Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Italian: Genova
Ligurian: Zêna

Genoa is a historic port city located on the northwest coast of Italy.

Genoese soldiers were considered among the best in the Emperor of Rome’s armies, and Lucius brought many of them, including a number of giants, to France when he waged war against King Arthur.

Genoa | 2nd century BC – 9th century 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.

Ancient Ligurian Settlements
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 ancient Indo-European people. The Ligurians had interactions with neighboring civilizations, including the Etruscans and Celts.

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.

Roman Period | 2nd century BC – 5th century AD
Genoa – then known as Genua – came under Roman control in the second century BC, during the expansion of the Roman Republic in northern Italy. 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.

Late Roman and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th centuries
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. The Lombards, a Germanic people, established control over parts of Italy, and Genoa became part of the Lombard Kingdom.

Byzantine Influence | 6th – 8th centuries
During the Byzantine Empire’s rule in Italy, Genoa experienced some degree of influence from Byzantine culture and governance. The region, including Genoa, saw changes in rulership and administrative structures during this period.

Ligurian Autonomy and Local Governance
The decline of centralized imperial rule allowed for a degree of local autonomy in various regions. In the absence of strong central authority, local communities, including Genoa, developed their governance structures and began to assert a degree of independence.

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.

See also
Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur
Greece | The Legend of King Arthur

Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470