In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Genoa 1450–1700

  • Introduction
  • Journals
  • Law
  • Microhistory
  • The Port-City and the Fleet
  • Genoese Households
  • Genoese Factions
  • Urbanism, Neighborhoods, and Demographic Structures
  • Slavery in Genoa
  • Foreign Merchant Communities and Entrepreneurship in Genoa
  • The Jews in Genoa
  • History of Culture and Material Culture

Renaissance and Reformation Genoa 1450–1700
Carlo Taviani
  • LAST REVIEWED: 27 November 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 November 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0526


Compared to the history of Florence, Venice, Rome, or even Milan, the history of Genoa has been overlooked in past centuries and decades, probably because of the difficulty to reduce it to a common model, especially in the field of political and institutional history. The fortunes of a small center with several external subjected territories during the Middle Ages, and the misfortunes of a weak state with a prosperous commercial diaspora in the following centuries, have characterized the history of this city and its scholarship. The role of private institutions, trade, finance, diaspora, and factions, on one hand, and of weak but flexible political institutions, on the other, makes Genoa an interesting—because uncommon—case study. A persistent dichotomy has also characterized Genoese scholarship. Several historians have looked at the history of Genoa, while others have studied the history of the Genoese people—famous seafarers, rich traders, and many migrants—abroad. If the history of Genoa is that of a small state during the Early Modern age, that of its people is a history of a wide and persistent diasporic movement abroad. This bibliography offers an overview of the first topic, Genoa, with the explicit purpose not to mix and confuse it with the history of the Genoese abroad. A few works which refer to the Genoese abroad are however mentioned here, but only since they consistently deal with the history of Genoa. The time period analyzed by this bibliography (1450–1700) is characterized by a hiatus in the scholarship. A group of studies have focused on the period 1450–1528, while others on the period 1550–1700. Quite recently, global history is marking a shift in the trend of Genoese scholarship, but it can only be partially mentioned here, since some of the most recent studies focus on earlier or later periods, and not on the period between 1450 and 1700, and because some research works and projects are still ongoing and unpublished.

General Overviews

Single-Authored Work and Collections of Essays provide information on the history of Genoa from a wide and broad historical and historiographical perspective.

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