A Companion to Medieval Genoa


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A Companion to Medieval Genoa introduces non-specialists to recent scholarship on the vibrant and source-rich medieval history of Genoa. Focusing mostly on the eleventh to fifteenth centuries, the volume positions the city of Genoa and the Genoese within the broader history of the Italian peninsula and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. Thematic contributions highlight the interdependence of local, regional, and international concerns, and serve as a helpful corrective to the traditional overemphasis of Florence and Venice in the English-language historiography of medieval Italy. The volume thus offers a fresh perspective on the history of medieval Italy—as well as a handy introduction to the riches of the Genoese archives—to undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars in related fields.
Contributors are Ross Balzaretti, Carrie E. Beneš, Denise Bezzina, Roberta Braccia, Luca Filangieri, George L. Gorse, Paola Guglielmotti, Thomas Kirk, Sandra Macchiavello, Merav Mack, Jeffrey Miner, Rebecca Müller, Antonio Musarra, Sandra Origone, Giovanna Petti Balbi, Valeria Polonio, Gervase Rosser, Antonella Rovere, Stefan Stantchev, and Carlo Taviani.

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Carrie E. Beneš, PhD. (UCLA, 2004), is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at New College of Florida and the author of Urban Legends: Civic Identity & the Classical Past in Northern Italy, 1250–1350 (Penn State, 2011).
"[This is] a work that emphasizes connections between the Genoese local and remote, comprehensively fleshed out in the book's maps, figures, glossary, and eighteen essay-length chapters... the text remains accessible throughout, aimed for an audience familiar with but not necessarily expert on the material at hand... the collection pushes the reader to see the Genoa beyond its designated latitude and longitude, to understand, in this post-spatial-turn world, that the Genoa of the middle ages was conceptualized, exported, and even commoditized by its inhabitants and interlocutors throughout the medieval Mediterranean and beyond. Benes's collection does what few recent works of Italian medieval history dare to do, that is, to recognize and detail how the inhabitants of the peninsula were connected to each other and to the far-flung artistic, cultural, intellectual, and political environments in which they and their cities played significant roles. It is a model I hope other Italianists will follow, one that re-centers the peninsula, its inhabitants, and those who passed through it within the larger discussion of medieval history." Laura K. Morreale, in The Medieval Review 19.04.10.

"The contributors to this volume have created an invaluable guide to the history and historiography of medieval Genoa; I wish that it had been available when I was a graduate student. [...] This companion presents a well-rounded introduction to Genoese history that should help diversify the avenues of future research in productive ways.[...] This volume succeeds as both an introduction for newcomers to the study of Genoa and a reference for experts". Hannah Barker, Renaissance Quarterly , 73 (2), pp. 671-672.

"Carrie E. Beneš' Companion is a wonderful, high-caliber, and heavyweight compendium of medieval Genoa. It provides the reader with not only useful starting points and indications of primary sources but also excellent appraisals of the state of research, as well as succinct overviews on complex theme. [...] A very comprehensive and thorough guide, this will no doubt be a most useful starting and reference point; a passage obligé not only for scholars embarking on research on Genoa but also for seasoned specialists of Genoese history". Georg Christ, in Speculum, 96 (3), July 2021.
Students and scholars of: commerce and colonialism; the Crusades; society, urban development, and/or material culture in medieval Italy; anyone seeking an accessible introduction to the medieval history of Genoa.
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