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The Republic of Genoa

The History of the Italian City that Became Influential Across the Mediterranean During the Middle Ages
Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
Length: 1 hr and 24 mins

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Publisher's Summary

If Venice, Florence, and Rome are the top three, they are often followed by Pisa, Sienna, and Naples, not to mention the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Indeed, Genoa would come towards the end of a much longer list, and it might be most closely associated with its famous native son, Christopher Columbus, who ultimately sailed for Spain. For avid tourists, Genoa might be the port of call for those wishing to visit the stunning Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast nearby, and for an expert in world politics, the city of Genoa might recall the memories of the tragic events of the 27th G8 summit in July 2001, when, at the height of the anti-globalization movement, protests turned violent and resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani. In today’s news, Genoa might represent Italy’s crumbling infrastructure and the apparent powerlessness of its government to repair it - on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, one of the main bridges of the city, the Morandi Bridge, collapsed, killing 43 people and leaving 600 homeless. The bridge’s demise also destroyed Italy’s reputation as an expert in mechanical engineering.

Although Genoa cannot compete in the popular imagination with some of Italy’s more famous cities, this busy port town perched above the sea once boasted a powerful empire that rivaled that of Venice. It also lasted for roughly the same time period, rising in the early Middle Ages and coming to an end at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte near the end of the 18th century. Beyond its own success, the city’s position at the head of the Mediterranean gave it an important strategic location from which to observe Italian and European history, as well as the world beyond. Today, historians are starting to correct the imbalance that has focused on Venice, Florence, and Rome, and new histories are gradually introducing Genoa to the world, even as much remains to be uncovered.

The Republic of Genoa: The History of the Italian City that Became Influential across the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages examines the highs and lows of Genoa La Superba (“The Proud”), including its humble origins in the first century CE, its felicitous rise after the fall of the Roman Empire, its golden age as a mercantile power during the “Genoese Century,” and its demise at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797.

©2019 Charles River Editors (P)2019 Charles River Editors

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