Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία
Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Τετάρτη, 27 Μαρτίου 2019

Byzantine Campania (Italy) (Part B) : The medieval Greek duchies of Gaeta, Amalfi and Sorrento

Magna Graecia was the name given by the Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day regions of Campania, Apulia,Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily; these regions were extensively populated by Greek settlers, particularly the Achaean settlements of Croton, and Sybaris, and to the north, the settlements of Cumae and Neapolis. The settlers who began arriving in the 8th century BC brought with them their Hellenic civilization, which was to leave a lasting imprint on Italy, such as in the culture of ancient Rome. Most notably the Roman poet Ovid referred to the south of Italy as Magna Graecia in his poem Fasti. Although many of the Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy were entirely Italianized during the Middle Ages (for example, Paestum was by the 4th century BC), pockets of Greek culture and language remained and survived into modernity partly because of continuous migration between southern Italy and the Greek mainland. One example is the Griko people, some of whom still maintain their Greek language and customs.
Cumae  was the first ancient Greek colony on the mainland of Italy, founded by settlers from Euboea in the 8th century BC and soon becoming one of the strongest colonies. The Greek settlement was founded in the 8th century BC by emigrants from cities of Eretria and Chalcis in Euboea. The Greeks were already established at nearby Pithecusae (Ischia) and were led to Cumae by the joint oecists (founders): Megasthenes of Chalcis and Hippocles of Cyme. The site chosen was on the hill and later acropolis of Monte di Cuma surrounded on one side by the sea and on the other by particularly fertile ground on the edge of the Campanian plain. While continuing their maritime and commercial traditions, the settlers of Cumae strengthened their political and economic power by exploitation of the land and extended their territory at the expense of neighbouring peoples. The colony thrived and in the 8th century it was already strong enough to send Perieres to found Zancle in Sicily, and another group to found Tritaea in Achaea, Pausanias was told.Cuma established its dominance over almost the entire Campanian coast up to Punta Campanella over the 7th and 6th centuries BC, gaining sway over Puteoli and Misenum. The colony spread Greek culture in Italy and introduced the Euboean alphabet, a dialect of Greek and a variant of which was adapted and modified by the Etruscans and then by the Romans and became the Latin alphabet still used worldwide today. According to Dionysius. Cumae was at that time celebrated throughout all Italy for its riches, power, and all the other advantages, as it possessed the most fertile part of the Campanian plain and was mistress of the most convenient havens round about Misenum. The growing power of the Cumaean Greeks led many indigenous tribes of the region to organise against them, notably the Dauni and Aurunci with the leadership of the Capuan Etruscans. This coalition was defeated by the Cumaeans in 524 BC under the direction of Aristodemus. The glorious victories of the colony increased its prestige, so much so that according to Diodorus Siculus, it was usual to associate the whole region of the Phlegraean Fields with Cumaean territory. The combined fleets of Cumae and Syracuse (on Sicily) defeated the Etruscans at the Battle of Cumae in 474 BC. Cumae founded Neapolis in 470 BC. The temple of Apollo sent the revered Sibylline Books to Rome in the 5th c. BC. Also Rome obtained its priestesses who administered the important cult of Ceres from the temple of Demeter in Cumae.
Gaeta set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Rome and 80 km (50 mi) from Naples. The town has played a conspicuous part in military history; its fortifications date back toRoman times, and it has several traces of the period, including the 1st-century mausoleum of the Roman general Lucius Munatius Plancus at the top of the Monte Orlando. Gaeta's fortifications were extended and strengthened in the 15th century. It is the ancient Caieta, situated on the slopes of the Torre di Orlando, a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Gaeta was an ancient Greek Ionian colony of the Samians according to Strabo, who believed the name stemmed from the Ancient Greek καιέτας, which means "cave", probably referring to the several harbours. According to Virgil's Aeneid, Caieta was Aeneas’ (another legend says Ascanius') wet-nurse, whom he buried here. In the classical age Caieta, famous for its lovely and temperate climate, like the neighbouring Formia and Sperlonga, was a tourist resort and site of the seaside villas of many important and rich characters of Rome. Like the other Roman resorts, Caieta was linked to the capital of the Empire by Via Appia and its end trunk Via Flacca (or Valeria), through an opposite diverticulum or by-road. Its port was of great importance in trade and in war, and was restored under Emperor Antoninus Pius. Among its antiquities is the mausoleum of Lucius Munatius Plancus.
