Online Gazetteer of Sixteenth Century Florence

About the Online Gazetteer.

This website is a searchable gazetteer of late Renaissance Florence, ca. 1530-1630. It is the illustrative appendix to a book by R. Burr Litchfield, Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, entitled: Florence Ducal Capital, 1530-1630 (New York: ACLS Humanities E-Book, 2008) published by the American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book initiative. You can reach the book through the (partly access protected) ACLS Humanities E-Book Library (your institution may already subscribe to them). For a direct (unprotected) link to the book click here.

The book discusses the transition of Florentine civil society of the Republic to the court society of the Medici Grand Duchy as seen through the prism of the changing urban social geography, a subject not much studied for Florence. It is based partly on a series of ducal censuses (1551, 1561, 1632) analyzed through a grid of 87 squares superimposed on the Buonsignori map. The chapters are: 1) Florence Capital, 2) Ducal Initiatives, 3) The Church, 4) Patrician Responses, 5) Shops and Shopkeepers, 6) Artisans and Workers, 7) The Plague of 1630-33. A full analysis with discussion of the sources used, references, and bibliography is in the book.

The Gazetteer uses new photographs of the 1594 edition of the Buonsignori map (from the Florentine Museo Storico Topografico di Firenze com’ era) that allow the user to view details of the map in nearly actual size. Photographs by Dott. Enzo Crestini, Dipartimento dell' Architettura, Università di Firenze. There are about 750 identified, indexed and annotated objects significant in the city’s urban history of this period. Full information about the Buonsignori map and using the Gazetteer is contained in the following notes. The web site was programmed in 2005-2006 by Kerri Hicks of the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group (STG) and was supported through a grant from them. STG would also like to thank Dag Ågren at Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland, for his contributions and support.

See: About the Buonsignori map.