Genoa is a historic port city located in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy.
Genoa | c. 0-700 AD
It is one of the most important and influential cities in Italian history, with a rich maritime heritage, cultural significance, and architectural beauty. Genoa has a long and storied history that dates back to ancient times. The area is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it’s been inhabited since the fifth or fourth millenium BC. The first oppidum (fortification or town) was probably founded by the ancient Ligurians, an indigenous people of the Italian peninsula.
In antiquity, Genoa’s location made it attractive to Phoenician traders, who established a presence in the region. The Greeks also established settlements along the Ligurian coast, including the colony of Stalia near modern-day Genoa.
Genoa came under Roman control as part of the Roman Republic’s expansion in the Mediterranean region. The Romans recognized the strategic value of Genoa’s port and established it as a colony known as Colonia Iulia Augusta Firma Populonia, reflecting its Romanization. Genoa flourished under Roman rule, becoming an important hub for maritime trade and commerce. The city’s economy benefited from its connection to other Roman cities, including those in the nearby provinces of Gaul and Hispania.
In the late Roman period, Genoa faced the challenges of barbarian invasions by various groups such as the Visigoths and Vandals. The city’s defenses were strengthened to resist these invasions, reflecting the uncertain times of the declining Western Roman Empire.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Genoa came under Byzantine control, but it faced Lombard incursions from the north. The Lombards established a presence in the region, and Genoa became part of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy.
During the early medieval period, Genoa experienced shifts in rulership between the Lombards, Franks (Merovingians), and Carolingians. The city’s strategic location continued to play a role in its interactions with neighboring territories.
Throughout this perid, Genoa maintained its maritime connections and participated in Mediterranean trade networks. The city’s culture was shaped by a blend of Roman, Byzantine, and local influences.
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470