mercoledì 15 aprile 2009

Amalfi_Repubbliche Marinare

An independent republic from the seventh century until 1075, it rivalled Pisa and Genoa in its domestic prosperity and maritime importance, before the rise of Venice. In spite of some devastating setbacks it had a population of some 70,000, reaching an apogee about the turn of the millennium, during the reign of Duke Manso (966–1004). Under his line of dukes, Amalfi remained independent, except for a brief period of Salernitan dependency under Guaimar IV.
In 1073 it fell to the Norman countship of Apulia, but was granted many rights. A prey to the Normans who encamped in the south of Italy, it became one of their principal posts. However, in 1131, it was reduced by King Roger II of Sicily, who had been refused the keys to its citadel. The Holy Roman Emperor Lothair, fighting in favour of Pope Innocent II against Roger, who sided with the Antipope Anacletus, took him prisoner in 1133, assisted by forty-six Pisan ships. The city was sacked by the Pisans, commercial rivals of the Amalfitani; Lothair claimed as part of the booty a copy of the Pandects of Justinian which was found there.

Repubbliche Marinare

The Repubbliche Marinare (Italian for "Maritime Republics") is the collective name of a number of important city-states which flourished in Italy and Dalmatia in the middle ages. Traditionally the major four are taken to be Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, whose coats of arms appear in the flag of the Marina Militare (Italian Navy). These states competed with each other both militarily and commercially. From the 10th to the 13th centuries these cities built fleets of ships both for their own protection and to support extensive trade networks across the Mediterranean, and had an essential role in the Crusades. As they found themselves in competition, these republics engaged in shifting alliances and warfare.
The four classic Maritime Republics in Italy are the ones given above, and they are always given in that order, reflecting the temporal sequence of their dominance. However, other towns in Italy also have a history of being Maritime Republics, though historically less prominent. These include Gaeta, Ancona, Molfetta, Trani and, in Dalmatia, Ragusa and Zara.
The Maritime Republics were city-states. They were generally republics in that they were formally independent, though most of them originated from territories once belonging to the Byzantin Empire(the main exceptions being Genoa and Pisa). All these cities during the time of their independence had similar (though not identical) systems of government in which the merchant class had considerable power.
The Maritime Republics were heavily involved in the Crusades, providing support but most especially taking advantage of the political and trading opportunities resulting from these wars. The Fourth Crusade, notionally intended to "liberate" Jerusalem, actually entailed the Venetian conquest of Zara and Constantinople.
Each of the Maritime Republics over time had dominion over different overseas lands, including many of the islands of the Mediterranean and especially Sardinia and Corsica, lands on the Adriatic, Aegean Sea and Black Sea (Crimea), and commercial colonies in the Near East and North Africa.