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Villani's Chronicle Being Selections from the First Nine Books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani   By:

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Villani's Chronicle is an exceptional historical work that provides readers with valuable insight into the tumultuous and captivating history of Florence during the 14th century. Authored by Giovanni Villani, a prominent Italian banker and chronicler, this book offers a comprehensive account of important events and political developments from the early 1300s.

One of the most commendable aspects of Villani's Chronicle is the author's meticulous attention to detail. Villani leaves no stone unturned, meticulously chronicling political intrigues, military campaigns, religious affairs, and economic changes that shaped the evolution of Florence. This attention to detail adds depth and richness to the narrative, enabling readers to immerse themselves fully in the era.

Villani's writing style is clear and concise, making the historical events accessible even to readers with limited prior knowledge of the subject matter. He strikes a perfect balance between providing specific details and offering broader context, ensuring that readers can grasp the significance of various events and how they intertwine.

Furthermore, Villani's personal perspective adds a compelling layer to the chronicle. As a well-connected merchant himself, Villani had firsthand experiences with many of the events he describes. This insider view allows readers to gain a deeper understanding of the complex web of alliances, rivalries, and power struggles that characterized Florence during that period.

While Villani's Chronicle covers a significant span of time, it does not overwhelm readers with unnecessary information. The author's careful selection of materials ensures that every anecdote, battle, and political maneuver contributes to the overall narrative arc. This thoughtful curation keeps the reader engaged and invested in the story, allowing them to appreciate the larger historical context without feeling overwhelmed.

A potential drawback of Villani's Chronicle is that it focuses primarily on the political and military aspects of Florence's history, neglecting other important societal developments such as cultural and artistic achievements. While understandable given Villani's emphasis on politics, it would have been enriching to have a more well-rounded perspective on the flourishing of the Renaissance in Florence during this time.

Overall, Villani's Chronicle is an invaluable historical account that invites readers to explore the trials and triumphs of Florence in the 14th century. It offers a comprehensive and engrossing narrative, and Giovanni Villani's skilled storytelling ensures an engaging reading experience. Whether one is a history enthusiast or someone seeking a deeper understanding of the cultural and political dynamics of Florence, this chronicle is undoubtedly a must-read.

First Page:


Being Selections from the First Nine Books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani

Translated by Rose E. Selfe


Edited by Philip H. Wicksteed M.A.

London Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd. 1906


Carefully Revised

Ditemi dell' ovil di San Giovanni Quanto era allora, e chi eran le genti Tra esso degne di piĆ¹ alti scanni



The Editor is responsible for the selection of the passages translated, and for the Introduction. He has also compared the translation with the original text, has satisfied himself of its general accuracy, and has made numerous suggestions.

The Translator is responsible for the fidelity of the translation in detail, and for its general tone and style. She has also drawn up the Indexes, and seen the work through the press.

For the selection of marginal references to the works of Dante the Editor and Translator are jointly responsible.

Both Translator and Editor desire to express their obligations to Mr. A.J. Butler, who has given them his ungrudging assistance in every difficulty, and whose learning and judgment have been invaluable.




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