Meaning of FLORENCE in English

city, seat of Lauderdale county, northwestern Alabama, U.S., on the Tennessee River, forming with Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Muscle Shoals a four-city metropolitan area in the Muscle Shoals region. Founded in 1818, it was named for Florence, Italy, by its Italian surveyor, Ferdinand Sanona. An early property holder was Andrew Jackson, later U.S. president. Industrial development was stimulated by construction of Wilson Dam and state dock installations. Florence State University (1872) became the University of North Alabama in 1974. Indian Mound within the city is the largest in the Tennessee Valley (42 ft high; base diameter, 310 ft); artifacts are in the adjacent museum. Inc. town, 1826; city, 1889. Pop. (1990) city, 36,426; Florence MSA, 131,327. city, seat (1875) of Pinal county, central Arizona, U.S., 50 mi (80 km) southeast of Phoenix. It lies on the Gila River in a farming area (mainly cotton) irrigated through the Ashurst-Hayden Diversion Dam. One of the oldest white settlements in the state, it was founded in 1866 and named for the sister of Gov. Richard McCormick. The community developed as a copper-mining trade centre and stage stop, and was incorporated in 1908. Many early adobe buildings still stand including the home (1866) of Levi Ruggles, the first settler, which housed the first land office (1873) in the Gadsden Purchase territory. Nearby are Indian ruins and natural desert gardens. Pop. (1990) 7,510. city, seat (1889) of Florence county, northeastern South Carolina, U.S. Established in the 1850s as a rail junction and transfer point for the Wilmington and Manchester, the Northwestern, and the Cheraw and Darlington railroads, it was called Wilds for a judge in the town but later renamed (c. 1859) for the daughter of William Wallace Harlee, head of the Wilmington and Manchester line. The city developed as a retail and wholesale distribution centre, balanced between railroads, industry, and agriculture. Manufactures include polyester film, X-ray apparatuses, fabricated steel, welding equipment, stoves, auto parts, furniture, clothing, and paper. The main crops are tobacco and cotton. Florence is the site of Florence-Darlington Technical College (1963), Francis Marion University (1970), Clemson UniversityPee Dee Research and Education Center (agriculture), and a U.S. Department of Agriculture regional laboratory. Nearby is a national cemetery with the graves of Union soldiers who died while imprisoned at the Florence Stockade during the Civil War. The one-room school in which Henry Timrod, poet laureate of the Confederacy, taught is in the city's Timrod Park. The Florence Museum exhibits Asian, primitive, and Native American art, as well as historical items. Inc. 1890. Pop. (1990) city, 29,913; Florence MSA, 114,344; (1998 est.) city, 29,511; (1996 est.) Florence MSA, 123,365. county, east-central South Carolina, U.S. The Great Pee Dee River constitutes its eastern boundary, and the Lynches River part of its western. The county is situated in a low-lying, generally flat area of the Coastal Plain. Lynches River State Park is located in the county, as is the Florence National Cemetery, which contains the graves of Union soldiers and a small group of Confederates. During the American Civil War, Florence, the county seat, became a centre for the transport of supplies and troops. Hundreds of Union soldiers died of typhoid in an unsanitary makeshift prison compound in Florence while a stockade was being built a few miles away. The county, named for its county seat, was organized in 1888. Tobacco is the principal crop of this fertile agricultural area; the production of soybeans, wheat, hogs, and chickens help make it one of the state's most productive counties. Industry, including the manufacture of food, clothing and other textile products, industrial equipment, furniture, plastic products, and paperboard, is also important to the economy. Area 799 square miles (2,070 square km). Pop. (1990) 114,344; (1998 est.) 124,904. Italian Firenze, Latin Florentia, city, capital of Firenze province and Toscana (Tuscany) region, central Italy. The city, located about 145 miles (230 kilometres) northwest of Rome, has, during its long history, been a republic, a seat of the duchy of Tuscany, and a capital (186571) of Italy. Florence was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BC and during the 14th to 16th centuries achieved preeminence in commerce and finance, learning, and, especially, the arts. The modern city has an area of about 40 square miles (104 square kilometres). It is surrounded by gently rolling hills that are covered with villas and farms, vineyards and orchards. The present glory of Florence is its past. Its buildings are works of art abounding in yet more works of art. The splendours of the city are stamped with the personalities of the men who made them. The geniuses of Florence were backed by men of towering wealth, and the city to this day gives testimony to their passions for religion, for art, for power, or for