in which everything was for sale--not only land, titles, money and positions but also sons and daughters, reputations, honor and even spiritual grace. Yet here and there, one can discern occasional examples of integrity, chivalry, character and nobility that shine through. Di Costanzo's History should be particularly useful as a preliminary to Francesco Guicciardini's History of Italy, which begins in the late 1400s when di Costanzo's History of the Kingdom of Naples leaves off, and which di Costanzo at the end of his own work recommends as a sequel.

About the Author

Angelo di Costanzo (1507-1591) was the scion of an important Neapolitan family of German (Swabian) origin that established itself in Naples in the early 13th Century under Hohenstauffen rule. A large clan of powerful feudal lords, their principal members were ruined for their rebellion against Queen Joanna II in the early 15th Century. Later members of the clan turned to the arts, the church, the magistracies, diplomacy and the military. Angelo himself lived in the 16th Century, was Lord of the fief of Cantalupo, and a renowned poet, and historian. The translator, Christopher David Costanzo, a descendant of this clan, studied history at Harvard, spent many years in Italy as a child as the dependent of a U.S. foreign service officer, and again as an adult when he himself also served in the U.S. foreign service in his own right.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781533342294
ISBN-10: 1533342296
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: December 2nd, 2016
Pages: 754
Language: English