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After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Genoa was occupied by the Ostrogoths.
Internal feuds between the powerful families, the Grimaldi and Fieschi, the Doria, Spinola, and others caused much disruption, but in general the republic was run much as a business affair.In 1218–1220 Genoa was served by the Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli, who probably introduced Occitan literature to the city, which was soon to boast such troubadours as Jacme Grils, Lanfranc Cigala, and Bonifaci Calvo.Genoa's political zenith came with its victory over the Republic of Pisa at the naval Battle of Meloria in 1284, and over its persistent rival, Venice, at the naval Battle of Curzola in 1298. The Black Death was imported into Europe in 1347 from the Genoese trading post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea, on the Black Sea.Different from other Ligures and Celt settlements of the area, it was allied to Rome through a ("Equal pact") in the course of the Second Punic War.It was therefore destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 BC.The attribution of its foundation to Celts in 2500–2000 BC has been recently recognized as wrong.
A city cemetery, dating from the 6th and 5th centuries BC, testifies to the occupation of the site by the Greeks, but the fine harbor probably was in use much earlier, perhaps by the Etruscans.
genowe), meaning "mouth", i.e., estuary; the same etymology is found in an area of the modern city, called Foce (river mouth).
Still another hypothesis is derivation from the Latin word of Celtic origin "ianua", meaning "door", cognated with the Latin god Janus .
The Adorno, Campofregoso, and other smaller merchant families all fought for power in this Republic, as the power of the consuls allowed each family faction to gain wealth and power in the city.
The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont, Sardinia, Corsica and had practically complete control of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The town was rebuilt and, after the end of the Carthaginian Wars, received municipal rights.