money. Among the most famous of the city's giants are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, and its most renowned rulers, the generations of the Medici family. Scholars still marvel that this small city of moneylenders and cloth-makers without much political or military power rose to a position of enormous influence in Italy, Europe, and beyond. The Florentine vernacular became the Italian language; and the local coin, the florin, became a world monetary standard. Florentine artists formulated the laws of perspective; Florentine men of letters, painters, architects, and craftsmen began the period known as the Renaissance; and a Florentine navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, gave his name to two continents. Italian Firenze, Latin Florentia, city, capital of Firenze province and Toscana (Tuscany) region, central Italy. The city, located about 145 mi (230 km) northwest of Rome has been during its long history a republic, a seat of the duchy of Tuscany, and a capital (186571) of Italy. Florence was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BC and during the 14th to 16th centuries achieved preeminence in commerce and finance, learning, and, especially, the arts. Florence's splendours reflect the genius of those who flourished there; among the most famous were Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, and the Medici family. The following article treats briefly the modern city of Florence. Fuller treatment is provided in the following Macropaedia articles. For history and contemporary life, see Florence; for additional perspective on the city in its national context, see Italy. Florence is built on both sides of the Fiume Arno (Arno River), which is subject to occasional flooding. The climate is temperate, its pleasant weather marred only briefly by extreme seasonal temperatures. The city's economy is based primarily on tourism and is supported by the manufacture of traditional handicraftsglassware and ceramics, wares of precious metals, leatherwork, art reproductions, wrought iron and straw work, and high-fashion clothing and shoes. The city is not a major manufacturing centre, however, and most industrial activity occurs in the suburbs. Ponte Vecchio, Florence The inner city of Florence is still structured on the lines of the Roman municipium. The old mercantile centre is now the Piazza della Repubblica, the core of modern public life. Craftwork is sold througout the city, but traditional marketplaces still exist; among these is the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge; see photograph), which is a commercial centre for goldsmiths, silversmiths, and jewelers. The historic religious centre of Florence is the site of the Battistero S. Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John) and the Gothic Duomo. The baptistery, believed to be the oldest surviving building (c. 1000) in Florence, has huge sculptured bronze doors depicting biblical scenes. The city's fresco-lined churches include many fine examples of Renaissance architecture. The Uffizi gallery, designed by Giorgio Vasari, is the best known of Florence's art museums. Its elegant Mannerist wings house the world's finest collection of Italian Renaissance painting, in addition to notable masterpieces of French, Dutch, Flemish, and German origin. The palaces and parks throughout the city are epitomized by the Palazzo Pitti and its richly landscaped Boboli gardens. The University of Florence and many other institutions of higher learning, including an increasing number of foreign-based universities, are located in and around the city. Florence and the surrounding province are served by buses and trolley cars. The main highway, Autostrada del Sole, passes west and south of the city. Florence lies on the most direct railway route between northern and southern Italy, and is also connected with towns to the east and west. Area city, 40 sq mi (102 sq km). Pop. (1981 est.) 460,924. Additional reading General works Eve Borsook, The Companion Guide to Florence (1966, reissued 1983), is an authoritative visitor's orientation to the monuments of the city, written by an eminent art historian. Alta Macadam, Florence, 5th ed. (1991), in the Blue Guide series, provides a general introduction to the city and its history as well as maps and tours of the different sections of the city. Mary McCarthy, The Stones of Florence (1959, reissued 1987), offers a more evocative and literary survey. History Not surprisingly, most histories of Florence focus on the origins and developments of the Renaissance era, particularly the 14th and 15th centuries. Ferdinand Schevill, History of Florence from the Founding of the City Through the Renaissance (1936, reissued 1961), remains an authoritative general survey. The early era of civic greatness is explored in George Holmes, Florence, Rome, and the Origins of the Renaissance (1986). The city received its own 16th-century history at the hands of one of its greatest political thinkers, Niccol Machiavelli, History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy: From the Earliest Times to the Death of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1960, reissued 1974; originally published in Italian, 1537). Shortly afterward this account was complemented by the authority of Francesco Guicciardini, History of Italy, and History of Florence, ed. by John R. Hale (1964; originally published in Italian, 1561). The historiography of both chroniclers is the subject of Felix Gilbert, Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Politics and History in Sixteenth-Century Florence (1965, reprinted 1984); to be supplemented with Gisela Bock, Quentin Skinner, and Maurizio Viroli (eds.), Machiavelli and Republicanism (1990).An impressive analysis of social and economic conditions, as well as of the political situation, is presented in Gene Brucker, Florentine Politics and Society, 13431378 (1962), Renaissance Florence (1969, reprinted 1983), The Society of Renaissance Florence (1971), and The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence (1977). The government of the Renaissance city has been ably studied in detail by Nicolai Rubinstein, The Government of Florence Under the Medici, 14341494 (1966), and Nicolai Rubinstein (ed.), Florentine Studies: Politics and Society in Renaissance Florence (1968). For broad studies of political and social life and customs, see Lauro Martines, The Social World of the Florentine Humanists, 13901460 (1963), and Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence (1968). Hans Baron, The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny, rev. ed. (1966), ascribes the cultural flowering of the city to its sudden rescue from political domination by Milan at the turn of the 15th century, with the thesis supplemented in the same author's In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism: Essays on the Transition from Medieval to Modern Thought, 2 vol. (1988).Issues of daily life (and death) are discussed in C.C. Bayley, War and Society in Renaissance Florence: The De Militia of Leonardo Bruni (1961); Katharine Park, Doctors and Medicine in Early Renaissance Florence (1985); and Daniel R. Lesnick, Preaching in Medieval Florence: The Social World of Franciscan and Dominican Spirituality (1989). For more on the economic and social conditions, see Richard A. Goldthwaite, Private Wealth in Renaissance Florence: A Study of Four Families (1968), and The Building of Renaissance Florence: An Economic and Social History (1980, reprinted 1990); Francis William Kent, Household and Lineage in Renaissance Florence (1977); and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy, trans. from French (1985), the latter emphasizing Florence's female population. Developments in public culture are observed in Richard C. Trexler, Public Life in Renaissance Florence (1980, reissued 1991). Focus on specific episodes in intellectual history is found in Donald Weinstein, Savonarola and Florence: Prophecy and Patriotism in the Renaissance (1970); and Donald J. Wilcox, The Development of Florentine Humanist Historiography in the Fifteenth Century (1969). On the neglected post-Renaissance developments, see the aptly titled book by Eric Cochrane, Florence in the Forgotten Centuries, 15271800: A History of Florence and Florentines in the Age of the Grand Dukes (1973). Art Florentine artists are the chief heroes in the later 16th-century history of Italian art by Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors & Architects, trans. by Gaston Du C. De Vere, 10 vol. (191215; originally published in Italian, 1550); and much detail on the same period emerges from an artistic autobiography by Benvenuto Cellini, The Life of Benvenuto Cellini (1949; originally published in Italian, 1728). Many general histories of Italian Renaissance art devote considerable space to Florentine developments, with some giving special emphasis to the city alone. Outstanding among these is Martin Wackernagel, The World of the Florentine Renaissance Artist: Projects and Patrons, Workshop and Art Market (1981; originally published in German, 1938); which can be supplemented by a more argumentative Frederick Antal, Florentine Painting and Its Social Background: The Bourgeois Republic Before Cosimo de' Medici's Advent to Power: XIV and Early XV Centuries (1948, reprinted 1986); and the more general study of the arts in Peter Burke, The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy, rev. ed. (1987). The chief pictorial handbook remains Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works, with an Index of Places: Florentine School, 2 vol. (1963); for frescoes, see Eve Borsook, The Mural Painters of Tuscany: From Cimabue to Andrea del Sarto, 2nd rev. ed. (1980); for churches, Walter Paatz and Elisabeth Paatz, Die Kirchen von Florenz, 6 vol. (195255); and, for sculpture, John Pope-Hennessy, An Introduction to Italian Sculpture, 3rd ed., 3 vol. (1985); and Charles Seymour, Sculpture in Italy: 14001500 (1966). An appreciation of a high point of Florentine painting is offered in S.J. Freedberg, Painting of the High Renaissance