Medieval Amalfi and its Diaspora, 800-1250

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-19
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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'Rich in gold and cloths'? This is the first full-length study of the history of medieval maritime republic of Amalfi that addresses both the internal political, social, and economic history of Amalfi - as an independent city-state, under Norman rule and as part of the Kingdom of Sicily - and the history of its diaspora, those Amalfitans who left temporarily or permanently and whose activities contributed to the image of their home city as a thriving centre specialising in the luxury end of the market. In reuniting these two disparate strands of its history, Patricia Skinner argues that, instead of being seen in opposition to each other, the very different evidence presented by the internal documentary archives and the narrative accounts of external observers can and should be utilised to reconstruct the ties which bound the emigrants to their home city. By taking a prosopographical approach, she reveals the presence of Amalfitans in many parts of the Italian peninsula and further afield in the Mediterranean. At the same time, she critically re-examines some of the externally-generated views of Amalfitan wealth, suggesting that these may have as much - or more - to do with literary and patronage networks as with the actual situation on the ground.

Author Biography

Patricia Skinner is currently a Research Associate at Swansea University, having taken a career break, and was previously Reader in Medieval History at the University of Southampton. She has published widely in the field of Italian medieval social history, with particular interests in the histories of women and minority groups, medicine and family structures. She is currently working on a history of facial mutilation in the middle ages.

Table of Contents

Part I: Amalfi
1. The Problem of Information
2. Setting the Scene: Landscape and Urban Settlements
3. Inhabiting Amalfi: the Structures of Society
4. Exploiting Amalfi: Land, Production, and Enterprise
5. Religious life: Church and Community
6. Ruling Amalfi: the Components of Power
Part II: Amalfitans
7. Families and the Ties of Kinship
8. Leaving the City: the Amalfitan Diaspora in Italy
9. Leaving Italy: Amalfitans in the Eastern Mediterranean
10. Expanding Horizons: Amalfitans in the Western Mediterranean
Conclusion: Challenging the Dichotomy
Appendix I: The Rulers of Amalfi, 839-1250

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