Caffaro Di Caschifellone

▪ Genoese historian and soldier

born c. 1080
died 1166

      Genoese soldier, statesman, diplomat, and crusader who wrote chronicles that are important sources for the history of the First Crusade and of 12th-century Genoa.

      A member of a noble family descended from the viscounts who ruled Genoa in the early Middle Ages, Caffaro fought in the siege of Caesarea, north of Jerusalem (1101), at which time he began to keep a yearly record of Genoese history. Five times consul of the Genoese commune, he also served as ambassador to the pope, to the kings of Barcelona and Castile, and to the emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and as captain of war against Pisa and against the Saracens in the Balearic Isles and Spain. In 1152 he presented his history to the consuls of Genoa, who decreed that it should be copied and kept in the public archives. Caffaro continued his annals until 1163, when civil disorders in Genoa caused him to abandon the project. On his death in 1166, he left two books in addition to the annals: Liber de liberatione civitatum orientis (“Book About the Liberation of the Cities of the East”), describing Genoese participation in the First Crusade, written from memory more than half a century later; and Historia captionis Almariae et Tortuose (“History of the Capture of Almería and Tortosa”), an account of the Genoese expedition to Spain in 1147–48, in which he participated.

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Universalium. 2010.

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