At the beginning of the Middle Ages, after the Lombard invasion of Italy (6th century), Gaeta remained under suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire. In the following years, like Amalfi, Sorrento and Naples, it would seem to have established itself as a independent port and to have carried on a thriving trade with the Levant. For fear of the Saracens, in 840 the inhabitants of the neighbouring Formiæ fled to Gaeta. Though under the suzerainty of Byzantine Empire, Gaeta had then, like nearby Italian ports Naples and Amalfi, a republican form of government with a dux ("duke"), as a strong bulwark against Saracen invasion. Around 830, it became a lordship ruled by hereditary hypati, or consuls: the first of these was Constantine (839–866), who in 847 aidedPope Leo IV in the naval fight at Ostia. At this same time (846) the episcopal see of Gaeta was founded when Constantine, Bishop of Formiae, fled thither and established his residence. He was associated with his son Marinus I. They were probably violently overthrown in 866 or 867 by Docibilis I, who, looking rather to local safety, entered into treaties with the Saracens and abandoned friendly relations with the papacy. Nevertheless, he greatly expanded the duchy and began construction of the palace. Greatest of the hypati was possibly John I, who helped militarily crush the Saracens at Garigliano in 915 and gained the title of patricius from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII.
The Duchy of Gaeta was an early medieval state centered on the coastal South Italian city of Gaeta. It began in the early ninth century as the local community began to grow autonomous as Byzantine power lagged in the Mediterranean and the peninsula due to Lombard and Saracen incursions. The primary source for the history of Gaeta during its ducal period is the Codex Caietanus, a collection of charters preserving Gaetan history better and in greater detail than that of its neighbouring coastal states: Naples, Amalfi, and Sorrento. However, unlike these sister seaports, Gaeta was never a centre of commercial importance. In 778, it was the headquarters from which the patrician of Sicily directed the campaign against the Saracen invaders of Campania. The first consul of Gaeta, Constantine, who associated his son Marinus with him, was a Byzantine agent and a vassal of Andrew II of Naples. Constantine defended the city from the ravages of Muslim pirates and fortified it, building outlying castles as well. He was removed, probably violently, by the Docibilis I, who established a dynasty and made Gaeta de factoindependent. The Docibilian dynasts regularly worked to advance Gaetan interests through alliance with whatever power was most capable of such at the time. They joined forces with the Saracens against their Christian neighbours and with the Pope against the Muslim pirates at the Battle of Ostia. They constructed a massive palace and greatly increased the city's prestige and wealth. The Gaetans remained nominally Byzantine in allegiance until the mid tenth century, fighting under their banner at the Battle of the Garigliano. The chief success of the Docibilians lay, however, in extracting Gaeta from the Ducatus Neapolitanus. It was Docibilis II (died 954) who first took the title of dux or duke (933). Docibilis saw Gaeta at its zenith but began the process whereby it was chiefly weakened. He gave Fondi to his second son Marinus with the equivalent title of duke and set a precedent for the partitioning of the Gaetan duchy and its encastellation, which corroded ducal authority over time.
