Robert Walter Carden.

The city of Genoa online

. (page 1 of 27)
Online LibraryRobert Walter CardenThe city of Genoa → online text (page 1 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

RIVERSIDE



7zn

AC FOOT J



(|WvU m^f^vy^








THE CITY OF GENOA




THI-: CHLKCH OF SAN PIETRO BANCHI



THE CITY OF GENOA

BY

ROBERT W. GARDEN



WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR BY

WILLIAM PARKINSON

AND TWENTY OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS



METHUEN & CO.

36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
LONDON



w



(13?



First Published in igoS



PREFACE

IT is to be feared that the greater number of English
people who go to Genoa in order to learn some-
thing of the city and its inhabitants fail in
completely achieving their object. It is not enough to
visit her streets, churches and palaces in succession
with guide-book — however trustworthy — in hand.
The stranger may indeed succeed in this way in
becoming familiar with the aspect of her public build-
ings and thoroughfares, and may learn much about the
Genoese school of painting, and of the artists who
worked in Genoa, but the everyday life of the populace
will escape him. To come in contact with that — to
see the Genoese and to know them, to realise their
character, and the things which make up the sum of their
existence, you must climb up the stairways which do
duty for streets, or go down the maze of side alleys
near the Piazzo di Sarzana behind the old wall : streets
so narrow that you may touch the houses on both sides
as you pass, and across which stretches row after row
of snow-white linen so that the view of the sky is
almost shut out. In the dingy shops you will see
macaroni, mousetraps and " Madonnas " exhibited for
sale behind the same dim sheet of glass. Over the
miserable little doorways you will see lordly coats of
arms cut in black marble, and squatting on the doorsteps
you will find such of the adult population as inhabit
the ground floor, while those who live up the dark and



vi GENOA

broken stairs lean out among the washing to gape and
chatter. The roadway is given up to innumerable half-
dressed children, and a great variety of remarkably
large and well-fed cats, while pervading all is the odour
of things of the sea mixed with that of incense and
eatables.

These are things which the reader must be left to
discover for himself The present book is confined to
an endeavour to sketch the history of Genoa as
succinctly as possible, and to describe some of the
principal buildings, and the events which are connected
with them.

The bibliography of Genoa has been published in a
volume by itself, and readers who desire to extend
their studies beyond the list which is appended cannot
do better than consult Manno's Bibliografia di Genova.

In conclusion I wish to take this opportunity of ex-
pressing my thanks to Cav. Angelo Boscassi, Curator
of the Palazzo Bianco, for his courtesy in allowing me
to take up so much of his time, and to Mr William
Heywood, whose kindly advice and criticism have
been of the utmost assistance in the preparation of
this volume.



CONTENTS



PAGE

PREFACE V



CHAPTER I

THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE CITY I

CHAPTER II

HISTORICAL SURVEY, 1 339 TO 1 528 26

CHAPTER III

HISTORICAL SURVEY, 1 528 TO 1 797 50

CHAPTER IV

THE CHURCH OF SAN SIRO 75

CHAPTER V

THE PALAZZO DI SAN GIORGIO 93

CHAPTER VI

THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN LORENZO II3

CHAPTER VII

THE HARBOUR AND ITS ASSOCIATIONS .... 130



viii GENOA

CHAPTER VIII

PAGE

THE PALAZZO DUCALE ^S°

CHAPTER IX

THE PALAZZO BIANCO 169

CHAPTER X

THE CHURCH OF THE ANNUNZIATA 198

CHAPTER XI

THE CHURCH OF SAN MATTEO 220

CHAPTER XII

THE PALAZZO D' ORIA PANFILI 245



APPENDIX I 264

APPENDIX II 272

INDEX 281



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

IN COLOUR



THE CHURCH OF SAN PIETRO BANCHI

PORTA S. ANDREA

A GENOESE "ROOF GARDEN"

VIEW OF GENOA FROM THE PUBLIC GARDENS

GARDEN OF THE VILLA ROSAZZA

THE HARBOUR, GENOA

PALAZZO DI SAN GIORGIO ....
THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN LORENZO

SAN GIOVANNI DI PR^

LA LANTERNA

SAN MATTEO, THE CLOISTERS

FOUNTAIN OF NEPTUNE, PALAZZO d' ORIA .



