Italy Federiciana Part 8
Among these intermediaries, a great weight must be acknowledged for the age of Frederick II, as already for the entire previous history of the Western Empire, for ecclesiastical institutions and the religious world in general. Italy inherited from the past a particularly dense fabric of ecclesiastical settlement, above all with a network of dioceses that were in the order of two hundred seats at the advent of Frederick II. If their dislocation in the Italian territory was uneven, with very dense regions scattered with bishoprics, often modest due to the demic consistency of the respective city and size of the diocese, and regions with a larger episcopal settlement and generally rich and powerful episcopal canteens, everywhere, however, a very solid connection fabric had been created between the Episcopal Church and the territory: the fabric represented by the ancient parish churches, the churches equipped with a baptismal font, and by the increasingly numerous rural parishes. Beside the secular churches there were monasteries of Benedictine tradition, some of immense wealth and holders of large public prerogatives, as was the case of Monte Cassino in the heart of the Kingdom of Sicily, a good number included in the reformed Benedictine Order of the Cistercians, which stood out for the particular link with the Roman Church and the political roles of the abbots, for the great ability to manage land wealth and the enthusiasm and innovation in construction. Excluded from episcopal appointments and from direct control of rural churches and monasteries, the laity had found during the 12th century. his ways of institutionalizing religious fervor in the foundations of hospitals, then in penitential movements that had an overwhelming success in the years of the accession to the throne of Germany and then to the imperial crown of Frederick II and fully integrated into the economic and political life of the cities: Preachers and Minors in the central decades of the thirteenth century opened a large space to the affirmations of the aristocrats and wealthy citizens, as an alternative, indeed in addition, to the more traditional careers offered by the inclusion in the chapters of the cathedral churches; in this way they made an important contribution to the phenomena of social selection and aristocratization, as well as made a significant contribution to the growing centralistic affirmation of the Apostolic See.
According to Localtimezone, Italy producer of primary goods. In reality it is only in one aspect of cultural life that in the early thirteenth century a diversification between a large part of the cities of the North and Center and the rest of the country can be identified; this is because a higher level of urban sociality and the need for internal consensus determined a higher need for writing and therefore for an increase in the ability and habit of writing. However, from this important aspect, which translates into a greater wealth of city archives in many areas of Northern and Central Italy, it is not legitimate to deduce wider cultural differences. The landscape of Italian culture, of its great thirteenth-century momentum, is a landscape that is diversified by specific situations and by some regional features, not by opposing blocks. In Northern and Central Italy the dominant paintings of the great artistic productions, those that determined commissions and financing, remained for a long time, between the end of the 12th century. and the mid-thirteenth century, the major ecclesiastical and religious institutions: thus there were the factories of the cathedrals and baptisteries of the city, of the Cistercian abbeys, then the great preaching churches of the Mendicant orders, and from Fossanova to Vercelli to Padua to the Sienese countryside, the continuations and innovations of the great Romanesque art and the encounters with the artistic experience of the French Gothic were carried out. In one of the architectural masterpieces of this phase, the baptistery of Parma, the architect was also the greatest sculptor of the time, Benedetto Antelami. In the South the Cistercian initiative was stimulated and integrated by Frederick II, and he was responsible for promoting an architectural flourishing of castles (see), monuments and city gates; this fervor would have had its influence in the art of central Italy, particularly in Tuscany, with the affirmation of another architect and sculptor, Nicola Pisano. There was therefore a circulation, between Italy and France and between the Kingdom of Sicily and the other territories of Italy, and similar forms of circulation and movement manifested themselves in the field of scientific, literary and poetic culture: here with a revival of poetry troubadour (see Provençal Tr ovatori ) who found nourishment in the vitality of the aristocratic classes of which we have said, and within which some intention was expressed, probably at the time of the first years of the empire of Frederick II, some intention to create a Lombard poem with innovation compared to Proenzal poetry.
This is not the place to recall the role of the Federician courts in the literary revival of the early thirteenth century (see Sicilian poetic school ), nor to talk about the impulse given by the emperor to legal culture (see Juridical science, Kingdom of Italy ) and of the university foundation that he promoted in Naples (see Studio di Napoli ). It is only necessary to remember how the growth of political ideologies, partly the prerogative of the great university and school accommodations and partly widespread in sentiments and aspirations of people who, with less or greater capacity to intervene, lived the political life of those times of disunion and war. On these sentiments and on these aspirations, but also on the doctrinal arrangements of high caliber, the Frederick years would have left an important and long-reflected legacy, in particular with the idea-force of the need for a high political, secular authority., capable of guaranteeing justice and peace, tranquility, above the overwhelming tendencies and private interests.