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This introduction contextualises the thirteenth-century Dominican Jacopo da Varagine (also known as Jacobus de Voragine) as a historical figure and author, introducing the history and urban culture of medieval northern Italy as well as the genre of the civic chronicle. It outlines the history of medieval Genoa, an Italian city-state developing in ways that were both typical (in struggling with factional conflict) and atypical (as a hub of international trade). Finally, the introduction provides a short biography of Jacopo, reviews his vast scholarly output, and introduces his Chronicle: its transmission tradition, methodologies, main sources, and chief themes.

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