IN MONOTONE

BORGO de' LANIERI „ lO

COURTYARD OF THE PALAZZO DELL' UNI-

versitA „ 24

{^Photograph, Sciutto, Genoci)

THE VIA NUOVA (NOW THE VIA GARIBALDI) „ 30

ALBERGO DEI POVERI „ 42

THE CHURCH OF SANT' AMBROGIO . . „ 58

STA MARIA IN CARIGNANO .... „ 72

THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN LORENZO . . „ I16

SAN LORENZO, CHAPEL OF ST JOHN BAPTIST „ 122

THE CITY AND HARBOUR OF GENOA . . „ 1 30

PIAZZA CARICAMENTO „ 1 44



Frontispiece


face page


18


11


34


11


50


It


66


v>


84


»


94


f)


114





132


11


136


11


226


11


256



GENOA



PALAZZO DUCALE ....
PORTA PILA

(Photograph, Sciufto, Ge?wa)

THE "MADONNA DEGLI OREFICI "
PALAZZO PALLAVICINI .
THE CHURCH OF THE ANNUNZIATA
INTERIOR OF THE ANNUNZIATA .
PALACE OF ANDREA D' ORIA, PIAZZA

MATTEO

THE CHURCH OF SAN MATTEO

THE "GALLERIA DEGLI EROI "

( Photograph, Sciutto, Genoa)

PORTRAIT OF ANDREA D' ORIA .



SAN



To face page


152


)5


170


It


186





192


J5


198


)>


206


n


220


»


228


)>


246



248



Except rvhere otherwise acknozuledged, the Monototie Illustrations are from
photographs by A. NOACK, Genoa.



LIST OF BOOKS

AcciNELLi. Compendio della Storia di Geneva. Genoa, 1777.

ACCINELLI. Notizie su Geneva, Famiglie nobili, etc. MS. in
Universita, Genoa.

Alizeri. Guida Artistica per la Citta di Genova. Genoa, Gron-
doni, 1846.

Alizeri. Notizie dei Professori del Disegno in Liguria. Genoa,
Sambolino, 1870.

Amelot de la Houssaye. Histoire du Gouvernement de
Venise, Paris, 1676.

Archivio Storico Italiano.

Arias. La Congiura di G. C. Vacchero. Florence 1897.

Atti della Socletk Ligure di Storia Patria.

Banchero. II Duomo di Genova. Genoa, Ferrando, 1855.

Belgrano. Della Vita di Andrea D' Oria di F. D. Guerrazzi e
di altri recenti scritti, etc. (In Arch. Stor. It., 3rd series,
vol. iv. part i.)

Belgrano. Vita Privata de' Genovesi. Genoa, Sordo-muti, 1875.

Bent. J. T. Genoa, How the Republic rose and fell. London,
Kegan Paul, 1881.

BiANCHi. Riflessioni sulla Grandezza e Decadenza della Re-
pubblica di Genova. Genoa, 1797.

Bizaro. Senatus Populique Genuensis Historia. Antwerp, 1579.

Blondus. Blondi Flavii Forliuiesis Historiaru. Venice, 1483.

BONFADIO. Annales Genuenses. Italian version published by
Canepa, Genoa, 1870.

Dal BORGO. Dissertazione sopra I'Istoria Pisana. Pisa, 1761-8.

BOSCASSI. lUustrazione storica dello Stemma di Genova. Genoa,
Pagano, 1903.

Brea. Sulla Congiura, del Conte G. L. Fieschi ; Documenti
inediti, etc. Genoa, Sambolini, 1863.

