History of the Italian Agricultural Landscape
Emilio Sereni

Translated, with an introduction, by R. Burr Litchfield


Emilio Sereni's classic work is now available in an English language edition. History of the Italian Agricultural Landscape is a synthesis of the agricultural history of Italy in its economic, social, and ecological context, from antiquity to the mid-twentieth century. From his perspective in the Italian tradition of cultural Marxism, Sereni guides the reader through the millennial changes that have affected the agriculture and ecology of the regions of Italy, as well as through the successes and failures of farmers and technicians in antiquity, the middle ages, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution. In this sweeping historical survey, he describes attempts by successive generations to adapt Italy's natural environment for the purposes of agriculture and to respond to its changing ecological problems.

History of the Italian Agricultural Landscape first appeared in 1961. At the time of its publication it was a pathbreaking work, parallel in its importance for Italy to Marc Bloc's masterwork of 1931, The Original Characteristics of French Rural History. Sereni invented the concept of the historical "agricultural landscape": an interdisciplinary characterization of rural life involving economic and social history, linguistics, archeology, art history, and ecological studies.

First published in 1997.