Republic of Genoa


August 19, 2022

The Republic of Genoa (Repúbrica de Zêna, / ɾe'pybɾika de 'ze: na / in Genoese, Res publica Genuensis or Ianuensis in Latin; officially from 1528 Compagna Communis Ianuensis and until 1580 Serenissima Repubblica of Genoa) was a maritime republic , existing from 1099 to 1797, which had the city of Genoa as its capital.During the late Middle Ages it was one of the main trading powers of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, while between the 16th and 17th centuries it represented one of the major financial poles in Europe. During its history of over seven centuries, Genoa established several colonies across the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, some of them were established directly under the patronage of the authorities of the Republic to support the economy of local merchants, while others were born as feudal possessions. of Genoese nobles. The Genoese colonization is considered the medieval antecedent of modern colonization. Republic of the Magnificents. From 1339 until the extinction of the state in 1797, the highest office of the Republic was the Doge, originally elected with perpetual office, after 1528 he was elected with two-year office. However, in reality, the Republic was an oligarchy governed by a small group of merchant families, from which the doges were chosen. Venice's eternal rival in the partition of the Mediterranean; it was a celebrated maritime republic and today its coat of arms is depicted on the flag of the Italian Navy.


From the "Compagna Communis" to the perpetual doges

Genoa began to become autonomous from the Holy Roman Empire around 1096, as a free municipality, then participating in the first crusade (having the concession of the use of the red cross in the coat of arms). Initially called Compagna Communis, the denomination "republic" was made official only in 1528 on the initiative of Admiral Andrea Doria. Its territory was therefore administered since the Middle Ages by consuls, podestà and captains of the people, from 1099 to 1339, who will constitute the first state and republican "versions": the first, second and third republic. powerful maritime republic, however, in the political management of the city moments of tension, clashes and "desire for power" of the most influential Genoese families, further divided between Guelph and Ghibelline factions, contrasted. The Adorno, the Fregoso, the Guarco, the Montaldo, the Doria, the Spinola, the Fieschi, the Grimaldi and the Lomellini were among the noble families that in fact shared the city authority in the Middle Ages. Genoa an oligarchic government reform was implemented - the so-called "fourth republic" - which with the first doges elected for life (the first was, on 23 September 1339, Simone Boccanegra) also alternated the subjection to the Duchy of Milan (to the Visconti first and then to the Sforza) and to the French sovereigns Charles VI, Charles VII, Louis XII and Francesco I. In these historical phases - where, in fact, the dedications of the republic were politically transformed into real foreign dominations while retaining a weak territorial autonomy - the governors and lieutenants, mostly not Ligurians, but also Genoese, took over the leadership of the state. those noblemen considered "close" to the power in force, even former doges for life who for "state responsibility" or personal ambition chose to renounce their dogate and in fact hand over the republic several times to the aforementioned states; a feature that linked three doges of the Adorno family (Antoniotto I