in Rome and Florence, new rev. ed., 2 vol. (1985); and Andr Chastel, The Flowering of the Italian Renaissance, trans. from French (1965). On art in its intellectual or phenomenological context, see Michael Baxandall, Giotto and the Orators: Humanist Observers of Painting in Italy and the Discovery of Pictorial Composition, 13501450 (1971, reprinted 1986), and Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style, 2nd ed. (1988). Blake Ehrlich Larry A. Silver History The early period Florentia (The Flourishing Town) was founded in 59 BC as a colony for soldiers of the armies of Rome and was laid out as a rectangular garrison town (castrum) below the hilltop Etruscan town of Faesulae. Its streets formed a pattern of rectangular blocks, with a central forum, a temple to Mars, an amphitheatre, and public baths. By the 3rd century AD Florence was a provincial capital of the Roman Empire and a prosperous commercial centre. During the early medieval centuries, Florence was occupied chiefly by outsiders: first by Ostrogoths in the 5th century, then by Byzantines in the 6th century, and eventually by Langobards, or Lombards. From the late 10th century onward Florence prospered, and, under the rule of Countess Matilda of Tuscany (10691115), it became the leading city in Tuscany. In 1293 Florence adopted a constitution called the Ordinances of Justice, which barred both the nobility and labourers from political power. It also provided for frequent changes of office to ensure that no group or individual could get control of the state; thus the nine priors who constituted the Signoria (the governmental body) were each elected for a mere two months. As a result, Florentines developed a keen interest in their politics and became a community of civil servants available for public life; but the lack of continuity often provoked factional intrigues and alliances. During the 12th and 13th centuries the economic and political power of the city grew steadily. The rise of the Florentine woolen cloth industry and of banking provided a basis of capital. Then the resolution in 1266 of a bitter strife between two internal factions oriented respectively toward papal (Guelf) and imperial (Ghibelline) protection resulted in victory for a group of Guelf merchant families in the city (as well as the exile in 1302 of Florence's greatest poet, Dante Alighieri). They took over papal banking monopolies from rivals in nearby Siena and became tax collectors for the pope throughout Europe. From such a foundation, Florentine families, led by the Bardi and the Peruzzi, came to dominate both banking and international merchant business. Locally, Florence also added neighbouring cities to its sphere of influence and obliged rival powersPisa, Siena, Pistoia, and Arezzoto become its allies. With a balance between its leading merchant families, Florence was now ruled by its guilds, divided into seven major guilds and a number of minor ones. The city's podesta, or chief magistrate and police chief, could be selected only from the major guilds. Political parties grew up along the issues of aggressive expansion and preservation of peace; the former policy was embraced by the Blacks (Neri; the rich merchants), the latter by the Whites (Bianchi; the lesser citizens). Just before the middle of the 14th century, Florence had become a metropolis of about 90,000 people, making it one of the great cities of Europe (alongside Paris, Venice, Milan, and Naples). However, in the summer of 1348 the Black Death struck, reducing the population by half. The city's ordeal during this period has been vividly portrayed by the chronicler Matteo Villani and by the writer Giovanni Boccaccio in the preface to his stories of the Decameron. The bankruptcies of the Bardi and the Peruzzi a few years before the Black Death had already shaken the city's prosperity, and it never fully recovered from these double disasters. Famine and renewed bouts of the plague continued throughout the 14th century, sparking unrest among the politically unrepresented population. In 1378 a proletarian rebellion of the cloth workers, the Ciompi revolt, was put down by an alliance of merchants, manufacturers, and artisans. The economy of the city remained depressed, and the rivalry of adjoining polities, first Milan and then Naples, only intensified the threats to Florence's prosperity in the early 15th century. One of the few successes was the conquest of Pisa in 1406, making Florence a maritime power at last. Partly in self-defense, Florence became a major territorial power alongside Venice, Milan, and Naples. During this period of adversity, the power of the guilds and their domination of the city were on the wane; as a result, successful merchants and bankers, chiefly Cosimo de' Medici and Giovanni Rucellai in the 15th century, were able to shape civic politics and culture through a system of oligarchy and patronage. They underwrote the accomplishments that are now singled out with the term Renaissance, and their palaces came to dominate the city as fully as the church buildings