Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa

Editor: C. E. Beneš

This book provides the first English translation of the Chronicle of the city of Genoa by the thirteenth-century Dominican Jacopo da Varagine (also known as Jacobus de Voragine). While Jacopo is better known for his monumental compilation of saints’ lives, the Golden legend, his lesser known Chronicle of Genoa exemplifies the important medieval genre of the civic chronicle. The work mixes scholarly research about the city’s origins with narrative accounts based on Genoese archival sources, more didactic and moral reflections on the proper conduct of public and private life, and personal accounts of Jacopo’s own experience as archbishop of Genoa from 1292 until his death in 1298. Divided into twelve parts, the work covers the history of Genoa from its ancient origins up to Jacopo’s own day. Jacopo’s first-hand accounts of events in which he himself participated—such as the great civic reconciliation of 1295, over which he himself presided—provide a valuable contrast to the more scholarly and didactic sections of the work. Together they form an integrated, coherent approach to urban history, which illustrates some of the most important styles of historiography in the Middle Ages.

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