Caffaro, Genoa and the Twelfth-Century Crusades: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Caffaro, Genoa and the Twelfth-Century Crusades

1st Edition

By Martin Hall


280 pages

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Hardback: 9781409428602
pub: 2013-09-27
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pub: 2016-04-15
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This volume provides the first comprehensive English translation, with a substantial introduction and notes, of the writings of Caffaro of Genoa, as well as related texts and documents on Genoa and the crusades. The majority of early crusading historiography is from a northern European and clerical perspective. Here is a very different voice, one with a more secular, Mediterranean tone. To see the similarities and differences with the mainstream sources offers an exciting new dimension to our understanding of the reception of crusading ideas in the Mediterranean and, given Genoa’s prominence in the commercial world, can help to illuminate the complex and controversial relationship between holy war and financial gain. Caffaro’s main composition, the ’Annals’ of Genoa, began with the First Crusade and extended down to 1163. It also covers the city’s dealings with the Papacy, the German Empire, Sicily, Muslim Spain, and Pisa, as well as the development of Genoa itself. Sections from Caffaro’s continuators take the story down to the Third Crusade. Caffaro’s two other texts are exclusively about the crusades: ’The Liberation of the Cities of the East’ and ’The Capture of Almería and Tortosa’, while associated with him but of a later date is the ’Short History of Jerusalem’. Alongside these narratives are a number of charters and letters that relate to, and complement, the main texts. These relate to matters such as Genoese privileges in the Holy Land and form a valuable resource in their own right. Placed alongside Caffaro’s narratives they can show the blend of commercial energy, civic pride and religious conviction that were the basis of Genoese activity in the complex world of the medieval Mediterranean.


'This will be of interest to students and scholars of the Crusades, of Genoa, of Byzantine-Genoese relations, and the history of Mediterranean trade, warfare, and diplomacy in the pivotal twelfth century. … this represents another fine and useful addition to Ashgate's series, "Crusade Texts in Translation."' Comitatus 'Highly recommended.' Choice 'The quality of the translations is uniformly outstanding as was the process of selecting which documents to translate from the great mass of surviving Genoese charters, treaties, and political documents.' Speculum

About the Author

Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; Martin Hall is an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

About the Series

Crusade Texts in Translation

The crusading movement, which originated in the 11th century and lasted beyond the 16th, bequeathed to its future historians a legacy of sources which are unrivalled in their range and variety. These sources document in fascinating detail the motivations and viewpoints, military efforts and spiritual lives, of the participants in the crusades. They also narrate the internal histories of the states and societies which crusaders established or supported in the many regions where they fought. Some of these sources have been translated in the past but the vast majority have been available only in their original language. The goal of this series is to provide a wide ranging corpus of texts, most of them translated for the first time, which will illuminate the history of the crusades and the crusader-states from every angle, including that of their principal adversaries, the Muslim powers of the Middle East.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval