The Takeoff, 1154-1204
In this chapter four themes define a half century of Genoa's history. The sources permit a closer look at economic development and the legal system needed to sustain it. Powerful people created the law and the medieval commune, which in turn were making Liguria into a compact Genoese state. Inside the commune, factionalism resulted from struggles over power, while outside the same players had to deal with enemies like the Pisans or potential threats such as the emperors of the Germans and the Byzantines. Finally, the sources illuminate genoa's spiritual landscape by showing how people took care of their own souls as well as social problems. A medieval commune in genoa developed an economy, a legal system, a political life, and a style of charity very different from what was happening in the feudal monarchies dominating much of Europe.