I'm writing some commutative algebra notes, but I'm facing a difficulty in organizing the order of the topics. I'd like to have the topics about factorization before speaking of integral closure. This is fine, as long as I talk of UFD and primary decomposition.

The problem is that a topic worth mentioning is the factorization theory for ideals in a Dedekind ring. Now, there are a few ways to define a Dedekind ring, but I guess one of the most natural is **a Noetherian domain, integrally closed, of dimension 1**.

At this point I haven't yet introduced the concept of dimension, nor integral closure. It is easy not to speak of dimension, and just say that every prime ideal is maximal. I'm also fine in writing out explicitly what integrally closed means.

The real problem is to get a proof of unique factorization for ideals without using anything about integral closure, apart from direct arguments. For instance, I'd be fine in saying: **"...so this element satisfies this monic equation, hence it is in A."** Less so in saying **"...so this element lies in a ring which is finitely generated as an A-module, hence it is integral. Since it is in the field of fractions of A, is must belong to A."**

The only missing step in proving that ideals in a Dedekind ring satisfy unique factorization is the fact that primary ideals are prime powers.

Is there a direct proof of this fact which does not rely on anything about integrally closed domains, apart from the definition?

I should make clear that other standard techniques are available at this point: localization, Noetherian and Artinian stuff, primary decomposition, symbolic powers and so on.

I should also say that changing the order of the topics woule a major headache. I have thought out for long the order, and this is the only point where I get things in the wrong order. If possible, I would like to leave it as it is.

**Edit (added in response to KConrad comment).**

The steps which are easy are the following. Since $A$ is Noetherian, a primary decomposition exists. Since every prime is maximal, there are no embedded primes, so all primary components are unique. Finally, using again that every prime is maximal, all primary components are coprime, so intersections become products. So the only step where one uses integrality is the proof that the primary ideals are actually prime powers.

For the definition, there is no need to speak about integral closure, let alone proving that the integral closure is a ring. The integral domain $A$ is said to be integrally closed if every element $x$ of the quotient field of $A$, which satisfies a monic equation $x^n + a_{n-1} x^{n-1} + \cdots + a_0$ with coefficients in $A$, is itself in $A$.

As for the examples, the compromise for now is to list some number rings, with the promise that it will be shown in a later section that these are actually Dedekind rings. Of course I'm not happy with this solution. But I'm also not happy with putting an aside on integral closure in the middle of a section about factorization and primary decomposition; even less so because there IS a later section on integral closure.

I cannot even reverse the two, because in the section of integral closure I want to be able to speak about the integral closures of $\mathbb{Z}$, so I need the factorization theory for Dedekind rings.