The efforts of Frederick I to enhance imperial authority in Italy and the creation of the Lombard League were two very different but related interventions in northern Italy by the middle of the twelfth century: the Lombard city communes rejected the intrusive reforms introduced by the emperor but the solidarity and co-operation sparked by the common threat went beyond the creation of a military alliance. Instead, a regional collective entity was developed, the Societas Lombardie. Apart from its leading role in events of momentous historical importance such as the conflicts between empire and papacy, the characteristics of the League were quite remarkable in themselves: as a regional organization it had no precedent in Italy and no contemporary competitor, apart from the related Tuscan League. The League declined and largely disappeared after 1220, to be restored in 1226, identifying with the Milanese regional power.
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