Although the main purpose of this article has been that of presenting as full and objective an account as possible of the surviving medieval towers in Tuscania, believing that ‘facts’ rarely speak for themselves, I have attempted in the first two sections to set the building of the towers within the context of the social and political changes and topographical transformations that were taking place between the end of the tenth century and the end of the fifteenth century. One result of this has been to indicate how the role of towers themselves underwent change during that period.
The towers covered by this survey are all those of medieval date which do not form part of the town walls (for which, see: Andrews and Gibson 1972) and are not church towers (for which, see: Serafini, 1927, 85–7; Raspi Serra, 1971). It may be noted in this connection that the term ‘tower-house’ (Italian, casa-torre) is more properly applied to towers, or tower-like structures, adapted for permanent domestic residence, than to the type of refuge tower to which many of the examples in Tuscania belong. Since the uses to which towers were put often varied during the long span of their existence, however, ‘tower-house’ has on occasion been used as a blanket term for any tower of the types found in this catalogue.