Title

The Use of Water and Its Regulation in Medieval Siena

Publication Date

5-1-2005

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The Tuscan hill town of Siena, Italy, has been supplied by a system of gravity-fed fountains since at least the twelfth century. Medieval statutes and surviving physical evidence reveal that the city maintained the purity of its urban water supply by a combination of physical and legal structures. The urban water supply embodied the provisions of that legislation in the physical arrangements of the fountain complexes. Laws and architecture imposed a hierarchy whereby those uses of water with greater potential for contamination were kept downstream from the uses that required a supply of pure water. Although not unique to Siena, the city’s hierarchal division of water provides a powerful and useful model for allocating contemporary water resources.

Publication Title

Journal Of Urban History

Volume

31

Issue

4

First Page

504

Last Page

536

DOI

10.1177/0096144204274398

Version

pre-print, post-print

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