by Bergamo Master, Thomas Carson (Editor, Translator)
Barbarossa In Italy presents a verse translation of the “Carmen de gestis Frederici I imperatoris in Lombardia.” This Latin poem describes the conflict leading up to April of 1162 when Frederick I Hohenstaufen, the German emperor, destroyed Milan in an attempt to impose his rule on the emerging urban republics of northern Italy. The issues, personalities, and events that led up to this catastrophe are the subjects of this unfinished verse epic written by an anonymous citizen of Bergamo shortly after the events. With a vivid eye for the horrors of battle and siege, his knowing portrayal of Frederick’s conflicted emotions, and his use of classical figures and dream vision, the “Bergamo Master” shows a respect for his classical antecedents while staying faithful to the modes and personalities of his age. In concise and modern English verse Professor Carson provides the reader with a fresh view of this monumental struggle between imperial authority and an age of cultural revival, local freedoms, and new loyalties.