Genoa and the Sea: Policy and Power in an Early Modern Maritime Republic, 1559-1684

Overview

Genoa played an important and ever-changing role in the early modern Mediterranean world. In medieval times, the city transformed itself from a tumultuous maritime republic into a stable and prosperous one, making it one of the most important financial centers in Europe. When Spanish influence in the Mediterranean world began to decline, Genoa, its prosperity closely linked with Spain's, again had to reinvent itself and restore its economic stature.

Thomas Allison Kirk ...

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Overview

Genoa played an important and ever-changing role in the early modern Mediterranean world. In medieval times, the city transformed itself from a tumultuous maritime republic into a stable and prosperous one, making it one of the most important financial centers in Europe. When Spanish influence in the Mediterranean world began to decline, Genoa, its prosperity closely linked with Spain's, again had to reinvent itself and restore its economic stature.

Thomas Allison Kirk reconstructs the early modern Mediterranean world and closely studies Genoa's attempt to evolve in the ever-changing political and economic landscape. He focuses on efforts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to revive shipbuilding and maritime commerce as a counterbalance to the city's volatile financial sector.

"This book treats a neglected subject—the maritime policy of an early modern Mediterranean state—with a new and refreshing approach."— American Historical Review

"The essence of this book is Kirk's detailed understanding of the economics of shipbuilding and trade, as they affected the diplomatic and economic fortunes of the city of Genoa."— English Historical Review

"Genoa and the Sea succeeds in reintegrating the Genoese republic with its citizen bankers, its galley slaves, its competing clans and moneyed families in a fascinating, if dense, narrative of transition and transformation... Kirk has demonstrated the rich resources available for sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Genoa, and should inspire much further research."— Historian

"Not only a valuable contribution on the history of the republic of Genoa but also a new perspective on the changing Mediterranean world and the relationship of the Mediterranean with the rest of Europe during a period of sweeping transformations."— International Journal of Maritime History

"An important contribution to the historiography of early modern Italy and its decline in the seventeenth century."— Journal of Modern History

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Renaissance Quarterly
An excellent appetizer on the subject of early modern Genoese naval power.
Choice

Highly recommended.

Business History Review
A valuable addition to the literature on the economic history of the Mediterranean.

— Luisa Piccinno

Sixteenth-Century Journal
Well written and accessible, Genoa and the Sea merits reading by scholars and students of early modern Italy as well as by those who wish better to understand an old sea in a time of oceanic empire.

— Andrew Vorder Bruegge

American Historical Review - Jan Glete
This book treats a neglected subject—the maritime policy of an early modern Mediterranean state—with a new and refreshing approach.
History - Christopher Storrs
This is an interesting and important book, not least because it rescues from near oblivion (for the English-language reader) an important Italian and Mediterranean state whose experience in the early modern era merits greater attention than it has so far received.
Business History Review - Luisa Piccinno
A valuable addition to the literature on the economic history of the Mediterranean.
Journal of Transport History - M. Elisabetta Tonizzi
Well researched and fluently written, the book is highly recommended not only for anglophone readers but to anybody.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History - Maria Fusaro
Provides plenty of food for thought regarding early-modern Italy and hopefully will stimulate more research into how the Italian states confronted their relative political and economic decline.
International Journal of Maritime History - Michela D'Angelo
Not only a valuable contribution on the history of the republic of Genoa but also a new perspective on the changing Mediterranean world and the relationship of the Mediterranean with the rest of Europe during a period of sweeping transformations.
Historian - Evelyn Welch
Genoa and the Sea succeeds in reintegrating the Genoese republic with its citizen bankers, its galley slaves, its competing clans and moneyed families in a fascinating, if dense, narrative of transition and transformation... Kirk has demonstrated the rich resources available for sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Genoa, and should inspire much further research.
Great Circle - Michael Clark
A refreshing approach... this book deserves to become the standard reference for maritime and economic historians of the early modern period.
Journal of Modern History - Francesca Trivellato
An important contribution to the historiography of early modern Italy and its decline in the seventeenth century.
Sixteenth Century Journal - Andrew Vorder Bruegge
Well written and accessible, Genoa and the Sea merits reading by scholars and students of early modern Italy as well as by those who wish better to understand an old sea in a time of oceanic empire.
English Historical Review - Gervase Rosser
The essence of this book is Kirk's detailed understanding of the economics of shipbuilding and trade, as they affected the diplomatic and economic fortunes of the city of Genoa.
Choice
Highly recommended.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Thomas Allison Kirk teaches in the Department of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 The Republic Genoa in the early modern world 3
2 The Genoese and the Republic of Genoa 29
3 Public galleys and private interests, 1559-1607 51
4 Diplomacy and the rearmament debate : the weight of the Spanish alliance, 1607-1640 84
5 The lure of the world's seas, 1640-1680 117
6 Galleons, galleys, and the free port : ships and power in a little country 151
7 Conclusion : a century of ships and paper 186
App. A Operating costs of "free galleys," 1646 203
Abb. B Breakdown of annual operating expenses of a mixed-crew galley, 1652 204
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