In 962, Gaeta put itself under Pandulf Ironhead, the Lombard prince of Capua. In 963, however, only the municipal rulers appeared in the charters. In 976, the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto II, and the pope were the recognised suzerains of Gaeta. A complete revolution had occurred since the assumption of the ducal title and the Western Emperor had replaced the Eastern as overlord. Gaeta declined in importance in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. In 1012, a succession crisis weakened it further. John IV died, leaving one son by his wife Sichelgaita, a sister of Sergius IV of Naples. This son, John V, ruled under the disputed regency of his grandmother Emilia. His uncle Leo I usurped the duchy only to be removed in a few short months and his other uncle, Leo II, fought over the regency with Emilia. It wasn't until 1025 that the situation was settled. After that, John V sheltered the fleeing Sergius of Naples and aided him in retaking his city with Norman assistance. For this, John V earned the enmity of Pandulf IV of Capua and his duchy was conquered in 1032. The local dynasty, descended from Docibilis, would never recover its duchy. Gaeta was conquered by the Lombards in 1032. In 1038, the conqueror, Pandulf of Capua, was deposed and replaced by Guaimar IV of Salerno. Guaimar did not reign personally for long before appointing the chiefest of his Norman mercenaries, Ranulf Drengot, as duke. On Ranulf's death, however, the Gaetans elected their own Lombard candidate, Atenulf, Count of Aquino. Under Atenulf and his son, Atenulf II, Gaeta remained practically independent, but Richard I of Capua and his son Jordan subjugated it in 1058 and then again in 1062. In 1064, the Lombard ruler was expelled and a Norman, William of Montreuil, took his place and married the Lombard widow of Atenulf I, Maria, daughter of Pandulf. The place of women in the rule of Gaeta was significant.
The Norman overlords of Gaeta appointed dukes from various families of local prominence, Normans mostly, until 1140, when the last Gaetan duke died, leaving the city to the king of Sicily,Roger II, to whom he had pledged himself in 1135. The first Norman duke after the brief tenure of Ranulf Drengot under Guaimar was William of Montreuil, appointed in 1064. He tried to legitimise his rule by marriage to the widow of his Lombard predecessor, but after his expulsion by his Norman overlord, the prince of Capua, Richard I, it was not necessary for any subsequent dukes to legitimise themselves: the Normans had established their power. From 1067 or 1068 to 1091, Gaeta was ruled by the Norman Ridello family. Their power was set in Gaeta and Geoffrey Ridello ruled from Pontecorvo, but the Gaetans were not completely weaned from their independent past yet. On the death of Jordan I of Capua, Gaeta rebelled against Norman rule and set up as their duke one Landulf. He ruled successfully until 1103, because the Norman prince of Capua, Richard II, was exiled from his capital. In 1103, William Blosseville conquered the city and in turn was conquered by Richard of Aquila in 1105. Richard was a de facto independent duke as were his successors. The death of Jordan I had sapped the Norman dynasty of Capua of its authority and this had a great effect on Gaeta. After Richard's death (1111), Gaeta was ruled by Andrew Dell'Aquila until 1113, when Richard of Caleno got it. Finally, in 1135, Richard of Caleno was forced to make submission to King Roger, who had forced the last prince of Capua, Robert II, to make submission the same year.
The city of Gaeta was the always the economic, political, and ecclesiastical centre of the duchy. The probable origins of the Docibilan dynasty as Amalfitan merchants perhaps explains the interest they had in amassing movable as well as landed wealth. The Gaetan forum (market) was located near the ducal palace. Warehouses (medialocae), some even owned by foreigners, likePisans, were commonplace. In the tenth century Gaetans, Amalfitans, and Salernitans were present cum magno negotio ("with great business") in Pavia. At Constantinople the Gaetans had a colony. Liutprand of Cremona even records that the deposers of Romanus II claimed the support of the "men of Caieta" and Amalfi. While it is known that Amalfi imported Byzantine silk, a single reference to "Gaetan silk" in a will of 1028 suggests that Gaeta may have been involved in its production. By 1129 the Jewish community at Gaeta was heavily involved in the industries of cloth-dyeing, salt extraction, and olive oil production. The replacement of the Docibilan dynasty in the mid-eleventh century caused a municipal power shift which had implications for trade and commerce. The established nobility, whose wealth was based on land, was displaced by the families of the rising merchant class, whose new wealth was got by trade. These new families had established ties with Ptolemy I of Tusculum by 1105. The Crescentii, the traditional rivals of the Tusculani in Rome, had taken over Terracina, formerly Gaetan territory, and were establishing martial ties with the Docibilans still ruling at Fondi in the late eleventh century. These two Roman families were soon vying for influence among the merchant clans of Gaeta; the Crescentii appeared to have had upper hand. In the twelfth century Gaetan trade expanded, while the duchy's Norman dukes took less interest in the city itself. In 1128 Gaeta is recorded as paying less, only twelve denarii, for docking a ship at Genoa than any other city (Amalfi, Naples, Rome, or Salerno), perhaps suggesting longstanding relations with Genoa. The Gaetan–Genoese relationship had deteriorated by 1140.
