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Political exiles were a prominent feature of political life in Renaissance Italy, often a source of intense concern to the states from which they were banished, and a ready instrument for governments wishing to intervene in the affairs of their rivals and enemies. This book provides the first systematic analysis of the role of exiles in the political life of fifteenth-century Italy. The main focus is on the experiences and reactions of the exiles, and on how Italian states dealt with their own exiles and those of other powers. Siena, notorious in the 1480s for the numbers of her citizens in exile, is used as the model with which other cities are compared. Such a detailed study of the phenomenon of exile also provides fresh perspectives on the nature and power of governments in fifteenth-century Italy, and on ideas about the legitimacy of political authority and political action.

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