Informations and abstract
Keywords: Medieval citizenship, Petitions, Genoa, Venice.
From the late thirteenth century onwards, citizenship in Italy was fragmented into multiple status. Each status defined a different degree of local membership, which in turn could entail a series of city-specific rights and obligations. By comparing the two case-studies of Venice and Genoa between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, this essay addresses the process of fragmentation and its key features: the mechanisms which led to the creation of new forms of membership, the procedures to obtain them, rights and duties pertaining to each status, and the influence of local political structures. Utilising a wide corpus of petitions and subsequent privileges of citizenship granted by the authorities, the analysis explores the role of petitions in creating new types of membership as well as shaping laws concerning citizenship.