Brea. II Ch. Sig. Cav. E. Celesia e i Documenti inediti, etc.
Genoa, 1865.



xii GENOA

BreqUIGNY. Histoire des Revolutions de Genes jusqu'en 1748.
Paris (?), 1752.

BUONINCONTRI. Annales. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xxi.

BUONINSEGNI. Istoria Fiorentina. Florence, 1580.

Caffaro. Annales. In Rer. It. Script., vol. vi.

Canale. Nuova Istoria della Repubblica di Genova. Florence,
Le Monnier, 1858.

Canale. Storia della Repubblica di Genova dall' anno 1528-
1550. Genoa, Sordomuti, 1874.

Capelloni. Vita del Prencipe Andrea D' Oria. Venice, 1565.

CapellONI. La Congiura di Gian Luigi Fieschi, con note e
documenti di A. Olivieri. Genoa, Beuf, 1858.

Carbone. Compendio della Storia della Liguria. Genoa,
Carbone, 1836.

Caresino. Chronicon. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xii.

Casoni. Storia del Bombardamento di Genova. Genoa, Sordo-
muti, 1877.

Casoni. Annali della Repubblica di Genova del secolo decimo-
sesto. Genoa, 1708.

Casoni. Successi del Contagio della Liguria negli anni 1656-
1657. Genoa, Pagano, 1831.

Celesia. Conspiracy of Gian Luigi Fieschi, or Genoa in the
sixteenth century. (English version of that published in
Genoa by the Sordo-muti in 1865.)

Celesta. Storie Genovesi del Secolo XVIII. Genoa, Sordo-
muti, 1855.

Chinazzo. Cronaca della Guerra di Chiozza. In Rer. It. Script.,

vol. XV.

CiPRiCUS. Historian! Genuensiumab anno 1099 usque ad annum
1435. MS. in Beriana Library, Genoa.

CONTUSio. Historiae. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xii.

CoRTESE. De direptione Genua?, 1522. Genoa, Tip. archi-
episcopali, 1865.

CUNEO. Memorie sopra 1' antico Debito Pubblico . . . e Banca
di San Giorgio in Genova. Genoa, Sordo-muti, 1842.

QURITA. Anales de la Corona de Aragon. Saragossa, 16 10.

Dandolo. Chronicon Venetum. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xii.

Daru. Histoire de la Rdpublique de Venise. Paris, Didot
Frferes, 1821.

Deza. Istoria della Famigha Spinola. Piacenza, Bazachi, 1694.



LIST OF BOOKS xiii

DiEDO. Istoria della Repubblica di Venezia. Venice, Poletti,
1751.

DOMENICHI. Storia di Fatti e Detti degni di Memoria. Venice,
1558.

D' Oria. Chiesa di San Matleo in Genoa. Genoa, Sordo-muti,
i860.

D' Oria. Storia di Genova negli anni 1745-6-7. Genoa (?),

1748.
Facius. De Bello Veneto Clodiano Liber. Lyons, 1568.

Fanucci. Storia dei tre celebri Popoli Marittimi d' Italia,
Veneziani, Genovesi e Pisani. Pisa, Pieraccini, 1817-1822.

Ferrari. Liguria trionfante delle principali Nazioni del Monde.
Genoa, 1643.

FOGLIETTA. Clarorum Ligurum Eulogia. Rome, 1573.

Foglietta. Historiae Genuensium. Genoa, 1585.

FoGLiETTA. Delle Cose della Repubblica di Genova. Milan
and Lyons, 1575.

Frederici. Lettera dell' 111. mo F.F. al Sig. Gasparo Scioppio.
Milan, Bidelli, 1634.

Frederici. Della Famiglia Fiesca trattato. Genoa, 1560.

Gaggiero. Compendio delle Storie di Genova, 1777- 1797. Genoa,
tip. Como, 185 1.

Gallo. Genuensis Opuscola Historica. In Rer. It. Script., vol.
xxiii.

Gatari. Chronicon Patavinum. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xvii.