In 1094 a major shift in the government of Gaeta was first recorded. In that year boni homines("good men") first took part in the political process. In 1123 consuls, four in number, are first recorded, though the dukes had always borne the consular title as an imperial honorific. This makes Gaeta one of the "more precocious cities" by Daniel Waley's criteria. The use of consuls may have been the result of Genoese or Pisan influence, though consuls from Rome were recorded participating in Gaetan affairs in 1127. The record of consular government in Gaeta lasts only until 1135. Two general factions can be defined: those families aligned with the Crescentii and those aligned with the Tusculani. The former dominated the consulate. In 1123 Duke Richard II confirmed the copper coinage and promised the consuls not to change it. In 1127 the building that housed the curia he ceded to them. The submission in 1135 and death in 1140 of the last Gaetan duke correspond, respectively, with the last consular record and the failed attack on Genoa. It is probably that increased Norman oversight of Gaetan affairs is responsible for the eclipse of both the consuls and the pirates.
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto. The town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200. Amalfi held importance as a maritime power, trading grain from its neighbours, salt from Sardinia and slaves from the interior, and even timber, in exchange for the golddinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the Byzantine silks that it resold in the West. Grain-bearing Amalfi traders enjoyed privileged positions in the Islamic ports, Fernand Braudel notes. The Amalfi tables provided a maritime code that was widely used by the Christian port cities. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a bartereconomy. In the 8th and 9th century, when Mediterranean trade revived it shared with Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, while Venice was in its infancy, and in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV against the Saracens. An independent republic from the 7th century until 1075, Amalfi extracted itself from Byzantine vassalage in 839 and first elected a duke in 958.
The Duchy of Amalfi or the Republic of Amalfi was a de facto independent state centered on the Southern Italian city of Amalfi during the 10th and 11th centuries. The city and its territory were originally part of the larger ducatus Neapolitanus, governed by a patrician, but it extracted itself from Byzantine vassalage and first elected a duke (or doge) in 958. During the 10th and 11th centuries Amalfi was estimated to have a population of 50,000 -70,000 people. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for centuries before being surpassed and superseded by the other maritime republics of the North, like Pisa, Venice, and Genoa. In 1073, Amalfi lost its independence, falling to French Norman invasion and subsequently to Pisa in 1137.
The city of Amalfi was founded as a trading post in 339. Its first bishop was appointed in 596. In 838, the city was captured by Sicard of Benevento with help from traitors within the city, who led him in through the waterward defenses. Many of the Amalfitans in Salerno sacked that city and left. In 839, Amalfi freed itself from Lombard domination and elected a prefect. Nearby Atrani participated in these early prefectural elections. Subsequently, Amalfi helped to free Siconulf to oppose the ruling Prince of Benevento. In 897, the self-governing republic, still nominally tied to the Byzantine Empire, was defeated in a war with Sorrento, supported by Naples, in which her prefect was captured, later ransomed. In 914, the prefect Mastalus I was appointed firstjudge. In 903 the Amalfitans joined forces with Naples to attack the Arabs that had established them selves on the banks of the Garigliano river. However the combined forces of Amalfi and the Naples were driven back by the Arabs and their allies, the Italian city state of Gaeta. In 915 Amalfi did not join the Battle of Garigliano to fight against the Arabs. This was most likely due to the fact that since 909 Amalfi had been heavily trading with the Fatimid Caliphate and did not want to jeopardize relations with this powerful trade partner. In 958, Mastalus II was assassinated and Sergius I was elected first duke (or doge). From 981 to 983, Amalfi ruled the Principality of Salerno. In 987, the Amalfitan bishopric was raised to archiepiscopal status. From 1034, Amalfi came under the control of the Principality of Capua and, in 1039, that of Salerno. In 1073, Robert Guiscard conquered the city and took the title dux Amalfitanorum: "duke of the Amalfitans." In 1096, Amalfi revolted, but this was put down in 1101. It revolted again in 1130 and was finally subdued in 1131, when the Emir John marched on Amalfi by land and George of Antioch blockaded the town by sea and set up a base on Capri. In 1135 and 1137, Pisa sacked the city and the glory of Amalfi was past.
