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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Structures of Power: From Imperial Villa to Monastic Estate at Villamagna, Italy

Structures of Power: From Imperial Villa to Monastic Estate at Villamagna, Italy

Chapter:
(p.271) 13 Structures of Power: From Imperial Villa to Monastic Estate at Villamagna, Italy
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

Elizabeth Fentress

Caroline Goodson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0013

In early medieval Italy, some settlements were anchored on Roman sites which provided authority and legitimacy for their post-Roman inhabitants. This chapter examines the use and reuse of an ancient imperial site through the case study of Villamagna, near Anagni in Central-Southern Italy. We argue that the estate of Villa Magna, founded in the 2nd century, remained an imperial property through the 7th century and was transferred to the bishopric of Rome before the 9th century. The history of the estate between the late 5th and the 12th century and the evidence for changes of ownership is discussed. The use of the villa’s physical structures, the maintenance of its agricultural terrain and the remains of its architectural materials to project power over the surrounding landscape can be seen as a case of imperial ownership, over time, providing an unbreakable stability and anchoring a centre of power even through changed historical contexts.

Keywords:   early medieval Italy, Villamagna, bishopric of Rome, agricultural terrain, architectural materials, imperial ownership, landscape, power

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