in which they established their family chapels. From the Medici to unification Cosimo de' Medici (Cosimo the Elder; d. 1464) became the leading citizen in Florence after his return in 1434 from a year of exile. He achieved this position by virtue of his great wealth (the result of the largest banking network in Europe) and an extensive network of patronage obligations. While he never accepted public office, his faction dominated the city. He lived an increasingly opulent life, as is apparent in the ostentation of the Medici Palace and the patronage of churches such as San Lorenzo and the Monastery of St. Mark, with its frescoes by Fra Angelico. Investment in culture, including the patronage of artists and architects and the purchase of books and manuscripts, became a fundamental expression of the Medici's aristocratic way of life; it was continued by Cosimo's son, Piero, and his grandson, Lorenzo (d. 1492; dubbed the Magnificent). In all but name, Florence was now ruled by a Medici prince, whose position resembled that of the tyrants in other Italian cities such as Milan, Ferrara, Mantua, and Urbino. Stability was briefly threatened in 1478 by the brutal but abortive Pazzi conspiracy seeking to end the Medici rule. In 1494, shortly after the death of Lorenzo, French armies under King Charles VIII invaded Italy. They were backed against the Medici by the popular party in Florence, which (with French help) succeeded in exiling the Medici and declaring Florence a republic. The consequence, however, was the loss of political autonomy to the larger conflicts of Italian peninsular struggles. Republican Florence was led briefly by a fiery Dominican preacher, Girolamo Savonarola, who boldly condemned the luxury and urbane culture of his predecessors. His strict rule came to an end in 1498, but with it closed a phase of Florentine greatness. The Medici returned to Florence in triumph in 1512 behind the papal and Spanish armies, reasserting power in a clear and ruthless manner. (Such an unambiguous pursuit of power by leaders at this time was given codification in 1513 by Niccol Machiavelli in his treatise The Prince.) In addition, the younger son of Lorenzo was elected Pope Leo X; his pontificate (151321) was noteworthy for its cultivation of the arts, especially his employment of Raphael. Leo was shortly followed by another Medici pope, Clement VII (152334). However, in 1527 the riotous Spanish army of Emperor Charles V overran Rome, and during this moment of weakness republicans again expelled the Medici from Florence, only to be punished in 1530, when pope and emperor were reconciled. Then in 1536 the statesman and historian Francesco Guicciardini began to compose his History of Italy, with its ideal vision of the era of Lorenzo the Magnificent and its pessimism concerning more recent events. In 1537 Charles V installed Cosimo de' Medici (Cosimo I; d. 1574) as official duke of Florence (grand duke of Tuscany after 1569). Cosimo and his wife, Eleonora of Toledo, patronized the arts and undertook vast building programs, such as the construction of the Uffizi, the renovation of the Palazzo Vecchio, and the reconstruction of the Pitti Palace. With the rise of Cosimo I to titled nobility and to absolute rule in Florence, the political and cultural vitality of the city had all but ebbed, prompting a modern scholar to refer to the succeeding era as the forgotten centuries. Florence's dukes had become minor players in the broader European balance of great powers, and they linked themselves chiefly with the noble houses of France. Marital alliances of Medici family members with members of the French nobility include Catherine de Mdicis (d. 1589), queen of Henry II and later regent of France; Grand Duke Ferdinand I (d. 1609), who married Christine of Lorraine; and Marie de Mdicis (d. 1642), who married King Henry IV of France. The city generally declined under prolonged Medici rule, a process that was marked only by the extended reign of Cosimo III (16701723) and the end of the family with the death of his son, Gian Gastone (d. 1737). After the rule of the Medici, Florence was governed from outside, as Francis Stephen of Lorraine, the husband of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, became the grand duke of Tuscany. Following a Napoleonic interlude, Leopold II of Habsburg was the last outside ruler (182459). He eventually abdicated in favour of the new Italian king, Victor Emmanuel. In 1860 Florence annexed itself to the new kingdom of Italy, serving as its provisional capital during the period 186570. From the late 18th to the mid-20th century, a large Anglo-American colony was an integral part of the Florentine scene. The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who is buried in the small English cemetery, noted that the city was cheap, tranquil, cheerful and beautiful. The Horne Museum, near Santa Croce, and the Stibbert Museum, in the north, are examples of houses and collections left by foreigners to their adopted city.

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