Genala. II Palazzo di San Giorgio in Genova. Florence, Landi,
1889.

Giustiniani. Gli Scrittori Liguri. Rome, 1667.

GlUSTlNlANi. Annali della Repubblica di Genova. Ferrando,

1834.
Grassi. I Vescovi di Genova, etc. Genoa, della Gioventu, 1872.

Grassi. De Prioribus Sanctisque Genuensium episcopis discep-
tatis. Genoa, 1864.

Guerrazzi. Vita di Andrea D' Oria. Milan, Guigoni, 1864.

Imperiale. Caffaro e i Suoi Tempi. Turin, Roux, 1894.

Interiano. Ristretto della Storia di Genova. Lucca, 1551.

Lanzani. Storia dei Comuni Italiani, dalle Origini al 1313.
Milan, Vallardi, 1882.

Lanzi. Storia Pittorica della Italia. Milan, Soc. Tip. de'
Classici Italiani, 1824.



xiv GENOA

Laugier. Histoire de la Republique de Venise. Paris, Duchesne,
1759-1768.

Leggi et Riformi della Eccelsa Repubblica di Genova fatti da
dodici prestantissimi cittadini nell' 1528. Pavia, 1575.

Lercari. Sulle Discordie Civili nella Cittk di Genova. MS.
in University library, Genoa.

LUMBROSO. Sulla Storia dei Genovesi avanti in MC. Turin,
Stamperia Reale, 1872.

Mailly. Histoire de la Republique de Genes. Paris, 1696.
Malleson. Studies from Genoese History. London, Longmans
Green, 1875.

Malnate. Della Storia del Porto di Genova. Genoa, Sordo-
muti, 1892.

Manno. Bibliografia di Genova. Genoa, Sordo-muti, 1898.

Marangone. Vetus Chronicon Pisanum. In Arch. Stor. It.,
vol. vi. part ii.

Marangone. Chronache Pisane. In Rer. It. Script. Tartini,
vol. i.

MeCATTI. Guerra di Genova . . . tra i Gallispan-Liguri e i,
Sard-Austriaci. Naples, Di Sinione, 1749.

Merli and Belgrano. II Palazzo D' Oria a Fassuolo. Genoa,
Sordo-muti, 1874.

Le Mesurier. Genoa, her History as written in her Buildings.
Genoa, Donath.

Morisotus. Orbis Maritimi sive Rerum in Mari Gestarum.
Dijon, 1643.

Muratori. Annales d' Italia.

De Mussi. Chronicon Placentinum. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xvi.

Naugerio. Storia Veneziana. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xxiii.

Olivieri. Monete e Medaglie della Spinola. Genoa, Sordo-
muti, i860.

Olivieri. Un Medaglione Storico Genovesi dell' 1626. Genoa,
Sordo-muti, 1862.

Olivieri. Monete, Medaglie e Sigilli dei Principi D' Oria.
Genoa, Sordo-muti, 1858.

Perosio. Simone Boccanegra. Milan, Ricordi, 1881.

PiPlNUS. Chronicon. In Rer. It. Script., vol. ix.

Prato. La Chiesa della SS. Nunziata del Guastato. Genoa,
Sambolino, 1899.

Prato. La Chiesa di San Siro. Genoa, Della Gioventu, 1900.



LIST OF BOOKS xv

Ratti. Vite de' Pittori, Scultori, etc., Genovesi. Genoa,

Casamara, 1769.
Redusio de Quero. Chronicon Tarvisinutn. In Rer. It. Script.,

vol. xix.
RiCHTER. Vie d' Andre Doria. Paris, Belin, 1789.

RoccA. Pese e Misure antiche di Geneva. Genoa, Sordo-

muti, 1871.
RONCIONI. Delle Istorie Pisane. In Arch. Stor. It., vol. vi,
Rossi. Di Galeazzo Alessi, architetto perugino. Perugia,

1873-
Rossi. Storia di San Remo. San Remo, Gandolfi, 1867.
Rossi. Storia di Ventimiglia. Turin, 1859.

