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FLORENCE, a municipium of the later Roman republic or
early empire, flourished as Faesulae, three miles
Early Florence.                         r            .,11-1             i   .                 ,-1
distant from it, declined, and it was the resi-
dence of magistrates of the province in the fourth century.
Its destinies afterwards, under the Lombards and Franks,
differed little from those of other cities of middle Italy. In
the eleventh century, Beatrix, of Lorraine, governed Tus-
cany with her second husband, Godfrey, of lower Lorraine,
and afterwards with her daughter Matilda, " the great count-
ess/' * At the death of Matilda, by her will her land was
to go to the pope, but the emperor, as her relative and feudal
superior, refused to confirm her donation. It xvas found diffi-
cult to ascertain what was feudal, and what allodial property ;
and so Henry IV. seized on the whole. The Tuscan towns
gained from this strife in regard to their independence ; they
seem to have been drawn to the pope by their common
interest with him against the imperial head ; and they were
probably more on the papal side than they would have been,
if, like very many Italian towns, they had fallen under episco-
pal jurisdiction.
In the time of Matilda, if not before, Florence became a
Florence a com- commune, which implies a certain amount of
mune>               self-government and internal union under offi-
cers of its own, with rights either granted by the good- will
of the seignor, or purchased, or usurped, or possibly wrested
from him. The count's jurisdiction disappears at Florence,
* Comp., for this period,  C.  Hegel, prof,  at  Rostock,  now at
Erlangen, Stadteverfass. v. Ital., ii., 44, 198, 206.