Between 1164 and 1167, most of the northern Italian city communes, but also smaller communities and some lords, coalesced into the Societas Lombardie, the Lombard League, frustrating the attempts of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa to enhance his control over the Italian peninsula during one of the main clashes between empire and papacy. A very similar contest took place in the thirteenth century at the time of Emperor Frederick II. This monograph aims to provide the first broad assessment of the League, examining its structure, the transmission of its documentary sources and involvement in economic issues, its role in the resolution of disputes as well as the connection with regional identities, the role of lords and smaller communities in an association dominated by city communes, the activity of the League in military and diplomatic events, and its place in contemporary juridical and political thought.
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