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From the fourteenth through the end of the sixteenth centuries, the primary political, economic, and environmental changes in Italy have been considered to be the impacts of a century of plague following 1348 and the transition from medieval to early modern political and social systems. While at the macro level across the politically divided Italian peninsula these are well attested, in the intermountain basin of the Velino River north of the central Italian city of Rieti, the historical and paleoecological data point to a range of other factors having an effect on the changing landscape. As events such as the arrival of the Black Death resonated in the resurgent forest following the steep decline in population, other local activities, such as the city's political realignment with Rome and its interest in controlling the hydrology of the basin as a free commune, equally left their mark on the local ecology of the basin. Ultimately, the historical and paleoecological evidence demonstrates influence by continental climate patterns; regional demographic, political, and economic changes; and local priorities in concert.