Rossi. Gli Statuti della Liguria e Geneva. In Atti di Stor. Pat.,
1878.

Sabellico. Historiee Rerum Venetarum. 1718.

Sansovino. Delia Origine e de' Fatti delle Famiglie Illustri
d' Italia. Venice, 1582.

Sanuto. Chronicon Venetum. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xxiv.

Saraceni. Fatti d' Arme Famosi. Venice, 1600.

Sardo. Cronaca Pisana dall' anno 962 sino al 1400. In Arch.
Stor. It.

Sauli. Della Colonia de' Genovesi in Galata. Turin, Cassone,

1831.
Semeria. Storia Ecclesiastica di Geneva e della Liguria.

Turin, Canefari, 1838.

Semeria. Secoli Cristiani della Liguria. Turin, Chirio and
Mina, 1843.

Senarega. De Rebus Genuensibus, Commentaria. In Rer. It.
Script., vol. xxiv.

Serra. Storia dell' antica Liguria e di Genova. Turin, Pomba,

1834.
SiGONio. Delia Vita at Fatti di Andrea D' Oria, Prencipe di

Melfi. Genoa, Pavoni, 1598.

SiSMONDi. Histoire des Republiques Italiennes. Paris, Treuttel
and Wurtz, 1826.

Soprani. Vite de Pittori, Scoltori et Architetti Genovesi.
Genoa, Bettaro, 1674.

Spinola. Commentarii delle Cose,Successe a Genovesi dal 1572
a 1576. Genoa, Ferrando, 1838.

Spotorno. Storia Letteraria della Liguria. Genoa, 1824.



xvi GENOA

Spotorno. Elogi di Liguri Illustri. Genoa, Tip. Archiepiscopale,

1838.
Stella, G. Annales Genuenses. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xvii.

Della Torre. Congiura Vaccheriana. In Arch. Stor. It., vol.
Hi., appendix.

Tronci. Annali Pisani. Pisa, Valenti, 1868.

Varagine. Chronicon Januense. In Rer. It. Script., vol. ix.

Varese. Storia della Repubblica di Genova. Genoa, 1836.

Varnl Tarsia ed Intaglie . . . San Lorenzo. 1878.

Veneroso. Genio Ligure Risvegliato. Genoa, 1650.

Veroggio. Genova ed i Bonibardamenti da Mare. Genoa,
Sordo-muti, 1891.

Villani, G. Historia Universalis. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xiii.

ViLLANi, M. Istorie. In Rer. It. Script., vol. xiv.

ViLLARL Le Invasioni Barbariche in Italia. Milan, Hoepli,
1901.

Vincens. Histoire de la Republique de Genes. Paris, Didot
Freres, 1842.



GENOA

CHAPTER I

THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE CITY

THE majority of Italian cities trace back their
origin to some conveniently remote period of
which there is no certain record, and Genoa is
no exception to the rule. Nothing short of a tradition
which included Abraham and Noah would satisfy the
Genoese of old time ; and, as the legend has been
carved over the nave arches of San Lorenzo ever
since 1307, and this has become, so to speak, the
official version, it may be conveniently quoted here
before engaging in affairs deserving of better credence.
"Janus, the first King of Italy, and descended from
the Giants, founded Genoa on this spot in the time
of Abraham ; and Janus, Prince of Troy, skilled in
astronomy, while sailing in search of a place wherein
to dwell in healthfulness and security, came to the
same Genoa founded by Janus, King of Italy and
great-grandson (pronepos) of Noah ; and seeing that
the sea and the encompassing hills seemed in all
things convenient, he increased it in fame and
greatness."

