Bindino da Travale, Chronicle (1315-1416)

Edited by Alison Williams Lewin - TT15

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The world of Bindino da Travale (1356–1418) seethed with conflict: citizen fought citizen, city-state fought city-state, popes fought emperors, and claimants to sees and thrones fought one another – as eventually did rival popes. To understand the complex world of fifteenth-century Italy, we must dive into the many long-lived enmities and shifting loyalties that shaped the lives of its inhabitants.
From this swirling mass of conflict, betrayal, and differences settled in the highest Church councils and in the streets, an otherwise obscure Tuscan artist, Bindino da Travale, crafted an amazingly colourful and exciting account of thirty crucial years in northern Italian history. His chronicle, for the most part dictated to his older son Giovanni, gathers Bindino’s extensive knowledge of contemporary politics, diplomacy, and battles, and combines it with his self-reflective comments and vivid imagination to produce a highly idiosyncratic and lively account of his times.

Ed. and trans. by Alison Williams Lewin.

Alison Williams Lewin is a professor of history at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She has published works on the effects of the Great Schism on Florence, on chronicles of the Italian Renaissance, and on various aspects of stages of life and old age.

314 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2515-8 softcover
Published: 2021

“Bindino da Travale tells us, in his own words, what was happening in Italy at the turn of the fifteenth century. His Chronicle is especially useful for students and scholars interested in the voice and views of a working-class citizen of Siena during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Lewin’s lively translation and extensive notes make this most unusual account accessible to and informative for a wide range of readers.” — Elena BrizioGeorgetown University – Villa Le Balze

“Alison Lewin has produced an outstanding edition of Bindino da Travale’s important but as yet little studied Sienese chronicle. Lewin’s insightful and elegant introduction highlights Bindino’s important observations regarding the great papal schism as well as a variety of Italian political and military affairs.” — William P. Caferro, Vanderbilt University

“Bindino’s chronicle is a fascinating take on the politics and culture of early Renaissance Tuscany and Italy, all the more valuable because it is the view from Siena and not the usual Florentine perspective. Lewin’s introduction to the contemporary political scene, the internal workings of Italian republics, and Bindino’s cultural background makes this volume accessible to students and an ideal source for seminars on late-medieval or Renaissance Italy.” — F. Thomas Luongo, Tulane University


List of Illustrations

Large-Scale Conflicts
The Great Schism
Civic Offices, Problems, and Titles
Bindino da Travale
On the Translation


Appendix A