© 2018

Feuds and State Formation, 1550–1700

The Backcountry of the Republic of Genoa


Part of the Early Modern History: Society and Culture book series (EMH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 1-22
  3. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 61-90
  4. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 91-119
  5. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 151-171
  6. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 173-179
  7. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 181-214
  8. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 215-247
  9. Osvaldo Raggio
    Pages 249-281
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 283-316

About this book


This book re-evaluates the role of local agency and provides a new perspective to the political, social and cultural history of state formation, taking a microhistorical approach and through close analysis of archival sources between 1550 to 1700. The backcountry of the Republic of Genoa is a laboratory for gauging the weight and significance of two elements which, according to Charles Tilly and other scholars, have characterized the construction of the modern state: judicial administration and fiscal extraction. The instruments employed in this respect were arbitration and compensation. Interactions between center and periphery occurred within a stratified and discontinuous fabric of fluid jurisdictions and segmented residential topographies, which constituted spaces of mediation. Such spaces were generated by conflicts between kin groups (feuds and factional alignments) and managed both by Genoese officials and by local notables and notaries, who translated a whole set of local practices into judicial procedures. This book offers a rich contextualization of material life, family relationships, economic activities, and power struggles in a corner of the Mediterranean world that was extremely important, but about which very little has been published in English. 


economic exchange border society microhistory Mediterranean power struggles

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenoaGenoaItaly

About the authors

Osvaldo Raggio is Professor of History at the University of Genoa, Italy. He has worked on a range of topics in early modern history, including detailed rural analyses, social and political history, aristocratic society and material culture, history of collections, and the interface between history and other disciplines. He is a member of the editorial board of Quaderni storici.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Feuds and State Formation, 1550–1700
  • Book Subtitle The Backcountry of the Republic of Genoa
  • Authors Osvaldo Raggio
  • Series Title Early Modern History: Society and Culture
  • Series Abbreviated Title Early Modern History: Society and Culture
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-94642-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-06888-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-94643-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXV, 316
  • Number of Illustrations 16 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Italy
    History of Early Modern Europe
    Political History
    Economic History
    Social History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This book is a great addition to the Early Modern History series as well as to the growing body of micro-historical scholarship. Raggio, through a close study of the backcountry of the Republic of Genoa, offers a new perspective on how state formation is studied. … This study is beneficial to those readers interested in the study of early modern cultural and social history, state formation, and local politics.” (Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. 43 (1), 2020)