It is a little curious that with this for their creed
the Genoese were agreeably surprised when, during
some excavations commenced in 1898 near the Via
Giulia, a quantity of vases and sepulchral ornaments,



2 GENOA

dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.,
were unearthed ; for although Genoa had always stren-
uously maintained the story of her vast antiquity, it
must be confessed that the material evidences were
tenuous in the extreme. The successive descents of
barbarian invaders had robbed her of all monuments
previous to the year 900, with the single exception
of a bronze tablet dating back to Roman days, which
was dug up near the city in 1507, and is now
preserved in the Palazzo Comunale.

Livy tells us that, in B.C. 206, Mago sacked the
town ; and three years afterwards it was rebuilt by
decree of the Roman consuls. In the reign of Hadrian
a species of autonomous government was granted to
all the cities of Italy, and it is to be supposed that
Genoa profited by this concession. But when Rome's
grasp slackened, and the barbarians were at the throat
of Rome herself, Genoa felt the loss of her once
powerful ally. Theodoric and the Goths sacked the
town in 538, Alberic and his Lombards took possession
of it in 588, and in 670 it was again sacked, by
Rotharis, who, by destroying the walls and forbidding
the Genoese to rebuild them, left the city an easy prey
to the Saracens.^

The Lombards do not seem to have stayed in Genoa,
and long after the conquest the city remained under
such control as Byzantium could exert, and began to
develop its independence. The advent of Charlemagne
in 800 had its due effect on Genoa, which became
a contado ; and the first Count, Ademarus, was in-
structed to protect the coast against the Saracens.
According to Foglietta - he armed a fleet in Genoa, and

1 Lumbroso, Sulla Storia del Genovesi avanti il MC.
^ Foglietta, Historue Genuensium.



EARLY HISTORY OF THE CITY 3

driving the infidels from Corsica, was subsequently
confirmed in the possession of the island by the Pope.^

When the Carlovingian dynasty fell Genoa was
strong enough to " reconstitute herself in liberty " ;
and it is in the year 888 that the first consuls are
supposed to have been elected " from the remains of
the old aristocracy arising out of the feudal system
which, during the Prankish dominion, had been estab-
lished in the neighbouring territories ; and whose
representatives had been induced by personal motives
to become Genoese citizens, forming at a later date
the military and commercial nobilta of the Republic.^

Little attempt seems to have been made to cope
with the Saracens after the departure of the Franks ;
and in 936 the city was sacked and burnt, while the
terrified inhabitants fled to the hills for safety. But
in the same year ships were built to protect the
coast, while a citadel and protective walls were hastily
constructed. In 958 Berengarius III. and Adalbert
confirmed the privileges of the Commune of Genoa,
officially recognising the regime which had begun
in 888 ; and the Republic of Genoa may be said to
date its existence from this all important diploma.

The regular chronicles do not commence for another
century, when the city had already begun to make
those strides along the path of progress which in
course of time rendered it one of Italy's most
prosperous states. Already San Remo and Ceriana

^ Canale, Nuova Istoria della Repubblica di Geneva, vol. i. p. 73,
endeavours to prove that Ademarus was Count of Geneva, basing his
argument on the confusion caused by the term Civitas Genuensis, which
meant equally Genoa or Geneva. It is scarcely likely, however, that
Geneva would be called upon to supply a fleet for service in the
Mediterranean.

'■* Lanzani, Storia del Comuni Italianif p. 120.



4 GENOA

had become feuds of the church, the first step in the
subjection of the Riviera ; the struggle with Pisa had
begun in 1070, and formed a prelude to unceasing
maritime wars ; the galleys supplied to Godfrey de
Bouillon for the Crusade of 1097 brought about the
commencement of commercial activity ; ancV in 1099
Genoa obtained her first colonies in Palestine as a
reward for services rendered at the siege of Jerusalem,,
a city that had defied the efforts of the Crusaders
until the arrival of Guglielmo Embriaco with certain
high and portable towers, by means of which the
attackers were enabled to command the battlements
of the walls. These towers were dragged to the edge
of the fosse, and a shower of projectiles and " Greek
fire" poured through the loopholes at the defenders.
A light breeze blew in the faces of the Saracens, and
taking advantage of it, the Christians set light to the
upper portion of the defences, and blinded the enemy
with the smoke. There remained no other course for
them but to desert the walls, and the Genoese were
enabled to fill up the ditch unmolested. The towers
were brought up to the face of the wall, but when the
landing bridges were run out the Saracens opposed
them with a hastily contrived battering ram, which
successfully kept the attack at bay. Each time the
great beam swung out the tower shuddered under the
stroke, and the attempt was in danger of failing. At
length the Genoese tied a bill-hook on a long pole,
caught the swaying ropes of the ram, and, severing
them, sent it crashing into the fosse below. The
bridges were run out once more, and de Bouillon,
followed by his brother and a handful of men, leapt
down on to the walls, opened the city gates, and
admitted the Christian army.



