chapter  7
Public buildings and urban change in northern Italy in the early mediaeval period
Pages 20

In many regions the fall of the Roman Empire in the West led to the complete

disappearance of the cities. In northern Italy, by contrast, the cities proved

remarkably tenacious. Most of the Roman cities of the region survived into

mediaeval times, and their physical appearance provided notable evidence of

continuity, for example in the walls and street plans. But, of course, much was

changed. The great public buildings which had given the Roman cities their

distinctive character survived, if at all, only as ruins, and, after a long decline, the

Roman political institutions, council and magistrates, ceased to function.