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Journal > Volumes > 34 (2003) / 3 (Autumn)
Schooling in Renaissance Pistoia: Community and Civic Humanism in Small-Town Tuscany
Arie S. Zmora
St. Paul, Minnesota

Through continuous and successful cooperation with a charitable foundation-the Sapienza-the commune of Pistoia provided students from diverse social backgrounds with qualitatively superior schooling in the preuniversity levels throughout the sixteenth century and beyond. As a result, Pistoia had the largest number of graduates from the Studio Pisano, the flagship of the university system in Tuscany, surpassing by far all other communes, including the metropolitan center of Florence. Embracing the tenets of civic humanism to benefit the larger community, Pistoians rigorously pursued the recruitment of highly qualified teachers for secondary level students, providing a public library open to all and a collegio that afforded intensive and effective preuniversity schooling for university-bound students.The commune's success in providing broad access to schooling for the commune's youth, rich as well as poor, reflects on the informal nature of social rapport in small towns and on its dynamic pattern of social interaction when compared with large cities of the early modern period.

Pages: 761 - 777