Genoa, mistress and queen of the Ligurians, and also called Janua, is a very renowned city in Italy, situated on the shores of the Ligurian Gulf. Some say it was founded by a certain Fenuus, son of King Saturn, and was named after him. Others, such as the historian Paolo Perugino says that the city derived its name from Genuinus, the associate of Phaeton, who, on the account of seasickness, was left behind with parts of the ships to watch over them. And he, forming a union with the neighboring people of the place, men who lived in the forests, founded this town, and called it Genoa after his own name. Others write that it was founded by Janus, the king of the Italians, and was enlarged after the destruction of Troy. And this is where the image of Janus-with-Two-Faces first began to be worshipped. The inscription of its placard is said to be preserved thus: "As a Griffin throttles these, so Janus breaks those." However, some say that no mention of this city is preserved before the time of the Punic town of Genoa, which had been destroyed by Mago the Carthaginian. After these times the Romans enjoyed friendlier relations with the Ligurians and Genoese, to whom, since large numbers of troops and various materials useful for a future war were being sent, Genoa seemed to have been especially suitable on account of the nature of its location and its abundance of harbors. The emperor Charlemagne and his son Pepin, a king of Italy, and the succeeding kings of France governed it for almost one hundred years with the highest justice and civility - just as they did the other cities of Italy - appointing leaders to administer her that they called counts. This city clearly is the market town of the entire Ligurian Gulf. From around four hundred year ago (since before that time Genoa was not at all a great city) the city had seen incredible growth from which she has obtained great strength; and in her habor and her towering structures and the rest of her adornments of every kind she surpasses up to the present day all the other maritime cities of Italy except for Venice. And she excelled so much with her experience in naval warfare that for many years she had complete control of the sea and destroyed the pirate raids. But after the time of Charlemagne and his sons she suffered a great tyranny at the hands of her citizens. And for this reason she found it necessary at times to bring in foreign masters to rule over her. In recent memory she has been shaken by civil dissensions and has lost her rule over the sea. Both East and West at the same time were astounded at her quite frequent reverses: she was so devoid of such help and counsel, and her empire that had spread so far and wide was nearly exhausted. For she lost Pera, a city across from Constantinople; the island of Mytilene, Famagusta, capital of the island of Cyprus; the island of Chios, and very many other Greek islands and cities that had been taken away by the Turks and other peoples or else she made them tributaries [of those other peoples]. She even lost Caffa, her colony in the Tauric Chersonese, not far from the Cimmerian Bosporus. But this city of Genoa is adorned especially with the ashes of the precursor of the Lord, and with the priceless emerald Catino, which tradition reports was the one with which the Lord Jesus Christ ate the Paschal Lamb at the Last Supper.


Caitlin Tran


Hartmann Schedel (1493). Liber cronicarum cum figuris et ymaginibus ab inicio mundi.
USC Libraries, Special Collections Call No: D17.S34 1493b, f.

Hartmann Schedel (2010). Liber chronicarum: translation.
USC Libraries, Special Collections Call No: D17.S3413 2010 v.1-v.4




Caitlin Tran, “Genoa,” Nuremberg Chronicle, accessed October 22, 2019,

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