EARLY HISTORY OF THE CITY 5

From 1099 onwards the history of Genoa is clear
and authentic. Caffaro has left us an inestimably
valuable record of the events of his own days, and
his annals were continued by public decree until 1293.
He tells us that " CafFarus, when he was twenty years
of age, began to write down and note the names of
the Consuls of Genoa, and all the things which they
had caused to be done." ^ He records the changes
made in the consular government as well as the growth
and development of the colonies which formed so
important a factor in the subsequent wealth of the
city.

There was, of course, an excellent reason why the
energy of the Genoese developed thus early its tendency
towards expansion into foreign lands. The whole of
Italy was divided into small parcels, each of which
was under the sway of a city whose population and
spirit of enterprise was greatly disproportionate to
the extent of her territories. With the land powers
this inevitable desire for expansion led to the invasion
of neighbouring rights, and drew each town into a
duel to the death with its nearest neighbour. The
maritime powers, Genoa, Pisa and Venice, were
differently situated. Genoa at least had nothing
much to boast of beyond her harbour and her
mountainous possessions. Inland it was practically
impossible for her to expand : but all that might be
reduced to her control she grasped in no uncertain
manner, and the whole Mediterranean coast from
Monaco to Spezia was quickly brought to submission.
Beyond this narrow strip of land, however, she was
hemmed in by the Alps and Apennines, which
rendered further advance impossible. True, she had

^ Caffarus, Aimales, in Muratori, Rerum Italicaruin Scriptores, vol. vi.



6 GENOA

more or less of a high road into Lombardy by the
valleys of the Polcevera and Bisagno, but beyond
them lay the greater power of Milan, which effectually
excluded ambitious hopes in this direction. As a
consequence the only hope of expansion lay in the
development of her sea power and the accretion of
foreign possessions, Pisa, with Florence and Lucca
at hand to limit her territories, and the Arno for a
harbour, was somewhat similarly situated, and both
republics turned their attention first to Sardinia and
Corsica, and later to the Crimea and the coasts of
Syria. It was inevitable that both should covet the
same lands : and a condition of desperate rivalry
arose in which neither could hope for peace until the
other were crushed. Each strove restlessly for the
favour of greater powers, and when Pisa contrived to
enlist the help of the Emperors, Genoa replied by
becoming fervently Guelf. It is impossible to follow
all the details of the struggle, but it may be of interest
to mention the pretexts on which the rivals let loose
the dogs of war.

It has already been recorded that the Genoese had
driven the Saracens from Corsica and occupied the
island ; and in 1050 the Pisans, exhorted thereto by
the Pope, endeavoured to do the same in Sardinia ; ^
but, finding themselves weatherbound, had taken pos-
session of Corsica instead. These quarrels led to
active warfare in 1 1 1 9, peace being made in 1 1 3 3
through the good offices of the Pope, who, in order to
remove at least one of Genoa's grievances, made the see
of San Lorenzo an archbishopric in the same year.

^ It was eventually taken in 1115 by the Genoese and Pisans. Pisa
claimed that the Genoese had agreed to accept all the booty taken as her
share of the spoils, leaving the possession of the land to Pisa.



Online LibraryRobert Walter CardenThe city of Genoa → online text (page 1 of 27)