Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We’re happy to be back after a prolonged season of hard work on other projects. We return with some very good news: the first is that Caroline Bruzelius and William Tronzo’s Medieval Naples: An Architectural & Urban History has received a very good review in The Burlington Magazine. Written by Cordelia Warr, a leading expert in medieval Neapolitan art history, the review covers the content of the volume, its excellent style, its illustrations and its online components: including over 450 color images of the medieval city and its monuments.

Our second piece of good news is that the print edition of Ronald G. Musto’s Medieval Naples: A Documentary History 400–1400 is now in final page proofs. This is a revised and expanded version of the edition launched online in the Kindle and iPad over a year ago. This edition includes new sections edited by Eileen Gardiner on medieval Naples’ literature, hagiography, literate and book culture. It comes in at over 400 pages, contains 81 readings covering all aspects of Neapolitan urban life and culture from c.400 to c.1400, 74 figures, 60 thumbnail images keyed to a map of medieval Naples, a complete Bibliography, index, and a key to external resources, including our Interactive Map of Medieval Naples, our online bibliographies, and our online image galleries. The book should be available in hardcover and paperback in January 2013. A revised and expanded Kindle and iPad edition will follow shortly after that.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Image Galleries

Technology is a good thing for publishers, scholars, and readers. But the pace of technological change can sometimes be so fast that it leaves us all bewildered at times. So it was lately when Apple announced that it was rolling out its new iCloud computing technology. Lots to like, along with a new operating system: automatic synching between devices for images, music, text, spreadsheets, etc. But there was a catch: the “old” iDisk technology, along with other Apple remote server tools, was ending on June 30, 2012.

That meant that the hosting platform for all of Italica Press’s Naples image galleries, linked to our Interactive Map of Medieval Naples, would disappear in two weeks, along with all that online content, unless we moved as quickly as the rate of technology change. Well, there’s good news: we have.

Beginning today, all Italica Press Naples image galleries — and all hyperlinks from the Interactive Map — will now be using the Flickr platform. While this has taken some work to migrate all those hundreds of images, Flickr itself has many benefits, including advantages over the old iMac Gallery technology: images are more easily uploaded, sorted, tagged, sized, viewed, and glossed. They are also more discoverable by Internet search engines. Online images galleries is also Flickr’s business. All-in-all a change for the better.

Some things still need to be updated: the hyperlinks for the Kindle editions of our Medieval Naples series will have to be redirected; and the list of URLs in the appendix to the print edition of Caroline Bruzelius and William Tronzo’s  Medieval Naples: An Architectural & Urban History, 400–1400 (p. 125) will need revision. We’ll provide an online, downloadable concordance to those links; but most will be straightforward and transparent by simply using the now updated Interactive Map.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two New Titles

We’d like to call your attention to two new, important titles on medieval Naples. Alas, since we assumed editorship of Speculum, we’ve had to refrain from reviewing titles here. But here they are:

The first is Amedeo Feniello’s Napoli: Società ed economia (902-1137) (Nuovi Studi Storici 89), Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, 2011. Feniello is among the most important historians of Naples working today, and his various works have shed light on many under-studied aspects of the city for some years now.

The second title is Samantha Kelly’s edition of The Cronaca di Partenope: An Introduction to and Critical Edition of the First Vernacular History of Naples (c. 1350), Leiden: Brill, 2011. This is one of the most important sources for the history of the later Middle Ages in Naples and it’s now in a reliable edition, with an expert introduction.

We encourage you to have a look.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bruzelius & Tronzo Reviewed

Caroline Bruzelius and William Tronzo's Medieval Naples: An Architectural and Urban History has just received a positive and thoughtful review by Thomas Granier of the Université Montpellier-III in the most recent online offerings of The Medieval Review. The review has many good things to say about this volume, praises the overall Documentary History of Naples and its mix of print and electronic resources but also raises some interesting questions about this mix and the autonomy of the individual volumes of the Medieval Naples sections.

While Bruzelius and Tronzo make it clear that their subject matter is the known, major monuments of the medieval city — and the overall historical contextualization of their development — Granier does present some caveats, among them the transition from late Antiquity to the later Middle Ages, and most especially the use of archival materials so well presented in Amedeo Feniello's latest work.

In fact, however, the complementary volume, Ronald G. Musto's Medieval Naples…Historical Texts, attempts squarely to address just these issues, but as Granier notes, in a separate and (so far) digital-only Kindle volume. The reviewer also generously notes that this is an ongoing project and that such materials will of course find their way together into the larger scheme of the project. It's criticism and advice both anticipated and well taken as we work our way through the complex issues of ongoing publication in the print and digital worlds.