After the Amalfitans broke free of Lombard control they did not return to Neapolitan control but instead stated their independence. After 839 Amalfi was an independent entity and created a strong maritime presence. Amalfi had strong ties with both the Byzantine Empire ( a term used to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, or the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages) and the Fatimid Caliphate. The Amalfitans had a permanent and important presence in Constantinople during the 10th and 11th centuries. Amalfitans also created Latin Christian outposts in the Levant around 1040 and hostels for Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem and Antioch. During the 10th and 11th centuries Amalfi was dominating trade and commerce with North Africa and the Levant, and one of the major exports from Amalfi during the Middle Ages was the chestnut. While The Duchy of Amalfi never regained its independence after 1137 the city of Amalfi was still important to maritime trade for the next 200 years until 1343 when an earthquake and a storm destroyed most of its harbor. Probably the most important contribution Amalfi made during those 200 years before its harbor was destroyed was the perfection of the modern day box compass. Between 1295 and 1302 the Flavio Gioia turned the compass from a needle floating in water to what we use today, a round box with a compass card that rotates 360 degrees attached to a magnetic element.
The Duchy of Sorrento was a small peninsular principality of the Early Middle Ages centred on the Italian city of Sorrento. Sorrento is a town overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. The Sorrentine Peninsula has views of Naples, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri. The Amalfi Drive, connecting Sorrento and Amalfi, is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Sorrento became an archbishopric around 420 AD. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was ruled by theOstrogoths and then returned to the Eastern Empire and subjected to Byzantium. The Lombards, who conquered much of southern Italy in the second half of the 6th century, besieged it in vain. In the following centuries the authority of the distant Empire of Byzantium faded; initially part of the substiantially independent Duchy of Naples, later Sorrento became in turn an autonomous duchy in the 9th century. It fought against neighbouring/rival Amalfi, the Saracens and the nearby Lombardic duchies, such as that of Benevento, whose forces besieged it in 839, although Sorrento was able to resist with Neapolitan help. Sorrentine forces took part in the anti-Saracen leagues at the battles of Licosa (846) and Ostia (849). The duchy was ruled by figures elected by the people, which received honorary titles from the Byzantine Emperor. In 1035 the city was acquired by Guaimar IV of Salerno, who gave it to his brother Guy. After a brief return under the Duchy of Naples, it returned in Lombard hands with Gisulf II of Salerno; when the latter was defeated by Robert Guiscard, Sorrento entered the Norman sphere of influence: any residual independence was ended in 1137 when it was conquered by Roger II of Sicily, and annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily. Originally, Sorrento was part of the Byzantine Duchy of Naples in the Dark Ages, but in the ninth century, along with Amalfi and Gaeta, it broke away from the Neapolitans to found its ownducatus (or republic). However, it mostly remained under Amalfi and only one independent duke is known from this period, a Sergius in the late ninth century. In 1035, it was conquered by the Lombards under Guaimar IV of Salerno and bestowed on his younger brother Guy, who ruled it until the 1070s. Not long after that, it was annexed by the Normans. In 1119, a certain Sergius undersigned a diploma of William II, Duke of Apulia, as "Prince of Sorrento."
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